New 9mm and others for my collection

Recently added several boxes and a few loose rounds to my collection. Havent taken pictures but will try later on. I got a 25 round box of Argentine made 9mm - Box label has info I did not translate before acquiring These turned out to be all red bullet Tracers. headstamp has 76 date. FM Beltran Made. Next box 16 round 950 vintage Czech bxn marked box; rounds are brass case Silver colored (Steel) jacket Bullets with triangle * 1 50 headstamp/ Also got a late box of dnh P08mE and 6 9mm police headsatmped round with truncated bullets. Three were geco three HP. LAst is a 60 caliber Machine Gun round * FA * 1948 witha Jackets bullet. The case mouth/bullet canelure has green corrosion. I will have to look in HWS for more on this round!

Forgot to add the Argentine headstamp FM 76 9x19 Although I have a number of individual argentine made 9mm rounds, I dont have many boxes. Just havent seen them over the years. This one was neat intact albeut opened The rounds are pristine. Probably not handled since being packed.

Question among my recent acquisitions as mentioned were 6 loose 9mm rounds.- 3 with headstamp * HP * 9mm police the other three with - Geco 9mm police - all have short truncated pointed bullets &.Red Primer seal. Any ideas for whom they were made? .

The 9 mm Police round, also originally referred to as the “9 mm Ultra” (not to be confused with the pre-war version) was originally a joint development project with the German Police, Geco and SIG of Switzerland. I believe the first pistols for this were the prototypes of the SIG P230, later offered commercially in .380 Auto (9 mm Kurz) caliber. They were intended to replace the various .32 (7.65 mm Browning) and .380 caliber pistols in police service, with something a bit more powerful, but still on a small and light platform.

There are likely 50 or more versions in the evolutionary chain of this cartridge, which ended up as the 9 x 18 mm Police, in designation. I was visiting the SIG Factory at Nuehausen-Rhinefall in early 1972, and saw the prototypes of this cartridge and pistol combination. I have a recollection that the Pistols were marked as “9 mm Kurz” or similar as a means to keep “interested eyes” off of the project, although the guys in the Test Room/range were willing to discuss it with my Swedish travel companion, who spoke absolutely fluent German, as well as with me.

When they spoke of the cartridge and its ballistics, I smiled and said “9 mm Makarov.” They were reluctant to admit it, but did tell my friend in German that the Makarov cartridge “had been closely examined, but found to be politically incorrect, at the time, for adoption in any Western European agency.” In short, they were creating a 9 mm version of what is actually the 9.2 mm Makarov cartridge - enough difference in all ways that they are not, by any means, interchangeable.

My interest was established when I noted on a table an RCBS loading setup, and bulk boxes of both the cases and bullets for loads they were developing at SIG. I thought they were .380s, and I have never seen a Swiss .380 cartridge, so I picked up one of the cases and was shocked to see the headstamp “GECO 9 mm Ultra.” The bullets were CNCS RN projectiles. I asked about it, which prompted the conversation primarily in German, which I could not understand more than a modicum of what was said, but was translated for me by my Swedish companion. I didn’t have the presence to ask for one of the cases, but my companion did on my behalf. The SIG chap acting as our guide on a tour of the factory made a joke out of it, feigning regret and say they could not give one of the cases to anyone. Then he said “it is better to give a loaded cartridge,” and proceeded to load two round in my presence, one for me and one for my Swedish friend. I of course still have it, and to my knowledge, it was the first specimen of this cartridge in a US collection. The experimentation went on with Norma and Hirtenberger also in the project.

The cartridge was adopted only briefly by some German Police, and chambered mostly in a new (at the time) Walther Pistol called the “PP Super.” I do not know if the Austrian Police ever adopted it, but Hirtenberger did make ammunition for it, and especially after the German Police decided they wanted 9 x 19 mm Parabellum-caliber pistols, and the PP Supers were sold off, and some commercial ones made (perhaps while the Police guns were still in use - I simply don’t recall the timeline on commercial production). That is why the cartridge was offered commercially by various makers.

For the whole series, I have slightly over 40 variations in my collection, of several different case types. The Norma ones were straight .380 Auto rounds, but with a higher velocity. I believe I have two specimens with bullets seated to different depths, and likely at different velocities as well. Later, if this thread develops into a full blown study, I will take the time to look over the collection and make some other points about what was made.

I have pretty clear recall of this project, because the visit to SIG in 1972 was my first visit to any gun factory, and was an incredible and wonderful experience, due to the hospitality displayed by SIG. I was invited on the tour when the then director, Mr. Hochüle (I hope I spelled his name right) stopped in our store in San Francisco. He had with him the prototype of the SIG P220 .45 Pistol that he had been showing to large dealers and various other gun-related activities (Police, etc.) for comments, as they foresaw, correctly, a major market for it in the United States. I mentioned I had a trip planned for early the next year, and that is when he invited me to the factory for a wonderful day. They even took my wife and then very young son on an excursion around the Rhine Falls, right next to the factory buildings, realizing that neither had any interest in the “gun tour.”
Great folks at that Company.

As an afterthought, I think the Austrian Gendarmerie had a brief go at using the 9 x 18 mm Police cartridge, but I can’t think of the gun they used at the moment. I believe I have an HP GEND headstamp in 9 x 18 Police.

