Kynoch 1921 & 22 Dutch Contract 9x19 in Dominion boxes

I have two Dominion 9mm Para boxes dated April and Jun 1933 with headstamps found on ammo made for Vickers for delivery with the Vickers Luger pistols purchased by the Dutch.
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The April box contained rounds headstamped “21 K” and the June box, “22 K” rounds
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A Kynoch commercial box dated 1932 also contained the “22 K” rounds.
An obvious assumption is that these are either rounds or production lots rejected by either Vickers or the Dutch, or they were production overruns sold as commercial ammunition. Either way, it seems that there was a good deal of this ammunition if it was sufficient to meet both Kynoch and Dominion demands for 9x19mm for 10 or so years!

I am very interested in any information anyone had on the original production of this ammunition, and documentation or speculation on why this ammo was sold as commercial ammo for over 10 years???
I am particularly in finding images of the Kynoch 1920 and 1921 boxes.

FN also produced on this contract. The headstamp is the same except with “FN” in place of “K”. The only known dates with this FN ammo are rounds dated “21” and “22” and boxes from 1922, There is a 1923 box but it as filled with very different ammunition. Images of FN boxes of this ammo dated other than 1922 would be very welcome, as would ANY documentation of FN production.

All help appreciated!!!

Cheers,
Lew

Lew,

I have absolutely no idea about this … but how much demand would there have been in Kynoch’s commercial markets for 9x19 in the period you mention ?

Maybe a small quantity would have been sufficient as I have a feeling that it wasn’t a very popular calibre in the UK until well after 1945, with most pistols using it probably being First War “bring-backs”.

Peter

Peter,
I agree with you. I wish I had some idea of the general size of the UK and Canadian commercial sales of 9x19mm in the 1920s and 30s. Was it tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions???

Does anyone have a WAG, preferably a WAG.based on some degree of logic. For example it perhaps could be similar to the commercial sales of 45ACP.

Cheers,
Lew

I would think that sales of 9 m/m Luger in Canada were probably pretty moderate pre WW.2, and it should be remembered that sales of 7.65 m/m Luger in that period may well have been as great as the 9 m/m. I suspect most people in North America who shot handguns a lot in this period used revolvers and that they handloaded for them. This is personal perception, not a scientific assessment. Jack

Very valid point!

I understand that the 9x19mm first appeared in the Kynoch catalog in 1911. Does anyone have a copy of that Catalog?

Are there other pre-WWI Kynoch catalogs and if so do they show the 9x19mm???

Cheers,
Lew

Lew, I can verify that the 9 mm Parabellum did appear in the 1911 catalog of Kynoch, Lion Works, Witton, near Birmingham. It is shown in two loads. The pictured cartridge is with truncated bullet, 123 grains in weight. The other load listed is a 123 grain soft nose, but I don’t know the bullet shape, as there is only one picture, which I surmise from it that it is the FMJ load, referred to as “solid” in the catalog. An undated price list assumed to be c.1913 by the British Collector who sent me a copy of it shows only the 123 grain with “Pattern of Bullets” A. “A” indicates a Solid Nickel, which in this case I am sure the “solid” is what we would call FMJ, and does not indicate that it is a monolithic bullet of pure nickel. Unfortunately, the letter codes do not indicate bullet shape. This is all I have. Sorry it is so scant.

John Moss

I can only contribute these Eley drawings, one originally dated March 31st, 1910 but re-traced in 1919.It shows a truncated cone 123 Grain bullet with a nickel plated brass jacket.

The other is a 1920 drawing of the Vickers contract. There is a note showing two different primer sizes, a Vickers one of 0,177" diameter and an Eley one of 0,175" and with differing cap chamber depths and flash-hole sizes between the two types also. Is this an observable difference between the Vickers and presumably commercial Eley productioin ?

Peter

1 Like

Peter,
Great Dwgs. I have the one with the Eley - Vickers headstamp, but the Kynoch drawing is new to me. Geoff Sturgess in his book !

illustrates the same drawing number, but this is a totally different drawing but the same date (pg 1586). His dwg lacks the Eley hst dwg.

Great contribution

Cheers,
Lew

Lew,

it’s circumstantial evidence at best, but Webley didn’t produce any pistols in 9x19 until after 1945 … and that was only an experimental type that never made it into production. They did make the Model 1909 in 9mm Browning Long but production of that between 1909 and 1914 only amounted to 1693 pistols, with 675 of those being made in 1914, mostly for private sale to military officers.

