9mm Tula steel-case with SP-10 AP bullet?

I just stumbled across this thread in the AR15 forum from last year in Sep. 2012, where a user posts that he found what looks like a Russian AP bullet with exposed steel core tip in an otherwise normal box of 115gr Tulammo box of 9x19 cartridges that he bought at Walmart. He posts the following pictures, and I am wondering if this it all possible, or if it is just a fake? It seems highly unlikely that this bullet would find its way into the commercial export lines of ammo being shipping to the U.S. and that Quality Control would miss it. I have never seen this bullet type loaded into steel cases like that.


It could be something that under some circumstance got left in the bottom of a loaded cartridge bin, with the bin used again for catching commercial production of the machine. I have a 9 mm Makarov round found in a commercial box of Ammunition from Barnaul, that was a triple loser - it is headstamped ICEBERG 9MM which is for the Iceberg Revolver, not the Makarov Pistol, the primer, originally there but lost during the time this cartridge went thru three hands (the finder, the person he gave it to, and mine when that person gave it to me), was seated sideways in the primer pocket and crushed, and the case has no flash holes. It gives the appearance of being a perfectly good factory dummy, but is NOT.

My round was probably the result of an empty case getting into the mix of the normal cases, but that does explain how a cartridge with basically three different defects got past inspection.

The cartridge you show has the quite current teflon coated case (I believe that is what it is - much lighter and duller gray color than a Lacquered Steel
Case) but the headstamp is not mentioned. If the standard headstamp, it was probably an errant bullet that got in with commercial FMJ bullets and was loaded, although one would think a different bullet seating stem would be required or that the bullet would be deformed somewhat, if that was the case.

Errors occur. A box of Tulammo 9 x 18 mm I bought had a 539 nno headstamped cartridge in it. That was a special headstamp used on ammo for the police. The letters “nno” I used to represent the cyrillic, but are PPO in our alphabet. A couple more showed up elsewhere. That could have been an instance of simply using up over-run cases, rather than what we would consider an error. For those not up on it, by the way, “539” is the military headstamp code for Tula Cartridge Works.

I remember seeing that thread when it was first posted. No doubt that one or more SP-10 bullets were left in a hopper during a tooling or production changeover and got mixed in along the way. I wonder where this round is now…

I can add that a year or so back someone got a “17” coded 7.62x39mm mixed in with a box of commercial head stamped Barnaul FMJ. It had a standard military format head stamp, I forget the year, but it was probably 10 or 11.


If real, then it must be an excruciatingly rare error, since we would have heard more internet forum posts if found, or seen more pics posted on the web. That, and Q.C. would often find something like this, or else buyers might unwittingly shoot it, or keep boxes unopened and locked away for years never knowing that they had one. It’s not quite enough to motivate me to buy hundreds of boxes of Tulammo since the odds are probably 1 in a million.

Actually this load speaks for Ulyanovsk production which belongs to Tula since a cuple of years and is not using it’s own name in commercial production anymore (just on military and then coded #3).
I am on Ulyanovsk because Tula was never known to make any 7N21 APs as they are making the 7N30 instead.

My 2 cent basing on observations.

That is a good point EOD - thanks. Uly would have been making ammo for export and just using the “Tulammo” trade name I suppose.

Why is everybody calling it an SP-10? The SP-10 (7N29) is a 9x21.

I guess because it looks like an SP-10 bullet? Of course as a 9x19 the looks of this bullet are more like what would be in the 7n21.

Visually they are almost identical and I had no time to compare if the used projectiles are not identical by now. In the past the 9x21 used a projectile which was only for this caliber but as the AP used there underwent a steady evolution it could be that the projectiles got unified.