Recently John Moss and I had a discussion on another thread on P635 headstamped cases on 9mm Luger cartridges. Instead of hijacking that thread, I decided to continue the discussion here.
The discussion went as follows:
In a listing of German 1940 headstamps for Wolfganggo I wrote the following:
After John’s following note I corrected the code from P625 to P635.
[quote]Lew - I think when you typed a description of a “P625” 9mm Para round, you meant to type “P635.” Have you weighed this cartridge to calculate the bullet weight? By the way, it is not difficult, if working with mint cartridges and components, to turn a 9 x 25 mm Mauser cartridge into a very nice 9 x 19 mm Para round. Would I keep it if I had it? Probably, as an oddity. I would not count on it being original though.
[quote]John, You are correct, it was a typing mistake. It should be P635.
I have a number of P635 Mauser rounds remade into 9mm Para. These all have a case bulge. If you trim off about 6mm of the case, and seat the bullet, the base of the bullet encounters the area where the case wall thickens and seems to cause a bit of a bulge. To make it look like a P08 round you would need to get in and trim the inside of the case a bit. Since I don’t own this round, I can’t pull the bullet to see if it is trimmed. One day I am going to pick up a P635 Mauser round and trim it and seat a P08 bullet myself and see how it works out. [/quote]
Actually, my statement above is wrong. I have NO P635 rounds in 9x19mm. What I do have is some earlier style headstamp with the Hirtenberg Straight wing Eagle from 1938, one of which I know was made from a 9mm Mauser.
According to Jakob Brandt, The 9x25mm Mauser cartridge has a bullet weight of 123gr-128gr and the 9x19mm German and Austrian bullets are 125gr bullet.
[quote]Regarding the P635, that is why I asked you about the bullet weight. As I recall, the 9 mm Mauser bullets are usually somewhere around 135 grains, and would cause a problem seating to correct OAL by the base running into the thickening web of the case (internally). You were right on when you mentioned one day you would try making one with a correct 9 mm Para projectile.
I fooled around once trying to determine if the Austrian Steyr headstamp with the Reichsadler at the bottom would convert to 9 mm, and found it did, because I had one in my collection like that. Still, I think those are legit, because the neck seal is the identical color of, I think, of that on an Austrian 7.65 mm Browning round in my collection. I don’t know if they were converted from finished 9 mm Mauser cases, or simply much of the same equipment was used to make the shorter case, but again, I think the are correct rounds. I could be wrong, naturally, as I often am lately. At any rate, that’s why I know that if you use correct components, cases can be shortened and still work into a factory-looking round. It is almost scary. By the way, I destroyed the results of my little experiment, since it was only to try to decide if my round out of Europe was real or not. I still don’t really know for sure.[/quote]
I would like to broaden this dialog and get the thoughts of other Forum members.
I checked my collection and I have four rounds with typical 9x25mm Austrian headstamps which are pictured below:
The round on the left is definitely made from a 9x25mm Mauser round. it was from a shipment of ammunition seized by the Italian Police. It was remanufactured in Italy from 9x25mm Mauser cartridges and was intended for the Algerian insurgents. I got it from an Italian policeman many years ago shortly after the ammo was seized. He had an opportunity to pick up a few rounds. Since it wasn’t just a shooters conversion, I kept it in my collection.
Although it does not show up well on this scan, the remanufactured 9x25mm round has a slight, but distinct bulge where the base of the bullet is inside the case. This bulge is distinct when a steel rule is held against the side of the cartridge. The other three rounds do not have this bulge.
I suspect that the inward curvature of the case wall on the 9x25mm case starts at a higher point than it does on the shorter 9x19mm case. Unfortunately, I do not have a 9x25mm round to section and prove this. perhaps Wolfganggo has or will section both to provide a bit of fact here.
If the curvature does start higher in the 9x2mm case than cutting back the case to 19mm would made the curvature closer to the case mouth and the base of the bullet would cause the bulge when seated.
This would indicate that the other three rounds pictured above were manufactured as 9x19mm cases, or if they were once 9x25mm cases, they were trimmed internally to prevent the case bulge. This is not something I would expect from a casual shooter. Two of the rounds have very nice case mouth seals which appear legit and intact.
The remanufactured round weighs 194.4gr, while the two rounds with CNCS bullets weigh 192gr, right on what I would expect from a 9x19mm lead core German round. The GMCS bullet round is 165gr so is loaded with an mE bullet, Since it is GM color it would have been loaded in about 1944 or later.
I have documented a 1937 9x25 style case with the old Eagle in 9x19mm in a Belgian collection. I don’t know if it has the bulge or not.
So what are these rounds??? They seem to show up occasionally, though I got mine in Europe back in the 70s and 80s, I suspect others have similar rounds in their collections, or fake box. The one with the mE bullet and the case mouth seal makes me suspect these rounds could have been manufactured after WWII using old 9x25mm cases or perhaps 9x25mm tooling for the Austrian Police, but this is just speculation. Regardless, they sure look like an intentional production effort by some organization with the intention of producing 9x19mm ammunition. I think the P635s in 9x19 which started this discussion are part of whatever effort was underway!
As an aside, the Woodin Laboratory has an am headstamped lacquered steel case, with I believe a 1945 headstamp and a rimmed case. This is not a manufacturing error, The rim was clearly turned and trimmed before the case was lacquered. This looks to me like a post war effort by Hirtenberg to produce a quick and easy round for use in British Webley pistols or perhaps US 38 revolvers. The round was in like new condition when I last saw it 20+ years ago. Or, so I remember!!! This round again likely implies some strange things were going on in Hirtenberg immediately after WWII.
I’m sure some of our Forum members have specimens to add to this thread and opinions/theories. I hope for a lively discussion.