If the main domestic producer of pistols isn’t making anything in a particular calibre, either their market research is incredibly poor, or there’s not enough demand to justify the effort of making a product.

Just a thought !!

Peter

WWI German Lugers brought back by vets are fairly common in Canada so there would have been some demand for 9x19 ammo.
DCCo imported Kynoch and Rem-UMC in calibres they did not make and packed them in boxes as above or with over labels. CIL which ran DCCo was joint venture of Dupont (Rem) and ICI (Kynoch)

Also keep in mind that plenty of countries received German arms after 1919 and as Germany was unable to supply ammo likely someone else had to jump in and make a good business.

Peter, Colt and Remington also didn’t produce any 9x19mm pistols during the 1920s or 30s. There were German pistols, mostly Lugers available from before WWI just as there were in the UK, and the WWI bringbacks, though far fewer US soldiers had access to these than did the British and French soldiers. Still, the market was sufficient for UMC, Winchester, USCCO, Remington and perhaps Western to be selling commercial 9x19mm in the early 1920s. Nothing to compete with the 45ACP and the 32 ACP, but a market that attracted the US ammo manufacturers.

I just remembered some correspondence I had over 10 years ago with John Pope-Crump. Some of you will remember him as a very active research and an impressive student of all things Kynoch! He told me about a find he made in the Kynoch 1927 Order Book that mentioned an order for 9mm Parabellum. The cartridges were being supplied from Stock so they were already on hand and very likely excess Dutch contract ammunition.

Most interesting, the entry read:

2650 9M/M Parabellum Ctgs Solid blts Ctgs from Stock Kynoch Cases
& Eley Loading | M 2-3-24 | Passed | 16-3-24 | 4.9grs heonite | | 123grs Solid | 1.142” Case stabbed EC-Ex into blt 23-J-B?

This seems to indicate that at least some rounds were loaded by Eley in Kynoch cases. John also said:

  • I have a suspicion that the Kynoch 9mmPb made for Vickers/Dutch Govt were actually loaded by Eley (I think I sent you text from Kynoch order book 1920’s). Certainly ICI orders for 9mmPb during 1920’s were filled from over-runs of the Vickers contracts (22 K) etc. Eley Bros did not lose their metallic business until February 1923 - so it was possble for them to load the Kynoch contract during this time frame. (Also think they continued loading shotshells until 1925? - so could also have loaded metallics but not actually manufactured components during this time-frame) Bear in mind that Eley had a poor reputation for military ammo

John was an expert in this area and I respect his opinion.

Food for thought!

Cheers,
Lew

Actually there were no U.S. Made 9 x 19 mm Parabellum pistols until after WWII. The first, which hardly counts since it was made only in prototype form, was by High Standard. The first serially-produced 9 mm Pistol in the US was either the Colt Commander or the Smith and Wesson Model 39. I forget which came first and have no time at the moment to research it. It is not important, anyway. Regarding this subject, it is only important to know that all of the 9 mm Pistols in use before 1945 (actually later) in the USA were foreign. It actually always is a wonder to me why so much 9 x 19 mm ammo was produced commercially in the US before that time. Many souvenir pistols, like those brought back from WWI, are never actually fired, or if so, only occasionally. Some of the famous pistols, like the Luger, were sold in America before 1945 by firms like Von Lengerke & Detmold, Abercrombie and Fitch, and the like, but their scarcity today points to very low sales of these pistols, many of which were not 9 mm anyway.

Basically, the 9 mm Parabellum remained a “foreign cartridge” as to high usage, speaking of the American market and military. Mel could probably yea or nay this, but I seem to recall that the first US Military Use by a regular service was the Model 39 Smith and Wesson, carried by some Navy Pilots, and that was post-WWII, of course…

John M.

John,
Thanks for the clarification on the fact that there were no US made 9x19mm autopistols until after WWII.I couldn’t think of any.

This discussion reminds me that when I bought a Luger (1913 Erfurt-bought for $ when I was 15 and which I still have) my father, told me about a long barrel Luger one of his friend’s Father brought back from WWI, and which they use to take out to the river and shoot regularly. My mothers Father was also familiar with the Luger but I don’t know if he ever owned one. My impression is that it was a generally available pistol between the wars.

Since both Eley and Kynoch began producing 9x19mm ammo about 1911, there must have been some market in the UK even before WWI.
Cheers,
Lew

Lew,

I think there were plenty of Lugers kicking around England after WWI. at the store, we made an importation once that included forty 8" barrel P-o8 Lang, and about 80 standard 4" P-08s. Two of those were a very rare Dutch Contract model with DWM toggles, but obviously with frame and assembly by Mauser. they probably dated from the early 1930s, so always wondered how they ended up turned in during one of the amnesty periods in England.

