Assorted 9x19mm-help appreciated

Below are some rounds I picked up in Europe last year-mostly at the ECRA meeting in Germany. Have questions on all of them. Would appreciate any and all information/ideas/comments.

From Left to right:

  1. Looks like an unloaded blank case loaded with a lead bullet. Probably homemade but very nicely done. Overall weight is 174gr so it has a bullet of 115gr or less (may not have any powder). Question is why anyone would do this?

  2. The headstamp and date would make this East German but the red cm and primer seal along with the letter style sure looks like Hungary. This is also the only East German brass case I have that lacks the “*” on the headstamp. It is a much later date than my others. 115gr bullet

3 & 4. Look like normal SINTOX headstamp commercial ball loads with a 124gr bullet except for the nice lettering on the side that says “1033 PL2” and “1037 PL2” which sound like drawing numbers or something similar. Does anyone have any idea what these are?

5 & 6. I am pretty sure these are short range rounds by Schwede & Hammer OHG in Passau Germany. In the late 1980s I obtained 10 or 12 of the various rounds S&H was making at the time along with some seperate bullets. The bullets in these two rounds look to match two of the seperate S&H bullets I have. I’m going to record them wiht the S&H stuff, unless someone out there has a better idea or more current information.

Does anyone know if Schwede & Hammer are still in business. A very quick computer search didn’t turn up anything.

Any help appreciated!



Lew, not to spoil it but please check closely on the #2. In particular with the extractor groove and the case neck on the inside. I have seen those some years ago in Germany with other very dubious cartridges from a man who was well into fake ammunition.

EOD, You are politely telling me this round is probably a cut down 7.62 Tokarev aren’t you?

Thanks! After a close look I agree with you. The case length is right on the upper edge of 9x19mms. The DWM Spec from before WWI is 19mm + or - 0.1mm, and German drawings through WWII show this case length. The CIP spec is 19.15mm and the Winchester Chamber specs from 1943-1944 are for 19,15mm. This case is about 19.17 or 19.18 as I measure it loaded. A box of assorted 9mm, measured loaded show a number that are 19.15 and occasionally 19.17. I will have to unlead this one and get a good measure but even in the scan it looks a bit long.

But, the giveaway is the red casemouth seal. Under an instrument, it is obvious that the seal is on only the bullet, not on the case at all. Also the rim looks a little thin in the photo above. There are a lot of variations in 9mm Para cases between manufacturers anyway.

I assume that 7.62T rounds with this headstamp are known. Can someone confirm that. I was frankly shocked when I saw the date—way after I thought East Germany stopped making 9x19mm.

Again, Many Thanks!


Sorry, but no brass-cased DDR Tokarev ammo with that date, or even anywhere close to it. My first thought was that it was a cut down 5.56 case.

Lew, there is also 9 x 21 mm round with same 04 85 headstamp, case neck and primer with red seals and copper-washed steel case. Different fake, same faker?

Surprise! Surprise!

Lesson learned for the thousandth time. Don’t trust your eyes. The 04 85 is a brass washed steel case. I checked the bullet but not the case.

Jonnyc, are there any DDR brass washed steel cases?

Fede, is the 9x21 brass or copper washed?

As you can see in the photo, this round looks brass color. Maybe is is a brass color lacquer.

The very interesting thing to me is that the casemouth is the same color as the rest of the case. It Does Not Look Steel Color! If this is a fake, it is a pretty good one where whoever trimmed the case refinished the casemouth!

The primer may also be magnetic, but that is pretty hard to tell for sure.

I just got an email from the source of some of the other cartridges. The two plastic bullet rounds are in fact by S & H from 1983-1984 as part of their testing of plastic bullets, as I suspected. The firm is no longer in business, but there is a gunsmith company named Hammer in business at the same address.

The two SINTOX loads are actually from field trials. The boxes have on the label a Bem. Nr. which stands for Bemusterungs Number or Field Trial Number. These are the “1033 PL2” and “1037 PL2” I mentioned in the original post.

Does anyone have an idea where I could find out what the purpose of the field trials were?

Thanks for all the help!



Lew, the 9 x 21 has a copper washed steel case. Primer is Berdan and cup is made of brass. Projectile is GMCS. This must be a very elaborate fake and the fact that there is no parent case is no coincidence.

