ID for 9mm bullet-perhaps from 9x21mm


#1

I was recently sent the photo below by a forensic lab and asked if I could identify it. The significant aspect of the bullet is the smooth cannelure which is extremely unusual on 9x19mm bullets other than Swiss military.

Unless I overlooked something in my collection, or had a brain failure (not impossible) I don’t have anything like it.

What struck me about the bullet is how high the cannelure is up ogive of the bullet. A 9x19mm with this bullet loaded so the cannelure is at the casemouth would look like the bullet was very deeply seated. This may just be the result of the view of the bullet, but it occurred to me that this bullet could have been from a 9x21mm cartridge.

Does anyone out there recognize this bullet??? Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks, Lew


#2

Have you got a retained weight on it? It looks VERY short, even for a 115-gr FMJ. Also, is the base (or what’s left of it) flat, or does it have a recessed dome-shaped centre?


#3

[quote=“Lew”]I was recently sent the photo below by a forensic lab and asked if I could identify it. The significant aspect of the bullet is the smooth cannelure which is extremely unusual on 9x19mm bullets other than Swiss military.

Unless I overlooked something in my collection, or had a brain failure (not impossible) I don’t have anything like it.

What struck me about the bullet is how high the cannelure is up ogive of the bullet. A 9x19mm with this bullet loaded so the cannelure is at the casemouth would look like the bullet was very deeply seated. This may just be the result of the view of the bullet, but it occurred to me that this bullet could have been from a 9x21mm cartridge.

Does anyone out there recognize this bullet??? Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks, Lew[/quote]

Lew,

The bullet looks a bit “dumpy”, possibly from the camera angle or some distortion on impact. Is is flattened so as to look wider?

gravelbelly


#4

It looks a lot like a bullet for the 9 x 18 Ultra. The cannelure (or crimp mark?) would be at about the right place.


#5

Are we sure this is a 9mm bullet? If it’s essentially round (not deformed in cross section) the scale accompanying suggests its diameter is more like .44 or thereabouts. Is it possible it’s for a .45 auto? JG


#6

Thanks for the replies. You know as much as I know. All I have right now is a photo of the bullet. I don’t know if it is magnetic or not, nor do I know the retained weight. If I get more info I will share it.

Although weight and whether it is magnetic or not may help an identification, the real key is the smooth cannelure. Has anyone seen this on any 9mm bullets???

Clearly the bullet is deformed from impact. If it was not defromed by impact I doubt there would be lead pulled below the base of the bullet. Note that this photo is from a European Crime Lab so I’d expect the scale to be in millimeters, but the divisions are not correct for metric. It may or maynot be an accurate measure for the bullet.

The photo appears to be a reasonably vertical view when I look at the line of the bottom of the jacket and the line of the cannelure both are reasonably straight and appear consistent with a camera aligned over the base of the bullet.

It was sent to me as a 9mm bullet. I’m pretty confident that a Crime Lab can correctly identify a 9mm bullet and not confuse it with a .44 or .45 caliber bullet. The ogive is consistent with a 9x19mm bullet.

Cheers, Lew


#7

Right, Lew, there are 16 divisions on the shown scale. That would make the bullet length about 9/16th of an inch. Does that help a bit?


#8

There is insufficient information to identify this bullet. The overall length to diameter ratio looks, by eye, to be more akin to the 9 x 18m/m Police, but the ogive of the bullet would only really match a relatively scarce ogive for Geco-manufactured rounds. Most of the 9 x 18 Police/Ultra series have either bullet with ogives more like a .380, in some of the early trials rounds, or are truncated flat-point.

The scale in the picture looks to be in inches. It seems to be a pretty standard scale separated into 16ths of an inch. However, the joker there is that if it is, and the bullet and the scale are on the same level, the bullet would be approximately 7/16" of an inch in diameter, or as some one said,
somewhere around .45. Of course I agree with Lew - no ciminalist would mistake a .45 bullet for a 9mm, and this bullet is not of any normal .45 ogive. I think we can throw out the rule shown as any reliable guide to dimensions, lacking knowledge of what the graduations actually represent. It is dividided like an inch ruler, not like a metric rule, but there is something wrong somewhere in that picture! It may by the perspective of the bullet.

