Early Spandau ? 9mm P08 with strange hst


Just received this cartridge with 12 other Spanday early truncated bullet loads. The headstamp has a strange swirling mark on the casehead with the headstamp apparently applied over the swirl. Visible at the top of the headstamp, in the 12 O’Clock position is the faint impression of the top of an “S”. When I measure this mark, it has the same width as the “S” in the partial headstamp to the left.

The date “14” is clear in the 7 O’Clock position and there is a strange small circle in about the 4 O’Clock position where I would expect to see the month.

My initial reaction is this small circle was a reload mark, but that doesn’t explain the missing month mark and the circle is much smaller than the marks on any of my other reloads from this period (Examples from Aug 10 and Feb 13 shown). I have 15 Spandau rounds in the collection with a single reload mark and one with two reload marks. Two of these are loaded with RN bullets so their loading would be later than the round pictured if it is a reload. Although there appear to be two slightly different diameters of the reload marks in my collection, they are all much larger than the circle on this headstamp. As you can see from the partial hst on the right, this circle is not the upper half of an “8”.

It would be easy to write this round off as a poorly struck headstamp with a faint S and the month missing, and a reload mark where the month was. The very small size of the circle and no hint, that I can see, of a month makes me wonder if there isn’t another explaination.

I’m interested in the comments of the Forum members! Have any of you seen something similar?

You can click on the photo and see it in a somewhat larger size I think.



I played with this headstamp enlarged and in photo shop eveyway I know how, but it simply is not a good enough picture or a clear enough stamping, not sure which, to deciper. My first impression was that it was the Turkish Army property mark as found on several calibers of Non-Turk ammo. However, I don’t think so. My gut feeling is it is just a very bad stamping of the month of the year, just as the “S” for Spandau is a bad stamping.

I am not the most proficient with working over pictures and I don’t have the best soft-ware for doing it either, so my impressions, in essence, aren’t worth much.


I have seen a photo on this forum before of a .50 BMG case with the same spiral on the case head.

It was decided in the thread that it was caused by the lathe cutting tool used in the case manufacturing process. If the cutting tool was worn or chipped it could quite possibly cause this. It likely happened when the tool was withdrawn by the machine after taking the finish machining cut across the case head.



The small circle (on the left and right cartridges) is a reload marking.
I have some Spandau boxes with the ‘Hülsen Aufgearbeitet’ note on the label, they have the same marking.

I’m also convinced that the center cartridge is a production error, with equally bad markings. Monday morning in Spandau (or Friday evening ;) )


Thanks guys! I agree on the spiral marking being an artifact of production, but in all my case draw sets (about 15), the casehead is always bunted and not trimmed. The drawing process leaves the casehead rounded. In all the cases where I have a very complete set of draws, the primer pocket is then pressed into the base which is still rounded. In the next stage the head is bunted flat and the headstamp is impressed in a single step that leaves a slight to significant rim on the case which is then turned off.

I have 4 steps of a P28 Ex 38 case draw, and a Blazer aluminum case draw, that have a step that flattens the base before the case is finally drawn to 9mm, but it is clearly a bunting step and there are no turning marks at all on the head, only straight lines across the head.

I have a Polte draw board from 1934 with lots of steps and it includes the stage with the primer pocket pressed in, and the next stage is the flattened head with the headstamp, and no evidence of head turn marks on any of these stages.

I don’t know how 50 Browning cases are manufactured, but I can find no evidence that case heads are turned in any of my case draw material. Of course, I don’t have any case draws from 1914.

The only turning operations I know of in 9mm are:

  1. When the groove is turned, and I guess a bit of trimmed material could get into contact with the casehead and leave the spiral, but this would be after the headstamp is bunted which is not the case here.
  2. The other would be when the partially formed case is trimmed to approximately the correct length just before the primer cup is pressed into the rounded base. Guess a piece of scrape could get caught against the back of the case and cut a groove that would then be pressed flat in the headstamping process. This would perhaps yield the spiral on this headstamp.
    I don’t know of any other operations where the case would be turned relative to the tooling that would leave this sort of mark. Perhaps those who have worked in case manufacture know of other times when the case is turned in the tooling.

This still doesn’t answer the question on the small circle.

Vlim, yes, the two partial headstamps are on reloads in my collection. I pictured them to show how much smaller the circle is on the center headstamp.

Has anyone seen a reload mark this small on 9mm or on any caliber in the early 1900s on German ammo?

I appreciate the comments. Thanks for taking the time.



Some spirals on a few of these .50 BMG, which appear to be done before bunting. Nothing on any of my 9’s


Before bunting will be impossible I think. The last Image shows that it was done after.


Pete, There is no question that spirals were cut on the base of the 50B cases sometime during manufacture!

I use to have a 20mm case draw set. I’ll have to see if I still have it around somewhere and see if it shows evidence of the head being turned at some point.

Thanks, Lew