9x19 unkwown headstamp


A repost from the NVBMB forum:

Headstamp on 9x19:
J on 9 o’clock
7 on 3 o’clock
9 mm on 6 o’clock

I’m guessing on Asian (Singapore or China North Industries).


This looks and is most probably Hirtenberger secret manufacture for RSA during the UN-Ban on sales of Military products to Southafrica…
This headstamp type exists on a number of various calibers, even on civilian ones…


Thanks Forensic!



These have been seen with Letters from G to Z.

edit…sorry yes f-y


JACO - There was a list of these cartridges in a special RSACCA special edition monograph, but it was incomplete due to when it was published. I thought I had a later list, but could not find it. Perhaps someone can tell us when it was published and in what format.

At any rate, I can fill in a little with the auto pistol cartridges that have:

6.35 mm (25 Auto): F7, G8
7.65 mm Browning (32 Auto): J7 thru R7
9 mm Short (380 Auto): I7 thru M7; N8 thru S8
9 mm Para (9 mm Luger): F7 thru L7; M8 thru Y8

There are no gaps in the letter sequences show; that is, there are no missing letters.

In the same format, but with “Mus” at the 12 o’clock position on the headstamp (“Musgrave”), and still made by Hirtenberg Patronenfabrik in Austria:

7.65 mm Browning (32 Auto): F6 thru I6
9 mm Short (380 Auto): F6; G6

The figure that shows as “I” is the capital form of the letter “i”.

All of these cartridges are in my own collection and confirmed this morning. I have never seen a complete explanation of what these codes mean. They probably represent the month (letters) and the year (numerals).

There also exists a Hirtenberg-made 7.65 mm Browning round, headstamped * GeO * 7.65 that I identified only by the construction of the sterile box, made precisely like a Hirtenberg 9 mm box I have, with label, and with no other boxes of even similar construction known to me.
Cartridge characteristics also match Hirtenberg rounds, although there were 7.65 mm ctgs from other sources that are so similar, that cartridge appearance alone did not, for me, allow a confident identification. The box did.

Of course, these codes appear on many other calibers of Revolver and Rifle ammunition, as well, but they are outside of the scope of my own collection.

John Moss


Just an observation regarding the letters:
For 9 mm Para the observed headstamp letters (M8 thru Y8) sum up to 13 months, not 12.
If we take M as the start of a 12 month cycle and all letters are used, then the 12th month is X8, not Y8. Could it be letter O (the obvious candidate) is not used?


Peelen - until I filled in the letters in this series in my collection, I thought along the same lines. However, I have, in conjunction with the number “8” all letters from “M” to “Y” including “O,” and as you say, they add up to 13 different. That is one reason I have never been able to figure this out. “Z” was also mentioned by someone else here, but I have never seen that letter in conjunction with any number, on these Hirtenberger headstamps. Of course, that does not, in any way, mean “Z” can’t or doesn’t exist in this series. I simply don’t have it nor have I seen it.

(For those who know I don’t collect dates, I make an exception for coded dates.)

John Moss


In 9mm Para, I have only seen F -L with 7 and M-Y with 8.