A hunter gave me this round. He did not know anymore how he gets it.
It is an unusual round for Europe.
Head stamp is U.S.C.Co 9 m/m LUGER

Could somebody provide me with the date of production of this round?


Help with .38 Spcl headstamps REVISED

I think this is an early USCCO 9mm. My memory is that they introduced the commercial 9mmP in 1919 or 1920 or so with a supplement to their earlier catalog (John M, help me here please???). They offered both Truncated FMJ and Truncated HP loads early on.

This round is interesting. USCCO got into the 9mm business when, at the end of 1917, they assumed the Maxim contract for 9mm Glisenti for the Italian Government. Evidence indicates that they began developing their production at the end of 1917 and that the MAXIM 1918 rounds that are not unusual are all USCCO production. This is relevant to this cartridge since the early USCCO bullets have the same ogive as the Glisenti bullet, while the later ones have a much longer conical front.

John Moss won an award at SLICS this year for his article on the 9mm Glisenti cartridge which appeared in IAA Journal 454. Is you are not an IAA member or for some other reason don’t have the document you can buy this issue of the electronic Journal from purchases@cartridegecollectors.org for $5.

Nice find Dutch!




Dear Lew,
You mean “MAXIM” contract ( as in Maxim MG) for the italian Gov’t Glisenti ammo?

Doc AV


Thanks Doc!!!


Willem and Lew - Well, I am in the very dangerous position of disagreeing with Lew - I say “dangerous,” because he has forgotten more about the 9mm cartridge than I will ever know.
But, that said, let me tell you why.

Lew says he believes that this is an early production U.S.C.Co. 9mm Para. I disagree, and believe it is mid to late production, for the following reasons:

The bullet shape: This appears to have the bullet with the very short, full-diameter portion sticking above the case mouth. The early rounds, like the Italian Glisenti, have a full-diameter section of the bullet showing above the case mouth about 0.075" (roughly 1.9 mm) above the mouth. It is hard to measure, because the shape of the transition from straight sided into the truncated taper is more rounded than, say, the German truncated-bullet types. The round in question appears to have the very short, straight-sided portion of only about 0.04" (about 1 mm) showing above the mouth.

The bullet jacket: The bullet jacket is clearly plain gilding metal. My sense of the order of the jacket material (color) for the U.S.C.Co. 9 mms is that they start with cupronickel jackets, then go to tinned jackets, and finally to plain GM jackets. I have always felt, with no evidence at all to back it up, that the trend in the 1930s away from CN and tinned jackets might have something to do with reducing production costs during the depression. The usual order in American pistol ammunition seems to be a transition from some sort of silver or gray bullet finish, be it CN, tinned, zinc-coated or whatever, to a plain jacket. I believe U.S.C.Co. followed that trend.

Bullet markings: Following my understanding of the order of the bullets, it is not until the tinned bullet jackets that the “S” appears on the jacket. It appears in Willem’s picture that the cartridge in question has the “S” on it, something I have not seen before on a GM bullet jacket for U.S.C.Co. 9 mm Luger rounds. I had thought the “S” was dropped when they went to GM jackets, since neither of my GM-jacketed loads have that letter stamped in the bullet jacket.

The primer: I believe the earliest primers are plain copper, and then go into a brass primer cup with U.S.C.Co. marking on it, and finally to a plain nickel cup. Some U.S.C.Co. expert, one of which I am NOT, like Gary Muckel, could probably give a definitive answer on this question.

The primer seal: Early rounds did not, in my opinion, have any colored seals. The seals start in those rounds with a nickel primer and CN bullet, and the first color was a very reddish-purple, going into a purpole color with more blue in it, and finally to a color I would simply call blue. I have seen no copper or brass primer cups on U.S.C.Co. that are on what I believe to be the early rounds, that have a colored-lacquer primer seal.

The case is of no help, as it remained the same throughout production. That is, it had one smooth case cannelure, was always brass, and had the same shape extractor groove and extractor-groove bevel, and the same width rim always with a very slight edge-bevel to the rim. The headstamp remained identical throughout production, so it is no help either.

I can’t date Willem’s cartridge exactly, but if pressed to the wall, I would say mid-1930s.

I could have this order all wrong, but it is based not just on observations of U.S.C.Co. 9 mms, but also of their other auto pistol rounds of many different calibers and variations. I have eight variations of the U.S.C.Co. 9 mm round, which I don’t think are necessary to list, but I can on demand.