Hope this is of some help and interest, John.

John Moss

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Below is a scan from the American Rifleman, 1978. Posted here as an addition to John Moss’s excellent post above.



Brian - excellent add-on to this thread. Thank you! I am more into reminiscence and history these days than the tech end of things, and this article really covers technical details of the basic 9 x 18 mm Police round, in comparison to others, succinctly and very well.

Thanks for posting it.


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Yjx All. I spoke with Lew this morning about these. Headstamps GFL 9mm police and * HP * 9mm police (Both varieties 9x18 with pointed truncated short FMJ! Got fairly cheap out of auction!

If wanted, I could put on this forum a very good list of the types done by a German Collector who used to supply some brilliantly done information sheets on various things. He had a fabulous collection of old cartridges and documentation. I don’t think he would mind if there is any interest for this I have lost contact with him, but he has been to my house and I to his in Southern Germany. I forget how many pages it is, but it would likely take up some space on this forum. There are many headstamps. There is even a Swiss one, found with two different bullet jacket materials. As I mentioned, the one I found in Switzerland was loaded there but with Geco-made cases.

John Moss

John Moss

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John, please go ahead!

Hans, O.K. Here goes. The first four-page entry is courtesy of Manfred Knote, a good friend and fantastic scholar. It is very old, and is therefore incomplete, but it will give good information on the early rounds.

Secondly is a photo of my collection, took some time ago. I may have added one or two since then, but not much. I have not included the identification sheet because it is simply to long for this forum.

I wrote a long paper on this subject for the Bulletin of the California Cartridge Collectors’ Association, Volume 21, Number 2, April 2001, pp. 6-21, so those with access to this bulletin can refer to that for more information. I will reproduce the the two pages that deal with the guns here, since they cannot be ignored simply because this is a cartridge-related Forum.

The pictures may not print in the same order I described them above. I am sure all can figure out which is which. I simply don’t know how to guarantee the pictures positions.

O.K. They came out in order. Maybe a list of headstamps later. Depends on my time.

John Moss


Thank you very much, John, great information!


Thanks for the information John! Appreciated!

Although I do not detect a lot of interest in the 9 mm Police material posted, it might as well be finished with a list of headstamps that I can supply, based primarily on my own collection.

It must be noted that within the series of cartridges generally considered to be part of the assortment that led to the finalized 9 x 18 mm Police Cartridge, there are two basic case lengths, 17 mm and 18 mm. I will show each length separately. I will not include cartridge details other than basic types - Ball, proof, 4 mm Adapter and dummy. That was the subject of a very long article already cited on this thread.

Note: “Geco” is shown written with upper-case “G” and with lower-case “eco” as that was the only way I could show the form of letter “e” as it appears on the headstamp. The letters are all actually the same height and width.

9 x 17 mm Ball rounds:

norma .380 ACP (2 variations)

  • HP * 9mmK
    (+) DNG-66-49 (The first entry is as close as I can duplicate a NATO mark here)
    Geco 9m m Ultra (4 variations)

9 x 18 mm Ball rounds:

  • HP * 9mm (2 variations)
    HP HP 4-72 9 (Made with French Police contract headstamp bunter
    HP * 9mmPolice * (3 variations)
    HP * 9x18 Police * (2 variations)
    HP 9x18 82
    Geco 9mm Ultra
    Geco 9x18 Ultra (7 variations)
    G.F.L. 9 POLICE (Large Letters)
    G.F.L. 9 POLICE (Smaller letters)
    G.F.L. 9 Police (3 variations)
    NORMA 9mm M/39 (2 variations)
    T 4 T 75 (2 variations)
    T 4 T 77 (2 variations)

4 mm Übungspatrone Adaptor Cartridge:

Grey steel. No headstamp

9 x 18 mm Proof Loads (Beschußpatronen):

  • HP * 9mm (Knurled rim)
    Geco 9mm Ultra (Knrled rim)

9 x 18 mm Dummy Cartridges (Exerzierpatronen; Unterrichtspatronen):

  • HP * 9mm (Totally chrome plated, no primer, small hole in case)
    HP 9mmPolice (Totally chrome-plated, no primer, large hole in case)
    Geco 9x18 Ultra (Totally chrome-plated including primer cup, 4 flutes in case side)
    Geco 9x18 Ultra (not plated, no primer)
    Geco 9x118 Ultra (From Geco display kit, not plated, inert brass primer, tiny hole in case)

There are at least two headstamps shown on the already-entered notes from Manfred Knothe that are not in my own collection. Refer to the scans of his sheets on this series of cartridges.

John Moss



Excellent information, thanks for going to all the work!!!


Brian - Thank you. Just to finish up, here are some box labels from my collection. I have a couple of other Hirtenberg variations, and one from Fiocchi, but the differences are not important enough to take up more space on this Forum. Pardon the orientation of the boxes - I wanted to keep this to one picture.

The Hirtenberg box with scratched out info on the top label is a better box than it would appear, as there are four overlabels on the various sides of the box that describe the 9 mm Police cartridge’s characteristics. Definitely an instance of using available boxes to hold prototype cartridges.

John Moss

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