EOD - I was the one that asked for more details, since I not only collect this caliber in a fairly big way, but also the guns and all accessories for the guns.
I doubt that this is a French round. I cannot see why it would be made for France, who not only do not use the Makarov pistol, but also have the capability of tooling up for this cartridge if they wanted to. Manurhin has already made a factory set up for an unspecified buyer for this caliber. I have a cartridge that was run as a test on the tooling before it was shipped, with the headstamp bunter not in the machinery (no headstamp on the cartridge) probably for industrial security reasons, ie: they didn’t want anyone to know who the machinery was for. That is simply conjecture on my part, fueled by what I was told when I was given the cartridge.
It may have been made in total by Hirtenberger. They made some 9mm Para ammo for the French police with this headstamp and thus the oddly arranged headstamp indicating Hirtenberger as the loading factory and again (a second HP on the headstamp) indicating they also supplied the case metal. This headstamp style was used again on 9 x 18mm Police cartridges made by Hirtenberger as part of the experimental series leading up to the finalized 9 x 18mm Police Cartridge for the SIG-Sauer P230 and Walther PP Super pistols. I suppose they simply used the available bunter to make these cartridges, which were probably not destined for any particular police agency or for commercial sales, but rather for in-house experiments.
The bullet is a total mystery. It is a bit of a throwback to the very early FN softpoint bullet commonly encountered on calibers like 9mm Browning Long, 9mm Browning Short (.380 auto) and 7.65mm Browning (.32 Auto). Of course, it is not exactly like those bullets in ogive, but is in the very little bit of brass jacket showing above the case mouth, and the large amount of lead revealed.
As far as to why it was made and/or for who it was made - I haven’t the faintest idea. Still, if a legitimate loading, a very interesting cartridge. Despite my research into Makarov ammo, and my own collection of over 350 specimens, I had never heard of or seen this cartridge until you sent the first picture of it to my personal email.