Black-tipped Bulgarian 9mm

What type of Bulgarian 9 x 19mm has a black tip? My round has a copper washed steel case and a headstamp of ‘10 64’.
It’s been suggested it may be proof or armour piercing but does anybody know?

Jim, The note I have with mine when I got it a long time ago is that it is a high penetration round. I really doubt this is accurate. The bullets on these rounds all have GMCS jackets, and the black tip round is the identical weight as the ball round with the same headstamp.

Long way of saying that I don’t know. My guess would be proof.


Thanks Lew. I bought it from John Munnery and although he was confident that it was a genuine load he couldn’t say for certain what it was. I think I’ll go with Proof until somebody says otherwise :-)

I got one of these black-tipped rounds years and years ago. It was found in a box with ball rounds of the same date. Like Lew says, mine weighs the same as an identical ball round without black tip. I think we have a way to go before we can really even guess what it is. If the powder is the same as in the one with unmarked bullet, then it can’t be a proof load, since the overall cartridge weight is the same. I have not, and will not, pull mine to find out.

There is also the case of the round from 1947, with the standard Cyrillic-alphabet headstamp of that era, with primer and bullet lacquered entirely red. It, too, was found in a box with ball ammunition and weighs the same as a standard ball round.

I have no explanation for either. It is not impossible that in both cases, they were some sort of “ballistic standard” load made for a test, and that once the test was over, the remaining rounds were simply put back in the inventory with other ball rounds. A wild guess on my part, pure and simple, but as likely, or due to identical cartridge weights, perhaps more likely, than being proof loads.

One step forward, two back! Thanks John.