9mm Help


Can anyone help with information on the three 9mm cartridges shown please.

The left hand one has no headstamp and has written on it ‘Not 9mm experimental MP’ (which I guess is Mauser Pistol).

The second is headstamped ‘asb / st+ 3 / 44’. It has ‘extruded case’ written on it, is this correct?

The third is headstamped ‘/ Geco. / 9m/m’ my question is is this a shot load?

Thanks in advance.



the one on the left might measure 9x19, it is however not a Parabellum. The Parabellum has a conical case while the one you have there is (more?) cylidrical.
Indead it is an experimental cartridge, post WWII for a Czechoslovak submachine gun. MP not = Mauser Pistol, but Machine Pistol instead.

Ian, I agree with Hans, cartridge at left hand looks like a Czechoslovakian “9 mm cylindrical cartridge” for the experimental ZB 47 smg made by Zbrojovka Brno, and it should have a case with no taper (base diameter = neck diameter). It was made by Zbrojovka Brno, závod Vlašim.

The third one is a Geco blank designated “Platz Papier-Geschoß”.

The correct name for the Czech cylindrical 9 mm cartridge is (without the various punctuation marks on the letters. I cannot reproduce all of them here so I have chosen not to reproduce any of them): 9 mm ostrych naboju - valcovych. One box label indicates a production date, at Vlasim, of November 1947. There seem to be many different forms, depending on usage, of the word “valcovych” and other forms may also be proper for this name depending on context, but this one is taken direct from the box label.

There was an unheadstamped, steel-case, Czech 9 mm Parabellum round as well, but it should not be easily confused, as it has a typical Czech chromed bullet. Just for the record though, the case mouth diameter of one specimen, in my collection, of the experimental cylindrical cartridge is 9.77 mm (0.386") with an almost identical case head diameter.

The reddish finish to the case is another hallmark of this cartridge, although a very small quantity were made in what appears to be lacquered steel cases, as well as a brass-case version. The latter two are very scarce.

There was a previous thread on this cartridge begun March 13, 2010, entitled simply “id 9 x 19.” Please not that for searching purposeds, the “id” is as I have typed it here, in lower-case letters without punctuation. There was also an article on the gun and ammunition in the Czech magazine “S’trelecky Magazin,” issue of August 1999. It is in the Czech language.

John, do the laquered steel cases and the brass cases have headstamps? Or do images exist of all 3 variants so we could get an impression of their appearance?

EOD - none of the three forms of the Czech cylindrical 9 mm have headstamps.
A picture of all three together is on the IAA Forum thread from 2010 that I referenced earlier in this thread.

John, do you have link to this thread? I could not find it in the search.

Alex, here is the link: [Id 9x19)

There is also a fourth variation that can be considered a sub-variation of the one with reddish finish. It has a green lacquered case with reddish laqcuer showing only at the base and groove. I don’t know if this was intentional or a production mistake, but it may indicate that the reddish cases were originally of green color and that the reddish lacquer was applied later. Maybe it was made to differentiate them from the 9 mm Parabellum used in the same tests.

A variation of the 9 mm Parabellum having a cylindrical case was also tested in the States in prototypes of the submachine gun designed by John L. Hill between 1949 and 1956. The cartridge was described as a “9 mm Special” using the .38 Special case, made rimless and trimmed to 9 mm Parabellum case length. I’m not aware of any 9 mm cartridge identified as such, although there are 9 mm reloads made from .38 Special cases. I wonder if any of these is actually an example of Hill’s 9 mm Special cartridge.

As in Holek’s design, this cylindrical case was needed to ensure the proper feeding of the magazine design, which in this case was top mounted with the cartridges lying at right angle to the bore. This was the origin of today’s P90 magazine.

