9 mm Para Arcane?


Can anyone identify these two? The right one looks liks a French Arcane, but the left one? Both have ‘W-W 9mm LUGER’ headstamps.



Morten, The cartridge on the left dates from the initial use of the 9mm Pistol by the Illinois State Police (ISP). This was, I believe, the first police use of a 9x19mm pistol in the US. The Olin factory in Alton Illinois produced a whole series of special loads for the ISP. To keep costs down the ISP decided to reload training ammo, and this was a special bullet developed by Olin specifically for the ISP to use for reloading their ammo. I understand the design was to feed well, provide clear target cuts and be distinctive for easy identification. This may have come from me. In the Spring of 1970, an ISP armourer gave me a small brown paper bag with 50 of these reloads. That is how they packed them. Others may have also gotten some but I think I was the first to have these particular loads.

The load on the right is tougher. I have a series of three very similar loads with almost identical bullets. The three differ from each other with different lengths of conical segment of the bullet and different diameters of the flat tip. All three occur in unheadstamed cases that look very French. I was told these were by SIB. I have three more loads with similar bullet designs but with Speer or SFM headstamps. Then there are other similar loads with SFM or FC headstamps, and one unheadstamped.

Below are my cartridges that are similar. The first group have French headstamps or no headstamps but a French looking case (to me). I believe these are SIB loads.

The second group have US headstamps. Some look like they may be SIB, but others look more like they may be made by someone else.

The two on the left with W-W headstamps are reportedly US made but the manufacturer is unknown to me. Can anyone identify these? They both have magnetic bullets. All but the these two came to me as French or possibly French!

The two on the far right have brass bullets and look more like the things done by National in the US than SIB, or anything I know of as French. Any help on any of these would be much appreciated.

The SIB identification of the shouldered rounds is reinforced by this drawing that appeared on the Forum some time ago.

Morten, I have never seen a SIB with a W-W headstamp, but that doesn’t mean much. I have never seen a confirmed Arcane load with a shouldered bullet but that also doesn’t mean much.




[quote=“Lew”]The SIB identification of the shouldered rounds is reinforced by this drawing that appeared on the Forum some time ago.


Hello Lew !

I writte once again the story of the SIB ctges because I don’t like the people be stung.

  1. I bought the box of the 45 ACP with SIB bullets you show and asked to my friend Jacques Barlerin to make the drawing.
    (at this time I had an interesting collection of experiental ctges and he used to make a drwing of every ctge i had because we wanted to make a book)

This box was coming from a gun shop with an indoor shooting range and was funny and friendly.
You can try any gun or ammo you can’t buy legally even when you have a license (THV for example).
You just have to pay and they deliver you the box but you have to shoot it right now in the range, not to bring it at home.

At this time (just after 1990) because THV ctges were armour piercing ctges they were forbidden to sell to regular people and reserved only to the police and so on.
It was the same for SIB ctges.

Because the gunsimth was a friend of mine there was no problem for me to bring back the full box at home.
Conclusion : this box (which was a box of loaded ctges and not of bullets) is coming from SIB company.

  1. Due to the fact it was impossible to sell loaded ctges to the shooters because of the law, SIB company decided to sell boxes of bullets only.

The bullets were in two stairs in the box.
At least three calibers are known : 9 para, 28/357, 45

I don’t know what happened to SIB company. I think it went out of business shortly after 1990.

Such bullets only boxes show up from time to time in the gun shows or in the flea markets.
I saw such a box in 9 para (or 38) two years ago.
Conclusion : People can easily buy a box and load the bullets on cases with any hstp and sell them
They are fakes.

  1. If you carefully take a look on the loading of the 45 ACP you see : 0.835 gramme of powder.
    This is more than the double of the regular load (for a 260 grains bullet).

Because he doesn’t know the trick, no average reloader (or faker) will double the dose of powder.

Therefore if you want to be sure your ctge is not a fake unload it and weight the powder.



I wonder if Lew’s cartridge on the bottom photo - second from the right could be an ALIA variant using brass instead of aluminum? Seems reasonable that they might have tried brass as an outer jacket material around the steel core as well as aluminum (what they ultimately went with). I thought of this since the bullets look sort of similar near the base, that is, if you had a deeply seated ALIA it looks like your brass bullet, except for the length. Does yours take a magnet (steel core?) Here’s a pic comparison of a theoretically deep-seated ALIA, next to Lew’s:

It doesn’t show really well, but there’s sort of a pinching-in around the base of the projectile that I know is on the ALIA, and appears to be on Lew’s as well?


Interesting thought! I should have mentioned that only the two US made loads on the left in the second set of photos take a magnet. All the others are non-magnetic bullets.

There are some later bullets with red plastic tips ascribed to SIB which have a steel core.

As you can see I have copied your information on SIB—thanks for your contribution.




Short History of SIB, and ARCANE, courtesy of Dr. Philippe Regenstreif, who was a close friend of the founder of SIB. I thought this information, told before on the Forum, might be of interest to this particular thread. To keep from retelling the SIB and ARCANE stories over and over on the Forum, maybe someone could put all this information into an article and it could be put on the regular, permanent articles on this web site.

