Bullet for 9.65 Browning and 9.8 Colt


#1

Is there any information about bullet weight for either the 9.65 Browning and/or the 9.8mm Colt? Any information about muzzle velocity for these cartridges.


#2

The 9.8mm Auto Colt had a 130 gr. bullet with a velocity of 1000. Handbuch Manual says the 9.65mm Browning had a bullet around 115 gr.


#3

The 9.8 Colt came with two different bullet weights. Early ones, with no headstamp and with copper “W” primers show the following overall cartridge weights:

No headstamp, large “W” on primer: 231.1 grains
No Headstamp, small “W” on primer: 231.0 grains
Headstamped cartridge: 203.1 grains

The early bullet’s weight was nominally 150 grains. The early case was slightly longer on average than the later headstamped version.

A pulled bullet in my collection, from a headstamped 9.8 A.C. weights 130.2 grains. This is confirmed by the box label which shows the bullet weight of these rounds as 130 grains.

The 9.65 Browning round in my collection has a total cartridge weight of 205.2 grains. In my opinion, this would indicate a bullet of approximately the same weight as the 9.8 late version with headstamp, somewhere between 125 and 130 grains. I cannot prove it, as I will not pull the bullet on my 9.65m/m round under any circumstances, but the overall cartridge weights and similarities of measurement between the 9.8 and the 9.65 suggests that the bullet is heavier than 115 grains. I doubt that any pistol of this size case would have a powder charge of enough weight to deceive us on that point. The powder charge in the headstamped 9.8 round I disassembled was only 5.9 grains (possibly 6 grains or slightly more, as some small loss usually occurs between the nertia bullet puller’s chamber and the scale pan.)

The lead core of the pulled bullet is recessed 0.051". Woodin Laboratory pulled a bullet on the “W” primer unheadstamped type, and confirmed it to be 150 grains (actually precisely 148.9 grains) and it was flat based. The flat base and the slightly longer case of the early 9.8s could easily explain why the bullet seating shelf (it is not really a case cannelure) on the two 9.8s, with and without headstamp, are in approximately the same position relative to the head of the cartridge case, even though one bullet is 10 grains heavier than the other. The powder charge in the cartridge pulled apart by Woodin Lab was 4.7 grains.

The only credible velocity figures I can find for the 9.8 Colt are from the book “U.S. Cartridges and their Handguns 1795-1975,” by Charles R. Suydam, page 280, quoting an brief synopsis of the cartridge in a November 1955 article on page 89 of the “American Rifleman” magazine, both sources of which I have. It shows a MV of 1200 fps. The figure is made credible by the fact not only of the high quality of the sources, but also that the given powder charge of 6.2 grains of bullseye is similar to the powder charge we found pulling the bullet out of one of our own cartridges. This velocity, by the way, is for the later-headstamped rounds with 130 grain bullet. Muzzle energy is computed by Suydam at 415 ft lbs, which sounds reasonable. The original “American Rifleman” article did not compute the ME.

I don’t know where the 1,000 fps mv that Cobb quotes came from, but it is much more reasonable to assume that velocity was for the 150 grain bullet rather than for the 130 grain. The powders of the time were up to generating the 1200 fps figure given by the staff of the American Rifleman with a charge around 6 grains and a bullet weight of 130 grains.

I was intending to write an article on these two cartridges, 9.65 and 9.8 some time ago, but it was brought to my attention that someone else was preparing one. I even had the opportunity to proof read it and offer some minor changes. However, unfortunately, I have never seen that article published, and I no longer have time to do one. Perhaps someone else will pick up the project. There is more to know and think about on these rounds.

I hope this is of some assistance. NOTE; THE POWDER CHARGES SHOWN ARE FOR A POWDER NOT KNOW TO US. EVEN THOUGH DESCRIBED AS BULLSEYE, POWDERS HAVE CHANGED GREATLY OVER THE 100 YEARS SINCE THE 9.8 COLT WAS DEVELOPED. DO NOT ACCEPT THOSE FIGURES AS VALID FOR USE TODAY WITH MODERN BULLSEYE OR ANY OTHER PISTOL POWDER. THEY WOULD NOT NECESSARILY BE VALID AND ARE NOT IN ANY WAY RECOMMENDED HERE. THEY ARE GIVEN AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE HISTORY OF THIS CARTRIDGE ONLY, IN THE FORMS PRODUCED 100 YEARS AGO.

Edited for spelling & grammar only


#4

Thank you