GFL 9mm EMB Ammunition for Slovak Police


The box and ammunition pictured below is current issue duty ammunition for at least some units of the Slovak Police. I suspect this is a normal commercial box, but others would know this better than I.

Any thoughts or comments appreciated.


Fiocchi TER (Total Encapsulated Reverse)


It is roughly the commercial style of label, but not the content. I have
never seen a Fiocchi box quite like this one, even forgetting the word
Zetapì, which doesn’t seem Italian to me, except for the fact of the
typical street symbol on the last syllable. I have “EMB” Fiocchi boxes, and
have never even seen those two, overlapping circular symbols on one before.

Nice box. The rounds themselves, with the same headstamp and primer and
primer seal, are quite common, even found commercially in the US.

John Moss


it looks like Zetapì is Fiocchi’s brand name -like Sintox for RUAG- for non-pollutant (free of heavy metal) primers.



These cartridges are originally the Hirtenberger EMB (Expansiv-Monoblock), invented by Udo Winter (link to the patent:, then being purchased by Fiocchi after the Hirtenberger company liquidated it’s ammo department (around 2005).

They are supposed to act like a hollow point tip on soft targets and as FMJ on hard surface/material. It’s a multiple purpose round. Though very little test were made on these bullets, the few that were made are very ambiguous - sometime they open on 4LD, sometimes not; penetration in some tests are below 12* FBI minimal requirements, on others they exceed it; some hunter found this round very good on wild pigs, but another doctor found it failed in every sense.

As a matter of fact, the EMB cartridges are used i.a. by the Einsatzkommando Cobra special unit of the Austrian police.

Would like to see more test on this ammunition (in laboratory condition, and in practice).

As well as to ask you, how many Law Enforcement agency in Europe and worldwide uses the Fiocchi EMB?


And here pictures of the HPcartridge. I was told the cartridge was a failure when I got it several years ago. But that’s rather insufficient proof…


With a 2014 date this should be made elsehwere then. MFS?


I thought I had a commercial EMB box I bought here in the US, but I can’t lay hands on it among the 100+ boxes i have sitting around to enter into my database.

If someone has a commercial GFL box of EMB loads could they please post the label for comparison.

Were all EMB bullets 93gr or were early bullets a different weight?



Alex, MFS, RUAG? Do they have the rights of Hirtenberger? Or is this cartridge much older than 2014? As far as I know my own cartridges, I got no “recent” Hirtenbergers. Actually, I think my HPs have no datestamp…


Dirk, I wonder myself. Is that one above made in 2014? If so it should not be Hirtenberger itself or?


I think the EMB Hirtenberger load pictured is dated from September 2002.
I am not sure what the “14” is. It could be a lot number, although “14” is the
only number I have seen on these, in photos or on the one in my own collection.
So, if a lot number, where are the other 13 lots? Maybe on different 9 mm
loadings. Headstamp lot numbers normally only represent the cartridge case
manufacturing lot number, and have nothing to do with the loading lot.

My latest, dated, Hirtenberger-made, HP-headstamped round is dated “02.”

John Moss


I may be wrong, but I thought RUAG, in 2003, only bought the sales- and trademark rights of the Hirtenberger, not their patents or equipment or any of the intellectual property. Perhaps GFL bought the rights to the EMB projectile??? Clearly they bought rights to manufacture it from somebody.

My earliest headstamped EMB round is dated 1997. I obtained my first EMB with a commercial headstamp in 1999. I do not have the headstamp style illustrated on an EMP load or any other load. Based on other headstamps in my collection, I believe the date is 9/02 making this a 2002 load made before Hinterberger closed down. I don’t know what the “14” means.



My earliest EMB type from Hirtenberger, with a dated headstamp,
is also from 1997. I have six variations of them with dates, one of which
is the same headstamp as another, but with a different color primer
seal. They are dated I 97; 98/I; 03 00; 01 (red PA); 01 (green PA); and

I have six variations with commercial, undated headstamps, most of
which I acquired before my earliest dated one. One round, with HP
9mm LUGER +P+ headstamp, has a truncated-shaped bullet with
the internal “ball” being plain steel and very pointed. I cannot say
for certain if it would be considered an “EMB” round or not, but it is
so similar, I suspect it is, and a is a pre-production form of the projectile.
These commercially-marked rounds all have some variation, most in
small details of the bullets. One has a blue band around the bullet,
which is not a case-mouth seal, as there is a 1mm gap between the
bottom of the band and the top of the case. I have no idea what it
signifies. Some have brass domed primers, and others brass flat primer
cups. Those with domed primers, based on the dated headstamps,
all of which have flat primer cups, seem to be earlier than the flat ones,
but that is only based on the order in which I got them. I don’t know if
there was intermittent use of the two primer-cup types, or one followed
the other.

I presume that a good collection of these HP-headstamped EMB rounds
would yield far more specimens and variations.

John Moss


Lew is right. March 31st 2004 was the last day of small arms ammunition production by Hirtenberger. The small arms ammunition business was sold to RUAG and Hirtenberger kept/resumed larger calibers and other products…

See the history written by Josef Mötz.


My old friend Magister Winter sold the right to manufacture to Fiocchi, as RUAG had no interest in it, as they had already a bunch of established bullets for Police ammo…
and here the 14 is the lot number and SR = Schadstoff reduziert
HP never bought the patent, HP paid only royalties to Mag.Winter and they only got the production rights…
RUAG used for a certain time still the Name of HP on Hunting ammo, but not on 9mm Luger.
HP itseld stands like JPeelen states already with the automotive production and the large calibers…



Hello to Netherland
Dass sind die 5Gramm Export EMB for Niedersachsen (NI in hs and E)
But the 5Gramm had problems to cycle the Actions. Thats why later came more heavier bullets…
The early AIR also had a 5gramm bullet…


Forensic - Pardon my ignorance, but what is the “AIR” projectile?
I am not familiar with those initials regarding 9 mm cartridges.

John Moss


John, that was the Special issue for AIR-Marshalls…and it had its monobloc bt less hardened, as the usual 5 or later 6Gramm normal issue…It had a blue ring in the front of the casemouth on the bullet
see Photo

and the ammo itself:


Forensic - great information! Thank you. I have that round, as you
will see from my list. I was not aware of the reason for the blue ring
around the projectile.

Thank you!

John Moss



Does your old friend Mag. Winter, or either you have some test conducted in laboratory condition of the EMB 6g projectile?

Also, How do they perform in comparison to the Action 4 and 5 (now Ruag) ammo?

The very few test available on the internet are made in amateur conditions and are not very representative of this projectile, which interest me.