9m/m Steyr from 9m/m Luger

For years I’ve had a 9m/m Luger cartridge with the headstamp “Geco 9mm St” and only recently learned it was altered from a 9m/m Steyr. Question is: who did it and when? This came from a friend who bought a box of 1,000 rounds loose in 1984, and he is aware of a dealer who had this stuff in stock in very considerable quantity. At the 1984 price of a nickle a round altering the Steyr round to the Parabellum doesn’t sound like an economic proposition to me. Did some country alter this stuff after they lost their Steyr-Solothurns? JG

Some years ago, a very large quantity of Steyr ammunition came into the United States from Chile, who used the Steyr-Hahn Model 1912 pistol for years. There was little market for that caliber of ammunition here, and it was converted to 9mm Para. I think the conversion was done in the USA. I have often wondered myself how it paid to do this, but I don’t know the real cost when it is done on a production-line basis. Many years ago, Interarms had Lapua convert millions of rounds of 9mm from corrosive to non-corrosive, which involved repriming them. They also changed the old green primer and mouth seals to the red seal that signifies a non-corrosive loading. On many of the rounds, you could see the green seal underneath. They did this, shipped it all from Finland to the U.S. (and of course, they had bought the ammo from Finland) and still sold it to dealers for, as I recall, about ten cents a round, which was very cheap then. Our store alone purchased over 250,000 rounds of it, and sold every round of it on a retail basis right out of our store. At that time, it was really good ammo. Many years later, we got some back through a purchase from an individual of a few thousand rounds, and even though it was still in the sealed boxes, that gave some hang-fires, so we had to destroy it. Of course, no telling how it was stored, despite the boxes and ammo still looking good.

Its amazing what can be done at fairly modest cost, when you are doing a big quantity.

John: Thanks for the explanation; now what I really need is one of the original Steyr cartridges in its original form. The conversion work is so good it fooled me into thinking it factory. JG