Age of Metallverken 9 mm boxes


A recent addition to the “collection” were these three boxes (and 10 cartridges) from the swedish manufacturer Svenska Metallverken. Norma merged with this their competitor in 1965, but are these boxes from that era? -Or are they older?



I do not have more than a guess at the date of your cartridges. I suspect they date from the early 1950s perhaps.

There are a number of headstamp styles (different letter sizes and some with *'s on the headstamp) used by Metallverken. The only dated headstamp I have is SM 6 9mm 6 which appears to be 1966 production so Metallverken may have used their own headstamp for a while after the merger in 1965. This cartridge has a GMCS bullet.

I have a load with the same headstamp style as yours, but with an “SM” on the primer and no case mouth seal (cms) or primer seal (pa). it has the CNCS bullet like yours. The round came from a US military source and was reportedly in US stock from before 1950. I don’t know how legit this date information is.

The military code used by Metallverken was 26 (or 026). The earliest date is 1942 so we can probably assume that Metallverken didn’t produce 9x19mm before 1942. It is unlikely that they used the commercial headstamp before the end of WW II. None of the WW II ammunition had SM on the primers. I have two // 4 // 26 // 5 // headstamped loads with CNCS bullets and SM primers. Since all other WWII production of Swedish 9mm has GMCS bullets, and one of these has a red cms and pa I believe these were commercial loads from immediately after WW II. The SM on these primers is quite large.

I have two loads with METALLVERKEN 9.00 headstamps written in quite large letters. Both have SM marked primers but the letters are much smaller than those on the 1945 dated loads. One of these also has a red cms and pa. I believe these represent loads the first Metallverken marked headstamps and date from the late 1940s, probably shortly after WWII.

Most of the cartridges with your style headstamp in my collection have CNCS bullets though one has a GMCS bullet. Some have SM on the primer and some do not. I suspect that these cartridges date from the late 1940s through the early 1950s.

As you see this is mostly conjecture on my part, but the CNCS bullets on your cartridges imply to me earlier production rather than later production closer to the time of the merger with Norma.

Hope this helps.




I may be mistaken, but are those Primers in the SM cases of the .199 diameter( 5mm) rather than the usual .177 ( 4,5mm) Berdan size??? They do look quite large in proportion to the Head diameter? I ask this because they do resemble 7,62x25 Cases of both Soviet and Chinese production which do have .199 primers in Early production.

The .199 size was commonly used in large size Pistol cases in the early to mid- part of the 20th Century ( European made .45 ACP (Yugoslavia) is an example, and the .199 Pistol Primer was lsited by RWS as their “Berdan Large Pistol Primer” well into the 1070s.

The “M39” designation is correct, as this is when Sweden adopted the 9x19 cartridge for Service Use, having had the 9x22 Browning Long for their Pistols ( Husqvarna-made M1903 Brownings) since before WW I. (Swedish M1907?)

The red etc SM packet is similar to their .38 Revolver packets, of the 1950s.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Thanks for the detailed answer… Conjecture or not Lew, your’e one of those I’d say were qualified to make educated guesses on this subject :-)
Actually, the boxes were almost full when I got them, but with a very diverse mix of cartridges, almost a small collection in itself. Among them, a small number of the plastic bullet blanks made for the M/49 SMG with the blank firing attachment (constricted bore and pulverizer on the muzzle.) They are loaded on 1943-44 Hirwaun and Blackpole cases.

DocAV: You are correct, they are 5 mm primers.



The blanks you mention are quite nice over here. We see a lot of the Swedish blanks with red plastic bullets, but seldom see one of the Danish blanks with the red plastic bullet like these with the “X” overstamp, often on British WWII cases. You did well!!!

Cheers, Lew


The only sad thing with these old blanks are the tiny cracks that have formed in the case mouth on some of them. At least its not like really old 8x58RD’s that slowly bursts apart because of the bad powder they contain.



Interesting. These are the late reload blanks with the six pointed star (*) for the reload mark instead of the X reload mark. Nice items!!!



Hello Lew,

         The 9 mm Parabellum produced by SM in 1966 was a military contract for Chile with box label in spanish language. Same headstamp was used in 7,62 x 51 mm NATO and 7 x 57 mm Mauser.


Fede - Thanks for the info on the SM 66 headstamp. I knew it was for South America, but I didn’t know it was for Chile. I thought they were for Uruguay. My first specimen with that headstamp was a Swedish blank with red-plastic bullet. It came in a large lot of this ammunition I got from Sweden years and years ago (5000 rounds). It was sent to me becuase my friend there refused to take the time to go through it for headstamps, so he sea-freighted all 5000 rounds to me! It took me years to find a ball round with that headstamp - it is quite scarce in North America - and my round came out of Uruguay, with information it was for that country.

Does anyone have one of the box labels for the SM 66 9mm round? If so, could they post a picture of it here?

I agree with Lew that the first Svenska Metallverken commercial 9mm rounds were the ones with the headstamp 4// // 5 // 26 // with “SM” on the primer. I have two specimens, both with CNCS FMJ RN bullets, one with no visible primer or case-mouth seals and one with reddish-orange seals (it is not the “pure” red seal of the later M/39B loads). I have a poor condition box with an orange label that I believe to be the box contemporary to these rounds.

Other SM 9 mm loads I have are as follows:

METALLVERKEN 9.00 - CNCS FMJ RN bullet, plain-brass primer, no seals.
METALLVERKEN 9.00 - CNCS FMJ RN bullet, brass primer marked "SM"
METALLVERKEN 9.00 - Smaller headstamp letters - all listed after this have the small letters
- CNCS FMJ RN bullet, plain-brass primer, no visible seals
METALLVERKEN 9.00 - CNCS FMJ RN bullet, plain-brass primer, green primer & CMS
METALLVERKEN 9.00 - CNCS FMJ RN bullet, brass primer with “SM”, green primer & CMS
METALLVERKEN 9.00 - GMCS FMJ RN bullet, brass primer with “SM”, green primer & CMS

  • METALLVERKEN * 9.00 - CNCS FMJ RN bullet, copper primer with “SM”, no seals
    6 SM 6 9mm - GMCS FMJ RN bullet, plain-brass primer, green primer and CMS

NOTE: Some people describe the primer and case-mouth seals as being “blue.” To me, they look like a very dark green, virtually unmistakebly so. \

The above list does not include Swedish military blanks and gallery loads, which were loaded on virtually any left-over (probably rejected) cases. They are even found occasionally with DWM and Finnish headstamps.

While I agree with Lew on the general order of production of the above rounds, I don’t know why some have “SM” primers and some do not, and what that does to the production order, nor do I know where the headstamp with the two stars (which are 5-pointed) fits in to the scheme of things.


Here is a picture of the box:

Swedish “METALLVERKEN 9.00” heastamped ammunition was also exported to Chile.

Both “9 mm Kammarpatron m/39” and “9 mm Løspatron m/39” cartridges were exported to Chile but I’ve only seen these with typical swedish headstamps with bars. Your example was probably loaded in Sweden with remaining cases from the Chilean contract.


Rolf F sent me the following pics. I have never seen a Metallverken box with the WAC on the back. John Moss provided the identification. This box was made for the Winfield Arms Corporation, one of the significant surplus arms dealers that were in LA in the 1950s. They were the major dealer for the US Johnson autorifle. John says his earliest dated ad for WAC was 1952 and both his last ad and last price sheet were dated 1959. This pretty well dates Rolf’s box as the 1950s. Sadly the box was empty so we don’t know what headstamp was in the box.