9 mm Mauser boat tail pistol bullet


This is a drawing of the boat tail pistol bullet designed by Paul Mauser in 1910 and only found loaded on the rare 9 mm Parabellum cartridges headstamped DWM K 487C K made for Waffenfabrik Mauser. The DWM factory designation for this bullet was No. 402. Bullet core is made of aluminium with a lead tip.

It would be great if some happy owner of an example of these cartridges can take a radiograph to compare it with the drawing.


Fede, I have the cartridge and a seperate bullet. Neither has the ogive of this drawing. I will make a scan later and add it to this post.



Lew, thanks, a picture would be great. I have seen loaded examples and the ojive is rounded like the DWM drawing.


Fede, What is the source of the drawing you show?

Below is a photo of the bullet for the 487C, the loaded 487C cartridge and the 480C cartridge (probably from the same period). Note that the ogive on the 487C bullet. It appears to be much closer to that of the 480C RN bullet (DWM 278G) than it does the bullet in the drawing in Fede’s post. The seperate bullet came from the HP White Lab bullet collection and the box was labeled that it came from a 487C case. I’m sure it is the one illustrated in their book.
appears identical to the 480C.

Below is the illustration of the 487C case from the DWM case list, along with the other cases in the series. The description explains why these rounds are so rare today. Wish John was still on the Forum. He could tell us a lot more about this whole series.

Note that the bullet for these are the 287 bullets listed below. It is interesting that none of these have a boattail, although a number are obviously designed by or for W F Mauser. It is also interesting that none are specifically identified for the 487C case. Bullet 287D, a W F Mauser bullet, has the ogive of the bullet in the drawing Fede posted. I don’t remember having seen a reference to a 487D or 487I case.

The drawing of the 487C case also identifies another bullet, the DWM 402 which is apparently a later design than most of the 287 range. It is titled Pistole Kal 9mm Mauser, and has the boattail of the bullet Fede illustrates but the more standard ogive. This is clearly the bullet in the cartridge illustrated above.

A lot more here than I’m qualified to talk about. This thread needs someone who can discuss the entire scope of this experimental series and understands the history of the guns. It is strange to me that the 487C case shows loaded with a bullet that is apparently not part of the family of W F Mauser experimental bullets.




Lew, wonderful pictures, thanks! The drawing is depicted in Paul Mauser’s patent amd is interesting because it is described as a 11 mm bullet with a total weight of 14 or 5.4 grs depending on the core material.

Specimens of the 9 x 25 headstamped DWM K 487D K actually exist but are of later manufacture.

The forum is not the same without John and I’m starting to feel guilty discussing autopistol rounds without his presence.


This Mauser bullet was also patented in Denmark in 1911 (applied on October 28, 1910) at about the same time as the Schouboe bullet with wood-aluminium core (patents applied in 1909 and granted in 1910). Their designs are not alike but two pistol bullets with a light core patented in this era is maybe not a coincidence.


Interesting. Bullet 401 in the DWM list is another Mauser autopistol bullet, but this one is in 11mm-pictured below. This is probably the one in your drawing.

It is also interesting because there is no case number listed for this bullet so DWM may have made just the bullets for someone.





Paul Mauser wrote the following in his diary on saturday the 25th of June, 1910:

This afternoon a Mauser 9mm pistol was shot continuously with 1000 rounds.
The entire exercise was done in 32 minutes.

There is a very good chance that they were actually testing this round.


Any idea of the performance of this bullet, compared to a standard load?