9mmP-SIB or Arcane or what

I have in the collection two 9mm with Arcane type bullets, but I doubt they are Arcane. Would appreciate any help on the ID of these cartridges.

The cartridge on the left is Arcane. All the Arcane I have seen have copper colored bullets. On the right is a SIB load with an Arcane style ogive but a brass color bullet.

The two in the middle are the two unknowns.

The brass bullet load is 27.7mm oal and 143gr oaw. This round has a commercial FC headstamp like many of the SIB loads

The lead bullet load is 28mm oal and 163gr oaw. This round has a commercial WIN headstamp indicating it was made after Arcane was out of business. It looks similar to the Hi-Vel load with the same style lead bullet, but the Hi-Vel loads I have seen with this bullet use Midway cases and I think they all predate the WIN headstamp. My Hi-Vel load is 27.5mm oal and 160gr oaw.

Any ideas appreciated.

Cheers, Lew

Lew - My guess on the middle-left cartridge which looks like an arcane bullet, is that it’s just one of the many lathe-turned garage-project type bullets, which is probably somebody’s prototype attempt at an Arcane style bullet. It definitely has a sharper point than any true Arcane or SIB that I’ve ever seen. The middle-right cartridge with the lead bullet could be anything from one of the many lead or lead/zamak fake Arcane types from the likes of “Rhino ammo” (same makers of the blam-o-loads), or it could just be anyone’s self-loaded cast bullet from a Ballisti-cast #907 (115gr) or Ballisti-cast #913 (140gr)

DK, Both rounds came from Europe. Did Rhino Ammo make a lead bullet of this type? Are the Balisti-cast molds this shape?

Thanks for the info…


You guys really know your stuff. Those are really fascinating 9-mm, LEW. I am always amazed that their are so many fakes of ammunition.

Just curious, what is the function/bennifit of this type of round? Is is AP? Really neat designs.


That lead bullet looks pretty much like Ballisticast907. The 913, in their drawing, as a slight rounded tip, but then, I have never seen the actual mold. You could only really be sure by pulling the bullet for design-examination and weighing. I am not sure, by the way, that Rhino ever made any cartridges under that name. The whole hullabaloo about their ammo seemed to be a media-driven fraud. It started in the San Francisco Bay Area, as I recall, the home of left-wing propaganda media.

Can’t go by where the rounds are found. You can find all kinds of European rounds in the U.S., and U.S. Rounds in Europe, and these rounds shown are in U.S. Cases, so at least part of the round originated in the U.S. Stuff gets around.

I have never seen any round like this that I can recall in any factory packaging. With the myriad of commercial reloaders out there, though, and many offering their products in new brass as well, it is hard to tell.

Jason - in lead, that bullet will do just about nothing. It might feed well if a guy has a real problem gun that he is too stubborn to junk, but that’s about all. I can’t speak for the solid brass ones. Wound ballistics should be the pits, but they might be good penetrators if that is the point of the exercise in making them. I don’t know of any agency of importance that uses most of these wonder bullets. Most find out quickly that they are Walter Mitty pie- in-the-sky cartridges. Every now and then, one of these designs accomplishes something, but generally speaking, they are so special purpose as to be relatively useless. You can’t decide in a split second in a lethal confrontation that you had better unload the hollow-points in your gun and put in penetrators. Some designs might prove effective for special cops or ops (I made a rhyme and its about time) if they know precisely what they are going up against - that must be at least 10% of the time!

Well, they are nice for collectors if factory-loaded.

I agree with John about it more closely matching the Ballisti-cast #907 shape, and it would figure since that is the 115gr weight which is pretty typical. The only photo I have is here:

It shows the 907 and 913.