Needed information is the recovered weight of the bullet, the bullet jacket material (am not sure even from the picture if it is gilding metal, or was plated or tinned over gilding metal), the actual diameter of the bullet measured as best as one can (yes, the bullet is slightly deformed and that makes it hard, but even over a slightly deformed bullet, it is helpful beyond just saying it is "9mm). and if any fired cases were found at the scene. I know that latter one sounds stupid on my part, since it is so basic, but I handled the identification of a bullet where I was given “all of the information available” only to be told after pulling apart twenty or so rounds and identifying the maker that my identification was undoutedly correct, because they had found at the crime scene fired cases from that maker. Yes, I wanted to reach through the phone lines and stangle the investigator I was speaking to.

The cannelure appears to be very shallow in the picture - too shallow to be a proper crimping groove. Again, it may be just how the picture makes it look, but if it is as it looks, it could be nothing more than a ring left by crimping the case mouth into the soft copper jacket; that is, before being loaded, the bullet may not have had such a “cannelure.”

I know from other correspondence that Lew has given all the information he has. Based on just that information, it is all a guess and a gosh, not up to standards of criminal identification of evidence. More information is needed from the crime lab. They should, from the very strong rifling striations on the bullet, be able to narrow down what makes, models and calibers of gun fired it. That would be helpful to, as it could end or narrow down any argument as to the case type the cartridge came from - probably not, though, in the instance of 9mm Para and 9 x 21 Italian (IMI).


#9

FWIW

To my eyes at least, the bullet appears to have been fired in a revolver. Both straight and slanted engraving caused by the bullet jumping the gap from cylinder to forcing cone.

Ray


#10

I was asked to identify the ammunition which uses this bullet so the lab could attempt to acquire some to do firings for ballistic comparisons, which tells me they have a suspect pistol. The requirement to do the comparisons with the same ammunition or as close to it as can be had is a relatively common one.

The question was:

What loads in 9x19mm (or 9x21mm or 9x18mm) have a smooth cannelure on the bullet like the one pictured???

John, I wondered about the mark resulting from a case mouth crimp. I do not believe this is the result of a casemouth crimp which on an uncannelured bullet will leave a slightly deformed bullet (some waisting) above the casemough. I don’t see any of that here. I found 5 rounds in my collection, and experiment Argentian, three experimental British and one other I forget with this type of bullet cannelure. On the two loaded rounds I could just detect it with my fingernail at the casemouth. None of them could have been this bullet because of experimental nature, or bullet shape/jacket/etc.

Does anyone know of a 9mm bullet with this type of cannelure, or even a load with a case mouth crimp that would cause this type of mark on a FMJ bullet???

Cheers, Lew


#11

The external portion of a typical 9 x 21 mm FMJ round nose bullet is about 8 mm.It is the same lenght between the cannelure and the point of the pictured bullet.However I have never seen a 9 x 21 mm mouth crimped.However,If this picture comes from Italy It should be a 9 x 21 mm bullet,i think.Mafia,camorra and other criminal societies usually use 9 x 21 and 7.65 mm cartridges for their purposes.It could be an handloaded round…


#12

Sorry,
I LOOKED TO THE LENGHT OF THE BULLET,BUT I DIDN’T SEE THAT THE MEASURE SCALE WAS IN INCHES!!!
So,the pictured bullet appears to be too short for a 9 x 21 mm loading.
However,as I wrote above I have never seen any 9 x 21 mm from other collections and mine or from magazines with the mouth crimped.
I agree with John Moss.It appears to be a 9 x 18 Bullet.

Pivi


#13

I have post this question to an Italian forum:

“Have you ever seen a 9 x 21 mm with roll crimp?”

