9mm Luger Snail Early and later Type

Just for showing: early one on right side of the pic

Both have the name SNAIL in headstamp.
This is the heavy 6,5 Gramm Version

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Weren’t they advertized as 2 different proj. weights?
I wonder here about the definition of “early” and “late”.

Quote EOD: [quote=“EOD, post:2, topic:23153, full:true”]
Weren’t they advertized as 2 different proj. weights?
I wonder here about the definition of “early” and "late

The other bullet you speak about is from Aluminum and weights 2.9 grams…
The weight difference here has nothing to do with early and late date…the form of the 6,5Gram bullets has changed between the early and later made ones

Thanks, I missed that.

What are they used for?

Not for shooting?

These were an armor piercing 9mm load made by Libra in the Czech Republic. They date from 2002 to 2005 and have become a collector novelty. The bullet was solid brass with a hardened penetrator core and these were generally restricted to police & military, making them hard to find for collectors.

See below all 3 variants of 2.9g (44.75 grs); muzzle velocity 2250 ft/s (780m/s) - test barrel HK MP5. All 3 headstamped same like the brass ones (6.5g) above.

From left to right - development timeline - the right one is the final version found in the black/red boxes. Early version was not even black coated (eloxal). These cartridges never left the factory - used only for internal tests.

I have seen the round on the right with a flat tip with bullets colored green, yellow, blue and red. As far as I know there is no significance in the colors.


Originaly the idea was to supply variety of colors to different customers/ special forces units to have the track to whom it was delivered. It was presented at IWA one time (exact year can’t remember). Later on problems with this project started, suddenly nobody was interested to pay so high price for each round (it was roughly $20 per round) and gov’t has realized that this ammo is so danger to be used by any spec.forces as it may come to the other side of baricade and ceased the project. Vaclav’s world collapsed got seriously sick and company endup in bankrupsy.
I used to cooperate wit him for few years as he was producing 380 Auto ammo for Vsetin Armory for pressure testing. He was clever guy but really bad business man. He’s developed something what nobody wanted…


Thanks for the information. I had heard some of it but all third or fourth hand. Since you were so closely associated with the developer, perhaps you could answer a couple of questions.

What is Vaclav’s full name? I don’t think I have it in my files.

About the time the Snail rounds were first showing up in the Czech Republic, some apparently identical rounds were showing up in the Ukraine by an organization, Tacko, which I understand was a government owned export company. The following information turned up on the internet

Corporation Tacko is engaged in organization of development, production, and upgrade of small arms and ammunition, and participates in supply and utilization of various ammunitions. Tasko offers a range of small arms such as 12.7-mm self-loading sniper rifle 7ET3, 9-mm pistol-machine gun 7ET10, and 7.65-mm self-loading duty pistol 7ET12, and 9-mm high penetration cartridges Luger Tacko.

Clearly these are Snail rounds or Ukrainian copies of the Czech Snail rounds. Can you give us any insight on the relation, if any, between Tacko and Vaclav?

Many thanks for your participation on the IAA Forum.


Lew - as to the name Vaclav, I had thought it was Vlastimil? As in, Vlastimil Libra? Also, it appears that there are 7 versions of 9x19 Libra headstamps, which I did not realize until checking just now. The overstamp one is the solid-brass barrel clean-out load:

Libra loads lots of things. They also used the “SNAIL” headstamp in place of “LIBRA” on both ball rounds and blanks. One version of the Snail headstamp (on a CWS case) has the Libra logo.

I list the 7 different LIBRA headstamps you show, three SNAIL headstamps, an “SN” headstamp that stands for Snail.

There is also an unheadstamped rounds from LIBRA and a S&B round with a circle overstamp which is from Libra. These were the two earliest productions by Libra. Both came, along with a lot of my other Libra items from a guy who came to the Czech meeting with a trunk full of Libra items. Apparently he had some association with Libra. That was some years ago and I haven’t seen him since, which is a pity.

The LIBRA overstamp also occurs on a shot load with a clear plastic bullet and on an all plastic translucent white bullet with a steel core.

