Early German P08 SE and mE bullets


In another thread, Dutch wrote:

[quote]I can pull the Sintereisen bullet from my brass Polte 9mm round from 1936.
Believe me. It is a Sintereisen bullet. And it is missing in your collection. :))))[/quote]

This opens a great subject that could use some input from many of you. It would be very useful to document the early mE and SE bullets that are known and see if any pattern emerges.

I will start with an introduction to the early mE bullets. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Polte began experimenting with P08 iron core bullets at least as early as 1937. None of these experimental bullets have been identified in collections. They should be in Polte brass cases, and the overall bullet weight should be 170gr or lessfor the loaded round. The drawings for these bullets are on my website at:


I also have some information on early SE rounds by VDM, and will share that in another post.

I would love to see a photo and description, including weight, of your 1936 SE round.



Lew - I have two odd ball rounds in my collection that I always wrote off to component cleanups loaded much later than the headstamp dates would indicate. Perhaps I am wrong, which of course with me, is a better than 50% possibility:

P * 22 38 - Black bullet, brass case, brass primer with black PA
Total cartridge weight 163.6 grains (10.60 grams)

dnh * 2 41 - Sintered Iron bullet, brass case, copper primer with
impressed “O” (Sinoxid), no primer seal.
Total cartridge weight: 154.8 grains (10.03 grams)

Any insight you can give me on these two rounds would be appreciated.


Well - I don’t want my question to get buried. Does anyone have any thoughts on the two cartridges I described, other than the possibility that they were loaded later than the headstamp dates? If that was case, I would think that the “dnh” round, expecially, with its mix of commercial and military/police components, was a run to clean up odds and ends of components. Both cartridges appear completely original, although that means nothing. I have had both rounds for more years than I care to remember - perhaps as many as 40 or 45 years. Of course back then, there was much more of this kind of stuff still around, as everyone seemed to have MILSURP ammo for sale.


Allow me to put a question that most 9mm collectors probably know already: (And it relates to the thread)

Recently got to complete 08 boxes added to my collection: a 1943 oxo, lot 31 which has m.E. bullets loaded in them and a 1943 dnh, lot 69 with SE bullets in. My first SE loaded german 9mm. Now the oxo looks ‘normal’ (to me): black bullets, clear pa sealant, Zdh 08/40. The dnh has a black mouth sealant as well as on the whole primer. I have not seen the case mouth sealant before, how common is this?



John, I also have the P * 22 38 with a black mE blt. Mine is in almost new condition and is clearly a legit load, not somebody’s bullet replacement. Both it and an aux 41 mE bullet round weigh within 0.04g of each other. So it is probably a standard mE load. The earliest Polte drawing I have of what looks like a standard mE bullet & core is dated Nov 39 but doesn’t have the bullet weight. The Jun 40 drawings give the weight of the loaded round as 10.77g+ pr - 0.25g. The two rounds I weighed were 10.71g and 10.76g so both close to the design weight. Th bullet weight on a Jun 40 bullet drawing shows the weight as 6,42g.

I have drawings of three experimental Polte mE bullets with core designs very different from the production mE core. The drawings are dated as follows, along with the bullet weights:

Oct 37 6.65g

Feb 38 6.02g

Mar 38 6,52g

Based on these dates, it would appear that the standare mE bullet with the mushroom core was developed sometime between mid-1938 and or during 1939.

Assuming the aux 41 load has a standard 6.42g bullet, it would appear likely that the P * 22 38 also had a standard mE bullet. It is therefore seems unlikely to me that by late 38 Polte had matured the standard bullet to the point that they would even be blackening the bullet. The earliest mE loads I have besides this one are all dated 1940.

I do have reports of black mE Polte loads dated 16-38 and 23-39, but have not seen or confirmed either of these.

I suspect our P * 22 38 rounds were loaded no earlier than mid to late 1940.

Your dnh * 2 41 SE load is the only one I have ever documented and have no insights on it. I don’t have any documentation of anyone but VDM trying to develop an 9mm SE bullet early in WWII. DWM Berlin did the testing on the VDM bullets and then proposed their own 9mm SE bullet. There is a wonderful letter from a senior guy at VDM to a senior guy at DWM B that says “you are behaving like a Jewish person.” and this in 1942 as I recall. Documentation available indicates early all VDM testing was done by eej or hla. I have an eej load with a sintered core bullet from 1941 which was their first serious attempt to produce a sintered iron bullet because the sintered bullets broke too easily and needed a jacket to hold them together. VDM then found a better machine and tried to develop all sintered bullets. The woodin Labortary has an hla 42 case with a blunt SE bullet. The blunt ogive was to prevent the tip from cracking off. This is also clearly a VDM experimental.

