MAXIM USA 1917 9MM Glisenti-Who Made It?


#1

This thread is being split out from a previous Thread at http://iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12953

[quote]Re: United States Cartridge Co catalogs needed
Lew–Thanks for the 1917 catalog. It is the nicest catalog for U.S.C.Co. that I have seen so far.


Ron Merchant
SSgt. USAF 1967-1971
Weapons Specialist F-4 Phantom
Cartridge Collector since 1958
Life Member IAA since 1975

[/quote]


[quote]Re: United States Cartridge Co catalogs needed
Ron, Note that the next to last page, a supplement page from probably 1919 is my guess, is the first USCCo listing of the 9mm Luger cartridge, as far as I know. It was not in the original 1917 catalog.

At the end of 1917, USCCo took over production of the 9mm Glisenti cartridge for the Italians (the Maxim contract) (see J Moss’ article on the Glisenti in the IAA Journal). They continued to produce this round with the Maxim headstamp and at the end of WWI received an award from the Italians for their production of millions of rounds of Glisenti ammunition. The bullet illustrated in this catalog appears to me to be identical to the Glisenti bullet. Later the shape of the USCCo truncated bullet changed.

If anyone knows of an earlier production of 9mm Luger by USCCo please let me know.

Good luck with your project. Once your catalogs are available we should be able to tell about when USCCo changed the ogive of their 9mm Luger bullets.

Cheers,
Lew


Lew Curtis
Always looking for 9x19mm cartridges, boxes and DATA!!!
Check gigconceptsinc.com for books on cartridge-info on 9x19mm-Updated 8 May 2012—Free DWM, Geco, RWS Catalogs
USAF 1960-1996—Retired
IAA since 1965 ECRA since 1967

[/quote]


[quote] Re: United States Cartridge Co catalogs needed
Lew,

Nice catalog…the supplements are an added bonus. They are not often seen.

The 1917 catalog is all there is as far as illustrated catalogs…somewhere I have a copy of a letter dated late 1920’s-early 1930’s from USCCo explaining the last illustrated catalog was the 1917.

The post 1917 price lists describe the 9mm as FMJ, I do not believe they changed the description to reflect any change in bullet shape.

On the 9mm Glisenti, USCCo made all the ammo, Maxim never started manufacturing.
All tooling, parts and packaging was moved to Lowell. Maxim’s former Ansonia, CT. facility was used to manufacture 49 grain percussion primers, by USCCo.

You mention an award from the Italians…can you elaborate ?? USCCo had to sue the Italian government to receive payment after Italy canceled the order and left USCCo with finished cartridges, cases & bullets that nobody wanted or needed.


Actively seeking United States Cartridge Co. artifacts

Scott Logue
IAA Member & Industry News Editor
NRA Life Member
GOAL Life Member[/quote]


#2

Scott,

Many thanks for your information. It is a bit confusing to me, but the story of the Maxim 9mmG is already confusing.

My memory is that there is a captioned photo of a meeting at USCCo with an Italian Colonel. I have seen the photo, but I can’t find a copy in my files. John Moss mentions it in his article on the 9mm Glisenti.

I have a Maxim drawset that came out of Winchester and was liberated by a well known collector when Winchester threw away the USCCo “reference collection” of cases and case draw material for all their calibers that came to Winchester in 1926 or so. Most of the items in the drawset were dated 1918 (headstamp like that at right below). But a few of the items were dated 1917 like the case second from right. I have never encountered a loaded round with this headstamp. The only examples I know (including one I passed on) came from this USCCo material. I was told by the source that these were typically the initial items produced by USCCo and they were used as reference. As you can see the 1917 case in the drawset material has a very different headstamp style from the loaded 1917 rounds or the dummy (two cartridges on left).

A few other bits of information seemed to fit. Maxim Munitions Corporation went out of business on 26 Jan 1918. Alden Durant (a student of the JB Wise Co-now passed) states in a letter that “In 1916 it was all leased by Maxim Munitions [the ‘all’ means the munitions part, not the other part of Wise’s business]… then in 1918, at the close, United States Cartridge Company was at Maxim Munitions (JB Wise) for three weeks.” This and other similar indicated that Maxim made ammunition in the JB Wise factory. in Watertown NY.

John Moss’ article lays out our logic for the 1917 manufacture of 9mmG by Maxim and then the contract being taken over at the end of 1917 by USCCo which would explain the 1917 dated items in the drawset. If USCCo had produced all of the 1917 9mm Maxim ammunition than I’d have expected to see the earlier style headstamp in the USCCo reference.