That was a great shipment - about 800 pistols and some other odds and ends. Heart-breaking in a way, though. Guns surrendered to the British Govt. and then sold by the Govt. in large lots to American dealers, to sell to our public. What hypocrisy. They didn’t want good British citizens to have these pistols, but it was o.k. if the sent them to America for our citizens to buy.

At any rate, I would bet that 75% of those Lugers we sold ended up in collections and were never fired, or if so, only once or twice. Now, it is a rare occasion, at least in our neck of the woods, to see a P-08 on a firing range, even though there are thousands of them in private hands still.

But, like you, my first luger, and you won’t believe this since they are scarce, was also a 4" Erfurt dated 1913. Mine had the stock lug and hold-open device, with the latter not showing the “added” proof. I bought it to own a Luger, and to shoot it. Unfortunately, it was so unreliable with any ammo I tried that I ended up just keeping it in what became a small Luger collection, and after that, never firing it.

Of course, all of the 9 mm Pistols entering the US in duffle bags during and after WWII began a real demand for the 9 x 19 mm Para cartridge in America, as there were other pistols.

With the exception of the very rare Dreyse 9 mm, and some Mauser C.96 Broomhandle types in 9 x 19 Para (Red Nines) there weren’t many 9 x 19 mm Pistols during WWI other than Lugers. I am sure I am forgetting some, but there simply was not any huge use of any 9 mm Para Pistol even in Europe other than the Lugers, at least not until 1935 when pistols like the Browning and Radom came on the scene. Likely various Spanish pistols as well.

Interesting that it became pretty much the most widely used pistol caliber, excluding perhaps the .32 auto, almost world-wide following WWII.

John M.

And don’t forget that many of the Lugers in the U.S. pre WW.2 were 7.65 m/m, comprised of the rather good sales in this caliber by DWM pre 1914 and the influx of the little-regarded “1920 model” 7.65s in the roaring twenties. Jack

I just ran across some 10 year old correspondence from John Pope-Crump, who some of you know and who was a student of, and an expert on Kynoch.

In a 1927 Kynoch order book he found a entry:

“Stock | 16 | 2650 9M/M Parabellum Ctgs Solid blts Ctgs from Stock Kynoch Cases & Eley Loading | M 2-3-24 | Passed | 16-3-24 | 4.9grs heonite | | 123grs Solid | 1.142” Case stabbed EC-Ex into blt 23-J-B?”

My reading of this is that the loaded rounds came from existing Kynoch stock, but were loaded on 2 March 1924 by Eley using Kynoch made cases. Quality Control passed them on 16 March 1924. The cases where stab crimped into the bullet, which is typical of Kynoch headstamped rounds from pre-WWI and apparently early post-WWI. These could have been Dutch contract style cases, but none of these cases have been reported with bullet crimps. The entry does show that some Eley activities were operating as late as 1924!

In an earlier email (2007) he said he had found the following entry in an Eley Loading Book:

" 9m/m Parabellum - caselength .751H - .743L - 4.4grains Smokeless powder - envelope brass, nickel plated, cores lead + 2% antimony. Flatnose bullet, no cannelure 123 grains. Case stabbed onto bullet in 3 places. O/A lenght 1.142H - 1.127L. Commenced loading January 1920 - see Tracing No 705 dated 15th October 1919.’ Added later a postscript ’ Roundnose bullet 123 grains O/A length 1.165H - 1.150L"

Tracing 705 is a drawing of the 9mmP with an ELEY headstamp.

The Kynoch-Eley story during this period sounds complex.

Lew

I wonder if the European depression had anything to do with all this. Of course, the “great depression” did not start in America in 1929 with the stock market crash. Much of Europe was already in depression, and it was bound to spread to America. It might account for the using up of any available, left over ammunition components. Just a thought, not even really a theory. Something for smarter guys than I am to look at though.

John Moss

Interesting idea John. I had not thought about it.

I’d be interested in the comments of others, particularly some of the Europeans who collect from this period.

I suspect the depression reduced commercial ammo sales in the US.

Thanks,
Lew

My post of material from John Pope Crump containes errors. I misread the dates. they are 1927, not 1924! This also means that the dates cannot be loading dates because Eley was long gone by 1927, and likely by 1924! The dates are more likely when the ammunition was pulled from Stock and when it was inspected prior to shipping.

Sorry for the errors.

Lew