There are a set of long SE bullets tested in 42 and 43 as I remember to improve functioning in the MP40 but that is another story.

I am very interested in other early SE bullets and particularly any documentation that someone other than VDM ever tried to produce SE bullets. The VDM records, as I’ve been told, do not give any indication that someone else had been or was working on SE bullets in 1941.



Lew - I have seen reference to “VDM” before, but have never seen anyone write out what it stands for. Pardon my ignorance, which instead of diminishing grows with each passing day, but can you tell us what it stands for?

More and more I am believing that my “dnh 41” round is an end of the war components clean up. Of course, the Sinoxid primer is not totally incompatible with the dnh case. I may have another instance of this primer used with a coded case from RWS. Perhaps on a red-sealed police round. I will have to check that out. As for the SE bullet, who knows. I will inspect it as closely as I can without disassembly. If I believe it is, instead, simply a fake, I will destroy it. Too many fake rounds going around as it is.

I guess the question that maybe someone like Peelen could answer, is did the Germans ever bother with component clean-up loading, especially late in the war when some components must have become scarcer due to bombing, overrun factories, etc… I know that years ago, I got a large selection of B-patronen that were found in Finland loaded on mixed brass cases of many makers whose cases are not normally found in relation to that loading. However, mixed in, in the same mediocre (bad storage) condition were B-patronen with headstamps normal for the loading. All were identical in crimping, condition, primers, and the like, and in my opinion, 100 percent legitimate. They, too, seemed like an instance of using up dribs and drabs of brass cases perhaps left over at various plants from various earlier runs of ammunition. What with rejects, spoiled cartridges, and the like, I am quite sure it is unlikely hardly any run of ammunition ever comes out even on all components of the cartridges.


John, I can not speak for the German small caliber area as that is not my field but in 20mm for example I have seen such late war “clean-up loads” where 5 year old Projectiles (including the old loading data from 1939 with P-code) were loaded on a 1944 dated MG151/20 case.
So if there is a system to this such things could have well happened in SAA factories too.


John, Don’t destroy it. I don’t believe there is any way to determine it is a fake. There are lots of totally legit things it can be and no way in my mind to determine what it is. Unknown is a long way from being a fake! I have a number of dnh * Lot date headstamps with Sinoxid primers-all on 41 and 42 dated cases.

John, I dug out the documents. The name of the organization is Just VDM. Specifically the letterhead is VDM-Sintermetallwerke GMBH, Ettlingen-Baden. VDM Frankfurt (M) - Heddernheim Techn Sekretarial is another address. A third is VDM Lagerfabrik. No where in the documents I have is there any indication what VDM stands for!



Lew, the most prominent VDM in the metal business I known of is “Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke”. Today it belongs to Thyssen-Krupp and is named “VDM-Metals GmbH”.
They also had/have an office in Heddernheim.
Maybe somebody can confirm or clarify.


Thank you guys. At least now I don’t feel quite so dumb and like all these years I have been missing something.



I have a related question: does anybody have any ballistic info for 9mm mE ammo in MP40 or any similar submachine gun? I’m interested in V0, V100, and, if possibly V200 bullet velocities.



I am away from home and have my notes not avaiable. Basically “Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke” is correct for VDM. They were a conglomerate of several companies specializing in metals (heavy as well as light), which became VDM branches. The main office was at Frankfurt-Heddernheim and there was a special factory set up for sintered military products (SE bullets being only one of them) at Ettlingen near Karlsruhe.


John, I recently heard from a German friend who has a number of reports on early SE bullet development, and in one from 1944 covering the development of SE bullets there is a section indicating that during the test program that went on for years SE bullets were loaded in brass cases as well as steel. In addition, at one point, Geco was tasked to load SE bullets in brass cases from an assortment of manufacturers and test them. Shouldn’t be any surprise a brass dnh case shows up with an SE bullet. Probably Polte and lots of other cases would also show up.

He also indicated the entire SE bullet effort originated with VDM in 1939 when they began working on 7.92 bullets. Because of early problems with the bullet tips breaking it soon shifted to 9mm bullets, but SE bullets were also made for other pistol calibers. There appears to be no SE bullet program independent of the VDM effort, probably because VDM held so many patents in this area.



Lew - I examined my dnh brass-case round with Sinoxid copper primer cup, and loaded with SE bullet, and can see no evidence of tampering. The cartridge is not mint, but also is not in bad condition. From what you just wrote, the whole thing would make more sense, since while it is likely that dnh-coded cases were actually made by RWS rather than GECO regardless of the 1927 agreement, since with the headstap they are a military-contract case, it could have been among “cases from various manufacturers” and certainly there would be nothing strange about the SINOXID primer since Geco used those primers in their own headstamped commercial loads.

