9 mm Luger Maxxtech - interesting steel case


attached some pictures of the Maxxtech 9x19 steel case ammo. The bullet is a normal 115 gr / 7,44 g FMJ with lead core and brass jacket. The steel case is drilled with a step inside, these step regulates the OAL.
The last picture shows a sectioned Maxxtech steel case with the FMJ bullet and as comparision a normal brass case. So you can see the extreme thickness of the steel case below the bullet.




First question is; “What is the sectioned cartridge on the right above???”

Now to the hard part!!!

Your steel Maxxtech case is very interesting. I have some of the first of these rounds brought into the US and have bought them a number of other times. I knew they had internal shoulders but it seemed to me that they were much lower than the ones you pictured.

I took three rounds from four different boxes of the steel case 115gr rounds. the cases in them had substantially different shoulder locations inside. The measurements are from the case mouth down to the shoulder.

  1. White translucent Maxxtech box with Maxxtech headstamped ammo-load lot number inside top: 16118 - depth of shoulder in mm: 5.02, 5.08, 5.05 - weight 76gr

  2. White opaque Maxxtech box with Pobjeda headstamped ammo-no load/lot number - depth of shoulder in mm: 9.12, 9.23, 9.20

  3. White translucent Maxxtech box with Maxxtech headstamped ammo-load lot number inside top:1716 - depth of shoulder in mm: 8.05, 8.38, 8.34

  4. White opaque Pobjeda box with Pobjeda headstamped ammo-load/lot number inside top:1485 - depth of shoulder in mm: 9.28, 9.33, 9.26 - weight: 73.5gr

It appears that over time the shoulder location changed considerably. The weights of the highest and lowest shoulder cases was also distinctly different as would be expected.

The bullets from these four boxes were all 115gr but actually bullet weight varied from 113.5gr to 117.0gr. Some bulletrs had a distinct dished base and some a flat base. Most were 114gr-116gr.

Most of these cases would not have have a shoulder high enough to seat the bullet against. Only the cases in Box 1 would do that.

This step shoulder case reportedly originated in China and is an artifact of the way the machinery draws the case. I first noticed them in AMMOLOAD cases pictured on a website of the Anatolia Cartridge Co. Ltd from the early 2000s. The shoulders appeared quite low in the case and were on brass cases although Anatolia offered steel cases also with MECA headsstamp and copper, brass or nickel plated. I have the brass washed case and it has a slight shoulder at about 12.5mm from the case mouth, almost at the bottom of he case. Similar shoulders show up on AmmoLoad brass washed steel cases and on nickel washed steel cases headstamped USA which all may have been made by Anatolia. These cases were reputedly macd on Chinese built cold-forming machines.

Ammo Load is a producer of Loading Equipment. Both AmmoLoad and Freedom Munitions are owned by Howell Munitions & Technology in Lewiston ID.

I took down a brass case cartridge from a Freedom Munitions box that was headstamped AMMOLOAD. The case had a shoulder, less pronounced than the Maxxtech steel cases but still very obvious. The shoulder was 10.3mm from the casemouth. Another brass case load from a Feedom Munitions box with an IMT headstamp (International Munitions & Technology-used very briefly by Howell Machine before it became Howell Munitions and Technology) had the same shoulder but at 9.13mm from the casemouth.

The fairly current Freedom Munitions 9x19mm have cases with the X-TREME headstamp. I pulled down a brass case round and could find no evidence of a case shoulder. I also took down a brass washed steel case load and it did have a slight shoulder near the bottom of the case cavity but it was too slight to effectively measure.

I’m pretty sure there is a story that ties Anatolia, AmmoLoad, Freedom Munitions and the Chinese loading equipment all together, but I don’t know what it is. Perhaps one of the other members can explain it to us, and also how it connects to Maxxtech & Pobjeda!!!

This took most of my afternoon and I had other plans for this afternoon. I’m going upstairs now, pour a single malt and see it my wife and cat are still speaking to me!


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The one on the right is a National Cartridge “Black Steel” AP load from the early 80’s.

I don’t recognize that version of Maxxtech box with that charcoal / white color scheme - but they are known for a good bit of variation with headstamps, case metal, packaging, etc…

just for info the 9x22 PAK made by pobjeda (the same silver case) have the same internal step stopped at the middle of case

My cartridges came from the 100 round plastic containers.

I suspected it was the National AP but looking for confirmation. I have not seen one sectioned before so did not know of the base structure.Is there a reason for the nipple on the base of the core and the structure of the base of the brass jacket. It looks like on firing the chamber pressure is intended to force the brass base around the steel mipple and into the cavity at the base of the core. This seems pretty complex to me so it may have a specific purpose.

I have never seen the inside of a National AP bullet. I will continue this in another thread so as not to hijack this thread,


@ Lew

I‘m at the IWA in Nuremberg. When I’ll back home I will unload some of the cartridges and measure the position of the shoulder.

The National AP is unfired. The nipple at the base of the steel core came from the mechanical production process. It isn‘t a sign of quality.

Best regards


Thanks! Pick up ;some extras at the IWA!!!

The shoulder location seems pretty consistent in a box, but seems to have varied over time.


Recently I saw a Maxxtech brass case with the same step inside.

As Popjeda shall be at the IWA too I simply will ask them tomorrow. Maybe they will tell.

EOD, I had one 50 rd box and three 100 round plastic containers. Only one which was MAXXTech lot 13130 has a very distinct shoulder about 7.7mm from case mouth. Two others including the Pobjada brass case had a dished bottom of the case cavity with a very slight shoulder. The case in hte 50 round box had no hint of a shoulder.



I have measured five cartridges Maxxtech 115 gr FMJ steel case from the lot nr. #1623.
Following the measured value acquisition from cartridge 1 to 5.

mass (g) of whole cartridge
12,65 / 12,77 / 12,57 / 12,60 / 12,66
lenght (mm) of whole cartridge
28,41 / 28,34 / 28,36 / 28,45 / 28,37
mass (g) of steel case
4,92 / 4,89 / 4,82 / 4,81 / 4,90
mass (g) of bullet
7,43 / 7,59 / 7,47 / 7,50 / 7,46
mass (g) of propellant
0,30 / 0,29 / 0,28 / 0,29 / 0,30
gap between should and case mouth (mm)
5,16 / 5,05 / 4,99 / 5,04 / 5,19

Best regards


I am late and still have not caught up with all as I was busy and out of order for a while.

The Pobjeda folks at the IWA said the step in the shoulder had no particular meaning but I was given a contact I shall forward this question to. Will do that soon.
Also they said they now have dropped this feature in favour for a traditional case design.

Lew, Anatolia/MECA btw. was also not displaying such “stepped” cases anymore.

Interesting. I found individual lots were pretty consistent but variation in lots over a significant time frame had significant differences in shoulder location. Clearly intentional!!!

I haven’t looked at the MECA website in some years. Thanks for the info. It will be interesting to see what they are offering now