I have a 9x20mm Browning
The bullet is magnetic
What does the circle on the bullet mean?
Is it a steel tube?

Since the 9 x 29 SR Browning Long cartridge has always been a special-interest cartridge for me, I wish I could answer you question. I have this same F N 08 headstamp loaded with CN FMJ RN bullet, Soft-nose RN bullet and with GMCS FMJ RN bullet. None have such a mark.

I do have a round with F N * headstamp loaded with the GMCS bullet, and while not at all like the anomoly on the tip of your bullet, it does have a very noticeable ring around the circumference of the bullet nose, about about 0.106" (2.70 mm) dwon from the tip of the bullet nose.

I always assumed it was just some minor defect in seating the bullet.

None of my other FN 9 mm BL rounds have any such marks. All of the others have either CN bullet jackets or Soft-nose bullets loaded in them.

John: I thought I had understood from earlier threads on FN-made cartridges that the use of sans serif lettering was characteristic of later (post-1930?) manufacture. Have I misunderstood this point? Jack


I don’t know when FN stopped using serifs on their headstamp letters. I recall that in 7.9 Mauser, in the dated series made primarily for Lithuania in the 1930s, that only the very first ones used serif letters, and the series started, as I recall, in 1931. So, I suppose that early 1930s would be right in that caliber. I don’t know across the entire line if there was a single, specific time when they stopped using them, though.

I assume you asked this noting that the F N 08 headstamp does not have serifs. Truthfully, I have never been sure if the “08” on those rounds was a date of manufacture or a Model number of some sort. Those cases are found with three different types of bullet, at least, loaded in them, and with FN, i don’t normally thing of GMCS-jacketed pistol bullets from that early.

Maybe someone else can answer that. I am not sure if I addressed that issue in my IAA article oon the 9 mm Browning Long cartridge or not - it has been awhile - and I don’t have time to look it up right now.

John: Thanks for the response. When you brought this typographic matter to my attention some time back I looked at my FN-made cartridges in the common military-caliber auto pistol and rifle categories and the “with serif” early and sans serif later seemed a good rule of thumb. Jack

John, as you will recall, the original 28 round boxes for the Swedish contract are dated 1908 and contain cartridges with this headstamp, but keeping in mind how scarce are these and how common is this headstamp I would consider thinking that FN found itself with a large quantity of these cases on stock and loaded them during a long period of time, which would explain the different types of bullets found.

Fede - Yes, I recall that now. I think you are probably correct. This happens sometimes by factory mis-figuring or failed contracts. It also happens by design sometimes. I recall with Danish headstamps for the 9 x 23 mm Bergmann-Bayard Cartridge always wondering why there were so few dates seen for a cartridge that Denmark used for 30 + years. Come to find out, thanks to our Danish friends on this Forum, it was common practice at the Danish factory to make a very large quantity of cases in this caliber, and then load them over the years as needed. So, the dates we find are actually all the dates that exist, but they were not necessarily loaded on those dates.

Still, I also agree with Jack. It is odd that this F N 08 headstamp has unserifed letters, unless that was, for some reason, specified in the deal with Sweden. There is so much to know with this stuff that clearly, we will never have all the answers.

This is the best picture I have of the box mentioned above:

In 9x19mm the latest date I have with serifs on the headstamp is 1927 and the earliest dated round without serifs is 1936.

For a number of reasons, I have suspected that AEP cases in 9x19mm were actually made by FN-if somebody has info that this is wrong, please let me know.

The earliest AEP headstamped 9x19mm is dated 1933 and has no serifs.


Thank you all for your help
I will continue investigating the strange bullet