This was a new one on me. It brought me back to my book and the Steyr-Bergmann-Bayard question as it deals with Italian cartridges. Unfortunately, I found a glaring error in the book. ON Page 38, I identify the headstamp FIOCCHI 9 as being on a 9 mm Bergmann-Bayard cartridge. I do not even know how I came to this conclusion, since the cartridge clearly measures within the Steyr Range. The base of the cartridge is smaller than the classic Bergmann-Bayard. I say “classic” because some later cartridges, especially in 9 mm Largo which are intended to be the Bergmann-Bayard cartridge and simply have the Spanish name for that cartridge, have heads smaller than most cartridges of the BB caliber. Secondly, Italy captured many Austrian weapons and had a need for the Steyr cartridge in WWI. I can see no military need for the Bergmann-Bayard cartridge at all in Italy at any time.
The cartridge is question has a headstamp clearly created by grinding the numbers “1 18” off of the bunter. The “9” on this cartridge is off-center on the head, precisely where the “9” should be if the bunter originally said “1918.” Which brings us to the fact that there is a FIOCCHI 1918 Steyr cartridge, and it is covered on page72 of my book on the 9 x 23 mm cartridges. Both of these cartridges measure essentially the same, and are in the Steyr-range of case measurements, not the Bergmann-Bayard range.
The reason that this error came to light is that I remembered the altered military FIOCCHI 9 headstamp when Fede mentioned the possibility that the * G.F.L. * 9 headstamp was the first commercial headstamp by Fiocchi on the Steyr cartridge. I feel it was likely the first BUNTER MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE STEYR, but that the altered bunter FIOCCHI 9 headstamp, without stars, represents the first headstamp used on commercial Steyr rounds made by G.F.L.
Fede, mi amigo, your posting of this made it possible for me to revisit the subject and hence found a very dumb error in my book. Thank you. It also, of course, produced new information pertinent to the book, as I had never seen the * G.F.L. * 9 headstamp before.
I doubt there will ever be a second edition to my 9 x 23 book, but I will file this thread with my work copy of the book, in case it is ever revised. In the meantime, I hope anyone reading this thread who has the book will make a pen and ink change to it to reflect the correct identification of the “FIOCCHI 9” cartridge. Worry for the error.