9x19: Today's NVBMB meeting finds-Polte Exercise round

A couple of boxes you don’t see every day.

1925 Polte Exercise rounds, 16 in original box:

DWM 9x19 for the German Imperial Navy:

Nice Find.

Does anyone have a similar box (of 1920s Polte) in his collection?
I’d like to compare some details.


Sorry for the late reply. I was overseas without email when the original post went up, and got home and the following day had a hard drive failure that I am just recovering from. I missed a lot on the Forum.

I have never documented your Polte label before. I have a photo of a label for the same round you illustrate, but it is a later format with the Red Ex.

For decades, I have pondered whether the holes are original or whether they were drilled later. In the early dates I have these Polte Ex rounds both with and without holes, but from 37 on I have only seen them with holes. I have only documented the P Ex* 33 with holes, and that is perhaps what the “*” (which was only used in this year) means.

I have rounds dated 21, 24, 25, 35, 37, 38 and 39 with holes, and box labels for the 25, 35 and 38 dates.

I have rounds dated 21, 25, 30, 34, 35 and 36 without holes, and box labels for the 21, 25 and 36 rounds. In 37 Polte appears to have introduced the lead core in the bullet jacket. As I mentioned, I have only documented the 33 date (with the unique headstamp with holes. The 38 dated round with the steel case and “Va2” casemetal code is only documented with holes.

Note that steel case rounds exist in both 38 and 39 which lack the casemetal code-just the normal P Ex 39 headstamp. I have documented the 38 date in a US collection and have a 39 dated round. Since the bullet jacked runs the length of the case the only way to distinguish them is with a quite small magnet that can be placed on the center of the casehead. if it still attracts, you have a winner.

I suspect that all these rounds through 36 were probably originally produced without caseholes, but then many were reprocessed to have the holes added. The problem is that we know the ones with holes were packed back into the boxes and it the holes were drilled after 1936, I would expect mixed dates in the boxes, which I have not seen.

It is also possible that some of these rounds were made for the police and some for the Army and thus different styles from the beginning.

Does anyone know when the case holes began appearing in these cartridges and whether they are all original or were drilled later?

Are there any drawings of these rounds by Polte that may provide a hint?

Any information would be appreciated.



I have long thought that the holes were drilled later. One explanation for not being found in boxes with mixed dates may be that no effort was made to collect loose rounds in service, and that only full boxes in storage were reprocessed to add the holes. That might also explain why some dates are found with and without holes. Just a thought - no documentation in my files either way.

Lew - finally had time to go through my collection of Polte-style (firing pin clearance hole, no
primer cup) exerzierpatronen, and found that I have the P 33* Ex round without any holes in
the case, so that is not what the asterisk signifies.

I have the following. Note there are dates, which I usually do not collect, but these things are
so confusing being with and without holes that I simply keep any I acquire even by date.

Unless noted, all are nickeled brass case and CNCS bullet jacket unless noted.

No bullet core, no holes in case:

Ex; P 25 Ex; P 33 Ex*; P 34 Ex; P 35 Ex; P 37 Ex

No bullet core, four holes in case:

P 21 Ex (Three different specimens, all with different holes spacing - the big reason why I think
the holes were added later); P 24 Ex; P 25 Ex; P 30 Ex; P 33 Ex*; P 34 Ex

Full-weight bullet with holes in case:

P 38 Ex; P Va2 Ex 38 (Steel case); P Ex 39

DWM-Manufacture of the same style, hollow bulet (no core) four holes in case:

P28 36 Ex*

DWM-Manufacture, full-weight bullet, all with four holes in case:

P28 Ex* 35; P28 Ex* 36; P28 Ex* 39

In 1940 the Exerzerpatrone was changed to plastic, the first being black. I have one headstamped
P 40 but they are generally found with no headstamp. Then came red plastic, with a fair number of
headstamp variations.

I am in the market for any date or variation not listed above.