9x19mm ID help please

9mm, green lacquered case, black projectile.

Marked 5 - 42 - va - St*


Your round is anm.E. (mit Eisenkern)(Steel core) round. The case was made by Kabel- und Metallwerke Neumeeyer A.-G., of Nürnberg, Germany. The black bullet designates the core, to differentiate it from lead core ammo. During 1944, they stopped staining the bullets of m.E. ammunition black, as the lead-core ammunition was no longer made and evdiently, mostly exhausted in the normal supply lines. This iron-core ammunition is not AP as American authorities seem to believe - the iron core was simply a substitute for the scarcer and more expensive lead.

John Moss

Thank you very much, John.

I have seen another cartridge that is the same with the exception of the #13 in place of the #5.
Does the #5 denote the factory # were it was produced?

I really didn’t give you the best answer the first time around. firstly, bear in mind that the headstamp only relates to the case manufacture. You cannot tell who loaded your cartridge without the box that it came out of.

The single-digit number on your rounds is the case manufacturing lot number. The double diget number is the year of manufacture. Bear in mind that case lot numbers can have two digits also. In fact, they can have more than two, although I don’t recall ever seeing an instance of that on claiber 9 mm Parabellum. The “St” marking is the case material, in this instance, steel case. There is some argument still as to what the “+” after “St” means. I had always heard that it was for a reinforced base - that is, an improved case design. I seem to recall there was a newer opinion on its meaning, but forget what that opinion was.

Sorry - I should have given that information in the first place.

John Moss


After reading your remark on the lot numbers I went through my registration list of 9x19 rounds.

I found two consecutive lot numbers that had 3 digits, both are Brass cased 9x19 para from 1941, made by DOU (Waffenwerk Brunn) with lot numbers 101 and 102. The guys in Brno were certainly busy in those days.

John is correct that the letter code on the headstamp only identifies the case manufacturer and the date and lot number of the case manufacture. Based on the boxes I have seen, which is a LOT, it is very unusual for German 9x19mm made during WWII to have cases made by one plant and loaded in another. I have never seen this occur for most of the manufacturers of 9x19mm. Specifically, I have never seen or heard of a va case being loaded by anyone other than va.



Was it 1943 or 1944 when they stopped coating the m.E. bullet black? I have some boxes dated 1943 with uncoated bullets, but maybe they are 1944 production that used 1943 labels?

Also, recently I couldn’t believe my luck when I located an original & full 832rd battle pack of 1944 08 m.E… It had 52 mint condition boxes of 16rds each, all with unbroken sealed labels and none of the staples were rusty, and found it only 5 minutes from my home in the wilds of Maine!

Hello Lew,
on the first picture from DKConfiguration you have the example faa ( Deutsche Waffen- u. Munitionsfabriken AG, Karlsruhe ) made the cases and loaded at dnh (Rheinische-Westfaelische Sprengstoff AG, Durlach plant, Baden ).

Great information coming in. The label showing one loading factory on another factory’s cases is nice to have. I knew this did not happen nearly so often with 9 mm as it did with 7.9 x 57 mm, but felt it probably did some time, just as Lew intimated as well.

I am not positive about exactly when they started leaving the bullet jackets of the m.E. rounds plain. I am sure it was begun in 1953. I used the 1944 date, as I am of the impression that this was done at different times by different companies, perhaps based on nothing more than the number of blackened bullets they had in stock. You can bet they were not discarded. It would have been more accurate of me to say 1943, though, rather than to take the year when the change was virtually complete. Has anyone seen a 9mm m.E. with black bullet loaded in a 1945-dated case? To be honest, I haven’t even checked my own collection, but since I don’t collect dates, I am not likely to have one.

John Moss

MTLB - that collage of photos which shows an faa headstamp and a dnh box label do not necessarily go together, they are just images of typical boxes and headstamps.

DK - it doesn’t matter. It is the box label alone that tells the story, dnh loading faa cases. The label stands alone in proving that on occasion, one factory loaded cases supplied by another factory.

I checked my black-bullet m. E. 9 mm rounds in my collection, and had none loaded in 1945 cases, and only two loaded in 1944 cases, one dnh and one oxo. Nothing in matters like these are conclusive from my own collection because I do not collect lot numbers. However, it seems fairly clear that the change-over from a blackened bullet to a plain GMCS jacketed bullet for m. E. rounds was pretty much completed in 1943, with only a little “left-over” for 1944.

Not collecting lot numbers, I cannot make that as a positive statement. Perhaps someone with a Zillion lot numbers can verify this, or refute it. It is only important to get the facts. Lew???

