9x19 red plastik bullets


I have some red plastik 9x19 cartridges in my collection and need some informations about it.

This is an english cartidge,- thats for sure if I see the headstemp.
I have no informations about it:

Other ones look similar ( the bullet ). One is this short range with an iron bullet in it:

Similar with sith one:

But this one soud be an blank:

The first one us a British case reloaded as a blank in Denmark. The * is the Danish reload mark. I have the identical load. It also occurs with Danish headstamps, some with reload marks.

The rest are Swedish blanks or shortrange loads. These will also all be reloaded cases, but the Swedes didn’t mark their reloaded cases.

The second one is very good. For some reason in one year the Swedes produced Blanks with black plastic bullets and short range with red plastic bullets with a steel ball in the tip, exactly opposite from their normal practice. Perhaps Morten S can explain that one. I haven’t seen one of these offered for some years.

The remainder are normal Swedish blanks (red bullet) and shortrange (black bullet) rounds.

Thanks for the photos. I save the photos of the red bullet rounds with steel balls to try to figure out about when they were made. Clearly after 1952. My two rounds with the bullet colors reversed are dated 1949 and 1950.

I’d be interested in the dates of other rounds with the colors reversed so we can narrow down the possible date of manufacture, unless Morton or someone has that information.


Thanks for your informations. When you have more , let me ( us ) know.

The Swedish blank “Lös patron m/39” and the short range “Kammarpatron m/39” were adopted in the early 1950’s. I have never heard that the colours were ever deliberately mixed. According to the late Swedish cartridge researcher Arne Thell, this mixing of colours was a result of testing of different plastic formulas etc. The black coloured blank is a lot more common than the red coloured short range, but I have never seen boxes of any of these. I believe they are pure test samples.

I am not sure that all the Swedish 9 mm Blanks and Short Range cartridges were reloads; that is, loaded on cases already fired. I was given information years ago that many of them were on rejected lots of cases that failed inspection for tractical loading, but were suitable for blanks and short-range training rounds. An examination of some of mine don’t show any extractor or ejector marks.

I got my black bullet round missing the steel ball in the tip first. I found it interesting and kept it, but assumed it was just a factory error that got by inspection, that is, no steel ball got into the mold. Later, I got my red plastic bullet short-range with the steel ball. That is 99% not likely to be an error, as the bullet producing line would not have had any steel balls on hand for one to accidentally get into the mold. It told me the other was a blank and that the two represented a color reversal for some reason that is, to date, unknown to me.

Both of the cases on my two rounds are from the Karlsborg factory, with “K” headstamp. The black bullet blank is dated 49 and the red bullet gallery load is dated 52. Neither case shows any signs of having been previously fired. Neither case has the primer and case-mouth seals normally association with the blanks and gallery loads (other than the earliest ones and some made much, much later).

Please note that either round is dangerous if fired from a normal firearms. The Swedish K’pist. 45 had an interchangeable barrel with a tapered bore. The steel ball rounds were fired through that barrel and are at least as dangerous as a fairly high-power BB gun when fired through the correct barrel, where the plastic is broken up in the bore. Perhaps it is even more dangerous from a normal barrel when the entire projectile, plastic and steel ball, leaves the barrel. The blank was fired in service through the tapered bore barrel but had a muzzle adaptor that basically turned the plastic into red dust, leaving it fairly safe for training. Fired out of my four-inch barrel Luger, one of these blanks, fired at pretty much point-blank range, penetrated a piece of 1/4" construction grade ply wood. Under the right circumstances, fired from a normal 9 mm barrel, they could be lethal.

This has been covered before, in detail, with correct terminilogy for the conversions and pictures of it, on this forum. My mission here is that anytime they are mentioned to a new audience, that a caution be given. I had 5,000 rounds of the blanks years ago, and did quite a lot of informal testing with them, not only for penetration, but also for accuracy from a pistol at various distances from a target. After a couple of yards, they become very inconsistant in accuracy. By 25 yards, the diameter of the “cone of fire” reach almost five feet. So, they are even dangerous, in a sense, to use for just plinking through a regular firearm. all my test was done with the same Luger, the only 9 mm pistol I had at the time that I cared to shoot that stuff through.

John, I agree that reject loads could have been used, and probably were, but single boxes often contain not only mixed manufacturers (which could result from reject loads being sent from multiple factories to a single loading facility) but also mixed dates. These mixed dates which would occur from reloads but it seems unlikely that reject cases would be held for for years before loading as blanks and shortrange cartridges.


Lew - it is equally possible that old lots of live ammunition were broken down for salvage of components. Anything is possible. I can only go by what the conditions of the cases tell me. Even a factory refurbishment and reload does not rid the case of various markings caused by firing. That is why the cartridge case is often more valuable than a recovered fired bullet in the instance of forensic evidence.

Perhaps Morten or some of the other Scandinavian collectors know the whole story on the manufacture of these. The fellow who told me about them was Reserve Army Ordnance Captain that obtained 5,000 of the blanks for me, and with whom I toured Western Europe, including a little of the DDR, in 1972.

I am aware that they came in boxes, most often in the later years on 36-round clips for the K’Pist. 45 magazine loading tool, with mixed arsenal codes and dates. All 5000 of mine were on those clips, and I had to take each one out to check the headstamps. The very last cartridge out of the totally mixed date and arsenal headstamps on each clip was the 1966 contract headstamp from SM! It ook me fifteen years to find a loaded ball round to go with it. I even had the loading tool but passed it on to a serious charger collector. I wish now I had kept it. At least I still have the manual on the SMG, which shows its use. I am pretty familiar with these particular rounds. My 5,000 supplied a lot of 9 mm collectors with a great assortment of headstamps and dates not previously seen in the USA.

Including me my friend!!!