Having said this, after Johns article, I heard that there was an article in a 1916 edition of the Lowell Sun that USCCo had purchased Maxim operation in Derby CT and that USCCo was already leasing the plant (apparently Darby) owned by Maxim. This seems at odds with a statement in the Cartridge Trader, August, 1961, issue it states: “The Wise Mfg. Co. had several WW I contracts for foreign ammunition. The Wise Mfg. Co. was taken over in 1916 by the Maxim Munitions Corp.” I have a drawing of a "9M/M Luger Cartridge dated April 1917 labeled MAXIM MUNITIONS CORPORATION, DERBY COMM which seems to also indicate Maxim was still in business in early 1917.

It is possible that all the 9mmG Maxim rounds were made by USCCo, and I assume that would mean that the 45 ACP were also made by USCCo though the boxes indicate it was made by the Maxim Munitions Corp in 1917. The USCCo was also making 45 ACP in 1917 and it seems strange that USCCo would have two seperate lines for 45ACP. However,both had quality problems and both had their lines shut down so perhaps there was a relationship (Woodin & Hackley pg 24). The 45 ACP info indicates to me that Maxim was manufacturing 45 ammo in 1917, independently from USCCo. I would expect that 9mmG could have been made in the same facility.

Scott, I find this pretty confusing with different quotes from various sources. I would love to have a copy of the Lowell Sun which appears to be the source of the information in your email.

In fact, I would like to have copies of any information on this whole issue, from anyone. I am happy to share copies of the Maxim drawing and any other data I receive.

Further to this story, I have heard third hand that there exists a Winchester Drawing from 1926 showing a 9mm Glisenti cartridge headstamped

U.S.A. 1918.

MAXIM

This is about the time that Winchester took over the assets of USCCo and could be related to this whole story.

I am going to break out this thread rather than hijack Ron’s thread.

Thanks very much for bringing up this subject. I think there is still research to do, but this adds a bit to the story.

Any help appreciated!

Cheers,
Lew


#3

Hi Lew
I have a loaded cartridge like the one on the left is it that scarce or am I misunderstanding what I’m reading. I’m comparing the ones in the year to arrive at the difference
Carolyn


#4

My general experience is that it is a lot harder to find the one on the far left than it is the one on the far right. I doubt very many of these type of cases were ever made or loaded.

Cheers,
Lew


#5

Lew,

I reached out to both yourself & John Moss after his article came out (2009). I presented some items to John, who later replied that he thought that my conclusions where sound. I will dig up the emails & send them to you.

The USCCo/Winchester (1926) drawing that you mention.

.

Part of the confusion lies with Maxim having two cartridge facilities. One in Watertown, NY (leased from Wise) & the second in Conn. There is no solid proof where Maxim started the process of trying to manufacture the 9mmG. Likewise there is no solid proof where the short ( and later canceled) run of .45 ACP was made.

When USCCo assumed the Italian contract,it appears they assumed all of Maxim Munitions machinery & inventory. There is the possibility that Maxim was finished with the ill fated .45 contract and focused all manufacturing ( both facilities) towards the 9mmG contract.

J.B. Wise’s plant was leased, Maxim owned the cartridge equipment. USCCo. took this equipment to Lowell.
The CT. facility was owned by Maxim Munitions, USCCo stripped the equipment, sent it to Lowell & then used the building for primer manufacture.


#6

Scott,

Thanks very much for the drawing and the conclusions. You put your finger on my problem. Since there were two production lines available to Maxim, and USCCo apparently took over the one at Derby in 1916, and then apparently cleaned out the one at Watertwon in Jan-Feb 1918, Where were the Maxim 45ACP and the 1917 dated 9mmG made. I don’t know!!!

Do you have a date on which USCCo assumed the Italian contract. I have not found any information on that date. In fact, I don’t know when the Italian contract was awarded either. Given the date on the Maxim drawing, 13 Apr 1917, I’d guess the contract dates from the first half of 1917. One reason I’m interested in Lowell Sun article, is to figure out the date (apparently in 1916) when USCCo took control of the plant. With the frangments of information I have, it looks like the Derby plant was owned by USCCo before Maxim was even awarded the Italian contract. If this is true, than Maxim bid on the contract and always intended USCCo would do the production, or they always intended to produce at the Watertown facility. Given the two different headstamps and the USCCo style headstamp dated 1917, but never appearing to be loaded, seems to argue for Production at the Watertown plant and USCCo. The arrangements for USCCo would have been made before Christmas, particularly if there was an assumption of ongoing production, so I’d expect the intial USCCo work to be done in very late 1917.

It would be great to have a couple of additional pieces of the data, like the Lowell article and the article referenced in the ICCA article and the bit on JB Wise. Actual dates and copies of some of these references would begin to flesh it out.

Thanks for engaging on this.