As far as the “Rhino” ammo, I don’t mean the “Black Rhino” stuff that was so crazily hyped by the media in the whole plastic AP bullet scam. I mean another small-time fly-by-night manufacturer called “Rhino ammo” who sold specialty pistol bullets in plastic bags with paper labels. They came in quantities of 10, and they were stuff like tracers, “blam-o” exploders, and AP bullets, which were really just lead bullets in an Arcane style. I’m guessing a few of these fly-by-night producers of “gun-show special” bullets in plastic baggies might have made lead or zamak bullets in an AP style and tried to pass them off as more than they really were (pointy soft lead bullets).

Thank you very much John for explaining these to me.


APFSDS: I don’t consider these cartridges as fakes. If I made some of these in my basement to shoot they are just handloads. If I gave some away they aren’t fakes. If I gave one away, or sold it, with a story that it was an experimental US Army load, or a Federal Load or some other untrue story, then it would be a fake. If I made a copy of a rare cartridge (like the 6.5mm/7mm/8mm Czech Rapid cartridges) they would not be fakes if I represented them as replicas. If I tried to claim they were original loads, they become fakes. A cartridge is a fake when there is an intent to decieve.

These two rounds were brought to me by a shooter friend from Europe. He made no claim as to what they are, and I make no claim. Not fakes as far as I’m concerned.

DK, Many thanks for the Ballisti-cast info. I was not aware of these bullets. I doubt that the lead bullet load is a Ballisti-cast bullet because it weighs 165gr (see original post) and about 60gr-65gr of a loaded brass-case 9mmP rounds is case, primer and powder. That would put the bullet weight at about 100gr-105gr, too light for #907. Doesn’t mean that it isn’t somebody elses bullet.

I think you have cleared up another question for me. The Czech firm ARES brought out a line of ammo a couple of years ago with epoxy (??) coated lead bullets in a wide range of colors (10 or so). There are also a wide range of bullet weights and shapes. Just from a quick look at the Ballisti-cast list you posted, and their website, I suspect that ARES is using Ballisti-cast machines for the basic bullets. Many thanks!!!

I’m familiar with Rhino Ammo (also using the name Blam-o Ammo on the same packets). I have a loaded tracer and “explosive” from their packets. I have not seen their packets of bullets but a pointed lead bullet is just their style! Who knows.

I agree that the Brass bullet is probably a knockoff of the Arcane. I’ve seen THV loads made in South Africa, Finland, Switzerland and Iraq. Some of them were just whipped up by a factory or research lab to test the concept when the actual rounds weren’t easily available. The brass bullet could have been made by somebody like this, or just turned up in someone’s garage. I understand the original Arcanes were basically turned up in a garage and sold in small quantities to police and military organizations for testing. There was never production. I guess the question is how small the garage has to be before it is a handload and not an experimental/pre-production load.

I have even seen two different types of Snail type loads made by activities other than Libra to test the concept. One of them has apparently gone into production for sale to a European government.

John, I didn’t intend to claim the two rounds were made in Europe, only that they came to me from Europe. As you know both Arcane and SIB often used US cases as have many other European companies. I do think that these two cartridges were likely loaded in Europe, particularly if they were someone’s handloads. They could equally have been loaded in the US and found their way to Europe, and then back to the US. It is interesting to me that the Brass bullet load uses the same style FC headstamped case that is used on other SIB loads. I would not be surprised to learn that it is a SIB knockoff of the Arcane.

I am hoping someone has seen more of these two items or has some idea of their origin.

Thanks to both John and DK for their thoughts!

Cheers, Lew

Thank you Lew!
Your “Fake” logic makes total sense to me :-) Those really are neat ammunition styles. Thanks everyone for explaining these to me.


APFSDS, Thank you for your interest in cartridges, even stuff like this which is far outside your field of interest, and thanks for your contributions to the Forum!

Cheers, Lew

Thanks so much Lew!
I am finding so many areas of interest outside my personal ammunition collection. I am just loving the fact I am learning so much from so many here on so many subjects. I am always blown away by the knowledge many of the forum and IAA members. It is just incredible.

On a separate note, I may have mentioned it before, but men like you that served our Country are why we have the freedom to learn and collect (almost anything) and I THANK YOU all.