The only Snail loads I have encountered have the LIBRASNAIL headstamp you illustrate. They did produce a dummy with a Snail shape solid brass bullet with the Libra logo in the flat bullet tip. These were on key chains, but I have seen them off the key chains with various color painted bullets and at least one with a primer. If it has the Libra logo in the tip it isn’t a real Snail bullet. The headstamp on my round is the one in the middle of your top row.

Perhaps the strangest libra hst round I have seen is a CWS case with your lower right headstamp. The bullet looks like the tip has been cut off and a .22 rimfire (probably blank) inserted. It is a very well made bullet, but I have no idea who made it, but the CWS case with this headstamp is seldom encountered, at least by me and dates from 1995 or earlier.

More than you wanted to know!!! Sorry…


Here are some Snail rounds a friend owns!


Lew, Tasko (Cyrillic “TACKO”, the UA govts. mil. trade organization) was only a marketing attempt. I guess after Libra got legal problems and restrictions they tried a more liberal marketing platform. To no avail as it seems.

EOD, Perhaps that is exactly what happened, but the paint on the Tacko loads (yellow, blue and red) is totally different from the Libra loads which look more like anodized aluminum than paint. In addition the Tacko rounds have painted tips which I have never seen on a Libra load. I doubt the Tacko loads pictured were made/loaded in the Czech Republic, but may have been Czech bullets loaded in the Ukraine.

All I have ever seen of the Tacko Snails is the single photo and references to the loads on a number of Ukraine internet sites. None of them make any reference to “Snail”.

Has anyone ever actually seen one of the Tacko loads? The ones pictured were in a shop window with a shelf of cell phones on the shelf below!



Lew, not a shop window but a glass cabinet at an exhibition in Ukraine. The ammo shown was exhibition dummies and most likely some sort of substitute (such improvisations are often to be observed at exhibitions). Maybe even painted solid brass keyhangers which were made as giveways. Since as usual the export/import of restricted material is well regulated and as Libra had an issue with exactly this one can assume they did not use real specimen for exhibits.
Just some points to be considered.

Seems Reasonable! The Tacko painted rounds have round tips. The Libra keychains showed years later and have flat tips, but I take your point, there is nothing to indicate that the painted rounds are actually AP loads.

Thanks for the insight.


DCK - you’re right - Vlastimil (Vlasta) Libra…typo error caused by typing the message and giving the instruction to shooters/beginners at the same time. sorry.
Concerning the TACKO involvement into Libra’s products - I have heard when CZ Gov’t order has been ceased Vlasta made several steps to push this project through at several other special forces worldwide but no big success reported; one of those countries was Ukraine. Vlasta was cooperating with Луганский Патронный Завод (Lugansk Cartridge Works LCW) - those cases were used for funny painted cartridges. Have no idea whether tis company is back to life…most of the machines have been moved to Russia after Crimea Annexation. Will ask my friends from UKR MOD but have doubts whether they have ever loaded these Snail cartridges.
Lew - one more H/S to be posted related to Libra’s ammo - standard ball loadings has been sold under the brand “SNAIL” - empty case below.

It’s a new case; shall have somewhere the whole box of 9mm loaded cartridges. Once located - will post it here.

Trabi, not long ago LCW published a video where they were claiming to be fully operational and have shown their machine park. Though the video allowed specialists to conclude that no real productin was running at the time the video was recorded. Shown components in the trays and boxes were all from prior production and did not appear like newly made. In particular since many raw materials were imported from Russia back in peace days one can assume that it will be difficult for them to run a real production these days.

The latest statement from LCW was to rebuild a new facility in the Ukrainain controlled area.

We shall see what happens.

Thanks for the information. That makes sense.

Below are the Snail headstamps I mentioned in my previous post. It also includes the early Libra with the circle covering the S&B headstamp. I also notd I had the"Snail" headstamp in both large and small letters, as well as a Libra with small letters. Both of the rounds with small letters are extended case blanks. The Snail hst blank dates from about 2009 and the Libra blank from 2010.