9mm Para/Luger with SE.Bullets

I have had today taking several of this apart and I found out, that the weight of the bullets have quit a large Dispersion.
It ranges from 5,79 to 5,99Grams (89,3 to 92,5grain)
Pic attached

That is absolutely ok. The SE bullet weights I found range from 5,71g up to 6,11g.


as I work with ballistics this are very large differences…
Maybe for SMG ok, but todays specs are much much more tight, when it comes to weight differences of bullets…

On rifle bullets for example, the VPAM gives 0,1 to Maximum 0,15Grams tolerances for testing…

This means, if they where todays production, they would end up in the scrap-box :-))

As I recall the recent thread on German 7.9 m/m bullets with sintered tungsten carbide cores those cores varied beyond ordinary weight limits so it seem plausible that a similar variation might show up in these SE bullets. Jack

The answer to all that is that it is not so easy to maintain specs with bombs dropping all around you. If it would shoot, it was good enough. I would guess that somewhere around 90% of 9 mm produced by the Axis during WWII was used in machine pistols anyway.

John Moss

It is a pity that German specifications (Vorläufige Technische Lieferbedingungen) did not give any weight tolerances. These were in the official drawings (as in the U.S. system).
As a matter of fact, dispersion requirements (of 32 shots at 50 m, all within a circle of 30 cm and at least 28 within a circle of 24 cm diameter) for SE were the same as for lead-core bullets.
The only “official” document regarding SE bullet weight I know is a leaflet by the staff of 7th Army from 21st March 1944, giving weight as 6.0 g and muzzle velocity [no barrel length] as 420 m/s. [Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv, RH 8 I/4991]

Jochem, could it be that different projectile weights were compensated by adjusted propellant charges bringing it all to a tolerable performance?
This is often done with medium and large calibers.

Alex, I think the answer is no.
Ammunition production this late in the war always was much less than demand. In handgun and submachine dispersion, the share of the ammunition itself is only very minor. At the short ranges involved, bullet mass variation has no serious effect on dispersion. Therefore I do not think the additional effort was considered worth trying it.