9mm P08 -turned off hst

When I found this round I thougth it lacked a headatamp, but in the right light, and scanned it has a light “asb” at the bottom and it looks like a “44” on the right side. The rim is also turned wrong like a tool was not set up properly. It looks like, during manufacture, that enough of the head was turned off to take off most of the headstamp. Any thought of why this happened? Are there other examples of this kind of production error?



Lew - I call that the “A-Base case forming error.” I have several examples
of that from different makers that I have acquired, and kept, over the last
40 years or so. They can be more or less extreme than the one you picture.
Note that at least in the pictures, your cartridge has an unusually wide extractor
groove and extractor-groove bevel. At least, it appears that way on my screen.
I don’t recall noting that on any of my specimens.

I don’t have the technical knowledge of the case making process, especially for
steel cases, to know where in the process, this malformation of the case takes
place, and why, but it not only seems to be a relatively common happen-stance
and one that slips by inspectors perhaps more than some other case-forming


I agree and have seen similar errors in the cutting of the rim, I cannot recall seeing an instance where the headstamp appeared to have been almost machined off! Have you seen this effect on your A-Base errors???


No, I haven’t. I think my few examples show a well-
stamped headstamp, but when something goes wrong
enough to create a case forming error like this, it does not
surprise me to see a badly stamped headstamp. In your
pictures, it looks to me like the headstamp was not tampered
with, ie: “machined off,” but rather just a lack of full contact
or impact of the bunting process.

Again, anything this technical is above my head. My thrust
with ammo has always leaned more to the historical (perhaps in
my case “hysterical”) rather than the technical aspects.


The head looks gouged out to me, like there was a headstamp that was destroyed. On lines I have seen, the headstamp bunting process is distinct from the process of cutting the rim. You can also see this in draw sets. It seems unlikely that the case would experience two seperate and distinct major errors, but that is always a possibility.


Lew, are the measurements still in-spec for similar 9mm P08? Other than the extractor groove, that is.


I almost think that sometimes one error leads to another in the
case-making process. I have a Russian 9 mm Makarov cartridge
that was found in a commercial box of 9 x 18 mm Mak ammo from
Russia. It features:

The wrong headstamp. It is headstamped “ICEBERG 9MM” (“ICEBERG”
is the name of a Russian Revolver).

The primer was crushed sideways in the primer pocket. Prior to obtaining
this cartridge, unfortunately the crushed primer was lost.

The case has the normal Berdan-type intergral anvil, but it has no flash

The “miracle” of this is that all of these defects got by the inspection process,
and, as I said, the cartridge was passed, boxed, and sold. It is, by the way,
a normal 18 mm length case and loaded with a normal ordinary projectile,
including the red-lacquer mouth seal.

I can’t see the “gouge” you are referring to in your picture as it appears on my
screen, hence my comment on the “weak” headstamp. When you say gouged
out, that implies the look of some machine cutting on the head. Could it be better
described as being “dished?” That is an actual question, not a supposition on
my part. Those British 9 mm with the head of the cartridge deformed into a
bowl-like surface, with so much impact that the primer is mashed flat, comes to
mind. I remember we were contemplating, at the time they were found (by you,
as I recall), whether or not it was some sort of experiment, and decided it was
almost certainly a manufacturing-process defect.


John Moss

Rim diameter is 8.83 and the rim diameter on other loads I just checked is 9,90-9.95. The case length is normal.

I have also seen all kinds of errors in loading. I went through two cases of CBC 9x19 and more than half filled a box with defects, most were crushed primers that were sideways in the pocket and crushed cases damaged when the bullet was seated. There were also dented cases and distorted rims! German WWII ammunition almost always is high quality and I have not seen these types of errors. That is what makes an apparent loading error in this ammo much more interesting to me than other loading errors and quality control failures. Once I was watching 30-06 being loaded on US WWII machinery at the Royal Thai Arsenal in Bankok. They had supplemented the line with a pre-WWII German tool that weighed each round and rejected it into a bin if the weight was a bit heavy or a bit light. As I watched one round came out light and was rejected and turns out the bullet had no core. I was surprised at the number of rejects. My guide said most were problems with powder quantity but occasionally there would be a coreless bullet. He gave me the round which is now in the Woodin Laboratory. The point is that without this “non-standard” tester, those rounds would have gone into the box and been issued.


With the odd extractor groove and bevel, and the smaller
rim, this is beginning to look like the case started out life
to be a flame-thrower igniter cartridge. I don’t collect those
and don’t have one handy for a comparison with the photo of
the defective round, so I could be way off on this. I know they
had a much wider extractor groove, and my impression is, from
the German, Swiss and Czech ones I have had go through my
fingers, so to speak, I have the impression that they had a smaller
diameter rim, as well. Just a thought - I am not at all sure of this. I just
recalled that the German ones I have seen had an “asb” headstamp,
and I seem to remember they had that odd head almost like an
“A Base” cartridge.

John Moss


Can only help with a “funny” 7,9 Mauser.


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That is a bounce in the groove cutter!!! I have one but mine was made in the Dominican Republic. What is the code on your 7.9…? Maybe it is also from the Dominican Republic!!!


Sorry, no Dominican Republic… a German quality product. :)