Amazing ammo thread in Czech forum

I stumbled across this amazing (at least I think so) ammo thread in a Czech forum: … t2314.html

It is all in Czech, but there are 20 pages which span over 2 years of posts of people posting photos of their rare cartridges and collections. It’s something I’ve scarcely seen anything like outside of the IAA forum as far as the duration and scope on the thread being that it is just concerning cartridges. On page 1 of the thread it shows a photo with discussion about the newer version of the Snail cartridge (also described on the IAA forum by Lew here: which one person describes as being EMB expansive monoblock?, and it shows a picture of one projectile after being fired through ballistics gel. On page 7 there is a photo of the exposed steel-core tip Russian 9x39 cartridge, and many others over 20 pages. You can use a translator like Google translate or AltaVista to get a rough English translation.

The cartridge shown on page one of the Czech Forum, that you mention, is the Hirtenberger EMB round and the poster’s initial question seems to be answered quite correctly - I say seems to be, because the explanation of the initials is correct, and I don’t read Czech.

The IAA Thread that you linked is not about this round, but rather about the Czech Snail round. While the tip of some of the snail rounds resemble the EMB, I am not aware of one of the two loads being a later version of the other. I believe they are two different developments. Perhaps Lew or someone else better qualified could elaborate on it.

If I have time later, I will see if I have cutaway drawings of the two rounds, and if so, will try to analyze them.

Thanks for clarifying John. The two projectiles do look quite similar. I had also seen a cutaway of a supposed EMB here: (scroll down 2/3rds of the page)

Same thing from above isolated here:

Was the EMB meant to be a dual-purpose cartridge with high-penetrating and high stopping-power abilities similar to the Russian exposed steel-core tips in similar pistol calibers?

[quote=“DK configuration”]I stumbled across this amazing (at least I think so) ammo thread in a Czech forum:

On page 7 there is a photo of the exposed steel-core tip Russian 9x39 cartridge, .[/quote]

The brass cased one there is a fake.

EOD - which round are you referring to? Please be more specific - caliber, bullet type, headstamp if shown. Also, which link are you talking about, the Czech one or the IAA thread? Please tell us why, in your view, it is a fake as well. It is not enough to declare something is a fake with no reasons given.

John, I referred to the round DK configuration mentioned on page 7 being the 9x39 AP cartridge (pretend to be a brass cased SP-6) in image #19 posted by the user “glock1719”.
I was offered one of these some years ago (also with a Czech or Slovak relation and other fakes were accompanying them like a steel cased 4.5x40R cartridge for the SPP-1M under water pistol)

The reasons why I think it is a fake are the following:

  • Russia never made brass cases in this caliber, just laquered steel and copper plated steel (so far no other manufacturers are know)
  • The projectile looked like turned copper (the one here even like brass) and not like a real projectile jacket, the core did not match the originals I have seen so far (crudly made), the joint gap between the core and the supposed to be jacket looked odd and not like on known cartridges
  • The case had traces of unprofessional necking up leaving it with slight dents and deformations, the case head was uneven from polishing or other manipulation which likely was from a head stamp removal operation (for quite some years no hs were used on this caliber, just on very early ones and now again in recent production)
  • Last but not least the owner admitted to me that the cartridge was very questionable and I have been told later on that it ended up in France (together with the 4.5mm fake).

I believe EOD, however I find it very strange that somebody attempting to “fake” a Russian cartridge would use a brass case on something which is originally only in lacquered steel or copper-washed steel. Wouldn’t the faker know this? Why not just take a copper-washed steel or lacquered steel casing and make a fake with it?

Dk configuration, I think phantasy products are as much spread as fakes of real existing items. Over the years I have seen many items which were completely new “invented”, not being related to an original. That makes it harder to be identified as a fake and leaves a lot of “creativity” to the “artist” where he has not to follow a strict design and finish (what most people can not do anyways). Most phantasy fakes come to light just because the one making it had no clue about how ammunition is working and what all the design features are good for.

As for the question why brass:
I think brass will be the best suited material to neck it up.
Further it might be of highest interest (financial) to create some case which did not exist before in a certain caliber. (same as the turned steel case in 4.5mm).
Necking up a laquered steel case in 7.62x39 and then giving it a finish which looks original again might be also very difficult.
How it will work with copper plated steel cases I do not know but then at least the hs would have to be removed and that may also be a problem with the finish. Besides that almost nobody in the west and few people in Russia know that such a case is existing in 9x39.

EOD - thanks for the information. I was not even sure, with your original comments, what cartridge you were talking about. I thought it was one of the EMB or Snail 9mms!

I agree totally with your evaluation of the round you were speaking of!


Thanks for posting the link. That is an interesting site. Cartridge collectors are the same the world over - proud to show their favorites.

I’ve only one complaint. Why did they cover the face of the pretty girl on page 16?? A pretty face is better than 1000 cartridges. :) :)


Some information.
Cartridges 9x39 with brass cartridge case and 4.5x40R cartridge for the SPP- 1M are really fake or replica producing in Czech Republic. Which person these cartridges produces exactly I don’t know.
Forum, that the you are visited isn’t oficial forum Czech cartridge collector club, this forum is used largely young collectors. Czech cartridges collector club hasn’t any it’s oficial Internet forum.
In Czech Republic existent another cartridges forum - his purpose isn’t “bragging” , but serves like advisory. Answerback for consul questions. His address is: .Htm . Or in Google locator order " ND Naboje ".
This has two parts. First informs about computer programme ND N

Correction adress.

