9mm, just a story?


Great answers, The quistion was; were the Webley’s reworked by the Germans.

A small opinion from me:

Perhaps we must first discuss the originality of the round. Over the years I have seen some rounds. It looks they worked on them with a kind of pliers. It looks home made to me.
The round we are talking about looks if the change was factory made.

Suppose the cartridge is original and they are not fitting in Johns and the MK4 revolver that means for me, it could be possible they reworked the British revolvers to make the 9mm fit in the chamber.

Unfortunately I never see a kind of German paper concerning British revolvers.



Dutch - veeeery interesting! I have almost the same round (oxo headstamp as well, with the rim deformed similarly, plus others. My first one, the oxo, came from Europe and was supposedly called “9mm Quetsch Rand” and for .380 revolvers. I have never tried mine in any, although I will when I get around to it. I don’t have a British .380 anymore, but I do have a Smith and Wesson Safety Hammerless in .38 S&W caliber that I use for “pocket pistol” in cowboy action shooting. I think I have a couple from South Africa supposedly made by the Terrs for the same reason and firearms. You are the first one I know of that had the idea of actually trying these in a gun. I don’t recall if I have any, but I have seen .45 ACP with rounds deformed, supposedly to use in the Model 1917 Revolvers without clips. Two problems with that “story.” First, they don’t need clips to be used as is, in their original form. They simply don’t extract, a problem instantly solved with a ball point pen, cleaning rod or wood dowel. Secondly, since the .45 headspaces on the case mouth, if the method of upsetting the rim increases the case length, they would jam on the flash plate of the revolver, likely. Both the 1917 Colt and the 1917 Smith and Wesson are “chambered,” by the way, not with cylinders bored straight through.

I will dig mine out sometime today, and try them in an American-chambered .38 S&W caliber revolver.

John Moss


John: Were not some M1917 revolvers actually made with chambers bored straight through & actually required the half-moon clips in order to work? I seem to recall this from a Rifleman Q&A from years ago. Jack


Jack - I’ve heard that too. However, I have never seen one in my life bored straight through. I have owned about six of them. I like them, but they don’t shoot all that well in my opinion, and they were always a gun that if something else came along, I sold to get the money for the one I wanted more. We had hundreds go through our shop in the 36 years I worked there. For most of those years, I actually paid attention to the “bored through” question about them, as I had never seen one (and still haven’t). I suppose I made too strong a statement since I had heard of some that were, but I wonder how many. I think I have a book on these guns, or at least they should be covered in various books on Colt and S&W that I have. One more case for research.

At any rate, the Chinese like to squash the rims through three or four different processes on the .45s. I have nine of them in my collection, all WWII U.S. Military headstamps except one, with no headstamp. All were culled out of the massive amount of loose Chinese .45 ammo that Navy Arms brought in twn or fifteen years ago.

I found I had no rounds, either 9mm or .45, from South Africa in my collection. I have heard of them, though, as I noted.

Regarding the 9mm. I have three from Europe. “dnh * 2 41” with rim upset by four heavy punch marks. It chambered in two out of five of the chambers in my little Smith & Wesson. It is only fair I mention that the chambers on this revolver has been rusted, primarily in the throat, and that may be why. However, proper .38 S&W cartridges drop into all five chambers, and once fired, extract very easily no matter how many rounds have been fired. As you see from the headstamp, that round is brass cased. “oxo St 2 42” is althered by inconsistently-space strikes with a sharp edge object - perhaps a screwdrive, and “oxo St 4 43” is altered by simply squashing the rim, more on one side of the round than the other. Neither would chamber in any of the chambers of the cylinder of my Smith & Wesson.

In my view, these rounds could not have been altered for use in any revolver of .38 S&W caliber, which the British ones are despite the different cartridge designation. Still, I don’t think they are outright fakes. There are other 9mm Revolvers in Europe, but off hand, I can’t think of any that would have been used by the Germans, even the Volksturm, in quantities justifying the trouble of improvising ammunition for them. I would guess the Dutch revolvers are too big in diameter of chamber and bore, but then I have zero experience with them.

John Moss



The first Colt 1917 revolvers (50,000) were chambered straight through. They were, more or less, New Service Models (45 LC) that were adapted to the 45 ACP cartridge.

The S&W 1917 was always made with the shouldered chamber. I believe it was an original design.



John: FWIW I think in that box of 9 m/m headstamps Datig showed in his first Luger book there was one that had the rim punched in four places & I have heard elsewhere (Roy Dunlap maybe, but not sure) of users of ammunitionless .380 revolvers in British service resorting to this sort of improvisation. Yikes! Jack


Jack - Yes, I think we’ve all heard stories of this. Unfortunately, to now, as far as I know, there is no documentation for this practice; all evidence is anecdotal. The fact is, by Dutch’s findings and my own, they simply don’t fit! Scientifically, the sampling of attempts to prove or disprove the anecdotal evidence are scant - exactly the aforementioned two. Not enough to make a positive declaration, I suppose, even though I kind of did that in a previous posting on this thread. I was not inaccurate, however, as from my experience of today, based on Dutch’s posting and my own attempts at load “quetsch rand” 9mm rounds into a .38 revolver of what is, in the anecdotal evidence, the correct caliber, it would not work. I did not attempt loading in any of my various .38/.357 revolvers because by specification, those chambers should be smaller in diameter than any .38 S&W chamber.

