9mm Luger again


I have a few 9mm Lugers that I need help identifying; the first 2 are of German WW2 vintage. Some have a black mouth seal with the iron bullet and others have a red mouth seal with copper or nickel jackets. Is that mouth seal just for waterproofing? Do they have any special designation like the Germans did with the 7.92 Mauser cartridge? Are there any books that cover bullet types as I don’t have the room to go after headstamps? The third cartridge that I need help with is one with a silver tip and the headstamp of TZ 80 with a copper jacket.


The silver-tip TZ round is an Israeli pistol load. Up until just a few years ago, most Israeli produced 9mm, for home consumption, was intended for Uzi SMGs, and was thought to be too hot for some pistols. At some point IMI started marking down-loaded ammo for pistols with a silver tip.


The neck seals on 9 mm Para are referred to as Tropic Pack. Unlike with 7.9 mm Mauser, they do not have any function denoting the loading of the cartridge. However, black-sealed ammunition usually went to the military, while red seal was used on police ammunition. That’s about as far as it went as anything other than the water and oil-proof seal it was meant to be.
Most German 9 mm ammunition had primer seals - that was quite normal. Again, they do not denote loading generally speaking. Proof loads have been seen that have just an all green primer, but the original intention was that an all-green base designated a military proof load. Off-hand, I cannot think of any other instances where the color of the primer seal on German 9 mm (including ammunition of that caliber made for the Germans in occupied countries) denoted the loading. If someone else can, please post it here. Thanks. Please remember the subject is primer and neck seals, and not case finishes, bullet colors, etc.


Here is a nice period DWM ad which illustrates both the neck and the primer seals.

The later SE (Sintered Iron) bullets had a more porous surface, so you usually find a black laquer seal on those. the mE (Iron core) bullets were often completely painted, so there was no need for an extra laquer seal. According to the DWM brochure, the oil seals were added to prevent oil from overly oiled or greased pistols from penetrating the rounds, especially in cases where the rounds would be kept in the pistol for a long time.

Red laquer was used by RWS/GeCo, while DWM usually used black.

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Vlim - nice ad! Thanks for posting. You are correct about DWM use of Black and RWS-GECO use of red, but that is pretty much relative to commercial ammunition. I was discussing military, actually, since on commercial ammunition, the color of the seals has no meaning in German auto pistol ammunition. In actuality, RWS-GECO seems to have made most of the police ammo in pistol calibers, using the red seals even with military-coded cases.