Fiocchi 9 mm with black bullets


They are looking quite new, but a short search on the net didn’t turn up anything. Why would Fiocchi paint/colour the bullet black? They look like ordinary cast lead on the surface.



Might it be a teflon coating?


It certainly is smooth to the touch. they have a faint soapy/perfumed odor (!)
The black bullets shown in the Fiocchi USA catalogue are (ordinary lead) historic cartridges loaded to CIP specs (455 webley, 44 russian etc), except there are no 9 mm with black bullets…
Wonder what I have here…


If they are lead they almost certainly wont be cast they will be swaged. Try the thumbnail test.
Probably some external coating moly/ teflon / graphite concoction (?) to prevent friction with the bore and thus leading.

Lead bullets work just fine in 9mm if they are hard enough. The thumbnail test with an experienced tester is pretty much as accurate as using a proper lead hardness tester give or take. Up to about a BH (Brinell hardness) of about 16 they will mark wth a thumbnail getting more difficult as the hardness goes up. Pure linotype is about BH hardness of 22 and won’t mark at all.


These cartridges were sold commercially by Fiocchi in the late 1980s. At least I got mine in about 1989 or 1990. The box label identifies the cartridge as Palla Piombo - Lead Round Nose

I am told that the bullet is teflon coated which accounts for the black color.




OK, that tallies with the fact that not one of the other carts in those three boxes i got were younger than about 35 years…


These look similar to the Winchester SXZ practice cartridges that are meant to ballistically match the SXZ HP bullets. As I understand it, the SXZ HP’s are just black-coated silvertips?? Here’s the training loads:

I’ll have a box of these at SLICS if anybody wants one.


They were also commercially sold in Spain in the 1990s. The lead bullet is teflon coated. Legend says that the Spanish police tried to ban them because on test they were found to pierce Kevlar bulletproof vests.


Must have been very weak Kevlar vests if lead bullets pierced them. I’m pretty sure that a typical copper jacket will improve a lead bullet’s penetrative abilities more than a spray coat of Teflon, and typical FMJ bullets don’t penetrate Kevlar. But then popular culture tells us that any bullet “sprayed with Teflon” will shoot holes in bulldozer blades.


Lead teflon coated bullets , still sold at least in Italy

Fiocchi makes a line of cartridges intended for self defense with FMJ teflon coated bullets too .They are very light and with a slight concavity at the nose ( “black mamba”)


[quote=“Pivi”]Lead teflon coated bullets , still sold at least in Italy

Fiocchi makes a line of cartridges intended for self defense with FMJ teflon coated bullets too .They are very light and with a slight concavity at the nose ( “black mamba”)[/quote]

Brother Pivi, I agree with you and Lew that the GFL load pictured is the Teflon (TFL) coated bullets.

It seems that Fiocchi has several lines of handgun loads that we do not see here in the USA, like the TFL loads, the Top Defense Black Mamba and Top Target copper plated loads.


I think that american fellows can use far more effective bullets for self defence .Black Mamba loads were developed for the italian market since here HP and SP bullets are illegal for self defense purposes .You can use FMJ or lead bullets only .
The FMJ black mamba’s are very light and that nose depression optimize the energy transfer to the target even without an expansion


I hadn’t heard of the Black Mambas before, here are some images:


Spoke to a fellow gun club member today and he told me they were used mostly for target shooting, he chose these when the range didn’t allow jacketed bullets. They were the best before we began making our own lead loads with the Händler and Natermann High speed copper coated now available.


The Lead + Teflon Loads in 9mm is the way around Italy’s sometimes ridiculous Gun regulations. The 9x19 is considered an “Ammunition of War” and as such is Banned in its FMJ etc loading. But the Cast/swaged lead load is not considered a “Munition of War” ( remember the Hague Convention) and can be used for personal defence etc.) The various “NON-M92 Beretta” Pistols are also not considered “Weapons of War”, and so any such pistols in 9x19 ( including the 9x19 Israeli Copies of the S&W M&P Mod 10. revolver) as free to hold and use.

Back in the 1980s, a review of the old Mussolini Firearms regulations saw the removal of all NON-Current calibres and hence rifle and handgun designs from the prohibited lists ( all the WW II and WWI firearms had been prohibited, as was their ammo if FMJ), so a Milsurp heaven descended on Italy, as did the relative purgatory of the National Catalogue of Permitted Firearms. FMJ ammo is still considered with a Jaundiced eye, even if only used for Target shooting, and certain calibres are still “Proibito” (9x19 Ball, 5,56 Ball, 7,62 Ball --but NOT “.223 or .308”) as Self Loading rifles with Modifications (10 round mags, No grenade launchers or bayo. attachments) are reasonably available, such as the Austrian StG58 FAL, converted by Euro-Arms (Gardone VT) and others

Before this Change in attitude, Italy had utilised the typical “Italian Loophole”, the 9x21 cartridge ( same overall dimensions as the 9x19, only modification to the Gun was the depth of chamber…useless for a 9x19m but same power etc. For a while, Fiocchi, MFS (Hungary) and IMI (Samson) made 9x21 Ammo specifically for the Italian market, and in the mid to late 1980s, I saw brand New Colt Commanders made in USA specifically for both 9x23 Steyr (obsolete calibre) AND 9x21,(non-Military) on sale at my favourite Turin Gunshop.

The Lead loaded 9x19 also found favour with training establishments, target shooters for Practice, and “home defence” use in Countries where FMJ or JHP were banned.
The teflon coating is simply a lubricant, and may reduce the amount of lead vapour released into the atmosphere on firing.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


[quote]The teflon coating is simply a lubricant, and may reduce the amount of lead vapour released into the atmosphere on firing.[/quote]It has one added benefit: It reduces the lead fouling of the barrel in the hotter and therefore flatter trajectory loads. Pistol barrels with polygon rifling are notorious for this and the main reason why H&N began offering the Cu HS bullets to reloaders and manufacturers. When the range used for one of our “terrain shoots” has a non-jacketed rule (because of safety concerns) we use our “copper-clad” loads because they can be loaded to the same speed and trajectory as an FMJ.


Fiocchi also loaded a 123gr JHP with the same coating. I’ve seen it advertised as a copy of the Winchester Black Talon but has VERY poor terminal effect in standardized testing; only moderate deformation and uneven expansion in the single run I provided. The bullet is somewhat interesting in that it has a copper cap or plug in the base to make it a ‘TMJHP’ of sorts.

If I ever get another camera I’ll post some pics but I imagine someone will beat me to it since it’s not a rare load. (I took a lot of pics of my better half on a recent vacation and the camera crapped out and ate them…it has since been, um, dropped vigorously).


I have shot quite a few boxes of 7.65 Para / .30 Luger Fiocchi versions with a similar black coated lead roundnose.

Note the (TFL) addition on the box label.