More Brit 9mm Para Dummies


#1

Well what do you think of these three dummys??? Note that two have Webley bullets and all have German headstamps. Dingbats, right???


Problem is these came out of the drawer of an old technician at Woolwich when he retired over 30 years ago. He was one of the guys who did some of the early work on the 9mmP and these were in his desk left over from WW II days. They were given to me in 1975 by Herb Woodend who got them when the old man cleaned out his desk. So how do us collectors define fakes???

Cheers,

Lew


#2

Well, same opinion here, regardless of where they came from. The one on the left just looks like a misfired round, or a bullet shoved in a case. The two with 173 grain British .380 Revolver bullet in them, who knows. Can’t see any reason for their existence. The one on the right is in a 1943 case, which means he probably didn’t have the empty case until 1944 or perhaps even after the war. I have to admit, these wouldn’t interest me, without firm documentation (not anecdotal) to even keep them. I have had, in forty years of collecting 9mm, dozens of dummies like this - simply fired cases of various headstamps with any old bullet shoved in them. I have kept only those that I knew to be purpose-driven dummies. I can’t see the purpose here, since most of the British experiments in 9mm had been done by late war as far as ball rounds went. The two heavy revolver bullets could have some relationship to subsonic experiments after the war, but I would be more convinced if they weren’t in German cases.

Again, just my “take” on this.


#3

I think that we are still working on a definition for FAKES. I have obtained FAKES from Bill Woodin and other major collectors in the past. Of course, we collect FAKES as well. bill has a fantastic collection of FAKES - worth the trip just to see that. It is shocking to see ones name on a FAKE drawer BUT it is important to keep track of what you get from whom. Many seeming FAKES are just unidentified legit items.

Reminds me of Burbanks statement about weeds - plants whose virtues have not yet been discovered.


#4

John, I have been told that very early on it was common to use pre-WWII German cases and Webley bullets. I didn’t ask Herb to give me a written statement on the origin of these rounds, but he told me he got them from the old man himself and was told they were from “the war”. I think that is better documentation than we get on most of our ammunition, Consider the WP 96 headstamp and the WTP 95 headstamps. Made by Winchester, but for who??? All I have is purely anecdotal stories of Taiwan and/or Singapore. I’m a lot more confident of the origin of these three dummys, but like you, if I’d run across them in a junk box I’d likely ignore them.

We all collect whatever we want to, that is what is great about this hobby. Clearly the purpose of these dummy’s was to get something done many years ago, but none of us today will know what these were put together for, I suspect something a lot less formal than a structured test program.


#5

Lew,

I agree with you in some respects. Frankly, any documentation is more than we get with a lot of our 9mms, including ones sold at St. Louis for a lot of money. Still, I buy them when I can, and hope they don’t turn out to be fakes. People ask me why I am more interested in a common round with a new headstamp that I am in the rarest prototype there is in some headstamp that already exists. Simple - with a very few exceptions of faked headstamps, not common in the auto pistol field, (am not counting Asian headstamp rip-offs as “fakes” here. They were manufactured to deceive the buyers who wanted to shoot the rounds, not collectors, and have a “story” of their own that makes them collectable). a headstamp is a headstamp. It is not some common case with the wrong bullet shoved in it, or some exotic shaped bullet that an amateur machinist could turn out on a lathe in a half a minute. Much safer. Still, as I said, I buy the exotic bullets and hope they prove to be real.

Your analogy about the WTP and WP headstmaps is strained for more than one reason, one of which I will mention here. Again, regardless if we had no idea who Winchester made it for, we would buy it, because we found WTP 95 on the US Commercial (mostly gunshow) market in boxes, and it is a headstamp few of us had before then. A headstamp is a headstamp is a headstamp.

Again, though, I agree with what you said. We all have rounds, me included, that we have no documentation for, some no more credible than those “dummy” rounds. I just have limits of interest as to what I keep. It is for everyone to decide what they want. I don’t collect dates in my auto pistol collection, but I collect every date in Makarov cartridges, simply because I like them and collect the pistols and everything else that has to do with them.


#6

Had these not come from a confirmed source, I would think they were nothing more than bullets showed in cases. An awful lot of these bullets shoved in cases turn up in the UK. I have seen all sorts of things, my favourite being a fired .303 blank with a .303 bullet super glued into the neck, and a 7.35 Carcano with a 7.62 bullet (must have been put in with considerable force). I have also seen fired .303 cases resized in 7.62 dies to take 7.62 bullets and sold as inert rounds. I usually dismantle anything similar I find, saving the case as a fired case and the bullet in case I ever get the correct case for the bullet, or an inert round with a damaged bullet that can be replaced. I have also had an unfired DWM 1918 9mm case with an Italian brass jacketed bullet in it.