Hi, I came across a 9 mm Luger round that appears to be a short range practice round. The bullet thats exposed is totally dark blue. At the case mouth there is a light blue color. The headstamp says 27 at the bottom and 5 at 9 o’clock; and a 1 at 3 o’clock. All numbers are seperated by double lines. I’d like to know what it is and who made it. Thanks a head of time, joe
27 - Norma Precision AB
5 1 - 1951
Joe - is there a steel ball in the nose of the plastic projectile in your cartridge?
Also, are you sure the projectile isn’t black, rather than “dark blue?”
The most common Swedish loading with a dark (actually black) plastic bullet is as described above, and is the 9 mm kammarpatroner m/39. These are found with all kinds of Swedish headstamps (and an occasional non-Swedish one) as they were made on over-run, left over brass, or brass rejected for tactical loadings but of sufficient quality and safety for these short-range training cartridges. Your round’s headstamp was correctly identified as to the case maker and date of case production, but cannot confirm who actually loaded the cartridge and when. They were meant for use in the Kulsprutepistol (K’pist.) 45 machine pistol, often referred to by Americans familiar with them from Viet Nam as “the Swedish K pistol” or just “Swedish K” and were the standard SMG of the Swedish military, as well as exported to other countries. To use this cartridge, the guns were assembled with a special taper-bore barrel that basically destroyed the hard plastic bullet, allowing the steel ball to leave the muzzle end of the barrel, which was the diameter of the ball. They were for short range training, often on indoor ranges.
A companion blank was made, but with a red plastic bullet without the steel ball molded into the nose. In that case, there was an added attachment, a muzzle constrictor, that basically finished the destruction of the red bullet into a red dust, allowing no major part of it to leave the barrel intact.
It is not a system without peril. A friend of mine, an office in the Swedish Army Reserve, reported a soldier killed in combat training when one of the blanks was fired without the added constrictor on the barrel, and left the bore intact, hitting another soldier in the eye and penetrating sufficiently to be fatal.
I once found one of the black plastic rounds with no steel ball in the tip, and while I kept it, I wrote it off as simply a production error that had left the ball out of the mold. However, years later, I found a red plastic round with a steel ball in the tip, an “error” that was highly unlikely to handle. I have since confirmed from Swedish sources that these were an experimental color shift, and are quite scarce. That is NOT to say that a k’patr. in black plastic could not be found missing the ball as simply a production error, but that would likely be caught during inspection.
Just for the record, please confirm the color of the bullet and whether or not it had a steel ball in the tip. If in doubt, a photo would be most helpful. The ball is usually quite visible, but a magnet put to the tip of the projectile would quickly tell whether the ball was present or not.