I would say that the brass-cased 9x39 AP is a replica, rather than a fake - although it does of course depend on how it’s advertised. I bought one for my collection from a dealer who told me that it was a replica, so I have no complaints! I don’t mind buying replicas (cheaply) if I can’t get hold of the real thing.

Tony, I agree, just the difference of telling makes it a fake or a replica.

The originals just never had brass cases.

Back to the earlier discussion of EMB vs Snail. These are two very different bullets. The EMB is a monolithic brass bullet as you can see from the cutaway from The Snail has an aluminum or brass bullet with a very pointed steel core. The EMB looks like a hollow-point with a blunt core in the cavity. The tip of the snail bullet is sealed with plastic or lead and the core is not visible.

Below is a photo showing bullet construction.

You are correct of course Lew, I was just noting the visual similarity between the newer version of the snail, and the photo on the Czech site which is apparently an EMB, based on these 2 photos, one from our forum, and the other from the Czech forum:

The round in your photo isn’t exactly a newer version of the Snail which was made by Libra and is now out of production (though Libra apparently is looking at a large foreign order and would produce the Snail again), but a S&B alternative to the Snail. It has a steel core but uses a GM cap over the core instead of the plastic or lead seal-probably to get around the Libra patent. S&B has been developing this for a few years. The round on the right is the early model and the one on the left is the most current. I’m told they just sold this cartridge to an agency in France.

thanks Lew for filling in the blanks. I have what is almost a book on the snail, I found afterwards, but no need to repeat your answer. More succinct than I would have been, and probably more informative.

About replica cartridges. I have a differing view, as usual, than what I have seen on this thread. It is all well and good to make replica cartridges or have them. I have a few in my auto pistol collection myself, of calibers that either can’t be found or I couldn’t possibly hope to own if they could be found. However, these were all put out by groups or factories, and have headstamps that prove they are not the original item.

It is well and good when a collector or dealer passes on one of the unmarked cartridges explaining it is a replica, but any of us are just temporary care-takers of the cartridges in our possession now. What happens in the future, when someone does know it is a replica because it came from the collection of a collector then deceased, or chooses not to tell it is a replica?

ALL replica cartridges without a clear marking showing such - either a headstamp known to be a replica, like some of the BSA pistol cartridges that were made, or club cartridges like those from AFEHERM or CCCA that are headstamped for the club - are, in my judgment, worthy of being described as fakes. Unidentified on the cartidge, what is a replica today can become a fake tomorrow.

Sorry to disagree, but it is the way I feel on the subject. By the way, I also consider a cartridge loaded or reloaded from a new or fired umprimed case simply for the purpose of increasing its sales appeal as a fake. That has been done a lot - one year, of the new 9mm headstamps I picked up at St. Louis, four were found to be reloads when I got home (extractor and ejector marks and some case-head expansion) but were not sold to me as such. First, a headstamp is a headstamp. Reloading a round with non-original components just muddies the waters about the proper identification of a loaded round. Also, “making it easier to sell” as one dealer actually told me, implies “making it easier to sell at a higher price,” a price a reload isn’t worth.

Of course, this latter category is hard to do anything about because rounds are loaded from new cases, or reloaded in fired cases, for other purposes - by legitimate commercial reloaders, or by individuals doing it to fire them. New ammunition in other people’s cases, loaded by regular firms, such as a Cor-Bon load in a Starline or winchester case, are legitimate cartridges for the collector, and I recognize that, and have plenty of them myself. So, this is probably impossible to “regulate.” I just point it out, frankly, to get a gripe off my chest.

I agree with you in general terms, John, and have an article on my website about ‘Fakes and Replicas’ here:

The problem comes when the replicas are based on an existing cartridge case rather than one being specially manufactured, because that will already have a headstamp. For instance, I have a 24x138B round (basically the 20x138B necked-up) which was made from factory drawings of a WW2 German project. It was made using an existing 20x138B case, and has its original headstamp. But no-one is likely to confuse this with the real thing, because AFAIK these were never actually made. I bought it as a replica, and that’s how I regard it, but I can see that its future history might cause problems - quite a dilemma!

On the question of original loadings, when you get into the large-calibre ammo you will only rarely find rounds with their original projectiles intact. Most of them consist of fired cases with a representative projectile stuck in.

Tony - I will readily admit that the artillery stuff poses problems, and I know very little about it. I would assume that everyone who collects it is aware of the putting of projectiles into cases, and that it is a necessity in that caliber to represnet a given type. In small arms ammo, I don’t like the practice. The headstamp is what it is, and we all know what a FMJ or Hunting proectile looks like, so I see no point to it, and more often than not, the wrong bullets are used.

In the case of a smaller caliber round like you first described in you reply to me, I think when they are made, the makers should have them engraved “replica” on the side of the case. Just my opinion. If they have a special club headstamp, there is no need for that, because even a buyer “down the line” when the identity of other rounds as replicas might be lost, will discover it is a replica simply in researching the headstamp.

I know there is varying opinion on this subject, and I fully understand the problems of having even a “gentlemen’s agreement” setting policy on how to handle these things, but there are problems in some of the practices. I have mentioned my own disappointment at discovering that rounds I paid a fairly hefty price for (five and ten dollars for a commercial ball round just because it was a new European headstamp not seen before) were reloads, proved beyond doubt by simple forensics-type examination that is hard to do at a cartridge show. I would have paid half the price just for the fired case left alone. I have never made it an issue, but I wish the guys who do this would stop it. It does not offer a scholarly approach to the hobby.