I still have questions in my mind about the absolute match of colors to a Hungarian proof load in my collection, that once again, came from an almost indisputable source; indisputable in the sense that the man had no connection to anything to do with cartridge collecting as we know it, but as an ex-ordnance high-ranking officer, left behind at death a house full of ordnance stuff, including an attic full of light machine guns. My P 40 black plastic dummy came from what was left, as did the red base 9 x 15 proof taped together with a normal Hungarian ball round. I also acquired four or five German Wall charts from the estate.
That said, in 9 mm Para, in 55 years of collecting including two European shows, I have never seen any other red-base German 9 x 19 rounds except two of the Kam -headstamp that both Lew and I got from the same source years ago.
You would think that if repair shops (of which I am only slightly familiar, since I visited several times the weapons repair facility (Army) at Ladd AFB, Alaska, since I was their Personnel Specialist in Yukon Comd. Hq.) did any actual proof testing, likely people would have had more access to them than to the small arms factories proofing weapons they made (or the proof house serving those factories). I would expect to see more red-base ones than the green base ones. Further, they would have had to have had documents establishing the specifications for the actual proof testing as well as specifying the correct loads and loading
procedures. The only red base one I have, is the “kam” round, and the cartridge itself looks absolutely factory made. It does not have the appearance, to me as a very careful
handloader, of a “locally” assembled cartridge. In the absence of documentation (and I hope there IS some and that someone has access to it to share with us) the whole scenario of local assembly of proof cartridges in individual field shops is, to me, anecdotal.
Just the way I look at it. Some stories about other strange and exotic 9 mm rounds from the source of the “kam” rounds also made me dubious, but I certainly cannot rule out anything, because I don’t have any documentation to prove that the rounds are NOT legitimate. One of the quandaries of trying to do scholarly studies of war materiel items now 73 or more
years old, especially from a country where the “war machine” was almost totally destroyed.
Age, by the way,has not too much to do with something being legitmate of fakes. There were fake cartridges being made to deceive when I first started collecting a half-century ago. In fact, many of them we saw here were produced in California by a single “collector.” One of the first collectors I met when I started was Sal Guarini, one of the Early Presidents of what is now the IAA, and when I first saw his collection, he showed me a drawer full of fakes - many of which had been disassembled revealing big problems with the expertly, but home-made projectiles. It was an early education for me that I have not forgotten.
For the record, lest I be misunderstood, I am not myself convinced at all that the red base
rounds, at least the “kam” ones, are fakes. I go back to their identical color-tone and application as on an absolutely genuine Hungarian proof load. I am simply showing my skeptical side, brought on by the number of rounds I have purchased or traded for over the years that later were found to be absolutely fakes - not replicas, not someone fooling around, but absolutely made to deceive for monetary profit or to obtain trains of good