Originally posted by [color=blue]John Moss[/color]:
Tony - how do you know that the cartridge dates from 1944? They start with 1940 dates. That is before DI was set up. Further, in the case of the 9mm, there is no way they were made when the cases are dated (40 thru 45).
The pilot lot of 9mm Para ever made by Dominion Cartridge was headstamped DC 42. With acceptance, the headstamp was changed to DI 42, reflecting the establishment of Defence Industries Ltd. That information from my now-departed friend Jim Houlden, who set up DI, and who kindly provided me with a sample of the trial DC 42 ball ammo, and several different try dummies. Further in 9mm the sequence of magnetic bullets is correct if you add about 10 years to the dates, and the black primer seal becomes correct, as in the 50s, Canadian 9mm had a black seal and not the purple seal they had in the 1940s.
Also, after Dunkirk, there was a plea from England sent out to their colonies asking for help in the emergency development of a non-corrosive 9mm cartridge. I think this went out in 1941 or 1942 - Lew Curtis knows. He saw the declassified document. I find it hard to believe that would have been necessary had Canada already been in full production of non-corrosive 9mm ammo for a year or more. Nothing makes sense for the 9mm to have been maufactured as early as 1940, and I firmly believe those dates are spurious.
Further, we know there was a CIA contract for the 9mm ammo. Unfortunately, we don’t have as much of a track record with the 7.9mm ammo to compare. However, since the headstamp format is the same as the 9mm, I am of the personal opinion that the story is the same.
What we do know is that if they were for the Inglis Bren Guns, it is odd that the ammunition in question is dated from 1940 on, with every year covered until 1945. The Inglis Brens for China were only in trial numbers in 1943, and mass production began in 1944. The deliveries of the Canadian-made Browning HP Pistols are a similar story. By the fall of 1944, production of the Inglis pistol had only reached the 3,000 mark, and that included both the Canadian fixed-sight version and the “CH” Chinese contracts with tangent sights. By the time these weapons reached China in any serious numbers, 1944 and 1945, the United States (primarily Western Cartridge Company) had already sent massive amounts of 7.9 x 57 ammo to China, bearing a Chinese headstamp. I have many specimens of these, including two different Chinese box labels. Further, they sent 9mm as well, in boxes labeled in the Chinese language,one of which I have, although with the standard American headstamps.
If any of the Canadian ammunition was made in 1944, which Curtis believes is the case and I do not, it was probably dated “40”, that is, if the year dates on this clandestine ammunition were even stamped in sequence. There is simply nothing pointing to this ammunition being made during the years stamped on the headstamps, especially the early years of 1940, 41 and 42.
It is clear that some of the ammo ended up in China, but a huge amount of the 7.9 was sold as surplus, in brand new condition, before China opened up and started selling off their old stuff. The same is true of the 9mm. We were selling the 9mm in our store in the early 1970s, as I recall, packed in the usual Canadian-style 64 round boxes (there is no dispute that this ammo was made in Canada), and the 7.9 x 57mm not long after that. China was not selling ammunition in the USA at that time, new or surplus, to my knowledge.
If you have documentary evidence that any of this ammo was made in 1944, it would be helpful to at least resolve that dispute between Lew and I.