9mm Luger Used By US Military

Can anyone tell me the various types of cartridges that the U.S. Military uses in there 9mm handgun. Do they come in Ball, Blanks, Dummy and anything else and who are the manufactures of them?
Thank You Carolyn

Not counting commercial 9X19mm cartridges that may be used by special units, such as NCIS, AFOSI, Army CID, etc. for non-combat-designated use. there are only two used by the U. S. military. These are the standard ball round, the 9mm NATO, which is designated as M882, having a full metal jacketed 124 grain bullet, and the Mk254 Mod 0 (AA16) frangible bullet round used for training by the U. S. Air Force. The latter is loaded with a 100 grain sintered copper frangible bullet and a lead-free primer. It, or similar frangible bullet rounds, may also be used by other services for training, but if so, I am not aware of it. I am also unaware of any other 9mm types (tracer, blank, dummy) used by the U. S. military for combat purposes at present, but I am sure if there are additional ones in use, that will be revealed by other members.

Both of these 9mm rounds are manufactured by Winchester, East Alton IL, at least the last I heard.

At one time there was also a U. S. military ball round designated as the M1 having a 116 grain full metal jacketed bullet. I do not believe it is in current use.

As Dennis says, Ball M1 is obsolete, and was probably used in greater quantity by American Allies than by U.S. Forces.

However, there are more than two types of ammunition. Besides Ball M882, which is standardized in two forms, Ball M882 (with cannelure) and Ball M882 (without cannelure), and the Frangible Mk 254 Model 0, there is 9 mm Test, High Presssure M905 and Dummy M917. The ball ammunition was originally made by both Winchester and Federal, and it is known that some lots of Israeli ammunition were also used but perhaps under another Model designation. Federal seems to have dropped out of the picture on ball ammo actually supplied to the U.S. Military. Various lots of military-headstamped ammunition from Federal have been offered, in white boxes, to the commercial market, but we have seen none in years that seems to actually have been supply to the Armed Forces. Conversely, Winchester dates as late as 20(11) have been seen.

We have only seen proof loads (Test, High Pressure) made by Winchester (Olin Corporation, technically speaking). They have plated cases (tinned or nickeled - I am not sure which plating is used) with the bases painted a reddish-purple color. I have seen them, depending on date, with and without the projectile being similarly painted.

Dummies exist from Federal, Winchester (Olin) and IMI of Israel (under the headstamp TZZ).
The earliest of these dummies in my own collection (please note that I do not collect this caliber by every date, only by visible differences in the cartridge itself) is from Federal, dated “84.” The round is brass-cased, and identified as a dummy only by the two opposing holes in the case and an empty primer pocket, with flash hole. There is s aknurled case cannelure, but that is common to live rounds too. The Winchester dummies are at hand in two dates. Both look like standard ball in profile, identified as inert only by the absence of any primer. The primer pocket is without flash hole in both types. One is a plain brass case, dated “88” and the other, dated “90,” has a blackened case. Both have the standard " + WCC
##" style headstamp (the “+” represents a NATO mark here). The Israeli dummy, in profile, looks just like the Federal specimen - two opposing holes in the case and a light, knurled case-cannelure. However, it has the empty, blind primer pocket of the Winchester-Olin rounds. Heastamp is “DUMMY TZZ 89.”

We do not know which of these types are still in issue. The High Pressure Test Loads were probably assigned to Beretta USA of Accokeek, Maryland, for the proofing of pistols prior to acceptance by the military. They would not be a troop-issue loading. Having finished my military service almost 50 years ago, I have no idea how widely used the dummy rounds are in training, currently. Some years ago, these were available in almost “shooting” quantities at some of the cartridge shows, in full, original boxes. Whether or not they are now officially obsolete, I don’t know. It would probably take someone currently on active service, either regular or reserve, to tell us.

As Dennis pointed out, there have been other loadings for Special Ops units, primerily hollow points of various bullet weights, usually subsonic and sometimes boxes with box labels indicating use for specific firearms. The original headstamp designation was an “S” for “Subsonic” but that seems to have been replaced with an “L” which I suppose is some sort of NATO code for subsonic ammunition. Loads are known from Federal, Winchester-Olin, and IMI, at least.

Hope this is of some assistance and interest.

As usual, John gave a great rundown. I only have a few added comments. The contract for the M882 ball is competed periodically. Olin recently won the latest competition, run by Rock Island, and they were the previous winner. The contract funs from FY 2011 through FY2015 and is for ~105M rounds a year.

I am told that there were a number of bidders. The original sources sought went out in 2009 and then in early 2011 there was a justification to limit the competition to US manufacturers so they must have had a foreign bid that they were not happy with but was competitive in price. All bidders would have submitted samples (probably a couple of thousand rounds) to qualify their ammo.

As far as I know Federal and Olin have been the only two companies to win contracts for the M882 ammo. I think all the IMI buys in the US were special purpose ammunition or bought by special organizations.

In 2009 Rock Island was also putting out a sources sought notice for M917 dummy rounds.

There are also lots of buys for Simunitions and other stuff. The best way to answer your question is to go to the Fed Biz Ops website and you can see all the Government procurement of 9mm ammo for the past few years and even download some of the contrat informaiton.

Directions on how to do this are at:



PS: There is also an M1041 Marking Cartridge for the used with the Close Combat Mission Capability Kit!!!

Lew - Is the marking cartridge a commonly known, commercial police type, such as simunitions, or one of the Federal or CCI types? Could you picture one?

The military LE agencies apparently still use the 147JHP within CONUS. It’s designated as: DODIC A260 MK243 Mod 0.
Both Winchester and Federal had made this ammo over the years.

Here’s a link for an old post on Gunbroker’s Forum with some info from a box of ammo made by Federal.

forums.gunbroker.com/post.asp?me … FORUM_ID=2

There are three different versions of the Simunition FX Marking round adopted as:

Cartridge, 9mm, Practice: M1041, Blue
Cartridge, 9mm, Practice: M1041, Red
Cartridge, 9mm, Practice: M1041, Yellow

And two conversion kits:

Training Device, Fire Dye Marking Ammo: M9
Training Device, Fire Dye Marking Ammo: M11

Actually there are other types of Simunition ammunition, besides marking, and technically they are not 9mm in caliber, as the projectile diameter is somewhat smaller. And then, in addition to Simunition, there is UTM (is UTM still around?).

Dennis, the only other type of Simunition is the SecuriBlank but it was not adopted by the US or NATO.

Fede is correct the J&A posted was for authority to go sole source to General Dynamics Ordnance & Tactical of Canada (who owns Simunitions) to buy 9mm M1041 Marking Cartridges-no color specified. These would only be the cartridges with the M-number assigned.