Société Industrielle de Balistique
3 rue des Moines, F-78000 Versailles

This small family enterprise (the made their first lead bullets in their kitchen!) was founded by a former Croation, Stefan Buljovcic, who was in the Yugoslavian shooting team in some Olympic Games (I do not remember when exactly, but this was in South Korea).

He did not like Tito at all and came in France as a prolitical refugee in the 1960s, where he got married to a French woman and founded a family. He was running first a small armoury business in his own house (!) and took some patents (and also copied lots of others!).

He had a brother-in-lw in the plastics business, so he did at first plastic-saboted projectiles of any kind and shape, that he sold to shooters. He also manufactured plastic ammunition boxes for shooters, exactly copied on their US-made counterparts, but for the color!

He was in touch with some people in the Police and Gerdarmerie, so he had the idea to manufacture solid-copper bullets of diverse shapes for pistol and revolver shooting, with enhanced armour-piercing capabilities. He also made trials in 12 Gauge slugs and even up to 30 mm cannon rounds!

A medical patient and friend of mine, his business went wrong with adoption of the new French legislation (Note from JLM - please realize that this history was sent to me in June of 2003). He closed his shop around 1992, then retired in Southern France where he is now taking care (if he is still alive) of a collection of rare plants and trees in a farm he had bought several years ago, his second hobby!

Laboratoire Arcane,
B.P. 20 92410 Marnes La Coquette

The name “Arcane” comes from the Greek for “ultimate secrecy.”

I have the documents, a supposed-to-be production box (which was never commercialized) and some of the prototype bullets. Fabrice Bodet, the founder of Arcane, took French and US Patents, which cost him a fortune for nothing, as at the same time, US authorities declared his kind of projectile unlawful. Before, he had been approached by S&W and some major ammo manufactuers but everything was stopped at once.

He made bullets of several shapes, all from lathe-turned, solid-copper bars, in 9 x 17 Browning, 9 x 19 Parabellum, .38 S&W Special, .357 Magnum and .45 ACP. They were handloaded on Hirtenberger brass, some also on SFM cases, depending on what he had at hand.

I (note by JLM: Dr. Regenstreif) tested his products in .45 ACP with my old friend André Rolland, who was the Chief of National Police Shooting Team, at a Police Shooting and Training Range close to Paris, but we only shot in plastilin blocks. Even with this material, some bullets tended to desintegrate at impact, and the conical entry hole at 9 meters distance was approximately .1 meter wide in diameter! We wrote several articles, especially in AMI, a Belgian monthly weapon magazine from this period. Recoil and smoke were dreadful!

He also experimented for a time with the .308 NATO (sic) calibre and was in touch both with the Police and Army’s Special Forces. they discovered that rifling was too quickly destroyed by Arcane bullets, as Bodet, who was by no means an engineer, neither a ballistician as he pretended, only managed to fill the case as much as he could (!) with a mixture of his own, obtained by mixing diverse brands of French and foreign powders, the cases being so full that powder got badly compressed with the result that you may expect, ie over-pressure, primer expulsions, broken cases, a.s.o.

At 20 years of age, Fabrice Bodet was the son of a wealthy person (the inventor of plastic conditioning machine for medicine pills), so he lived from his income and never was very active since his father passed away, but managed to play some roles in some “limit” businesses, like weapon buying and reselling, etc. The point is that he used his good relationship with politicians and Police top brass, so he could do almost what he wished to do for awhile, but not so much as I learned last month (JLM note: Remember again this informatio is from June 2003) that he was presently in jail, for what I do not know (and do not wish to know!).

It must be noted that contrary to the inventor of ALIA and THV bullets, André Antoine. the Mssrs. Buljovcic and Bodet were just amateurs, with almost no technical background!


Hi John!

I see that you keep your files in a good order…!

I have nothing to add to this note, but the exact address from SIB, which was "rue des Moines(i.e Monks) " and not “des Oines”(which means just nothing…), thank to my bad use of the keys when typing!.

I must also quote that Stefan Buljovcic also produced diverse molds for lead bullets, destined to reloaders (I still have a single specimen of every of them that he gave me, going from 25 ACP (6,35 mm Bwg) up to 45" ACP…He was a good guy but also a …funny character, as, for instance, he had the bright idea to have his wife turn out the lead bullet casting machine in a remote corner of his shop, without any efficient ventilation, so the poor woman soon got sick from lead poisonning and had to stay in hospital for a while…! This was the end of his lead bullet “industry”…

Otherwise, Fabrice Bodet, from ARCANE ,was quickly free again…but definitely stopped to work in the weapon or ammo business , an excellent decision, I think, for his own sake…!

I will also confirm that the 2d cartridge on the right, in the original post, IS absolutely a SIB round . As far as I know, all these pistol cartridges were loaded with any kind of cases, depending only from the quantity commercially available at the moment. So their headstamps are absolutely not significant in any way.




Lew - those 2 on the left that are in question… I just realized that Will Reuter has one of them pictured on page 178 of his write-up on 9mm South African loads. It’s included with a group of subsonic loads and looks like this:

His key has it labeled as [copper washed lead bullet - “Grainger bullet”] with either a green or purple primer annulus. Maybe it’s just a resemblance? His says copper washed lead, which wouldn’t take a magnet like yours… but they look close.