Hirtenberg 9x19mm with Eagle or P635 headstamps

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.

I replied:

[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.

John replied:

[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.


The 9 mm Mauser bullet had a nominal length of 17.1 mm, weight of 8.25 g (127 gr) and max. diameter 9.09 mm. Hollow conical base.
Geschoss 08 for comparison: 15.7 mm, 8.0 g (124 gr) and 9.02 mm; flat base.

The bullet seating area of the 9 mm Mauser case had a diameter of 9.0 mm and was 7 mm deep.
Pistolenpatronenhülse 08: dia. 8.9 mm, 6 mm deep.

Source: D 460/3 Ringbuch der Infanteriemunition, 1941

Great info!!!

The weight difference between the 9mmM bullet and the 9mmP bullet is about the same as the difference between the two CNCS 9mmP rounds and the 9mmP round confirmed to be made from a 9mmM round.

Even more interesting, is the bullet seating depth. Trimming 6mm from a 9x25mm case to make it a 9x19mm would leave a bullet seating depth of only 2mm deep. This seems a clear cause for the bulge on the remanufactured round.

I think this information significantly increases the case for the other three rounds being manufactured as 9x19mm. I have a hard time believing that a faker or a casual reloader would go to the trouble of opening the case internally and not leaving a trace.

John, why don’t you pull the bullet on our P635 9x19mm round and see if it has been altered internally!----- Just kidding.

Many thanks for the information.


Lew - I don’t have a P635 9 x 19 to pull the bullet from. If I did, frankly I would.

Regarding the 9 x 19 mm with the 1938 Austrian headstamp, but with the German (NAZI) Reichsadler on the headstamp, mine is identical to yours in your picture with the GM bullet and reddish mouth seal. This mouth seal is the identical color to that on a / * / WW / * / 1922 Austrian .32 auto cartridge I have, which also has a GMCS bullet. The approximately 167 total cartridge weight of the 9 mm “Reichsadler” cartridge would indicate to me that the bullet is an m.E. type, not lead core. All in all, a strange cartridge.

It is odd that the neck seal on a 1922-dated .32 would be so identical, assuming that is actually a date and not some sort of model designation on the 32’s headstamp, and that if a date, the cartridge case was actually loaded contemporary to the date.

The whole circumstance involved with this 9 mm cartridge, and what might be called its .32 (7.65 mm Browning) “counterpart” is a little strange.

By the way, in our personal correspondence I don’t have a clue where I came up with that figure of 135 grains for the bullet weight of the average 9 x 25 mm round. Of course, it is totally wrong, as others have pointed out. I have, in my collection, pulled 9 mm Mauser bullets weighing from just over 124 grains to around 128 grains. I would like to call my error a typo, but the pattern of it is not the type of typo I usually make - that is, the complete figure of “135.” I would normally have not typed 125 grains, if the three was just a typo, but rather a spread, or around 127 grains as closer to average. Probably just a complete hallucination my part.

I can make no commet on the other three rounds in your picture, since I have never seen them, other than to agree that the one on the left is an obvious alteration, done to the wrong case length for a 9 x 19 mm Para. I don’t know the actual case length, but it almost makes me wonder if this is one of the wildcat attempts at that 9 x 20 cartridge I asked about on this forum.That would, of course, not be true if the case length is wrong or if there is documentation regarding the “Italian” connection. If that round was made for illegal sales in Italy to civilians, it might well have been intended to be 9 x 21, since most of the “9 mm” pistol models sold on the civilian market there were 9 x 21. Admittedly, to me, in the picture it looks too short for that purpose though.


You are correct, the round on the length has a case length of 19.26mm to 19.42mm depending on where you want to measure it. As I mentioned in my original post, it was manufactured by the Italian underworld from 9x25mm ammunition for sale to the insurgents in Algeria. The story I was told is that the operation came to light when a boat was seized trying to get into Algeria and it was loaded with this ammo and weapons. The production activity was raided by the police who seized this and lot of other cartridges. This was not a precision business. The powder in these cartridges was a mix of the normal German/Austrian gray tube powder, a black flake powder and some small pink ball powder. Who knows what the chamber pressure was. No question it was intended for a 9x19mm weapon but not for the Italian market. I obtained the round in the mid-1970s.


Recently found another of these rounds in a 16rd box of mixed WWII-WWI headstamps on Egun! I will pick it up at the ECRA meeting next month and provide more info. The guy who is holding it for me says it looks like an original load, like the ones pictured above.

There must be more out there, and somewhere a box. Any information appreciated.


Still working on my collection today I found a cartridge also subject in this discussion.
First look…FN cartridge because of the punches, purple casemouth and purple annulus.
But the headstamp has the wellknown 9 x25 Hirtenberger P635 markings

About this specific cartridge:
Total weight: 196,0 grain
Bullet heavy very strong magnetic
Caselenght = 18,85 mm
Projectile fastening with 3 punches.
Purple casemouth and purple primer annulus

This cartridge has also the thickness of the case Lew mentioned, showing a 16 mm long projectile.
Non of the above in this discussion showed cartridges has the purple primerpaint and punches so this is another example.
For me, it looks a more or less factory/larger scale made cartrigde


Thanks for the added information and the excellent photos! I agree that your round does not look like something put together on someone’s loading bench. The colored primer and punch crimps for the bullet are totally new to me.

