Czech 9mm "oma" and "ndn" headstamps

I recently found some Czech 9mm cartridges that appear similar to all of the typical 1950 era brass-cased CNCS jacket type loads they were doing at that time, except one has a headstamp of “ndn 44” and one is just “oma”. I see that the headstamp guide says “probably Czech” and I would agree since these rds came from a large group of 1000rds of Czech 9mm, 95% of which were typical 1950 / triangle / male-symbol type headstamps that are certainly Czech. I melted the core out of one of the ndn 44 loads and it had the common type 48 bullet iron-core.

Is the 44 a date-code for 1944?. Any ideas on the meaning of oma or ndn?

In my opinion, one shared by many, these are clandestine headstamps. The codes are not “German Codes.” That is, they were not codes assigned to ammunition makers during WWII. Some make something of the fact that these codes are in the original German code book. Well, of course they are - all letters and letter groups from “a” thru “ozz” are in the code books that have been found so far.

I do not believe that the date “44” represents 1944. I do not know if it represents any real date, however, one way or another. Most “oma” rounds don’t have a date. An “oma 44” is known, but is very rare. I believe it is known from only a single specimen.

The first of these headstamps I encountered came in a huge shipment of mixed ammunition from Israel. They were definitely made in Czechoslovakia, who at first, before the heavy Russian influence took over, had very good relationships with Israel and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, supplied them with a great deal of military materiel assistance.

There are other codes found on 7.9 x 57 Mauser - “ux” and “usa.” There were also unheadstamped Czech 7.9 x 57 rounds made and sent to Isreal, and perhaps 9 mm as well.

To date, I have never heard anyone attempt to make an identification of the factory making these rounds. It is pretty obvious that if Czech, as many think and I firmly believe, that at least one of the codes actually represents Sellier and Bellot. Which one, and whether the other represents Povazske Strojarne or not, is unknown to me.

These rounds are often found with no seals, black primer seals, or red primer seals with red case mouth seals as well. I have no theory as to why this is.

John has done a good job of summing up what we know of these two headstamps. There are apparently three of the oma 44 headstamps known. Two of them came from South Africa and the third I have not fully confirmed yet.

It is interesting that nobody, as far as I know, has turned up a box for either the ndn or the oma headstamps. If I’m wrong, please let me known and post a photo.



I tried doing some “decrypting” of the Czech 1953-4— three letter codes (bxn, czo,aym, etc) to see if the “oma” and “ndn” fitted into it…

There is a possibility that these covert codes were picked at random, especially the “ndn” as it doesn’t fit the normal order; “oma” may fit, and be a further letter shift ( by a fixed number of letters) from the original codes.
I have tried several letter shift solutions, but none fit so far…keep trying.

IN any case, since similar “odd” codes appear on post-war manufactured Czech 7,9 ammo, the date “44” is obviously spurious…similar to the controversiy of the (Canadian) “9MM and 7,9MM” ammo with wartime dates.
It could be that the Czechs, from 1948 onwards ( Communist state) were still supplying Israel, but covertly, so as not to upset their "other "Customers, the Arab world… But when the Soviets finally got internal control of the Czech state in the fifties ( after the infamous “Trials” of Czechs of the former 1945-48 Republic, and those who had fought with the British in WW II ( Air and Ground forces), the Czech arms trading scene changed dramatically.

Just some ideas to cast around.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

A friend of mine, Rolf Foerster recently wrote pointing out that a recent publication “Deutsche Fertigungskennzeichen bis 1945” by Michael Heidler (text in German and English) on German military codes includes the following:

[quote]ndn Heinrich Bluecher
Fabrik technischer Buersten
Spremberg / Niederlausitz
( ndn made 9mm cases )

oma Ernst Mahla
Prag - Michel
( oma made 9mmPist.Patr.08 and 08m.E. )[/quote]

This indicates Heinrich Bluecher is a Factory for Technical Brushes (I think) and that Ernst Mahla is a Sheet Metal Works. Neither sounds like a place where cases would be produced, much less ammunition manufactured and loaded. Having said this, Coca Cola was in the munitions business in WWII in the USA (IAA Journal 378 pg 20) so anything is possible.

I did locate a 16 page history of the Heinrich Bluecher factory and it indicates that, among many, many other types of brushes, they made brushes for cleaning new and used cartridge cases, but there is no mention of producing cartridge cases.

English translation:

German original:

Ernst Mahla appears in Czechoslovakia as “A steel goods manufacturer from Morchenstern in Nordböhmen” involved in auto racing in the late '20s and '30s.
But that is about all I could find. Neither sounds like a good candidate for the makers of the ndn cases and the oma cartridges.

DK had cut open these cartridges which are all loaded with an mE style bullet. The core is the smooth mushroom style used by the Germans late in WWII and by the Czech type 48 bullet.

Both headstamps show up with GM and CN/Nickel mE type bullets but I have nickel jacket mE bullets from AK (S&B) in 1945 and from dou (PS) in 1942 (and nickel jacket 124gr blt in 1942 case!) so that is not conclusive but does point to a Czech source and probably post WWII.

I think it is very doubtful that these could be produced by or for the Germans during WWII but I can’t prove that.

Do any of the German or Czech members (or anyone else) have any information on these two companies or further information on these cartridges. Perhaps someone had information/boxes or whatever that will conform they are Czech post WWII.

Further ideas are appreciated.


Very interesting finding the German “original coding” matches factories in Bohemia ( at least one).

