Czech label & 9X19 rounds (1950)

  • I recently got one Czech cardboard box which contains 16 rounds 9X19 Parabellum. I had to reconstruct tha label which wasn’t in a good condition. According with the label the ammo was made in the year 1950 as lot 2 by “bxn” (Blanicke Strojirny, Sellier & Bellot from Vlasim, Czech Republic of today). The label clearly mentions “9mm ostrych naboju vz.48” (9mm cartridges Mod.1948). At the bottom of the label (left and right) has to be information about the propellant (lot and year of manufacture) and probably about the primers used (since I don’t know the Czech language I’m not 100% sure). All the 16 cartridges from the box have the same impressed headstamp markings (clockwise from 12 o’clock position): “50” (two digit date of the year of manufacture 1950), “triangle” (?), “star with 6 corners” (?) and “2” (lot number). The shell cases are made of brass and the bullets have nickel jacket and the primer annulus is black. => To see the image of the reconstructed label over my drawing showing the headstamp markings, please click here at —> QUESTIONS: => 1) Can somebody translate into English all the label markings (including what is printed at the bottom, left and right) ??? => 2) What type of rounds are the Czech made 9X19 cartridges Mod.1948 ??? => 3) Are these 16 Czech rounds from my box for a regular 9mm pistol or for some 9mm Czech submachine-guns (ZK 383, CZ 23 or CZ 25) ??? => 4) What is the precise meaning of that “triangle” and “star with 6 corners” which can be seen on the headstamp ??? Many thanks in advance for any help, Liviu 06/09/10


Dear Liviu,
The Label describes the Factory (“bxn”) Lot of delivery (“2/50”) which could be either February, 1950, or 2nd Lot of 1950, or Second Trimester of 1950 (etc).

Then the “M48”: Up to WW II, the Czech armed Forces used either 9x17 or 7,65 For their Auto Pistols; Some 9x19 was used by their Submachineguns.
The “M48” load is a “Czech-ization” of the Wartime German design 9mm Para;
( just like Vz47 7,9mm is Czech for german “SmE” ammo)

“Star and triangle” Has something to do with Case material and origin ( other symbols used in this time frame are Circle with outer cross, Dashes (single berdan Flash hole) and so on. I am not clear on this;;;observations more on 7,9 cases of the period.

The combination of the Letter code and the Symbols is typical of the transition period from straight symbols to codes only ( 1948-52).

Powder indicator “Nc” etc. Nitrocellulose, shape type (dp= small, punched flake)
and Factory/lot) Opposite the Powder indicator is the Charge of Powder ( “0,38” grammes=== about 8-9 grains Avdp)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics
Brisbane, Australia.


“star” means that case made of brass, “triangle” is so called geometric manufacturer code of “Blanicke strojirny, Vlasim, Czechslovakia”. Other codes for Vlasim were “circle” and “quadrant”. In the year 1950 started replacement of geometric codes with alphabetic codes which will be in this case “bxn”, already used on the box label.Both geometric and alphabetic codes were used till 1952. Since 1953 only alphabetic codes were used (“bxn” for Vlasim, “aym” for Povazska Bystrica")
Nc dp - nitrocellulose powder in form of flakes
nma - manufacturer of the powder - Synthesia Pardubice, Semtin




Thanks, Jasve, for the extra detail…just an addition: “Synthesia Semtin” is also the maker/inventor of “SEMTEX” (Semtin Explosive).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Just to complete the nice explanation from Jasve, the other three symbols - a cross formed by two intersecting lines with little circles on each end of both lines, the “male symbol,” a circle with an arrow head at the top, and an “X” are all manufacturer designations representing Povazska Bystrica.

As mentioned, the Star represents a brass case, while a steel case is represented by a plus (+) sign.

The dash on the headstamp represents a single flash hole case, as already mentioned on this thread.

John Moss

  • Thank you all for the very interesting info posted above. In this situation I think I can assume that all the 16 Czech rounds 9X19 from my box are ordinary ball cartridges for 9mm submachine-guns (“Samopal” - in Czech language). => Starting with early 1950s the Russians forced the Czech armament industry to manufacture and adopt Soviet type ammo (7.62X25 Tokarev, 7.62X39, 7.62X54R, 23X115, etc.) in order to be used by some new or modified Czech weapons. Liviu 06/13/10


Any idea of the value of these? I have 2 boxes and the date on the left bottom corner is 3/48


Luviu, If the bullets in your rounds are GM (copper) color they have lead cores. If they are nickel plated they have Czech versions of the German Iron cores used in German mE bullets.

This stuff came into the US 25+ years ago in extremely large shooting quantities and was sold in all the gun shows, usually in the 40 round boxes on stripper clips. It often shows up on Gunbroker. The steel case rounds are not as common as the brass case, and the 40 round boxes more common than the 16 round, but neither is particularly unusual.