Cheers,
Lew


#7

Here is some information that may help to fill some gaps:

October 11, 1916:

  • J. B. Wise Ammunition Co. leased for two years to Maxim Munitions Corp. of Derby, Conn.
  • Maxim Munitions Corp. has a large order for cartridges that will be made in the Wise plant.

March 19, 1917:

  • Contract signed between MMC and Officine di Villar Perosa for the delivery of 250,000,000 cartriges of 9 mm in the months of November, 1917 to May, 1918, inclusive.

June 9, 1917:

  • Same order now mentioned as for the Revelli corporation, Italy (“9 mm machine gun shells”). This is the same company as OVP.

July 12, 1917:

  • Two orders for the US government of 6,000,000 and 5,000,000 cartridges for .45 calibre Colt.

October 5, 1917:

  • Agreement signed between MMC and USCCo for the manufacture and deliver of the Italian contract.

November 10, 1917:

  • The USCCo finished work at Watertown (J. B. Wise) on these contracts. The contract would be transferred to Lowell the operation on the 1,000,000 cartridges under construction at that time. The balance of the cartridges will be finished at the Lowell plant.

November 16, 1917:

  • USCCo is now completing 1,000,000 cartridges which were under construction when the transfer was decided.

December 14, 1917:

  • Contract amended reducing the quantity to 125,000,000.

November, 1918:

  • Last delivery of 5,796,000 cartridges.
  • Only 89,460,00 cartridges delivered so far.

November 22, 1918:

  • The Italian Military Mission notified MMC that the contract must be considered canceled (failure to keep the terms of delivery).

November 28, 1918:

  • USCCo stopped the manufacture.

Diciemebre 31, 1918:

  • USCCo had on hand approx. 4,000,000 completed 9 mm cartridges and had no purchaser to whom these could be sold as they were of a “special type used only by the Italian Government”.

March 5, 1919:

  • Maxim Munitions Corporation changes its name to Maxim Corporation.

May 29, 1919:

  • Petition of involuntary bankrupcy by Maxim Corporation.

#8

I see no reason to believe that the MAXIM .45 A.C.P. cartridges were not made at the Water Street
Facility of J. B. WISE Company in Watertown NY, under partial lease by Maxim Munitions Corporation. All of the cartridges are dated in 1917, long prior to the explosion and fire that occured at the factory Firstly, the headstamp characteristics and in some ways the cartridge characteristics of the Maxim cartridges of that caliber are different than those made and headstamped by U.S.Cartridge Co. during the same period. Secondly, as indicated oy an article in the Watertown Daily Times, issue of December 27, 1917, “the Maxims continue to held the lease of the Water street plant and there have been many rumors that it intended to RESUME operations after SOME MORE ORDERS were secured.” The .45 contract was finished by November or December of 1917, as evidenced by the headstamps on Maxim .45 rounds that start in April dated “4 17” and run until October “10 17” showing the month on the headstamp. After that, there are two forms of the headstamp dated only “17” meeting the then-new guidelines eliminating the month from the headstamp. There are no known rounds dated “18.”

It is important to note, by the way, that Maxim did not, under lease, control the entire Watertown facility. J. B. Wise continued to control and operate the Rolling Mill and some other functions of the overall factory.

Finally, I simply cannot see U.S.C.Co. maintaining two different .45 operations at the Lowell Plant. I agree with Lew on that score. I believe such a thing would be unprecedented for military ammunition manufactured in the United States up until that time, and perhaps ever.

Just my opinion, but one now based on about six months of intensive research into the whole Wise/Maxim/USCCo question. With the help of many others, I have acquired a file over an inch thick on this question, and believe me, I do not deny that it is the most confusing subject I have researched in 55 years of cartridge collecting, wit much contradiction even in primary-source material from that era. There are questions that perhaps will forever remain educated guesses, or even go completely unanswered. One thing is sure, and that is that there is likely a history there of quality and delivery problems during the WWI era at all three companies involved, and perhaps more failed contracts than we know.


#9

The recent post on the Dutch 6.5x53R brass suppliers reminded me of a recent find regarding Gorham Manufacturing Company of New York. This was the company that in May, 1917 closed a contract with the Maxim Munitions Corp. for 275 million each of brass and cupro-nickel cups for the Italian contract of 250 million 9 mm Glisenti cartridges.


#10

For those interested that have not seen it already, my three-part article on the Wise - Maxim - U.S.C.Co. connections in three IAA Journals of a couple of years or so ago, gives, in my opinion based on the material that was amassed for that article, including a very important set of papers from a lawsuit after WWI, an accurate accounting of the Glisenti question. It is more detailed and accurate that what I had previously written in my article on the 9 mm Glisenti Cartridge specificially.

It is too long for me to copy or relate here.


