east german armour piercing??
I have a few hundred rounds of east german steel core ammo, my grandpa bought a case of it probably about 20 years ago now. He didnt know what it was at first till it was flying through some big old telephone poles they were using as targets. Is this stuff rare or worth anything? I cant find much info on it other than this I found doing a yahoo search
"The only round that ever came close to AP was the East German surplus 7.62x39 that was imported back in the early 90's.
I bought a couple cases of the East German 7.62x39 back then and dissected a few rounds just to see what it was made of. The dissected rounds yielded hardened steel (possibly tungsten) cores that when fired would punch through a 1/2 inch of pre-hard, tooling plate (A-2 @ 32-36 on the RC scale) like a hot knife through butter. Other bullet types of the same caliber (i.e. lead-core military ball, hollow point, etc.) when tested would only put a dent or splash in the plate and not even come close to penetrating."
East German steel core is not rare or valuable and it is NOT armor piercing. The East Germans DID NOT make AP. They made a hardened steel core ball cartridge, but it was not AP nor was it intended to be AP. These are also very rare and never imported in any quantity, much less case quantity. As for these hardened steel core ball cartridges, they do not perform any better against steel plate than mild steel core ball. The information you found is inaccurate...
From the East German info in my folder,
M43 WK - Ball, lead-core
M43 - with steel core bullet (armour piercing)
M43 SKE - tempered steel core (high effective armour piercing)
RC 32-36 is very low on the scale, and is more of a mild steel, SS109 is around 40-45, and the black tip M2 30.06 is in the low 60's, along with 57-N-231S
We might be talking about the same bullet?! Wolf
The East German export literature calls the M-43 and SKE "Armor Piercing", but that is really only salesman's hype. Neither qualifies by design or performance as AP. As the SKE was only made for export, it never had an official military designation. Since it was only in production for about two years before the fall of the wall, very little of it was made. It was essentially a copy of the Soviet 7.62x39mm "Enhanced Penetration" M-43 ball cartridge. Both of these rounds are exactly the same as a normal M-43 ball except the core is hardened steel. As the core still has the same flat-nosed, blunt profile, it's ability to penetrate "Armor" is poor. These "Enhanced" ball rounds were intended to perform better against body armor being worn by modern troops...
The designation "WK" means "Weich Kern" or literally "soft core" - referring to the soft lead used in the bullet core. Not an official military designation, but rather one required under German law to accurately describe the product.
The M-43 ball cartridge is referred to in German as "Eisen Kern" or "Iron Core". In German usage, this means the core is not steel or hardened.
"SKE" means "Stahl KErn" or "Steel core" which in German usage means a hardened steel core. Also described in German literature as "Hartkern" or "Hard core".