These dummies were included in with a group of boxes of 9mm Parabellum cartridges I purchased. I have found nothing with the Googling I have done looking for information on them. They are quite light; the bullets appear to be separate from the cases, and are hollow. Headstamps are P EX 24 and P EX 25. I assume the P represents Polte Werke Magdeburg, but haven’t a clue about the ‘EX’. The box is not original to the cartridges.
Guy, the “Ex” is an abbreviation for “Exerzier” what is the German term for “dummy”.
The cartridge itself is designated “Exerzierpatrone” = “dummy cartridge”.
These Polte Exercise Cartridges are pretty interesting, as they are found, within the dates, several variations. Some variations are date-specific, others are not. The are found with and with holes, with different hole spacings sometimes in the same dates, and with and without bullet cores.
I have always found the ones with holes puzzling because the sames dates are sometimes found with them and without them, and because within the same dates they are found with holes positioned differently. Two theories about these that have crossed whatever mind I have left are (a.) that at least up to a certain date, they did not have holes originally, and those were added later, not necessarily at Polte, by directive for some reason; or (b.) that they were made for different services to different specifications. The incident of holes in different places favors the theory (a.) in my view, but I really don’t know why any of this occurs.
There is also one with only the entry “Ex” as the headstamp; no date nor factory identifier. Does anyone know if these were also made at Polte, and if so, if they were early or late production (taking the first year of this type dummy, “21” as “early” and the last year, “39” as late).
There is also this type of Exerzierpatrone in caliber 7.65 mm Parabellum. It is without holes in the case and the projectile is the bullet jacket only, with no core. It is headstamped “P 25 Ex”. Does anyone know why these were made in this caliber, at that particular time?
Finally, there are variations of this type in 7.65 x 17 mm Browning (.32 Auto) as well. When I say “this type,” I am referring to nickel-plating (or perhaps chrome (? ? as they do not gleam with a yellowish tone as does nickel, but rather are dead white/silver in color (this applies to all three calibers mentioned here), and the presence of no actual primer pocket, but rather simply a dimple, presumably for firing-pin clearance. There are two headstamps that I have encountered in 7.65 Browning, “P 33 Ex” and “P Ex” with no date on the headstamp. All have coreless bullets and four holes in the case, with the 33-dated round in at least two variations as to the size of the holes. One has small holes very well exeduted. The other has larger holes that are somewhat “rougher” in appearance. Has anyone seen a .32 Ex.patr. of this type with no holes?
Nice items! Too bad the box isn’t original but the cartridges are nice.