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