John Moss


John: This is a marginal topic, of course, but I’d like to mention a couple of thoughts before abandoning it. One, I think it likely that if this was ever attempted it was probably by users of handguns in the British military and that, by the nature of the presumed informal use, documentation is likely to be absent. Finally the arm in which it would most likely have been used was the Enfield .380, which might (but I have no proof at all) have had more generous chamber dimensions than either a Webley or an S&W. Jack


Jack - could be. I don’t know. However, I would think it more likely that it was the Germans who would have done this, since they had no large-scale production (if any production at all) of the .380 British Revolver cartridge, even in its “civilian” .38 S&W form, during the War, and yet must have captured Webleys and Enfields in some quantity in Europe, before and at Dunkirk, and in North Africa, not to mention the Italian campaign and perhaps even in Greece. Also on Crete, where the losses incurred by the German Fällschirmjäger troops made their victory look almost like a defeat.

To date, all the anecdotal evidence I have heard has indicated it was the Germans that altered the rounds, not the British, who despite the terrible loss of equipment at Dunkirk were generally well supplied during the war, initially anyway. Exceptions (Crete, Malta, etc.) of course, when in prolonged battles they would eventually lose, their supply lines were cut off. I doubt in that case the few armed with .38 revolvers would have cared much, being much more concerned with shortages for the Brens, Vickers, hand grenades, mortar and artillery. If they had enough captured 9mm to fool with, then they would have had the captured weapons too. I think I would simply pick up an MP40 rather than beat the rims on a few 9mm to feed my revolver, had I ever been in their shoes.

When I acquired my specimens, the source even said they were called “Quetsch Rand” by the Germans. True? Who knows? I am starting to become skeptical about them, although I am a born skeptic anyway. The older I get, the less I accept as true without documentation.

John Moss


During WW2, as one of our “childish pranks”, a friend of mine and I borrowed his uncle’s .38 revolver, which he had left behind when he went off on active service (presumably he took another with him). Having no .38 ammunition, we used some 9mm Sten cartridges we had found “abandoned” by soldiers in a nearby Army Training Area, and burred over the rims with a pair of pliers to catch on the chamber. We took twenty or so of these with us into the Training Area on a quiet day and spent a happy hour or so shooting at an old petrol can on a post.

These improvised rounds fitted the chambers perfectly and fired just as we had expected. But the gun was a bit large and heavy for our thirteen year old hands, and of course we fired “cowboy fashion” with one hand, so the tin can didn’t suffer much damage!

I have the impression that it was an Enfield, but I cannot be certain after all this time. I have also heard reports, but with no confirmation, that the Home Guard, having little or no ammo for their .45 revolvers, did a similar thing with .45 ACP cartridges intended for use with Thompson SMGs.

John E


I found once a S&W revolver chambered for 380 MKII (or 38 S&W) and there were 9 para ctges in the cylinder.
The guy used to shoot them without doing any modification.
Not accurate of course but enough to shoot a guy at close range.
The guy who owned it was in the resistance during the war.
(The pressure of the 9 para is a lot higher than 38S&W but fortunately the bullet diameter is smaller, therefore it was more or less safe to shoot).

Very often you find such guns loaded with 9 para in France.
I think a lot of these guns (with the good ctges) were sent to the resistance and after drying the ctges supply the guys used to chamber 9 para ctges without doing any modification.
(I said S&W chambered in 380 MKII(or 38 S&W) , I didn’t say a gun chambered in 38 S&W special)



Interesting thread! I have a British 9mm WWII load with an altered rim that took someone a LOT of work. I got it from a British Government Source 35 years ago who said it was taken on Cyprus from an EOKA terrorist. I tried it and a few other of these conversion rounds in my Colt 38 Special and my S&W 38 Special. I got the same result as Dutch did.

I am convinced that my EOKA round is legit based on the source, so it was designed to fit some revolver that was available in Cyprus!!!

Has anyone got the SAAMI chamber drawings for the 38 Special, the 380 Webley and whatever else that may be a candidate that they can post so we can see the actual dimensions of the chambers for the various guns?




I stumbled across a thread on a German forum that seems to mention this conversion, as being a British one, dating from 1942 for use in India.


Enfield-Revolver No. 2 Mk. I “India Pattern”


[quote=“JohnMoss”]J… Exceptions (Crete, Malta, etc.) of course, when in prolonged battles they would eventually lose, their supply lines were cut off…
John Moss[/quote]

Crete yes, but Malta, John?