Fede - you now have made it impossible for me to discard any further 9 mm rounds made from .38 Special cases! I have had lots of them go thru my hands over the years, but just kept a couple of them as examples of what went on in the US during and right after WWII to feed existing 9 mm Para caliber pistols in the country. It was not an American caliber in any sense other than the use of war souvenirs and a few foreign autos sold here over the years by Companies specializing in the importation of foreign sporting arms.
The first U.S.-made 9 mm Pistol sold commercially in this country was either the Colt Commander or the Smith and Wesson Model 39 (I think the former, although I could be wrong) and that was after the Korean War. Lots of Lugers and the sort were brought back from WWI, but after WWII, it was a floodgate of souvenirs. Older friends have told me that every pawn shop in every major city had plenty of European pocket self-loading pistols and plenty of 9 mm ones as well. Of course, there were shortages of all ammunition for commercial sale during the War, and shortly after. So, improvised munitions for calibers not widely available became quite normal. I remember buying 8 mm Nambu cartridges from a fellow named Spence, in the midwest, made out of .38 Special cases. He guaranteed their safety to fire, but also cautioned against loading those that didn’t split, which was a minority as most did split, another time. Still, they did shoot and function fairly well, and as I recall, the price was pretty reasonable for the work it must have been to make them.

At any rate, now if I encountered any older .38 Special/9 mm Para reloads different from mine, I will have to keep them awaiting the possibility of someday further information on the “9 mm Special” coming to light. Sadly, you don’t encounter them much anymore. I have probably destroyed 15 or 20 of them myself. I took the bullet, powder and primer out, threw the cases in the garbage, and disposed of the other stuff by whatever was the best means at the time. One of the range used to take bad ammo, and bullets, and live primers as a service. They had some arrangement with a company that destroyed them along with munitions from agencies that were destined for destruction.

I don’t know if you are a gift or a curse on this one, amigo. Just teasing you of course! :-)

The paper bullet blank by Geco has a magnetic bullet. The bullet is filled with iron dust to give it a bit of weight. This is what makes it seem like a shot load.


Thanks to everyone for their helpful and informative replies. Can any of you help with the centre round which has extruded case written on it. I attached two better pics of it.

DSC03517_zpsec6055f3 DSC03518_zpsc303b261

I suspect nobody commented because you are correct. The slash mark across the the headstamp indicates that the case was extruded using rod stock instead of flat stock. This marking is much more commonly found on 7.92x57mm cartridges (see http://iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15829 where it is discussed in more detail.

On 9mm P08, I know of only three lots, both by “asb” where it is used. One is your lot 3 of 44, where the slash contains the “/St+ 3/” and the other two are lots 40 and 41 of 43 where the slash contains the “/40 43/”. In my collection, the lot 40 and 41 of 43 rounds have black mE bullets and the lot 3 of 44 has an SE bullet. I note that your lot 3 of 44 has a GM color mE bullet which is a variation that I have overlooked. I will have to keep my eyes open for it, perhaps in my duplicates!!!

On the red lacquered steel case load with no headstamp, I’d recommend you measure the case mouth to make sure it is a straight case and not a tapered case. You can never know when you may be surprised!

Three nice rounds, congratulations.



Thanks very much, off to measure the cartridge now.



He must have been George Spence from Steele, Missouri, as I have an article published in 1972 that mentions that he made over 200,000 of these 8 mm Nambu using modified .38 Special cases. He also produced 7.62 mm Tokarev and 7.63 mm Mauser cartridges using .223 Remington cases, among other things.

Fede - Yes, it was George Spence. In those days, I would not look at a cartridge for collecting of the kind he was producing. I bought the 8 mm Nambu because I occasionally liked to shoot a couple of the Type 13s in my collection. Unfortunately, I didn’t even keep one for my collection, and don’t even remember the packaging, if there was any label or the sort. I wish I had saved one of the rounds and one of the packages. That had to be in the mid-1960s, because by around 1972, I had sold all my 150 or so auto pistols except for my Bergmanns, which I sold later.

I likely have something on Spence in my files. I long time since I thought of him.

Thanks for the fill-in!