John Moss


Don’t we have ANY U.S.C.Co. expert that can chime in on this and verify or dispute the order of production by cartridge feature of the 9 mms discussed. As I hinted, I am not confident about my view of that subject, although I based it on a bit more than just a guess and a gosh.

It would be helpful to get the story straight, if I have not.

John Moss


The 1914 catalog does not have it listed. But the catalog uses the lower case o in Co with its other smokeless cartridges , when did it change to a upper case O ,U.S.C.CO.


I have eight variations of the 9 mm round, and the final “o” (in “Co.” ) is slightly smaller than the other letters on all of them. I don’t know when the general change in the size of that letter took place, but it does not seem to have changed at all throughout the 9 mm Luger production, or at least did not change on that particular caliber. On later cartridges, one bunter is a little irregular at the top, giving the impression of a larger “o” at the end, but close examination shows it is not larger, simply the top line is a little thicker and still the letter is “shorter” than the others.

John Moss


John Moss has hounded me so I retrieved another password to the forum and posting this reply.
I agree with most of John Moss’s thoughts on the USC Co 9mm.
The first USC Co primers on the 9mm were brass with an entwined US as was done with early intro smokeless cartridges by them. Monogram primers continued up to at least 1924. Copper primers came out about that time as listed in their catalogs. In the 1927 and 1929 catalogs the auto pistol (except 45 auto) used the 1 1/2 copper primer and the shells were listed as “smokeless”. However in 1929 the “self-cleaning” loads were introduced for 9mm Luger. Primers for reloading included the older smokeless copper primers and the new self-cleaning primers were available on request. The 1930 catalog listed the self-cleaning primer as illustrated in the posted image. So my opinion is that the posted 9mm was produced between 1929 and 1937 and most likely about 1935 matching the primer of the 357 introduced that year. The years after late 20’s, Winchester produced the cartridges for US Cartridge Co and I think the self-cleaning were the same as the “stainless” Winchester primer.

I have a pretty good listing of USC Co headstamps paying close attention to the dots before the USC Co and the calibers but someone pointed out the different size of the “o” in the Co. This seems to occur in the auto pistol line but I am not sure if it does so exclusively and have no idea why or when. I have hesitated so far to go back through the pile to find the different sized “o’s”. There may be three different sizes.

I hope this helps.


O,K. Thanks Gary. I didn’t “hound you” as I can’t bark, but I did nag the hell out of you like the cranky old man I am. :-)

Seems like I got the sequence of the primers wrong, which might also affect the sequence of the bullet finishes. I based the bullet finishes (CN to Tinned to GM) and the primer cup material sequence (copper to monogrammed brass to nickel) on the the “MAXIM 1918” 9mm Glisenti having a copper primer cup and a CN bullet, and we know these rounds were actually made by U.S.C.Co. I do not think that U.S.C.Co. made the 9 mm Luger round until after WWI, and so I felt that it was pretty likely that the copper primer cup and CN bullet came before the brass one. As is often the case, I was, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “full of sound and Theory, signifying nothing.”

I will have to change the order of these in my collection.

Thanks, Gary, for the help.

John Moss


Gary, John, Here is a better picture from the “dots”



I am finally home for a couple of days and wanted to post on this thread. Below is the earliest USCCo catalog reference I know to 9mm Luger from Catalog 61 which was dated for me as their 1917 catalog, and has “4-17” at the bottom of page 80 which is the index. The following doesn’t appear in the basic catalog but in a supplement to the catalog that is glued into the back and also introduces the 7.62x54R Russian. I’m am told this supplement is probably from just after WWI.

Note the profile on this bullet. It is what I have called the “high shoulder” bullet and looks like the Glisenti bullet made by USCCo with Maxim headstamps in 1918.

I will add anothe post to try to illustrate the cartridges, headstamps and primers Gary and John discussed above.




I have 10 USCCo headstamped 9mm Luger ball loads in my collection, and would appreciate help in dating them.

The first set have Brass primers with the US intwined on the primer.

The two loads on the right are typical of the rounds I have seen with the US brass primer (the HP and the FMJ loads and these are probably what is offered in the supplement to catalog 61 illustrated in the previous post). The cartridge on the left has a tinned bullet with a somewhat more rounded ogive on the tip. Gary’s post above would indicate these date from sometime after the end of WWI until at least 1924 and perhaps till 1927. The tinned bullet seems to be the oddity of this group. Note that all three loads have a knurled cannulear on the case.