Rim diameter Base diameter Neck diameter Case length
9 para ctge 9.96 max 9.93 max 9.65 max 19.15 max

            Back of the chamber	Front of the chamber	Chamber length

38 S&W chamber 9.91 min 9.86 min 19.65 min


Few extra dimensions.

SAAMI specs ------- 9mmP ------- 38 S&W ------- 38 Special ------- 380 revolver All dimensions at the rear of the case before rim

Chamber Minimum 9.96mm ------- 9.91mm -------- 9.68mm ---------- 9.75mm

Case Maximum… 9.93mm ------- 9.82mm ------- 9.63mm ---------- 9.70mm

Seems that 9mm P should not fit into the chambers of the others. Not to say that wartime production or for that matter UK chambers were to SAMMI specs!



Seems that 9mm P should not fit into the chambers of the others. Not to say that wartime production or for that matter UK chambers were to SAMMI specs!


Of course it fits !
And the ctge is not going deeper inside the chamber because the rim of the 9 para is slighty bigger than the back part of the chamber of the 38 S&W.



It is easy to say “of course it fits.” Why doesn’t it fit in Dutch’s British Revolver or my American Revolver? The rim has nothing to do with it. The rim doesn’t belong inside the chamber of a revolver nor do the rims of the Questsch Rand 9mms come even close to entering the chamber, the round stopping long before that point.

Measurements of a German-altered 9mm cartridge and of the U.S. (Winchester) .38 S&W that I normally shoot in my Smith & Wesson Revolver (factory ammo - I do not reload this particular cartridge) are given below; The rim diameter is not shown as it will vary on the altered rims of the 9mm, and it is completely irrelevant to the fit of the cartridge inside the chamber. That diameter, we well recognize, is not irrelevant to the fit of the cartridge in the revolver, as there must be space so the rims don’t overlap, but that consideration is irrelevant since it would not create the condition described by Dutch and I in this thread, nor do I have a British Revolver to try my rounds in (my gun is a five-shot revolver of much smaller size than the British weapon).

9mm Questsch Rand (oxo St 4 43):

Base - measured just above extractor-groove bevel: 9.86 mm (0.3885 inch)
Approximate center of case: 9.63 mm (0.379 inch)
Case mouth: 9.54 mm (0.3755 Inch)
Case Length: 19.08 mm (0.0751 inch)
Bullet diameter at case mouth: 8.94 mm (0.352 inch)

.38 Smith & Wesson W-W 38 S&W:

Base - measured just above broove cut just above rim: 9.70 mm (0.3815 inch)
Approximate center of case: 9.67 mm (0.3805 inch)
Case mouth: 9.56 mm (0.3765 Inch)
Case Length: 19.53 mm (0.769 inch)
Bullet Diameter just above thin raised shoulder at case mouth: 8.63 mm (0.339 inch)

Since the 9mm case is smaller in all dimensions taken than that of the .38 S&W, the chamber is not the offending measurement in this instance. It has to be the throat of the chamber, since the only larger dimension of the 9mm is the bullet diameter measure at a point just above the case mouth, at the same position the .38 S&W bullet was measured. Both were still full seated and crimped into the case mouth. Nothing else could be stopping the 9mm with deformed rim from entering the chamber, that I can see. Yet, it is not an “illusion” that the 9mm round will not enter the chambers of my revolver, stopping well short of that. I can only reason that the straighter ogive of the bullet of the 9mm is refusiing the diameter of the throat of the chambers.

I have not referred to British or SAAMI specs since SAAMI did not exist when my gun was made, nor would have their specifications necessarily been used (if they existed - I don’t know the exact year, off hand, that SAAMI was founded) nor do I have British specs available for verification of the specifications given earlier. However, case measurements of a loaded cartridge are not the only consideration of its fit into any given chamber. It is only indication of whether or not the EMPTY case will fit.

Just my take on it. Again, there has to be some reason the cartridges tried will not fit into the chambers of the only two revolvers on this thread into which a fit was attempted.

If anyone else has any other ideas about what might be stopping the fit, please let us know.
I have exhausted what little knowledge I have about this matter.

John Moss



Great replies!!! It is pretty clear that the dimensions are pretty close. If I was a German supply guy in WWII with a pile of 38 Webley revolvers, some of which accepted a 9x19mm and some that didn’t, I’d solve the problem by slightly opening the chambers of those that didn’t which would be a pretty simple job. If I was an EOKA terriorist I would do the same. A stick and a bit of sandpaper would likely do it pretty quick.

I’m inclined to believe that the German OXO loads are probably legit because Bill Woodin has an “am” headstamped RIMMED steel case 9mm. I have looked at this cartridge very closely. The rim is not the result of a head bunting process that leaves rims on unfinished 9mm cases, but is obviously been trimmed. The edge of the rim is flattened where it has been finished, and the junction of the rim and the case body has been squared off. It is a lacquered steel case, but obviously made as a rimmed 9x19mm. No question in my mind that it is purpose built.

Great thread. Thanks!!! Would enjoy hearing more opinions, facts and data.