Early British 9mmP

British 9mmP production started in late 1941 and most collectors are familiar with the various R^L 41 rounds, both ball and drill, made at Royal Laboratory. There is also an early ROF BLackpole ball round headstamped “B^E 41 9M/M” which is typical of later production and has a purple annulus and a ringed cap. I have had one of this type for a long time.

I have just acquired a variant of this that must pre-date it. It is also headstamped “B^E 41 9M/M” but the headstamp is asymmetrical and looks like it was originally meant to be a four position headstamp, perhaps with “IZ” in the vacant 4 o’clock position. It has no annulus colour and the cap is unringed. The specification was altered to include ringed or staked caps on drawing DD/L/11833A in October 1941.

What is even more interesting is the difference in bullet ogives. Both bullets are nominally 115 grains (115.4 and 116.8 grns).

In the attached pictures the left hand round is the one with the asymmetric headstamp.

Lew, have you seen this variant?


Great Item! I have never seen this headstamp style. Given the variety of character placement and size on British WWII headstamp bunters, I might have just picked it up as another variation. The lack of a primer crimp is stunning to me and argues that this is a preproduction round of some sort. The 1941 R^L loads are the only other early British loads that I can recall as lacking this primer crimp.

When you get tired of looking at this round and decide to shoot it, Think of the pleading look in my eyes that you have seen so often!

The difference in bullet ogive makes less sense to me. The asymmetric headstamp round is the one with the blunt bullet, and the pointed (German Ogive) bullet is in the symmetric headstamp case.

My R^L 41 rounds all have the blunt bullet. My B^E 41 with the symmetric headstamp has the blunt bullet, but I have a B^E 42 load with the same pointed (German ogive) bullet as you show. Later in the war, Blackpole seems to have settled on an intermediate ogive. The shapes of these bullets are so distinctive that they must have been documented on the production drawings or somewhere, but I have never seen a reference to them. I have also encountered both the very blunt and pointed bullets like you illustrate on H^N loads but less often. Most seem to have the intermediate ogive.

Based on this new B^E headstamp, perhaps there is a B^E 41 9M/M 1Z headstamp floating around out there. Your mission is to go out and find some for us other poor guys.

Well Done Tony!


Thans Lew.

You may be pleading with me, but I bet you cried when you read Treshkin’s post about shooting the previously unknown cws rounds “a few months ago”!

I would really like to get to the bottom of the British “continental profile” bullets. (as distinct from the “Beretta” type which are documented). As you say, they seem to turn up occassionally from both BE and HN. The attached picture is of both the blunt and pointed bullet, both headstamped “B^E 43 9M/M”.


To look at the bright side!

  1. There is still great old stuff out there like Treshkin’s P405 and your B^E 41.

  2. The Forum provides a way to find about these things that I probably would never know about otherwise

  3. Treshkin was thoughtful enough to find a dupe of his case and offer it to me. That , of course, is not necessarly intended to make any sort of statement about the person who found the B^E 41 round!

Cheers Tony and thanks for all the great info you provide this Forum!!!


Thanks, Lew. If I find another one I am sure your name will be the first on my lips!

See you in Switzerland,