John Moss

Here is what I have:

Maker 'ak’
Black bullet in 1943
Brass plated in 1944

Maker ‘am’, weird
Brass in 1942 and 1943 (lot 6)
Black in 1943 (lot 5)

Maker ‘asb’, again weird
Brass in 1941 and 1943 and 1944
Black in 1943
Sintered in 1943 and 1944

Maker 'aux’
Black in 1940, 41 and 42

Maker 'ch’
Black in 1941
Nickle plated in 1942
Brass in 1944

Maker 'dnh’
Black in 1943 and 1944
Sintered in 1943 and 1944
(even black and sintered in 1 lot number)
Brass in 1944

Maker 'dou’
Black in 1941, 42, 43
Brass in 1944

I can go on, but there doesn’t appear to be much logic in the transition from brass colored to black painted steel core ammo.

The transition from lead core (plain GMCS bullet jacket) to m.E. (Black bullet jacket) seems to have taken place for the most part in 1941. I have lots of them in 1941-dated brass cases of various headstamps. I have one “P * 22 38” with black bullet. Being loaded in a Polte case, this could easily be an early trial with the black bullet, or it could be a case loaded later. Without documentation or a box label, it is hard to say. However, I also have a black bullet m.E. loaded in a CWS case from Polte, “P Xf1 2 40” so it is clear that Polte was using these bullets earlier than the other factories, I would say.

The transition from the black bullet m.E. to the later GMCS bullet not stained black seems to be primarily in 1944, with perhaps some instances of it in 1943.

Ill admit, chages like this drive one to drink, and those of us who don’t collection lot numbers cannot really pin it down. A good argument for saving every lot number, although it is way too late for me to ever do that.

John Moss

I don’t have time to go through my collection and sort out a detail answer, but there are some black bullet loads from 1944, and some of these occur well after that manufacturer had converted to the GM color mE bullets. A quick check showed black mE bullets used by DWM (Berlin and Karlsruhr) through 1943 and the GM mE bullets beginning with the Lot 1 of 1944 dated cases. The DNAG loads (emp) The black mE bullets are used through 43 though loads form 1944 are reported (I have not seen them myself). I do have a GM mE bullet with the case dated lot 3 of 1943. I also have this lot with a black mE bullet. It is likely that part of the case lot was held as a reserve supply, or for some other reason not loaded in 1943, and then used in production in 1944. I think it worked the other way. I have fb - St+ 2 45 cases loaded with both black and GM mE bullets. I also have an RWS (dnf) cases from late 1944 loaded with black bullets in the same lots as loaded with GM mE bullets. I have the box for the cases with hst dnf St+ 8 44 with black bullets and the bullets are from Geco (dnh) but the year of production is obscured by the tear in the box label.

Almost all the manufacturers I checked converted from black to GM mE bullets at the same time the case dates transitioned from 1943 to 1944. I do have an hlc lot 1 of 43 case with a GM blt, but this company made so few lots of cases that it is not surprising that funny things would be found. There is an oxo load with a black bullet-lot 8 of 44.

This spot check may give you a feel of the conversion to GM color mE bullets



To John’s comment on the introduction of the black mE bullet. He is correct, it began with Polte who developed the bullet. Polte drawings of the early versions of the load and it’s evolution to the version of the mE that was finally produced so widely can be seen on these drawings (published in theIAA Journal a couple of years ago and also posted on my website shown below). Polte quit producing 9mm in 1942 so never loaded it with the GM mE bullet.

My earliest black bullet is on a brass case headstamped P * 22 38 (a number of these showed up about 4 years ago but no box as far as I know). The cartridges are in great condition and I’m confident they are original, though perhaps 1938 cases loaded in 1940. There is also a P * 23 39 with a black bullet reported.

The Polte mE bullet designs go back to 1937. Anyone who has Polte 9mm from 1936 through 1939 should weigh all their specimens with GM bullets. If any weigh 180gr or less, they could be experimental mE loads. It is unlikely that Polte blackened these experimental loads.



Have a few boxes of va (Neumeyer, Nürnberg) lot 1 from 1944 in steel cases marked va St+ 20 43. Black bullets.
The only other va cartridge I have is case lot 9 from 1944, it has a GM bullet up front.
The few Polte pre-war I have, weighs more than 180 grains.
(lot 13 1937 and lot 25 1938)
Hasag-Kamienna put GM bullets in their (case)lot 7 from 1943 (no labels I’m afraid)
Sorry, the collection is only a small one… (yet)

Soren - your rounds with 180 grain bullets are lead core, as I am sure you know. I seem to recall that you received instant separation between lead core and m.E. core by setting the scale at 170 grains. That’s if you want to sort quickly, and don’t need the exact weight of each round. Did you weight the HASAG round?

John Moss

Hasag (kam St+ 7 43):
round 1: 181 grains
round 2: 180 grains
round 3: 180 grains
round 4: 180 grains
So they are all lead cored.
One of the boxed Neumeyer rounds weighs 159 grains so are obviously iron cored, but checked just the same…
The single va lot 9/1944 cartridge I have weighs 156,3 grains.
Just to check I weighed a wa (Hasag, Leipzig) St+ 4 44: 152,2 grains and it has a GM clad bullet.

Soren - your “wg” with GMCS bullet, not stained black, is late enough that it is the m.E. bullet after they did away with the proactice of staining them black.

John Moss