Geco 9 mm Para ID


#1

Do anyone know this Geco cartridge with red painted head? Headstamp is “Geco * 9mm Luger”. It was found among a huge lot of loose 9mmP cartridges from Denmark.

Morten


#2

Morten - I have never seen it before. It is one of those interesting rounds with the Geco headstamp with a single star on it. I have never been able to get an explanation for the headstamp, either. Geco proof rounds, as you know, usually have a knurled rim, although I suppose they would mark proof loads any way the customer asked. However, does Denmark made any 9mm weapon themselves, where they would need proof loads? Other than that, no clue.

Do you know what the single star means on Geco brass (I think it also appears on some modern brass marked RWS)?


#3

[quote=“JohnMoss”]Morten - I have never seen it before. It is one of those interesting rounds with the Geco headstamp with a single star on it. I have never been able to get an explanation for the headstamp, either. Geco proof rounds, as you know, usually have a knurled rim, although I suppose they would mark proof loads any way the customer asked. However, does Denmark made any 9mm weapon themselves, where they would need proof loads? Other than that, no clue.

Do you know what the single star means on Geco brass (I think it also appears on some modern brass marked RWS)?[/quote]

John, Madsen made some sub machine guns in 9x19 during the 1950’s.

world.guns.ru/smg/smg60-e.htm


#4

EOD - you’re right about that. I forgot about them. However, this headstamp is quite a bit more current than than, perhaps from the late 1980s or even the 1990s, and I was talking in relationship to the round in question possibly being a proof load made specifically as marked, instead of kurled rim, for the Danish.

Good thought though. I have handled a Madsen, even though I never had a chance to fire one. Nice gun. Very practical in design it would seem to me.


#5

I think the Geco headstamp with the single star was made in the 1980s, but perhaps later. When it first came out I was told by a German collector that it was being sold as new primed cases for loaders/reloaders and that is the first specimen I got was a NPE case. Since then I have seen lots of loaded ammunition so I don’t know what the story is now.

Since it was once (and perhaps is) sold as NPEs, it could be almost anything by almost anybody. I have not seen anything similar. Sorry!


#6

I, too, received my first “Geco * 9mm Luger” headstamp as a NUPE case. However, since that time, I have factory loads with FMJ, Soft Point, and all-lead bullets in those cases. I also have factory loaded ball FMJ with the headstamp “RWS * 9mm Luger” and I have the box for that one. I have never been able to get a satisfactory explanation for the single star on the headstamp, or for that matter, why the later commercial Geco rounds have two stars on the heastamp (* Geco * 9mm Luger).

If it were not for the RWS offering, I would think that sales for the NUPE bras simply did not live up to productio, so it was used to load new ammo at the factory. The instance of the RWS headstamp makes that less likely, in my opinion, but I have no real answer for the question of “Why the star?”


#7

I got my first headstamp of this type out of a box with lot number “62 NG”, which is believed to date from 1987. It has a FMJ bullet and the first Boxer primed Geco case I have registered.
Morten


#8

Morton,

That is interesting. I was thinking as I looked at this question that the star might mean “boxer primer,” but I don’t keep as good records as you do of my own collection, and had no real way to tell if it was the earliest boxer primed round I had acquired, or not. That could be what the star indicates. The one with “RWS” headstamp could also, although it comes years later, after most of the Geco 9mm was boxer-primed and with no headstamp ID denoting the boxer primer. So, I wonder if it means it or not, and if so, if it has the same meaning on the RWS-headstamped case. I wonder if the two stars on the later commercial Geco indicates the same thing?


#9

If these cases were NPE was wondering if the head color might indicate some shooters special load. When I shot high power competition there was a company that made a shooting box that had a built in compartment with about 80 holes for cartridges. At the time we shot the old N. R. A A course. 200, 300, 600, 1000 yards. (50 rounds for record). Some shooters put a whole days ammo in the compartment and colored the cartridge heads with different colors for each different load they used so as not to mix them up if the shooting box was accidently dropped. I kept each different load in plastic cartridge boxes with a label and only had the load I was shooting at the time in the shooting box. Just a thought.

Gourd


#10

Gourd, Coming from Denmark, I doubt the cartridge is a reload or the head was colored for that purpose. Guns are severely regulated in Denmark, more than the other two Scandinavian countries I think, and 9mm Para in particular is a proscribed caliber for civilians. I don’t think reloading is a big hobby there, other than maybe for shotguns.

Al;so, while I know it is hard to tell in a picture, the cartridge Morten pictured simply doesn’t look like it was ever reloaded to me.

I think the best bets here, and it is all conjecture, is either a very sloppy primer sealing - perhaps a glitch in the machine the does it (the color is close to the red that Geco normally uses for a primer seal,) or perhaps this round was part of some sort of comparitive testing. I don’t think it is a proof load for reasons stated earlier - no guns from this era for the Danes to proof, to my knowledge, and the standard for Geco in proof loads is a knurled rim, not a red base. We may never have the real answer to this one, unless some information from Denmark shows up.


#11

Morten, I assume you did the normal and weighed it and it is normal and the bullet is typical DAG magnetic, etc. So unless there is something else different about the load besides the red head we are stuck.

Two ideas. First, because it came in a shipment from Denmark doesn’t mean it originated in Denmark. I remember a shipment of ammo from Denmark that was sold for scrap and it had all kinds of stuff in it. For this reason I wouldn’t rule out that it was someone’s load (not reload, but using the NPE or NUPE cases). He may have marked the head so he could pick up his empties on the range. The He doesn’t need to be a civilian, but Police or Military, both of whom have access to 9mm weapons and ammo. I think this is a more probable situation.

What I described above is an “informal test” with a military or police person screwing around with the load. It could have also been something more formal by some organization in Denmark. I’m sure there are companies that are authorized to have and test weapons, as well as the police and military. I think it is legit, but legit what is the question. My bet is either a formal test load (not proof) or an informal test load by some organization/person in Denmark who is authorized to have and shoot 9mmP weapons.


#12

I am just confirming about the marking of cases. The practice of marking your own cases to identify them on the range is extremely common especially with auto ammunition. Most shooters have their own style or colour to differentiate them from the other when they are picked up…
As the rounds are all bullet down in the box you simply colour in the bases with a marker pen. I have to say that the colouring on this base looks just like you would expect.
Usually associated with reloads but that round in the picture does not look like a reload, you can usually tell by the texture of the brass case after it has been resized.


#13

The cartridge does definitely not look like a reload or homeload, although it is harder to tell if it was loaded from an NPE.
If you look closely at the projectile, it has a darker “ring” at the ogive, which is near to identical to the “ring” on 115 grain projectiles loaded in “Geco 9mm Para” cases (Berdan primed) of 1981-vintage used by the Norwegian military and police for many years.

The cartridge in question weights 191,3 grains, and the “Geco 9mm Para” ctg (115 grains bt) weights 178,1 grains. This could mean that the red headed ctg has a 123 grains bullet and that the rest og the weight difference is due to the somewhat differently constructed Boxer primed case.

But we still don’t know the meaning of the red head…
Morten


#14

Morten,

Geco has loaded both 7.5 gram (115 Gr) and 8 gram (124) grain bullets, so the weight of your round is not unusual for a factory load.


#15

Morten,
The darker “ring” at the ogive, has been ‘created’ by the fact that some cartridges are stored nose down in plastic boxes like on the picture below


#16

Well, far from all cartridges stored in plastic frames get such a ring. Anyway, my point was only to comment on the possibility that the cartridge is a reload, which I do not believe it is.
Morten