Mystery 9mm penetrator


I came across the 9mm cartridge shown below recently, and I don’t really have any info on it other than that it appears to be loaded from at least 1997 or later, and that the bullet seems to be steel core. I should have weighed the cartridge, but didn’t get a chance. The headstamp is unknown to me, and the label looks reminiscent of the old Hi-Vel or “Hi-Tech Ammotogo” labels from their 10rd packs?? My guess was that this is some sort of homegrown load by a small outfit or individual that made a limited quantity of this stuff using German 08m.E. bullets (with black tip added) loaded onto those steel cases? The label copy is green, but it’s hard to tell from the photo, and the label copy is from a 5"x3" plastic ziplock bag which had the shown printed label inside it.


The case looks like it’s coated with WOLF Performance “Polyformance” coating and the double-arrow stamp is Ulyanovsk of Russia. Other than that…?

I have a feeling that someone took some standard WOLF Military Classic 124FMJ ammo and painted the tip black and is passing it off as AP since this ammo uses a GMCS jacket.

You’d have to section the bullet to determine if it actually has a penetrator or if it’s just lead cored with a GMCS jacket.

Sorry, but I think you got rooked.


That’s a Russian commercial headstamps, Ulyanovsk I believe. Might just be dipped “gunshow” ammo.


What is the total weight of the round??? This will give some idea what the load is.

Looks like a Gun Show special to me. About 10 years ago there was somebody making tracers out of Russian steel case ammo. Will look it up when I get home.




If it’s Russian commercial stuff, then somebody may well have just painted the tip black and passed it off as “AP” since it has a steel jacket on the bullet, which is enough to convince some people. Maybe the headstamp was new at the time and the reseller was trying to rook some people years ago? Luckily I didn’t get rooked, this specimen was in the Woodin Lab - he just had the one cartridge and the label. The file card for the cartridge just said “European 9mm penetrator” with no other enlightening info.


What Bill thinks of the round could be determined by what drawer it was in in the collection.
He has a drawer(s) of fakes, which is what I would consider this round if the opinions expressed are correct. If I remember next time I am down there I will ask him to X-ray it. That should show a penetrator core if there is one. It should be GMCS bullet with lead core if it is just a commercial round from Ulyanovsk. There is certainly nothing special about the ogive of the bullet. Total weight would help too, as already mentioned. I hate to bother him with an email about the round, because he is so busy, and I suspect this is a “nothing” round.


This is typical commercial case from Ulyanovsk (Russia). But Ulyanovsk never introduced AP cartridges with such type of bullet. I think this is not original loading. Or somebody used cases manufactured by Ulyanovsk by contract.