Some guys answered:“No,only 9 x 21 mm Fiocchi loaded with teflonated lead bullets have a very light roll crimp”

Pivi


#14

Could it be a 9mm Br long?


#15

Pivi, many thanks for the information. I will pass it on.

I agree that it could be a 9x18mm load but the ogive is quite different from the commonly encountered loads I know about. Still that isn’t useful unless someone knows of a 9x18mm load with a case mouth crimp, and a smooth bullet cannelure (either from the manufacture or from the crimp). Unless somebody can turn up a load with a smooth bullet cannelure, we really have nothing to contribute to this crime lab except speculation which we enjoy but is of no real use to the lab.

Thanks to everyone!!! Lew


#16

[quote=“Lew”]Thanks for the replies. You know as much as I know. All I have right now is a photo of the bullet. I don’t know if it is magnetic or not, nor do I know the retained weight. If I get more info I will share it.

Although weight and whether it is magnetic or not may help an identification, the real key is the smooth cannelure. Has anyone seen this on any 9mm bullets???

Clearly the bullet is deformed from impact. If it was not defromed by impact I doubt there would be lead pulled below the base of the bullet. Note that this photo is from a European Crime Lab so I’d expect the scale to be in millimeters, but the divisions are not correct for metric. It may or maynot be an accurate measure for the bullet.

The photo appears to be a reasonably vertical view when I look at the line of the bottom of the jacket and the line of the cannelure both are reasonably straight and appear consistent with a camera aligned over the base of the bullet.

It was sent to me as a 9mm bullet. I’m pretty confident that a Crime Lab can correctly identify a 9mm bullet and not confuse it with a .44 or .45 caliber bullet. The ogive is consistent with a 9x19mm bullet.

Cheers, Lew[/quote]

Lew,

How about 9mm Sten gun ammo made by Britain in 1942. I have a few pulled rounds in the palm of my hand, the length is right, if those are sixteenths of an inch on the rule and the ogive profile is right. They all have a smooth cannelure with a step at the front. Both H^N and B^E have these features.

I’ve got to rush out now but will post scans later.

gravelbelly


#17

The cannelured bullet must be something peculiar to 1942 for BE and HN 9mm from England. I just pulled several 1943, 1944 and 1945 rounds from BE and HN and found no cannelured bullets. I have not 41-date HN in my own collection or duples, and the only 42-date BE rounds I have are one ordinary ball round and two with experimental pointed bullets. The ball round does look like it has a heavier roll mouth crimp than other BE and HN rounds, but I am not willing to pull my only so-dated specimen and hurt the shape of the crimp to check it for a cannelure. I am surprised I don’t have any sample of HN 42 at all.


#18

Hi
As an example, here is the bullet with an Armscor .380 ACP bullet (FMJ 95 GR) on its side; dimensions are equal, except that the shape of the Armscor is more round. The mark on the bullet is indeed the result from a case mouth crimp.
Cheers
JM



#19

Lew and John,

Here are my scans, I can’t get the cannelure to look as sharp as it is. Running a fingernail down the bullet there is a definite “click” in one direction and a stop in the other.

The fired bullet is a range pick-up which seems to have flattened in a similar way to the specimen one. I have used an inch/sixteenths rule.

gravelbelly


#20

Gravelbelly - interesting. Those are most definitely manufactured smooth cannelures, not a result of simply heavy crimping marking the bullet jacket, as we saw in the picture of the .380 cartridge posted by JMG, and that I have found on various cartridges. They seem to have stopped this practice very quickly, for what ever reason. As I said, I pulled BE rounds from 1943, and HN rounds from 43, 44 and 45, and none had any cannelure at all, not even an impression mark from the crimp. I only have one BE 42-dated round, and don’t want to pull it. It has a roll mouth-crimp, which most don’t. It probably has the cannelure. Now I have to find a couple more to pull, and a couple of HN 42-dated rounds! The searching never stops, does it. the good part is thaqt means the learning never stops also.