9x19 P24 headstamp Solothurn / FN police contract 1924


#1

These have been spending quite a time in my collection, being misidentified as Polte rounds.

Thanks to Lew for correcting me on these. I thought I’d show the box, label and contents in this separate thread.

The bullets on the unmarked rounds are magnetic, while the ones with the P 24 head stamp are not.
So this appears to be a repackaged and relabeled box from that era, containing both FN made and Solothurn made examples, or at least with components of both manufacturers.


Post WWI 9 para german ctges
#2

Quoting Lew:

[quote]P 24 is not a Polte headstamp! Depending on the style of the 4 the cases were made by either FN or Solothurn. The same goes with the bullets-non-magnetic were made by FN, CNCS magnetic by Solothurn. The rounded primers by FN and the flat primers by Solothurn, or perhaps Polte. There are also two different powders. Rounds made completely from either Solothurn or FN components have been found in Polte boxes, sometimes mixed with Polte made rounds. Frequently the P24 rounds made from mixed components have been found in Polte boxes indicating the components were assembled by Polte.

The contract for this ammunition was originally let by Prussian Police with Solothurn who apparently contracted part of the work to FN. The Allied Control Commission (I think that is the name) required the contract be cancelled, but later the loaded rounds and the unloaded component were delivered. Solothurn rounds are known in Solothurn boxes with no identification. The only FN box known was an old Dutch contract box dated 1923 full of the FN rounds which was submitted to Thun for testing, and came from Thun in the late 1970s.

These cartridges are part of the story of the early, Post-WWII military P08 round but were not Polte production, but some were assembled by Polte.

I have written a couple of articles on This round over the years which appeared in the IAA Journal and it’s predecessor.

Cheers,
Lew[/quote]


#3

here are three variations of the P 24, all have a CN-jacketed bullet.


#4

Vlim,

Thanks for the great box photos. They are very similar to other German repack boxes I have documented. The P 24 rounds all have FN headstamps, and the non-magnetic bullets would be FN also. The primers are however either Solothurn or Polte, so these would be loads probably done by Polte using mostly FN components. FN loaded rounds would have a domed primer. It would be interesting to know what powder is in them. If it is grayish tube powder it is also either German or Swiss.

Thanks for the box label. German boxes usually, almost always have P 24 loads with mixed components like this one.

Unheadstamped German rounds are not uncommon. I have a number of WWI style boxes with blank labels and unheadstamped loads. I suspect they are post WWI from factories that did not want to be identified. There are also DWM commercial, and Spanish label boxes with unheadstamped rounds. Are the unheadstamped rounds CNCS or GMCS bullets???

Cheers,
Lew


#5

Pete,

Which of the bullets are magnetic???

The case on the far left is the Swiss headstamp and the other two are FN made cases. The round on the far right has a German or Swiss primer. The one in the middle with the green pa looks like many of the FN made rounds with the domed FN primer. Not all the FN rounds have a green pa.

Cheers,
Lew


#6

None are magnetic Lew,.


#7

Then that means that the one in the middle is an FN loaded round and the other two were likely loaded in Germany from components!

I think the box Vlim illustrates is from one of the Munitions Activities that stored and repacked ammo. It is unlikely to be from Polte, in my opinion.

This is an interesting series of cartridges. There is even one with the Swiss headstamp, but a domed FN primer and an soft point non-magnetic bullet that looks just like those in pre-WWII FN loads. If it was an FN case it would be easy to explain, but where did FN get Swiss cases to load up as soft points???

Cheers,
Lew


#8

Note that the typewriter label shown by Vlim uses the non-military “9 mm Parabellum” name , not the military “Pist. Patr. 08”


#9

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.

Cheers,
Lew


#10

Lew, just a little correction: its not Bergmüller but Burgsmüller (located at Kreiensen in the Harz area) which was a well known hunting outfitter and existed into the sixties. The “u” in “Pu” comes from the 2nd letter of Burgsmüller (as in “Pi” for Hirtenberger).

Some Readers might wonder what “Luik” on the label means. Belgium is a 3 language country (the King has to give his oath in Dutch/French/German): Luik/Liege/Lüttich are 3 names of the same city, which is often taken as the location of FN, although FN really is in Herstal on the outskirts of Luik. This explains the pecilled FN Herstal on a Luik label.


#11

JPeelen: Thank you; I did wonder what Luik was, but rejected any of the twelve months pretty quickly! Many European place names in languages other than the local one are fairly obvious, but some are really tricky. Jack


#12

JPeelen, Thanks for the correction and explanation. I forget that people may have a question on “Luik”.

As I read over the old article, I realized that all the rounds with domed primers, had Belgian powder (black oily-looking flake, roughly square, but with considerable size and shape variations-identical to the powder that is found in the “CB 24” load and also in the following ball loads: “A E P 34”, “F N *” (with
serifs), “F N 36”), including three I disassembled that had Swiss headstamps. The rounds with flat “Swiss” primers all had Swiss powder (gray, dry-looking flake which is made up of very regular squares. It is identical to the powder in a Swiss 9mmPb load headstamped “T 3 T 24”). This includes three rounds with FN made cases. My earlier email to Vlim where I said that the Swiss powder was round rods was incorrect.

At one time I assumed that most, perhaps all of the mixed component loads were loaded by Polte from components, including powder and primers shipped to them after the contract was terminated. For this to be true, Polte would have to have mixed bullets and cases, but always kept Belgian powder and primers together and Swiss powder and primers together. This is possible but seems unlikely.

It is possible that Thun loaded all the mixed component ammunition before it was shipped to Germany, but again, they would have had to use matched primers and powder.

If the powder and primers indicate the factory that loaded the ammunition, why did FN, clearly a subcontractor, have Swiss cases and bullets???

It has been suggested that perhaps Polte loaded some of the mixed loads using German powder and primers, so today I took apart a couple of Polte 1924 loads and they use a grayish yellow tube powder, which I have never found in any P 24 load.

The real history of these loads is still a mystery to me. I wonder what type of powder is in the P 24 and unheadstamped loads in VLim’s box. If the powders are different, then it seems unlikely to me that both cartridges were original to the box, unless it was a repack of assorted ammo.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Lew