To finish off this discussion, I first wrote about these loads in 1986 in IAA Journal 332. The article includes the results of disassembly of 12 P24 loads, and discusses the possibilities for the loads that combine Swiss and Belgium components. A digital copy of this journal can be purchased through the IAA website. The article also shows some boxes where mixed component cartridges were found including a Polte Military box where they were mixed with P 4 25 and P 7 25 loads. The article concluded that the Belgian loads were by Cartoucherie Belge since the “24” is identical to that on the “C B 24” headstamp. I am now convinced this is an error and that both the “P 24” cases and the “C B 24” cases were made by FN.
Since the article was published, I have obtained quite a bid more information on these cartridges and a very interesting box.
The box containing the Swiss rounds (magnetic bullet, flat primer Swiss headstamp) is illustrated in the article and pictured below.
After the article was published, I obtained the box below. It was found in the Thun storage area and came to me directly from Thun. It is intriguing for a number of reasons.
First, it is a typical box for the Dutch Vickers Luger, but from 1923, when the only known FN production was in 1922. FN may have bid on this contract in 1923, but they clearly did not win the Dutch 1923 contract which was awarded to Kynoch. This box was likely produced for the bid sample of ammunition submitted in 1923 and not used.
Second, the box was filled with the typical Belgium loads with non-magnetic CN bullets, Belgium cases (short 4) and domed primers with a black pa.
Third, the front of the box had written in pencil “v. F.N. Herstal fur J.J.G.” and JJG was the initials of the chief inspector (QC) at Thun in 1924. The two “328” entries are the Swiss identification number for the 9mm Para.
Fourth, it makes clear that FN, not CB produced this style P 24 ammunition. It also pretty well confirms what was suspected for some time, that FN was the producer of the CB 9mmP ammunition.
Finally, this also clarifies a point on the contracts, clearly FN was a subcontractor to Solothurn for the production of this ammunition.
As an aside, the “X 24” headstamped ammunition which was also a Prussian Police contract at the same time as the Solothurn contract. Erik Windish identified both the Pu and X rounds in the ECRA publication in March 2009 as a product of Bergmuller & Sons which was a sporting equipment firm. The ammunition was likely made by Cassel.
A number of different style Generic boxes similar to the one Vlim pictured have turned up with P 24 rounds mixed in.
The likely sequence of events was when the direction was sent out canceling the orders, some assets at both Solothurn and FN may have been used for other requirements. I suspect that Solothurn took possession of the residual assets when they settled with FN on the cancellation. They may have loaded some for other reasons, but I suspect that when the Prussian government settled with Solothurn they received the residual assets including the left over components. Attachment 3 shows the variety of boxes the P 24 rounds show up in. They all appear to be German except for the Swiss box below. The rounds in the German boxes always have the flat primer-probably German primers, with a mixture of Swiss and Belgian cases and bullets.
The Portuguese mention of this cartridge in documentation from before WWII, but this may be the result of purchases from Switzerland or Belgium in the mid-1920s, or later buys when the Germans were getting rid of what they must have considered substandard ammunition.
An interesting round, and worth more research.