9MM parabellum ammunition value


#1

I am a Luger collector, however I know very little about the 9MM cartridge. I have acquired a full box of 9MM cartridges manufactured by Rheinisch-Westfalische Sprengstof AG of Nurnberg Germany. The headstamps read 9MM 1935 RWS. The box is yellow cardboard, in excellant condition. Writing on the box is SINOXID selbstlade pistole Ganzmantel- Geschoss, around a drawing of a cartridge with STEYR in large font underneath. The top and bottom of the box are highlighted with a black stripe, 50 patronen on top and marca avion on the bottom. I am hoping that some one can enlighten me as to the value if any of this ammunition and perhaps a little history. Thank you, Craig


#2

Craig - the ammunition you describe was brought into the United States, primarily from Chile where they had used the Steyr Pistol, some years ago in shooting quantity. I do not think the ammunition in question has a lot more than shooting value.

However, unless altered from its original state, this ammunition is not 9 x 19mm Parabellum(Luger), but rather 9 x 23mm Steyr. The Luger pistol was never chambered for this cartridge. It was developed in Austria for the Steyr Model 1911/1912 pistol, popularly referred to as the “Steyr Hahn” pistol.

I mention “altered state” because I have seen some of this ammunition converted by some ammunition maker, probably a commercial reloader, to 9mm Parabellum. In that form, it is a novelty that most U.S. 9mm cartridge collectors would keep as an American alteration of an Austrian cartridge, but would never command any real collector’s price in that form. It was an expedient for making saleable ammunition that obviously was not moving off the shelf, due to too big a supply for the few people who shot the original 9 x 23mm Steyr cartridge.

To check which caliber your ammo is now, just measure the case length, will be from about 22.5m/m to 22.9m/m if it is still original, and approximately 19m/m if it has been converted.