Remaining cartridges with CN bullets and Glisenti ogive

The cartridge on the far right is the Maxim 1918 load made by USCCo for comparison. Mine has a brass primer. My 1917 dated loads have a copper primer.

The two loads on the left (again in HP and FMJ) have the copper primers that Gary indicates were introduced in 1927-1929 and used until about 1930. Both have a knurled cannulear on the case. The second load from the right is a bit of an oddity. It still has the CN Glisenti bullet, but the nickelled primer introducte in 1929-1930. It also has a smooth case cannulear and an “S” impressed into the side of the bullet at the casemouth. None of the other loads previously described have the “S” on the bullet.

Later model cartridges

The load on the far left is a bit unusual in that it has a less distinct shoulder and perhaps a broader tip bullet than the earlier Glisenti style bullets (0.217" vs. 0.19"), and it is tinned with an “S” impressed into the bullet. This bullet appears to be a transition style from the earlier Glisenti ogive to the low shoulder ogive of the other three bullets illustrated in this group.

The second load from the left has a tinned bullet with the “S” , but in the late low shoulder style.

The two loads on the right are probably relatively late USCCo production. Both have the low bullet shoulder and GM jacketted bullets. The second from the right has an “S” on the bullet which the one on the far right lacks. The tip of the load on the right is flatter than the load second from the right.

All the cartridges in this group have the smooth case cannulear.

Dutch’s load looks to me like it has the Glisenti ogive, but it may be the angle of the photo. It also looks like it may be a GM bullet which would be really out of sync with a GM bullet so I am probably looking at it wrong.

Dutch, Could you confirm where your cartridge fits in to the series illustrated above?

John, Could you confirm that your Maxim 1918 load has a copper primer. I have not recorded this before.

If anyone has some later USCCo catalogs, please check them and see if you can give an idea of when the bullet ogive changed on the 9mm Luger loads.

If anyone has USCCo 9mm Luger loads other than those illustrated, I would greatly appreciate you posting photos. I have two cases which have been loaded as blanks, but have not included them since they do not differ from the cases illustrated above. Both have knurled cannulears and one has a copper primer while the other has a “US” marked brass primer.

Thanks for the great info above.





Am sorry, but another mistake I made. My copper-primer Maxims are 1917, with the 1918 round being brass primer. One of the guys who has studied Maxim and USCCo extensively says unequivically that USCCo made ALL of the Maxim Glisenti rounds, not just 1918, by the way.

Sorry for the error. I have been making too many lately on this Forum, and I think it behooves me to stop answering questions here with half-assed answers I have been giving until things get back to normal for me and I get my head on straight, if that is even possible.

Again, sorry to everyone for the error. Am not referring to my misjudgment of the order of the USCCo cartridge variations - that was simply having wrong knowledge based on observations of many calibers from which I drew the wrong conclusions. It is the downright sloppy errors, made with the cartridges sitting right in front of me, that I am talking about. My answers simply are no longer reliable, as I am not concentrating well on tasks at hand.

John Moss


John, What makes you so unique? We are all getting a bit old. Remember I started this with my “off the top of the head” answer to Dutch which was wrong and you provided much better information. Besides, would you be so cruel as to take away from an old man (me) one of his real joys, finding and pointing out the rare errors you make. Someone may call the SPCA on you for that.




Lew, let him talk.

If I had only 10% of John’s knowledge, I was a happy person.


Dutch, I would be also. Without John, this hobby would not be half as interesting.


Unfortunately, these two friends are gilding the lily. I would be more convinced if the two of them were not just about the world’s leading experts in their respective fields. The combined knowledge of my miniscule brain, and probably my large library, in either the 7.9 x 57 mm field (and all other German ammunition, plus other stuff as well) doesn’t equal Dutch’s, and I wish I knew about the 9mm Para cartridge as much as Lew has forgotten. Knowledge of itself isn’t the problem though, it is distraction and a lack of concentration. I have never figured I know much, but in the past, have been a fairly careful researcher with a pretty good body of printed knowledge, and knowledgable friends, to back up that research. I am simply getting sloppy in that research as time goes on. Will have to try to turn that around. In the interim, I’ll field the easy ones, but ,!

John Moss