9x23 Steyr-Hahn


I have a newly acquired Brass cased 9x23 Steyr-Hahn round headstamped “II 19 17 SB”. Was this made by Sellier and Bellot? If so, in the Czech or German factory? Also, what does the “II” signify?


Obviously, this S&B in Prag. Bohemia was then a part of the Double Monarchy, i.e. Austro-Hungary. The caliber 9 mm Steyr was in use in Austro-Hungarian Army, not in the German Imperial one. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I think that John will eagerly confirm.

The “II” figure is for the second month of 1917.



My dear friend Philippe knows that I caqnnot resist sticking my nose into any question about auto pistol ammo, my own field, and about all I really know anything about.

A shame I cannot correct him - he is absolutely correct in everything he told you about it. The round was used in the Steyr Model 1911/1912 pistol, and later in submachine guns. The primary users of this caliber were Austro-Hungary (later Austria), Romania, and Chile, in South America. However, many other countries used it as well. Germany used some of the pistols during WWII - most I have seen have German police marks on them, rather than military, but converted most that they used to 9mm Para by replacing the barrel. Those have “08” standing for “9mm 08”, the German designation for the 9mm Parabellum (Luger) caliber), stamped into the left side of the slide.

See, Phil, even just agreeing with you, I managed to be long-winded!


It makes ense to me now if Czechoslovakia was at the time part of the Austo-Hungarian empire, so would have manufactured ammunition in the calibres of the Austro-Hungarian military’s weapons.


John Moss is too modest to mention that he has written the definitative book on 9x23mm cartridges, Steyr, Bergman, Largo and a number of others. I had the honor of publishing it. Check my website at gigconceptsinc.com or drop me a line if you are interested.


Sorry, this is not a calibre I collect, I just acquired a single round. That does not justify investing in a book on it.


You react to getting a new book as if it was a punishment. What better justification to buy the book than to be able to answer your own questions about the next Steyr, Bergmann or Largo cartridge that comes along? Or perhaps someone elses questions about one they have? When I first started out in this hobby, not much published cartridge material was available, and COTW was all I had for identification purposes. While it is a wonderful starter book, I soon found that there was a lot that wasn’t covered within its 500 or so pages. What a thrill when I discovered Charles Suydam’s two books and then Fred Datig’s 4 volumes. I have several books in my reference library the cover cartridges that I don’t ‘specialize’ in, and while I don’t spend a great deal of time in them, it sure is nice to have them when one of those cartridges manages to find its way into my collection.


There is not doubt that it would be interesting and useful to have any Cartridge book, but $52 is alot to someone my age, even in UK pounds (about


You might consider looking for COTW outside the UK, perhaps an earlier edition. I use a 7th edition, and while there may be some errors in it, I find it quite useful. I think the new (11th?) edition is $30, but if that cost plus shipping is prohibitive, Amazon (US?)
amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ … 47-8054056
has quite a few used copies listed at under $4 from US booksellers. In addition, they have several new copies offered by UK sellers, one at $27.19 from The Book Depository, Ltd.
amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ … dition=all


I may well try getting hold of a copy. I just searched for it, they have it reduced in the UK from


Falcon - I am hesitant in writing this because the book in question is my own meager contribution to the knowledge fund of cartridge collecting. But, I will say this - you buy one cartridge, you learn about one cartridge. You buy one book and you learn about hundreds of cartridges. I know that a young man has to start out slow with them, and I think there are many far more useful books out there to a young, beginning collector than mine, but you should try to buy at least one book a year. I have about 1600 books on guns and ammunition, hundreds of firearms instruction booklets, ammo catalogs, military manuals, which along with articles, printed out material from this forum, etc., amount to over 60 file drawers full of arms and ammunition information. I don’t really know much about anything, personally speaking, but I can find what I need to know not just spending hours on the internet, but in about 3 minutes looking in my own library. Of course, this library was amassed over 45 years, and frankly, on a very limited budget. There are still, right now, over US$7,000.00 worth of books that I want but can’t afford to buy all at once. Some will be gone ioff the market before I ever get to them, and I will be fone, off the market, so to speak, before I could possibly get them all. But, the main thing, if you have a a burning interest, like most of us do in ammunition, start to build a library now! The books will only get scarcer and more expensive in the future.


I can’t deny that I need some books on the British stuff that is my main interest, but they are like chicken’s teeth over here.


Falcon, I totally understand. I was 15 when I started collecting and was married at 20 and two children by 22 so it was a lot of years before I could buy a cartridge for more than $1 or buy reference books. The only good news is there were few reference books that long ago. Sad news is that back then I passed up a 9mm Borchardt cartridge fro $25 and the next time I thought I’d like to buy one they were topping $2000!!! Will never own one now! Still, that is life.

If you are interested in 9mmPara info for free, check my website gigconcepts.com where their is a fair amount of interesting 9mmP info and you can download FREE a copy of my 9mm Para headstamp listing which will help you identify both 9mm P and other headstamps.

Cheers and have fun collecting—and remember, almost all of us started where you are today!


Cheers Lew, I will have a look.


A tip for you: send for some of the catalogues from Conjay, here: conjay.com/Collectors.htm

He is British-based and sells inert cartridges to collectors (it’s actually the way I started - he has been doing this for at least 40 years). The catalogues are only


Tony is giving good advise. I still have and use Gordon’s old catalogs!


Double Ditto on Gordon’s catalogs. I seriously doubted that some of the rounds in them even existed…until I ordered and received them! Does he have any new catalogs, within the last 7 or 8 years?