9mm P08 loads by Polte-1930-1939


I’m doing some research on Polte 9mmP cantridges and would appreciate help from the Forum members.

If you have a Polte P08 cartridge (headstamp P * (lot) (year) dated from 1930 through 1939 that weighs 180gr (11.66g) or less, please let me know, either by email, or PM or a posting here. The information I’d appreciate is:

–Lot & year on the hst.
–Overall weight of the cartridge (grains or grams)
–Description of the bullet
–Any other distinctive characteristics of the load

I have a black bullet mE load in a P * 22 38 case and one has been reported in a 23 39 case. I think these are just older cases that got mixed with the 1940 production of mE bullets.

All help is appreciated. Even if you have just a single Polte 9mm, it may be the one I need to know about.

Thanks for the help…





Are you looking for something other than lead core bullet or m.E. bullets?

I ask because of your 180 grain stipulation. I have the same Polte round you do, with a black bullet. Total ctg. weight is 163.7 grains, which is the correct range of total ctg. weight for a brass -cased round with an m.E. bullet. My others are all in the normal 190/191 grain range for lead-core bullets in brass cases.

I am not sure I agree about these being loaded in “clean up” lots of brass, or mixed in. Yours and mine have the same lot and date. There was plenty of serial production of the black bullet rounds in 1941, loaded in brass cases. Polte was a factory that did a lot of experimenting. Even the headstamp date is only 3 years earlier than serial production. I agree that since we are only talking of the case lot on the headstamp, these rounds could be loaded later, but my bet would be they were a uniform lot for testing of the then-new m.E. bullet, or even issue. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of Polte dates, because they were so uniform in their headstamping over the years, and I don’t collect dates. I only have four rounds of ball, including the black-bulleted one, and truthfully, looking at them right now, I can’t figure out why I kept one that I did from 1929, except that it is an interesting year you don’t see much on German 9mm. Maybe I cheated on my own system. Will have to see what I noted in my catalog as a rationale for keeping it.


Thanks John,

You did exactly what I’d hoped. The fact that your black bullet is also a lot 22 of 38 makes it probable they were loaded as a lot, and it wasn’t simply a mistake. That is one bit of very useful data already!!!

Cheers, Lew


Glad to help. anyone else have one of these rounds?

I figured out why I kept the 1929 date when I had a 1934 date about the same. Hold on to your hats folks, because the differences are earth-shaking.

On one, the top of the tiny little “P” on the headstamp is straight across the top, and on the other, is curved. The numbers are about 10% bigger on one than the other, very meaningful on numbers only about 1m/m in height anyway. Wow! I think my wife must be slippin’ peote or something into my soup at night! Only a lunatic would keep such differences. Welllll…I did have problems that way, butttt…, I’m muuuuch better now!


John, I won’t argue that you are sane, but I can tell you that you are at least as sane as the rest of us!!!

I hope some other people will also confirm they have the P * 22 38 with black bullet. Maybe somebody will have the box so we can see when they were actually made.

Cheers, Lew


Hi Lew,

They must made a bunch of them because I have also one in my collection.
The round weight about 165 grains. Sorry have an old RCBS scale.

The 23th lot of 1939 is new for me. The 24 and 25th lot is known here in Europe.

The first lots I know of with a m.E. bullet from 1940 are;

aux Xf1 2 40 CWS case
aux * 14 40
aux * 15 40
aux * 16 40

Hope it helps a little.

Kind regards,


Dutch & John, Thanks for your inputs. I have received two more emails from people who have the P * 22 38 with a black mE bullet. That makes five rounds so there are probably a reasonable number around.

The date is interesting cause the Polte drawings show the first development of iron cores in 1937 and early 1938 (Oct '37, and Feb & Mar '38). These drawings (gigconceptsinc.com/Polte-mE-Dev.html and also published in an IAA Journal last year I think) are not the more common mushroom core, but rather three other core shapes and called mK bullets. The earliest drawing I have of the mushroom core is Nov '39, and the final mushroom core but this was a flat base bullet and called the SmE bullet on the drawing. The earliest “real” me bullet drawings seem to date from the summer '40.

It seems to me that the P * 22 38 loads are very likely to a core as illustrated in the '38 Polte drawings which are either cylinderical or cylinderical with a round top. Does anyone with a P * 22 38 load have access to an Xray to see what the bullet really looks like??? It sure would be interesting to see the box these came from since the round in 1938 was not called the 08mE according to the Polte drawings!!!

I would appreciate hearing about any other P * 22 38 loads and the results of others weighing their P * loads to see what else is out there.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed.

Cheers, Lew