9 x 23mm, Fabrica Nacional Palencia, 1946 Box & Contents

Opening a sealed box of 9 x 23mm Largo from Fabrica Nacional Palencia, Spain, 1946. The first set of photos show the sealed box top, side panels and bottom.

                                          "Top" side panel....................................................................................................[img]http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w597/brianbarnett52/IMG_1023_zpsiynfssui.jpg[/img]

“Bottom” side panel…
Box bottom…
Box opened, a…
Box opened, b…
Box opened, c…
Box opened, d, showing grease coated cartridges…
Note from box…
Grease coated cartridgeTypical headstamp (F N P 4 6)

A translation of the note would be appreciated, I could try but the result would probably not be very good!


Brian, as usual, great set of pictures, thank you very much. The note says:

"Important notice:

This ammunition is impregnated with a special solid grease that eases its firing operation and keep the gun and cartridges in good condition.

Therefore, these cartridges will be used directly as they are in the package, that is, without cleaning them first or deprive them of the layer of grease they have, in order to obtain the desired firing security and avoid excessive abuse of the guns in which these are used."

This is the long version of the note, that later will be simplified to a smaller 4x4 cm paper that just reads: “Very Important. Do not remove the layer of solid grease that cover the cartridges.”



So should I be greasing up my cartridges I shoot in my ASTRA 400?


Joe, I have never seen proper documentation explaining why these cartridges were coated with grease, but in my opinion it was a way to assure proper functioning of the recently adopted Star Z-45 submachine gun, because this model was made with a fluted chamber which in some cases may cause difficulties in extracting the cartridge case.

Also, this may explain why, as far as I know, these notes can’t be found in pre-1945 cartridge boxes. In the same way, cartridges boxes made as early as 1945 were reopened to lubricate the cartridge and add this note.

Regards, Fede.


Thanks, I figured something like that.



Thank you very much for the translation and information, very informative. If one looks close you can see that this box has 2 sealing bands around the sides, the original one is red and is also marked Fabrica Nacional Palencia like the second band which is more orange in color.


Get that grease bucket out and put it use.



Yep, as soon as I get my hands on a Star Z-45 submachine gun!


I have an identical box but the cartridges inside are headstamped " F N T 1949" . Is it common to find cartridges made by different makers?

I am surprised. A fluted chamber (as in the CETME rifle or the Soviet Shkas aircraft machine gun) is used for making possible case movement under pressure, avoiding the necessity of lubricated cases. Lubricating cases for use in a fluted chamber sounds somewhat odd.
Does anyone have a chamber drawing of the Star Z-45 ?

Jochem, this practice of lubrication and repacking ammunition of earlier manufacture -sometimes as much as 5 years old- may be an indication that there was a problem with these particular FNP cartridges when used in the Z-45 submachine gun, as this design has a chamber with 14 flutes (drawing posted below) and didn’t required lubricated rounds. This was evidently solved in cartridges of later production because this practice was dropped.

For the record, there are two well known Italian machine guns, the FIAT Mod. 28 and the Breda Mod. 30, that were designed to use automatically lubricated ammunition in a chamber having two longitudinal flutes.

Another common example is the CETME C in 7.62x51 NATO caliber, which, if used with CETME ammunition, also required lubricated ammunition.



Fede, thank you very much for your information and especially the chamber drawing.

I had suspected the Z-45 could have the sort of flutes to slow down case movement (as used in HK4 9 mm short, Mann pistol, or Kimball .30 carbine pistol). But that it obviously not the case. They start in front of the case mouth, like CETME rifle etc. to make the case “swim” on propellant gases as soon as the bullet has left the case. The more surprising is the application of lubricant to some types of cases.

As a frequent user of G3, MP5, and P9S I am VERY surprised by the news that the CETME rifle required lubricated ammunition.

Again, many thanks for the excellent drawing.

Jochem, the use of lubricated ammunition in the CETME Mod. C was only necessary if it was exceptionally used with the older CETME CSP-0003 ammunition designed for the previous A and B models. If used with NATO ammunition, lubrication was not required.