Can anyone identify this 9mm?

On the headstamp clockwise: 10, 50, Mars/male symbol, 6-pointed star.

Is it possible to upload a photo?


chask, sounds Czech without a photo.

See the post tilted posting photos, thing it’s close to the top of the threats listing page.

October, 1950, Either S&B Vlasim or Povaske Strojarne, Bystrica, Czechoslovakia.

The Factory Identity of the 1948-1952 “Symbol” Marks is still unclear; They were used mostly on Export Ammunition for the Middle East etc.

Similar symbol marks are routinely found on 7,9mm cartridges, from 1949 to 1951 dates.


Actually, the marks have been well known for a goodly number of years - about since the the time the Soviet Empire disintegrated. I cannot duplicvate them here - wish I could - but I will do my best to describe them.

Zbrojovka Vlasim, Narodni Podnik:


Povazske Strojarne, Narodni Podnik, Povazska Bystrica:

Cross with circles attached to the ends of all four segments of the cross
Male Symbol

There are other symbols common to both sets of codes:

  • Brass case(72% copper and 28% zinc)
  • Steel case (phosphated and lacquered)
    Dash - Single flash hole (simply absent on cases with two flash holes.

These are referred to as the “Geometric Codes,” and were used between 1949 and c.1952. They were devloped specifically for exports to Israel, to keep the origin of the ammunition a secret. After 1952, the Czech Government stopped supplying Israel, and the use of the codes was discontinued. It is quite possible that the codes were used for other purposes - my own opinion based on the various origins (sources) of surplus ammunition with these headstamps.

The Geometric Codes were replaced with letter codes - the well known “aym” and “bxn.”

Over the years, I have seen many variations of the way the names for the two factories, Vlasim and Bystrica are written, and frankly, am still confused myself on the proper name. The names given are from a highly respected Czech source.

Reference: “The History of Small Arms Cartridge Manufacturers in Czecholslovakia, Part III, Headstamps of Czecholslovakian Military Cartridges For Small Arms since 1918,” by Vladislav Badalik (Translated to English by Professor Jiri Vojta).

While mentioning his name here, it is my sad duty to report the passing of my dear friend of nearly 50 years, Professor Jiri T. Vojta (Known as “George Vojta” to some), in the recent past years a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jiri was a brilliant man, and one who lived in many places in the world (Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, Communist Czechoslovakia, from which he escaped), Borneo, Australia, Canada and finally, the United States. He was quite expert on small arms and knew much about ammunition. He was also an accomplished big-game hunter. He was a full professor at various locations in the United States, teaching in at least California and New York, before retiring. He was a fascinating man to converse with - interesting and a dynamic conversationalist when his interest was aroused in a subject. He spoke several languages and was an expert in Russian history, as well as that of many other countries, including the U.S. His political insights were remarkable, and in many conversations over the years, he predicted to me various general events that he felt would happen in the suceeding years, and time proved him about 90% correct. I, for one, will miss him.