#11

After a long time busy with everything except ammo, today started with discribing a lot ‘new’ cartrigdges for my collection I found the one on the pictures. Is this headstamp known, I mean, I did not see it in this topic.

It’s non magnetic, so a Glisenti. ( )

Grtz
Jaco


#12

Jaco,
I should let John Moss answer this since he “wrote the book” on this cartridge, and the IAA printed his work in the Journal as he points out above.

The short version is that Maxim was given a contract by the Italian government to produce 9mm Glisenti ammo. They did this in 1917, but late that year ran into problems (which John describes in detail-go to the index at http://cartridgecollectors.org/?page=IAA-journal-cumulative-index) and search under Moss, John ).

USCCo took over production in late 1917 and all, or perhaps almost all of their production is dated 1918. If you have a 1917 round by Maxim the headstamp letters are noticeable bigger.

I won’t go further because I’d just be quoting John. You can buy the journal for very only a few $s and have the whole story with photos.

Cheers,
Lew


#13

Thanks Lew!
Grtz
Jaco


#14

Hi Lew,
Apologies for resurrecting an old topic.

I came upon this inert example recently and hoped that it might be of interest:

Maxim-1

Sam3


#15

JACO - the 1918 headstamp you show, with a brass primer, is covered in the article for the IAA Journals. I want to note here that while I assembled the information into an article, there was a huge amount of help given to me by other collectors. It is NOT my article alone.

Just a note: If anyone needs the whole article and does not have these Journals, I should advise that there are three parts to the article, published in the following Journals:

IAA Journal Issue 492, July/Aug. 2013, Part One, beginning on Page 4
IAA Journal Issue 493, Sep./Oct. 2013, Part Two, beginning on Page 20
IAA Journal Issue 494, Nov./Dec. 2013, Part Three, beginning on Page 22

Part Two has most of the Glisenti information, perhaps all of it. I have not reviewed the article for some time.

Edited to correct a typo only; no information affected.

John Moss


#16

Nice Sam3! It is made by Maxim rather than USCCO. When you say it is inert, I assume you mean it has been inerted.

Lew


#17

Hi Lew,
“It has been inerted.”
Sam3


#18

In a recent Fiocchi catalogue, there is a photo of 9mm Glisenti wartime ammo production, with in-factory transfer cases ( ex military) marked " calibro 9mm per mitragliatrice" ie, calibre 9mm for machineguns…obviously referring to the OVP 1915
Double gun.
The Italian gov’t obviously forecast a massive use of the Villar Perosa gun in 1917, to order 250 Million rounds from “Maxim”…on top of GFL’s already massive production.
I wonder what Italian war archives will reveal…they still exist in Rome…
Doc AV


#19

Great questions!!! I hope some of our Italian members take up the question.

Thanks for your input.
Cheers,
Lew


#20

I cover the loadings believed to be for the V.P. Modello 1915 twin-barrel, Revelli-designed submachine gun as well as the O.V.P. in single-barrel form, a true submachine gun fed from a top-mounted magazine, later copied by Beretta as the Model 18. There was also the Model 18-30, a modification that incorporated a folding Bayonet, and was used in Italy and Argentina.
However, Italian sources indicate that this last version was intended for the full-power 9 mm Parabellum version.

The 9 mm Glisenti cartridge is little more than a light-loaded 9 x 19 Para, and if designed today, would likely have not been given a different name, as 9 mm Para loadings today are made in such a wide range of velocities and bullet weights/types.

Of all the packets examined for my article in this caliber (IAA Journal Issue 454, Mar/Apr 2007, pages 10-24), several were not “weapon specific,” while others indicate the contents as “Cartucce per Pistola M.1910,” including one 1917-dated from Maxim, although the label only indicates the manufacturer as “Industria Privata.” The only packets encountered in the study marked specifically “28 Cartucce Mod.-910 Per Mitragliatrice” are anonymous as to the manufacturer, but one with a mix of upper and lower-case letters contained cartridges made by Western Cartridge Company in 1917, while another with the same label but printed with all upper-case letters contained Maxim-made cartridges dated 1918.

Most Italian authorities consider those 9 mm Glisenti cartridges that contain a fiber over-powder wad to be “Submachine gun” loadings, while those that don’t were specifically for the Pistols Glisenti 1910, Beretta 1915 and, after WWI, the Beretta Model 1923. However, it is interesting to note that neither the Western nor Maxim-produced rounds in this caliber have the over-powder wad. Regardless, we do not disagree on the point of those with the fiber wads.

Well, it is too long a subject to be fully covered here, so for those very interested in this caliber, I recommend the referenced article which, of course, was prepared with much research and the assistance of many highly-regarded members of our fraternity of collectors, from five countries.

Edited to correct misspelled word, only.

John Moss