Pivi - unfortunately, headstamps don’t always tell the whole story. I have 9mm Glisenti loads from 1941 and 1944, both with the “9M38” headstamp, a loading they most certainly were not. I also have a 9 x 25mm Mauser cartridge with 9M38 headstamp, a caliber never chambered in that “Mitra”.
Along with that, I have three different Fiocchi 9mm Blanks (Cartucce di salve) that have the 9M38 headstamp, and certainly don’t have that load, since there is no bullet. I have four variations of 9mm with truncated bullet, like the glisenti, from the 1960s, all bearing a 9M38 headstamp, even though the truncated bullet is not standard for that weapon, and these rounds were sold commercially, despite their military-dated headstamps. One has a nickeled truncated bullet and may even be a 9mm Glisenti loading, although as we all know, Fiocchi offered the 9mm Para cartridge with truncated bullet, and still does.
The first use of a NATO-marked 9mm by Italy seems to have been by
Societa Mertallurgica Italiana (SMI) in 1975, the only year they used the NATO mark, and the last headstamp on 9mm that I have seen from this company. Fiocchi didn’t start with the NATO-marked headstamps until 1976, and once they started using the NATO marking, never went back to the 9M38 marking it would seem. They have made plenty of 9mm with military-style headstamps since then, but by the box labels that we have, they mostly, if not all, seem to be contracts for non-NATO countries, or for police agencies in other countries. Why Italy took so long after their entry to meet all NATO STANG requirements for this cartridge is beyond me. I simply have no way to know that.
Capua never used the NATO mark as far as I can tell, on 9mm Para anyway, and their production of that cartridge does not seem to have survived past the 1960s.
In my collection, I have a subsonic cartridge, with NATO-mark and an “88” headstamp from Fiocchi, and I am not sure if that cartridge, with a bullet weight estimated at about 140 to 145 grains based on its full cartridge weight of around 220 grains, meets any NATO standard at all. If not, the NATO mark represents a misuse of the NATO headstamp.
The point is, not all loadings are properly headstamped.
Now, regarding the 9M38 and the 9MM Parabellum being a different cartridge, again, they absolutely are not. They may be different loadings of the same cartridge. I will not argue that point, as different velocities are shown in the Fiocchi catalogs (sometimes different from catalog to catalog, by the way), although as we all know, published velocities, often taken at factories with various pressure & velocity measuring devices that do not resemble the firearms the ammunition will be made in, often don’t meet catalog specifications when tested in standard firearms. HP White Laboratory’s testing of the 9M38 ammo made during or shortly after WWII gave instrumental pressures and velocities only slightly above American commercial ammunition, and well below ammunition made in Germany during the war, and well below Canadian military 9mm Ammunition.
We must separate, in terminology, the difference between cartridges and loadings. I don’t know why the 9mm Glisenti was given a special name. I suppose it was because Italy did not use any weapon capable of safely handling standard 9mm Parabellum ballistics, at the time the cartridge was adopted in 1910. Further, even 9mm Glisenti loads vary in pressure. Loads designed for submachine guns had a felt wad added to increase orperating pressures slightly by reducing the powder space (capacity) and adding the weight of the wad to that of the bullet. There are 9mm Parabellum (Luger) loadings made right now that are not any higher in pressure and velocity than were Italian 9mm Glisenti cartridges, due to use of lighter weight bullets (pressures) and very heavy bullets (velocities). These are all, never-the-less, 9mm Parabellum cartridges.
Regarding the ejection cycle of a specific, individual firearm of any given model with any particular type of ammunition, there are so many variables possible there, right down to the condition of the ammunition used, that the usefulness of anecdotal evidence like that is very, very limited.
In summary, I do not argue that the 9M38 is not a different loading than SOME other 9mm Parabellum rounds; I do argue that is not a different cartridge and evidence bearing that out, besides the case and cartridge dimensions, is that even the factory that made both, Giulio Ficcchi, of Lecco, (in fact sometimes as many as five different 9x19 loadings) gives the names “9mm Parabellum, 9mm Luger, and 9mm M38” as synonyms in their own factory literature.
We are probably simply arguing semantics here, but unfortunately, semantics are sometimes important in clear discussions of ammunition, as with any other field.
However, We both agree that the use of modern 9mm Parabellum loadings, higher in pressure and velocity than the “9mm Glisenti” round, will damage Glisenti (and even the somewhat strengthened Brixia - I have seen evidence of that myself) and Beretta pistols made specifically for the Glisenti loading.