2 'PS' 9mm headstamps

I have these 2 Czecholslovakian PS headstamped 9x19 cartridges shown below (CNCS bullets) and I was wondering if anybody knew why they seem to be so extremely rare in the U.S. as compared to the typical dated Czech 9mm cases of the era which had the triangle, club, and star symbol type of headstamps? I say this because of all the dozens and dozens of Czech 9mm boxes and repacked Interarms boxes (thousands of rounds) of this sort of late-40’s & early-50’s 9mm ammo I have been through, they seem to be 99.9% symbol type headstamps with 50 or 51 dates, and only a scant few have been PS, ndn, or oma headstamps and/or pre-1949.


Many years ago, when Czech ammo was coming in the country by the boatload, much of it from Israel, I don’t recall these headstamps as being especially rare. They were out-numbered quite a bit by those later ones with Geometric symbols on the headstamps, though. I suppose like any military surplus ammo, they have dried up quite abit. Will probably take another ten years before the later Czech headstamps, from the 1950s, get scarce, but someday they probably will.
There are plenty of 9 mm headstamps, and those on other calibers, that were as common as fleas when I started collecting this caliber in the early 1960s, and now are down-right rare. It is simply the forces of attrition at work - some shot up, some gone into collections, some lost or thrown away, some seized by police and destroyed, etc.

For a new, young collector, getting to go through an “old guy’s” dupes is probably a big deal; for us old guys, the younger collectors are more aggressive about getting the new stuff than we are by and large, and us going thru their dupes usually nets a “find” or two.

All part of collecting.

I think John is correct. These two PS headstamps came in separably and probably earlier than the ammunition with the symbols. I have a box with the 1947 headstamp that is a 25 round commercial box. Based on the source, I know this box was in a US collection at least 40 years ago, and perhaps 10 years earlier than that. I have the same headstamp in a 16 rd Czech military box, but this one came out of the Czech Republic in the last few years. I don’t think I have seen this box in the US.

The 1949 dated headstamp also comes in 16 round military boxes. These are also fairly recent acquisitions from the Czech Republic.

I suspect that the coded ammunition was sold, perhaps by a non-Czech source into the US surplus market. The PS headstamped items you mentioned likely were sold into other markets. Since they are common in the Czech Republic, these may have been sold to the local shooting market in Czechoslovakia, and perhaps to other markets outside the US.

It is likely all a matter of distribution.


These 2 came to me in Interarms green 50rd boxes, which I find are great for having a mad mix of headstamps.

From the scan, those rounds appear to have the Israeli surplus acid washed look to them.

A lot of Czech ammo was supplied to Israel in the early days. Perhaps they were surplused out of Israel?

You may be correct in that Falcon - all of the cases that were with these 2 had the acid-wash look to them; a dull yellowed appearance with no luster.

Read the first line of my entry on this thread. We sold very large quantities of this Czech stuff.
Much of it - not all of it - came from Israel, as I said.