German 9mm browning short

this is a brassed cased round with a round nose cw steel jacketed bullet ,the headstamp is segmented in 2 lines at 9 and 3 oclock 11 16 S the 11 is at 10 oclock, and the 16 is at 2 oclock , with the S below the lines at 6 oclock , why this headstamp layout ? was it a special loading ? , thanks Randy

I cannot answer why the Munitionsfabik Spandau, of Germany, used the headstamp layout that they did, on this caliber of ammunition. I have never seen that documented at all. The use of the one radial line across the headstamp (appearing as two lines due to interruption by the primer) is unusual for a German cartridge. However, there is no evidence that this is other than an ordinary ball cartridge, probably made for use by the German Military for the few pistols of this caliber they used; that is, few in comparison to pistols of 7.65mm Browning, 7.63mm Mauser and 9mm Parabellum caliber.

For some reason, the .380 Auto Cartridge (9mm Browning Short) was never particularly popular within Germany, compared to the 7.65mm. That can be seen in the much smaller production of pistols of that caliber by those factories that made them in both.

The Spandau cartridge is definitely a .380 auto, by the way, and not an early experimental 9mm Nickl round, as shown by its 9.30mm rim, as opposed to the nominally 9.00 rim (one I just measured was 9.03mm) of the latter cartridge.

Spandau also used radial lines across the headstamp of 9mm Browning Long cartridges made in 1916, although they used two such lines (appearing as four due to interruption by the primer pocket), creating a four-place headstamp layout. However, the cartridge has only three pieces of information on it, “S l 6 l 16 l l” with one segment left blank. These are definitely ball cartridges, as the box label is well known. The use of any radial lines on pistol cartridges of German manufacture and the WWI era is a bit unusual, as we said.

John Moss

Thanks for your reply John, can you tell me if the German military used steel cases for this caliber, Randy

Only in WWII, made by dou if I remember right. The specialists will certainly know more.

I believe EOD is correct. In a collection of approximately 700 specimens of .380 auto, the only steel-cased ball cartridge I have, other than relatively recent Russian commercial rounds which all have sttel cases, is the “dou.” code round made in Slovakia by Waffenwerke Br

Thanks John

Hi Randy,

This one is for you.


Hi Dutch, thanks for the picture , I would love to have that box, regards Randy