9mm x 19 Dummies?


I opened the box and found that none of the rds had a primer and that most only had one flash hole. Are these official/unofficial dummies or did quality control have a bad day ?

Headstamp 8 T 83 T

The bullet is crimped by 4 heavy cannelures.


According to this website,your box should be full of standard ball M41 9 mm Para cartridges . The official dummies are quite different , your rounds look standard ball loadings that someone has made inert.


Maybe Girojet would be more helpful than me


[quote=“Pivi”]According to this website,your box should be full of standard ball M41 9 mm Para cartridges . The official dummies are quite different , your rounds look standard ball loadings that someone has made inert.


Maybe Girojet would be more helpful than me[/quote]


It is quite possible that someone has inerted them, but the crimps are heavy and that doesn’t explain why so many have only one flash hole.


I don’t think that your cartridges are real Swiss army dummy cartridges.
Because normal they have a groove or edge, and then they are made out of one piece of brass.

old and new type of Swiss 9x19 dummy cartridge

Swiss 9x19 dummy cartridge box

Swiss box with ball (591-1240) cartridge
and Dummy cartridges(595-8016)


Gyrojet is correct. The official Swiss Manipullerpatrone is a solid turned brass dummy (Aluminum during WWII). There are however other dummy loads that have been made over the years that are essentially unloaded ball rounds. The earliest I have is from 1921 and other from 1925. There is a dummy from 1952 and the box label indicated it was an unloaded ball cartridge. The identification is a green painted case head. Fred Datig turned up a full box of these many years ago. A similar aluminum case dummy with a maroon case head is known with a 42 date. I have another from 77 with a red painted primer which is marked on the case just above the groove “MODELL INERTE”.

In addition I have roughly half a dozen dummies that are ball loads with no primer or a holed primer, some plated and some not. I have one that looks almost identical to your rounds dated 82, but my cartridge has two flashholes.

I have a loaded ball round dated 77 and the box is overstamped indicating the cartridges have one flash-hole. These would have been test cartridges.

I suspect that your cartridges were another test lot of cases, or actually the leftovers from a test lot of cases which were loaded up as dummies. It is strange that the box was not stamped to identify these rounds from normal ball loads.

Nice items. I wish I had one!!! Congratulations.


To Lew’s correct statements, I would add that there was also a solid-seel Swiss box-maker’s dummy, with no markings at all, as well as a solid-steel Manipulierpatrone that had a knurled band around the case, painted black, and like the aluminum dummy rounds, a small cross as a headstamp. The cross is actually oriented in such a way that it appears as an “X” rather than a cross.

I have never seen the particular type of dummy shown on this thread, from Switzerland, but concur with Lew that there are other than the “official” types. I have at least the one marked “Modell Inerte” with red primer and mine is a part of an absolute complete case and bullet draw set which includes even another red-painted, totally inert primer cup. The Swiss seem to make at least the case with quite a few more steps in the drawing process than most other countries, by the way. Very precise - perhaps actually over-manufactured.

Nice information for my files. I do not have one of the tan label Swiss Manipulierpatr. boxes either, or even a picture of one, so glad to see that posted here.


Please note that the marking “Modell Inerte” is a Swiss marking for instructional ammunition which usually consist of original components and are used for theoretical instruction on ammunition and are no DRILL (dummy) items which are used for loading practice.


i had the same box as armourer but the cartridges have boxer primer hole


The post by Ammogun made me go back and check on some things I should have checked last evening.

First, 83-84 is when Switzerland was changing the design of their 9x19 ammunition. Included in this change was converting from Berdan to Boxer primers. They also dropped the cannaleur on the bullet and the case mouth crimps. My dummy headstamped T 12 T 82 may be part of this test series. During 82 (or rather using late 81 and 82 dated case) there were a lot of experiments with 9x19 ammunition including a nickel plated bullet (according to the box label), another box marked as a velocity test load, 3 stab primer crimps, 3 instead of 4 bullet crimps and probably others that I don’t know about. In 84 Thun also introduced a new headstamp (first MFT 84 and then T 84). These two loads are reported to have Boxer primers. The development of various case and primer alternatives was probably going on in 82 and 83. The dummies that Ammogun and Armourer have are the residue of this testing. It is not hard to imagine a test that compared single flash hole and double flash hole Berdan primers with the Boxer primers.

Excellent items and important contributions to the specimens that document this redesign of the Swiss 9x19 cartridge. They demonstrate some of the design excursions the Swiss considered.

EOD, I agree that the Modell Inerte items are not drill rounds, but the word dummy has a broader meaning than drill. John and I have gone over the question of which word to use. The British typically use drill, and one meaning of the word is “instruction through repetition”, i.e. loading practice. The word dummy has as one defination “a representation of an actual item”. Thus a box loading dummy or the Modell Inerte would be a dummy but not a a drill. The fact is that common usage in the cartridge collecting world equates the two.

In the first parts of my guide to 9mm Parabellum headstamps, I used the term “drill”, probably an artifact of my tour with the RAF. John correctly pointed out the fact that it was more appropriate to use “dummy” and I have tried to do that, but I still usually say drill in convesation because I am a slow learner, or have just gotten old. A very minor point, but John and I have had so much fun arguing it over the years I couldn’t resist.


Lew is right in that period the Swiss were changing the design on there 9x19
I have a couple Swiss 9x19 boxes who are saying that,and all out the year 1981 / 1985



I checked with a real expert on Swiss ammo and Thun. He said that dummies of this type were made by Thun for the company that produced their boxes. The company would use them to pack sample boxes for acceptance by Thun. By using inert cartridges the sample boxes could be sent to Thun by mail. Sounds like a logical story to me and may explain why these cartridges showed up in a box for standard ball ammunition.