It would be nice to know if the bullets were the normal, 1944/45 issue type or something else, snce the case is dated 41. I would not know how to tell, myself, and I do’t really want to disassemble the cartridge.


John, All I have been told is that it was in a 1944 report, but the entry was undated and the information in the report went back to the beginning of the SE project at VDM. I specifically asked if there was anyway to imply a date for the entry and the answer was that there was not.

My opinion is that it is very unlikely that it is a 1941 load. At that time VDM was focused on an SE core bullet with a jacket like the eej 41 headstamped round I have. Even in 42 it seems that VDM may not have been building bullets with the normal P08 ogive, but that is just a supposition based on the rounds I have seen and the info in some VDM documents. Others may have much better documentation. Perhaps Dutch has something in his files.

My guess is that it is probably no earlier than late 42 but more likely 43 since the bullet looks like a production bullet as I recall.



Maxim: The best information on velocities of 08 SE and 08mE loadings in SMGs I have is from the White and Munhall metric pistol cartridge volume of the late 1940s. They give the velocity at 50 feet from a 12.5 in. barrel as 1296 fps for the regular 08 loading, 1482 for the 08mE and 1505 for the 08SE. Jack


[quote=“mausernut”]Allow me to put a question that most 9mm collectors probably know already: (And it relates to the thread)

Recently got to complete 08 boxes added to my collection: a 1943 oxo, lot 31 which has m.E. bullets loaded in them and a 1943 dnh, lot 69 with SE bullets in. My first SE loaded german 9mm. Now the oxo looks ‘normal’ (to me): black bullets, clear pa sealant, Zdh 08/40. The dnh has a black mouth sealant as well as on the whole primer. I have not seen the case mouth sealant before, how common is this?


bocn.co.uk/vbforum/threads/9 … en-bullets


Soren - I am sorry that your question was ignored here. It may be simply because no one had what they felt was a definitive answer to your question. I have never seen what I would call a documented answer to the black neck seals on some German 9 mm cartridges. Regarding “normality” I have long since given up the term “normal” in describing German WWII ammunition - the “norm” seems to be that there is no norm.

Regarding the all black primer, somewhere in my notes I think I have information that indicates that with the earliest use of the steel cup primers as a standard option, some factories covered the whole primer cup with the colored primer sealant. This was done to prevent rusting of the external service of the cup. The information I have was that it was found out this practive caused a transfer of the sealant to the face of the breech of the weapons in which it was fired, sometimes gumming up the firing pin hole, so a directive was issued stopping the practive. The earlier of the two “dnh” 9 mm rounds I have with the black neck seal has the all black primer, while the later of the two has only the normal ring of black sealant around the outer edge of the primer and the inner edge of the primer pocket.

Regarding the black neck seal, the only rounds with sintered iton bullets that I have with this are from RWS (dnf) and DWM (faa). They have the ring of black sealant at the primer as well. I don’t collect lot numbers and dates, only visual differences, so I don’t know how common (that is, how many lots) from these two makers have this.

I think your guess on the British forum may have been accurate. We all know of the commercial DWM, Geco and RWS pistol ammunition with red seals at the primer and neck, which were to keep out moisture and, I suppose, other contaminents, so why not the black ones on the SE-bulleted rounds for the military, as well? For me, it remains a guess, since again, I have seen no documentation of this use of the neck seal on SE 9 mm 08 rounds, but it is certainly a logical guess.

Again, sorry you felt ignored. I was going to let someone more knowledgeable than I answer your question, as there are so many on this Forum that know this stuff better than I do. That, coupled with the fact that I have no documentation on the subject, but felt perhaps others did, kept me “off” the question until I read your entry on the site provided by EOD.


Thanks for your input on the SE sealant. One lesson for me is to be a bit more patient for answers to my questions…

The problem with primer sealant ending up all over the mechanism of guns is known even today as I myself wondered about the tiny red dots all over the receiver insides of my straight pull AR15 at the Imperial three weeks ago. It of course came from the production overrun FNB 5,56 I had bought specifically for shooting on Bisley. It has bright red pa’s.


Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke (VDM) was a rather large business. There were 24 codes assigned to its factories all over Germany according to “Liste der Fertigungskennzeichen”. There were factories for light alloys as well as copper alloys and cables.

A factory for sintered products was set up south-east to Ettlingen near Karlsruhe (in a valley near Busenbach and Neurod) which is a industrial area to this day and can be reached from Karlsruhe by tramway. (I do not know what factory code it used.)

9 mm SE bullet production was (according to BIOS report 595) in thousands:
Apr-Dec 1943: 41.452
Jan-Dec 1944: 161.408
Jan-Mar 1945: 14.967
altogether more than 217 million bullets.

Brinell hardness of the bullet is given as 65-75