Fede, John Moss tells me there is a DDR 9 x 18 Makarov dated 79. Your round and mine sure have a lot of things in common. Is there a chance for a headstamp photo? I got mine for little or nothing (2 or 3 Euros). Hard to believe that somebody would go to the effort of doing this, especially when there is no obvious donor case unless there are 5.56mm cases available. Still the finish on the case mouth of mine makes me think it may be legit. I thought that it may be a legit case with a random bullet stuffed in-people do that to make them more interesting! Your’s has the same red cms so maybe both or legit or somebody spent a lot of time and talent for very few Euros. I’d like to find the guy who would do this cause I have a lot of legit work for him at his prices!!!

Thanks for the photo,


What does the 79 dated DDR makarov have to do with your mystery case? Might this 9x19 be a piece from a 9x18 or 7.62x25 draw set (if such a thing exists) made to look like a loaded 9x19 with brass wash added?

Is there such a thing as un-headstamped steel-case 9x19 or 7.62x25 cases that could have had fake headstamps added before being brass-washed, (like the fake 7.92 Magdeburg loads floating around which come from un-headstamped 7.92 cases)?

There are not “parent” DDR 7.62x25 cases with that headstamp or in CWS.

DK, The significance to me of John’s Brass washed steel case 9mmM is that the DDR was producing this kind of case a few years before the date on the 9x19mm case. Could it be part of a 9mmM draw-yes, but the untrimmed draw piece would not yet have been brass washed, and would have been a desirable collector item, at least to John.

Sure it could be a fake using a steel case with the headstamp polished off and a new headstamp engraved and brass washed, and then the faker turned around and did it in 9x21. I’m no expert but I don’t recall seeing any steel 9x12 cases. Were they both made out of a DDR 5.56??? maybe. I’m told the DDR was making 5.56mm before the Wall came down, but I have no idea if they were steel case or what the dates were. If it were 5.56 then the inside of the case would have had to be reamed to thin it so it would accept the 9mm bullet. A lot of work for a cartridge in a box of assorted stuff!

I can’t rule out that it is fake, but am inclined to believe it is legit in light of the fact that the DDR apparently produced a similar case in 1979 (or was it fake too), and there is a similar 9x21. Had it been offered to me as an experimental for 100 euros than I would have more seriously considered it a fake.

Thanks for the discussion. The headstamp style still does not look like my other DDR 9x19mm! More like MFS in Hungary.



According to Ron Fuchs book, the DDR 5.56 came only in 88 and 89

Thanks DK! So 5.56mm is unlikely to be a donor case for the 9x19mm or 9x21mm!

John M sent me a note and he has a DDR 9mmM that appears to have the funny, dark copper finish shown in Fede’s picture of the 9x21.

maybe the DDR was playing around with Western calibers before the Wall fell. If there is no donor case with the right headstamp for these two rounds, it will make me more confident they are legit.



Lew, Fede, I have seen the 9x21 also in black (or something like that) laquer. I think these are made from 9x18 Mak. draw pieces which were long enough to be used for 9x19 and 9x21 - explaining the lousy extractor grooves which had to be cut later since the draw pieces in untrimmed condition had no grooves yet.
As said before the extractor groove and inner case mouth were anything but factory on those I had seen and they all were with a guy who had much more such questionable items like a 4.5x40R (under water) steel case with the same blackish laquer on as the 9x21 (and some necked down 7.62x39 - 5.6mm and 6.5mm I if I recall it right). That 4.5mm was turned on a lathe and had respective characteristics which were a 100% giveway.

I just looked at East German draw pieces of various cases. A draw piece of a 5.45x39 or even a regular finished case which got cut down would be a perfect originator for these 9x19 and 9x21.

EOD, Thanks!!! They would still have to put the funny finish on these cases. I’ve been in touch with John Moss and he has the 9mm M in both of these finishes, but no red cms.

The finish on mine looks good and pretty durable. I wonder how they did it.

A cut down 5.45x39 would require some internal cutting of the case. I will pull my round down and see what it looks like. Will try to get a scan.



Lew, coatings are done very easy by any one with access to a galvanization business or even one who has basic knowledge of galavanization in a plastic tub using a piece of copper and a current source.
If you inspect your case to the point where you will see the inner case mouth I would not be surprised to see tool marks of a reamer from adjusting of the inner diameter of the case mouth.