And that the internal characteristics are “German”. Could this be a
"NON-Wehrmacht" contract of ammo? ( none of the usual German style markings (Lot numbers etc).
The Steel sheet factory would be ideal for drawing and stamping of Cartridge components…many of the German Factories were “sheet steel plants " before WW II. They may have simply supplied the cases to be loaded elsewhere, say PS or SB? ( common occurence in the Wartime German system.)
In fact “Blechwaren” means not only “sheet” but also “goods (waren)” made from sheet, by pressing, drawing and rolling.
( ie"Pots and Pans”).

Other solution is the cases were made in 1944, but left over at war’s end, and loaded by Czechoslovakia after May 1945, and sold “in trade”

Only box labels will (sort of) solve this mystery…
…Sometimes a simple question creates more questions than answers.

A Lot of Lateral thinking and research is required…just like translating Cuneiform or Linear B in archeology.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

I think the book that Rolf points out is flat-out wrong, I’m sorry to say. I agree with Lew, and what has been pretty well accepted for years - that ndn and oma are spurious codes, made in Czechoslovakia probably in the late 1940s, for Israel and perhaps other purposes. The codes and those with spurious dates (including the 7.9 Mauser “uxa and Ux” codes) are obviously made to make the ammunition seem like left-over from WWII.

Regarding the codes being found in the official German code book, which is where the cited source in Lew’s last entry got them, of course they are there. If I decided to make ammunition
with a German style headstamp, and “JLM” (my initials) as the manufacturer’s designator, someone would be attributing my cartridges to the Reinstrom & Pilis A.-G., Emaillier- u. Stanzwerk, Schwarzenberg, Germany. That is what the initials stood for in the German code book. You could not pick a “code” for yourself of any single, double or triple letter up to at least “suk” and not finid it in the official German code lists.

I would bet that if we ever pin these down precisely, either oma or ndn will be Sellier and Bellot and the other will be Povazske Strojarne.

After reading this thread, I’ve again the same question, about a ‘oma’. A friend of mine has this cartridge but more luxery, with a lackered annulus.

So at least there are 2 different versions of the ‘oma’.

Anybody with the most sure solution about ‘oma’(and ndn) ??

What’s this kind of cartridges worth?


I have just recently picked up examples of the oma and ndn44 cartridges with the red lacquer seal. I had the types without lacquer and now I am able to show photos with some total cartridge grain weights and observations.

All the cartridges I have appear to be original loads with original bullets as far as I can tell, so I will assume they are correct (my oma example without lacquer is poor condition). The one strange one is the oma with sealer, since it has a brass colored bullet that is smaller than average for these type of Czech loads. The 3 others all appear to have the typical model-23 bullet with iron core. I find the differences in overall weight puzzling since slight variations in powder weight alone should not explain such a difference(?). Was there this much variation in lead / steel-core content to cause this type of difference?

Back in the 1970s or 80s, quite a bit of Czech ammo showed up (mostly in South Africa as i remember) with red cms and primer. These were packed in the typical S&B 25rd green and white boxes with the cartridge drawing on the front, but with two broad black bands on the label and one on the endflap. The cartridges were mixed headstamps, mostly Czech military style headstamps from the 48 through the early 1950s (and including both oma and ndn 44), but an occasional Czech commercial headstamp and rarely a non-Czech headstamp. I quit trying to collect all the headstamps since they had no significance. The cms and primer color were essentially identical to that found on SBP 9mmP headstamped commercial loads found in the same style boxes but without the black bands.

I concluded that these were some sort of low cost S&B production using old or reclaimed components, or perhaps reconditioned ammunition and sold cheap. Perhaps they all went to a customer in South Africa. There is a price tag on my box that says “R4.63” for 4.63 Rand. Our friends from South Africa can probably date this box by how long ago you could buy 25rds of 9mmP for 4.63 Rand.

The only other difference I can see is that the tray in my box is red plastic instead of the black plastic I have found in the normal white and green 25round boxes. Both of the trays are otherwise identical in construction. Perhaps both were used for commercial S&B ammo and I just haven’t looked at enough boxes. If someone has seen the red trays in normal boxes, please let me know.

Still looking for anyone who had, or has a photo of, an ndn or oma box label

PS: One of the things that helped cause the ndn to initially be identified as German was that the first two examples, and for many years the only examples were found by Fred Datig in a crime lab in Berlin in the 1950s.


One thing that nobody has commented on is that both “oma” and “ndn” stamps are in a straight line…like a line of individual stamps used in Engineering or Gunsmithing to mark (steel) items…NOT the normally circumferential layout used in headstamp Bunters when several letters are used in the one Clock position.

Which makes me think that these cases were marked “post-case manufacture” but before loading, with some sort of ad-hoc stamping machine, using common letter and number stamps, rather than making up ( expensive) headstamp Bunters.
THis “ad hoc” nature also points to a “one off” lot or lots, , in effect, a clandestine/covert supply lot/s, using WW II “German” Codes to confuse the issue.
BY happenstance, one of the codes refers to a Czech located factory ( a coincidence?). The use of the “44” seems to confirm the “confusionary” nature of the headstamp.

Of course, details of this consignment/order may be buried in the Secret Archives of the Czech state, and one day they may be made available ( lots of info is coming ourt of Eastern Europe regarding the goings-on of the Cold War…

Any good Czech language collectors out there to do the research? Mluvite czeski?

Doc AV