9x19mm or 357 Magnum Bullet?

I picked up the purple tip bullet below at the ECRA meeting. It has a British origin. Radway Green typically put purple tips on some of their experimental and limited production subsonic 9x19.

Below is a photo of the British bullet (on left) next to a 357 Magnum bullet. They are very similar except that the British bullet has a crimping groove located higher up. The overall length of the British bullet is 19.57mm and the 357M is 19.61mm. Both seat deeply enough in 9x19mm fired cases to have an overall length consistent with a 9x19mm round. A 9x19mm case does not allow the British bullet to seat deeply enough to be crimped into the case.


I would like to believe it is a 9x19mm bullet but suspect it is a 357M.

Does anyone recognize the bullet on the right. I suspect it is a limited production of 357 Mag by Radwsy Green for a police unit or someone in the military. Thus the purple tip!

Does anyone know of British military or police use of 357Mag pistols?

Ideas, theories and opinions welcome.


Lew, not knowing much on the subject but the purple markings are not a sole 9x19 marker or so.
Purple in the UK ammo system is reserved for experimental ammunition. It also appears in different ways like tip colors, bars, completely painted purple projectiles, bands and rings, you name it.

Maybe our UK users can say more on the purple issue in case I was not fully correct.

You are like Fede! So correct so often that you put guys like me to shame. You are, of course, correct that purple means experimental. The Brits sometimes stretch the definition to include things like production of a few thousand or more cartridges that are intended for operational usage, but not for general issue! This has occurred particularly with some subsonic ammunition.

Thanks for your reply—appreciated.

Enjoyed seeing you again at ECRA meting.

Lew, you mean I am a pedantic nitpicker? I’d say you are right!

Yes, it was great to have met again. Just too little time as usual.

EOD: That is not what I mean, but thanks for making me laugh out loud!

Lew, the bullet on the right is a Geco brand 10,2 g FMJ “metal piercing” bullet used in .38 Special cartridges, while the one on the left is also Geco brand 10,2 g FMJ “metal piercing” bullet, but a variant used in .357 Magnum cartridges. Both models were also offered as reloading components, sometimes under the same index number.

As far as I can tell from catalogs, the .357 variant was offered as a reloading component until the late-1990’s, when they introduced a new .357 Magnum cartridge with a conventional FMJ bullet with flat nose, so I assume the company was getting rid of the old model production. Also, around the same time both the .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges using the original “metal piercing” designs were offered for the last time under the RWS brand in green boxes (Sintox).

None of them was offered loaded in a 9 mm cartridge or as a reloading component for the same.

I’m afraid I have no idea about the purple tip.



Some scans:

1979 brochures

1998 general catalog

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Excelent! Many thanks.

Greatly appreciated.