The total weight of your round is interesting since it is heavier than the “remanufactured” round made in Italy. I pulled the bullet on this round today, and as I was told when I got it, the bullet is a 9x25mm bullet with the cone shaped hollow in the base. I also pulled the bullet from the round on the far right in my original photo and it is a flat based 9mm P08 style bullet.

Your case is also slightly shorter than the non-remanufactured ones I have. two of mine have cases that are exactly 19mm and one is 19.07mm. The DWM tolerance for the case is 19.00 ± 0.01mm, so all three are in spec for a 9x19mm case. Yours sounds like it is a bit out of spec.

As I mentioned above, the case length on my remanufactured round varies and is over 19mm.

Looking at your round, it looks to me that the case may be slightly bulged like the remanufactured case in my photo. Could you take a steel rule or something similar and check to see if your round has a case bulge?

It would be very interesting to see if your round has a 9mm Mauser bullet or a 9mm Para bullet loaded in it, but I would hate to see the seal damaged by pulling the bullet.

As few of these rounds that are documented, they probably could not have been produced in large quantities. I am beginning to suspect that, after WWII, some activity (probably in Austria) began producing these rounds. The Greek Civil War was going on just after the end of the War, and perhaps one side or even both set up shops (some more equipped and skilled than others) to produce 9mm P08 ammunition from 9x25mm ammo for use in their ex-German weapons or their Stens which were sent in large quantities to Greece. The problem with this theory is that such a cottage industry would most likely have a supply of loaded 9x25mm ammo and would take the simpler step of reusing the 9mm Mauser bullet rather than finding a supply of 9mm P08 bullets. Perhaps there were cottage shops remanufacturing 9mm Mauser bullets and your’s is one of those which would perhaps explain the heavier weight and shorter case-length (or perhaps these differences are just a result of the different instruments used).

Still, this would imply that the rounds with 9mm P08 bullets came from a facility that had access to 9x25mm cases as well as 9mm P08 bullets. The most logical facility that meets this requirement would be Hirtenberg!

I mentioned that I had located another round in Europe. The collector who is holding it for me could not make the ECRA meeting so I will pick it up in the Spring. It may provide more information, or just confuse us (or at least me) even more.

Again, thanks Jaco for your post, and forgive me for filling a post with my random thoughts.

It would be great if the guy who has three or four sealed boxes of these rounds (assuming he exists) to send us photos!!!

Seriously, more info on individual specimens would be a great help.


Lew, a short reply for now, i’ll try to take more pics and I will check the measurments again with different instruments. For the bulge…he’s clear to see on the photo cause of lightfall.
Nice thing about collecting ammo is every time a surprise and sometimes a mystery :-)


Thanks for the information.

I have created the table posted below. Each time I get new information, I will update it. This comparison may give us some idea on these rounds if we can add more to the list.


Hi Lew.
The bulge:

Measurments about caselengt where right. The total length is 28,88 mm


Thanks Jaco, chart is updated. John M said he would update his information in the next few days.


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John M sent his info some days ago and I overlooked it. Sorry John!

The grouping of the information is interesting. Four of the documented rounds have case measurements that are pretty close. The two outliers are also the ones that have case bulges from putting a bullet into a cutdown 9x25mm case that has not had the inside profile changed to accept the bullet without creating a case bulge, or possibly the bulge results from the use of the 9mm Mauser bullet. I need to find a load with this headstamp that I can pull apart and cut the case down to 19mm and try both the 9mm P08 bullet and the 9mm M bullet in it and see if both cause a case bulge.

Does anyone out there have a few spare 9x25mm rounds headstamped “19/IX/38/Eagle” that I can buy to do some testing???

If anyone has examples of these 9x25mm rounds made into or manufactured as 9x19mm rounds, please let me know so we can expand our data set.


Hi John,

I’m sorry, I have only 1 of these cartridges, but I will post an item at the NVBMB forum in Holland.


Greatly appreciated!!!

If others want to post this search for specimens on other websites I would appreciate it. Feel free to use anything I have posted above.


Jaco, Thanks for your info on the Hirtenberger 9x23mm Steyr conversion to 9x19mm(9mm Headstamp H 1918). I have not documented this round before. The round looks like it had a cms, and the primer seal is distinct. I have not seen this black seal on H 1918 9x23mm rounds that I recall. The round illustrated in John Moss’ book does not have a primer seal.

I have updated the “remade” 9x19 rounds with Hirtenberger cases above with your 9x23 round. It is likely related to this story.

Info on any more similar rounds would be welcome.


Appreciate that this is an old topic, but came across this (inert) 9x25 recently and found this thread whilst searching. A very similar hs is shown in municion, but; just in case it may be of interest, have appended two photographs.




Thanks for bringing up this thread again. I got hold of the round I mentioned that came from egun and it has a bulge on the case. Too bad!

Nice round! Congrats…