An interesting article on early Israeli ammo production. This factory produced fairly crude 9mmP, with A E, E, A E 7, and A E 8 headstamps. I have visited this underground (literally!) factory. It is small and fascinating.
[quote=“Jon C.”]An interesting article on early Israeli ammo production. This factory produced fairly crude 9mmP, with A E, E, A E 7, and A E 8 headstamps. I have visited this underground (literally!) factory. It is small and fascinating.
Thanks-very interesting. Can you flesh out the subject with what other pre-statehood ammo was made in Palistine ?
REALLY interesting read, Jon.
To turn philosophical for a moment, I believe this represents the attraction of our hobby - the historical information, the “story,” behind the specimens we acquire, what they represent.
Thank you for sharing.
John, sorry, but outside the odd Molotov Cocktail or IED, I know of no other pre-state underground ammo production.
I have the souvenir book from the Ayalon site, can’t recall if it’s in hebrew or English. I’ll see if there are any scan-worthy pages.
I just had a thought about the “Davidka” mortar which you maight be familiar with. It used both HE and “canister” projectiles. The “canister” rounds were empty steel cases that were filled with food or ammo and launched over enemy lines to besieged settlements. Of course the enemy line couldn’t have to much depth. These rounds must have had some standard production, but I know nothing about it.
Aren’t there some pre-statehood .303s?
I know of no pre-1948 .303s. I did post a pic of an Israeli .303 with an H T 8 headstamp, but I know nothing about it.
Really facinating story. Israeli rules! Does any one have one of these bullets in their collections?
Which do you mean, the 9mms, .303, or Davidka mortar rounds? The 9mms aren’t that scarce, I may have some extras. I have the only “H T 8” .303 ever documented, and the Davidka rounds are only in one or two Israeli museums.
I’d like to see a picture of any ammunition produced by this historic ammo factory that was crucial to early Israel.
APSFD - I tried to do all my 9mm headstamps (and lack of) from this factory, but couldn’t get it to come out worth a darn. I don’t have a camera, and trying to set down 14 rounds on a scanner plate all oriented in the same way became I task I was unwilling to continue with after the fifth try. The pictures themselves didn’t all come out well either, as some of the headstamps are much lighter stamped than others, and the cases vary in color and “texture” due to finger-staining, etc. If anyone cares about a typed list of these variations, I will do that.
That sound great, John. In the meantime, I will use my superior photographic skills (HA!) to attempt some clear headstamp photos of the variations, both ball and dummy, that I have.
Here is Woodin Labs answer to the question of pre-statehood .303s.
I have unheadstamped one, GM jacket, small nickel primer, supposedly 1947. Also tear gas, yellow tip, loaded in Canadian case 1943 DI Z, but don’t know year it was made.
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jon - in that case, I won’t bother. Photos will be better than just a list, and no sense duplicating the information. I would include in your photo the early unheadstamped ones as well, obviously made at the factory and probably the first ones. Then, of coure, the “E” headstamps, and the “A E” (no number) headstamp. I have one in my collection with a very strong “8” for a headstamp, with no “A” or “E”. Definitely NOT a weak strike, but maybe a ground or broken bunter. Finally, and this is a question, there is one where the Western Alphabet letters “A E” are replaced with two Israeli characters that probably have the same meaning, and it, too has the “8” making it a trinomial headstamp like “A E 8” is. Was that one made in the basement factory as well?
I have a turned-brass case, full-length blank 9mm round from Israel, very early I think, but doubt it is pre-independence. I can’t imagine why they would waste time making blanks in that era. For that matter, you mention dummy rounds - wonder why they bothered with that either. Doesn’t take any practice to learn to use a Sten gun. I saw and handled a Sten gun for the first time (first time I handled any SMG) at a post-WWII display of “Enemy Weapons” from WWII (yes, “Enemy” weapons!!!) on the parade grounds of the presidio of San Francisco, at an Army Day celebration, when I was about ten years old. I figured out how to cock it, manipulate the magazine catch, etc. in about 60 seconds. Of course I was a “gun expert” then - I had a copy of Small Arms of the World, my first gun book, and had read it religiously. Now I have 1600 books on guns and realize I don’t know anything! I know it was not post-Korea, as I was in High School by then.
They even had a Browning .30 MG set up in a sand bag enclosure, and with parent’s permission, you could fire a few blanks from it. I remember the “safety zone” was damned near the whole length of the parade ground, perhaps two city blocks! What a thrill that was. Can you imagine that today? I don’t care what anyone says, they WERE the good old days in a lot of ways - no PC.
Thanks for trying John. Totally understand, so no worries on the pics.
John, you got me curious so I looked over all my early Israeli 9mms. I have:
A E 7
A E 8
Hebrew characters (Y M) 8
The Y M characters do not equate to the A E, so I’m not sure of the factory origin. Sometime in 1948, the machines were removed from the underground factory and emplaced in a more traditional factory setting. The Y M * might be from that new production source.
My rounds have a few interesting ring and triangel stake primer crimp variations. I hope the pics turn out well.
Jon - I am sure that the first rounds had no headstamp. They have the same characteristics exactly as the “E” rounds, and since the “A E” go into the one with Israeli characters and an “8”, which I agree could have been made elsewhere, but likely on the same machinery from the look of them, it stands to reason that the unheadstamped rounds were first. Interesting that these are all Boxer-primed. Do you know if they made their own primers, or were they getting them from the U.S.A.?
I don’t know why there are ones with just “A E” and just an “8” but I would think in the case of the “8” it was a salvaged bunter. In both cases, the entries present are well struck - there is no chance, in my opinion, that they are mis-struck headstamps done with a complete “A E 7” or “A E 8” bunter. Not counting the “Y M 8” headstamp, I think I have 13 variations.
Was one of the great additions to my collection years ago - I found all but the one that I already had in a huge lot of surplus ammunition from Israel brought in by Pacific International in Sacramento, California, all on the same day. Counting other headstamps from later, I added 15 or 16 rounds to my Israelii collection that day, and perhaps a dozen from other countries (Lebanon, Iraq, France and even one Bulgarian!). What was interesting was the few that had colored seals at the primer - red, white and green. Up until that time, I had seen none with primer seals.
I doubt very much the primers came from the US, but who knows?
My Y M 8 also has a green seal. I’m not sure if I have a no h/s, must check.
How are these pics? I did them outside in the noon-day sun.
The pics are AWESOME Jon! Thanks for posting them. It is nice having your great photos to go along with that increadible Israeli story. You have a sweet collection.