Lew - I know you didn’t mean that. I was just trying to clarify that for others.
I agree 100% with your analogy about “fakes” by the way. Just because a cartridge is loaded by an individual or a small company doesn’t make it a fake by any means. Sometimes we forget that ammunition is made to be shot, and by many people for many shooting purposes.

Unfortunately, like with so many similar rounds, we probably will never know precisely what it is, but I hope we do find out.

I try not to save handloads or reloads, unless they are parts of known experiments, but I do save known “new” (unfired cases) loads by small loading and reloading companies, since they are “factory new ammo” by any description. Now, that said, I would not save ammunition that an individual loaded on new brass. Well, I have to admit I cheated in my tiny accumulation of .44-40 (I own 12 .44-40 caliber firearms) and kept one of my own handloads that I did on my first batch of new Starline nickeled .44 cases. It is quite lovely, thank you!

I know these oddball bullets are always a problem in sorting out. I have some put aside that I simply don’t know the history of, but I hesitate to throw them away. I destroy fakes when positively identified, and just dump unimportant reloads when they are positively identified as such.

Interesting that the bullet on that lead round is so heavy. I missed that in the opening of the thread. Obviously not a Ballisticast judging from their own list.

On the brass bullet, I tend to agree that it is some form of Arcane. Whether a knock off by SIB, I just don’t know. It could even be an Arcane, I suppose. I know we are used to seeing flat-tip copper bullets, but who knows if we have identified every type the guy made? It could just as easily be made as part of the huge group of rounds that lead to the THV, although I haven’t seen that one before and it is not on a nice pictorial list done by a French collector (I have a couple, though, not on that list) and have nothing like it in my own collection. It is a nice round, regardless.

Edited to remove my initial confusion over the lead bullet weight.

Jason - by the way, your article in the IAA Journal this month is excellent. Well written, informative and visually exciting, and I say that sincerely as one that has little interest in artillery rounds. It is, in my opinion, a signature article for IAA, as well as for you. I hope to see more of your work in the Journal. Thank you. You have totally lost your beginner status now, by the way, so don’t think of yourself in that role. Actually, you lost that title long ago on this Forum.

Thanks BIG TIME John for the great compliments. This was my first attempt at writing something for the Journal and a first for writing something not exotic wildlife related. I really have no writing style and hope readers find it somewhat interesting. I want to write a similar piece on US 120 DS ammunition next. Thanks again for the major complement. It means allot to me.


Here’s what the Rhino ammo packets looked like. They all basically looked like this in that they had sort of brightly colored paper tops on plastic bag of this size:


The package lists itself as part of “Rhino replacement parts company”, but I’ve also seen them listed as “Rhino publishing company”, and this forum mention here: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=388544 dates them to at least as far back as the late 1980’s. Many different calibers, and all the headstamps were commercial brass stuff. This particular bag is basically a scam in that it refers to itself as being “AP” and “Arcane”. This stuff could probably not pierce most car doors, let alone even weak level II-A body armor.

DK, Great info. These guys probably made the 9mmP I pictured.

Many thanks!!! Lew

DK - great information. thanks. I was not aware of that Rhino firm, and had thought we were talking about the California fraud. A new company for my files.

Do you have any catalog information from them? If so, I would love to get a copy. Do you know what years the company existed? I wonder if they made auto pistol loadings? I would love to find a 9mm or other auto pistol loadings from this company.

I only know that they did at least 44mag, and they did a whole bunch of 223 specialty loads in 10-pack bags. I want to say they did a bunch of 38, 357, and 9mm, but I can’t remember for sure. You see them pop up on GB and AA every now and then. This one in 44mag is the only one I have seen in “AP”. Do a saved-search or an auction-watch for “Rhino ammo”.

they made a lot of odd rounds and those alloy rounds are really a scam and are very bad on piercing much but they will pierce a class 2a about 75% of the time…its the point thats key to defeat aramid ,but we all know this.