New info on PAR 91 9MM headstamp-probably Albanian


#1

I have run across a few of 9mm Para headstamps that I can’t identify. Any help would be appreciated. Sorry for the quality of some of the photos, they are what I was sent and am stuck with them.

This one recently showed up in the Middle East. It is reported to be Czech by S&B, but I have no support for that identification. The letter style doesn’t strike me as S&B, but it could be the photo. Not in my collection.

This fired case was found on a firing range in California. Nothing else is known about it. Not in my collection.

This cartridge has a nonmagentic,GM RN bullet that appears to be 124gr from the overall cartridge weight. In my collection.

I received this cartridge in the 1970s out of Finland. The RN CN bullet is magnetic. No guess on my part who made it.

I have some other unknowns on my website gigconceptsinc.com/ and have recently added substantial new information for anyone interested in 9mmP. Have also begun to post my trades. Just a start.

Appreciate any help you can provide!!! Lew


#2

I recently obtained the PAR 91 9MM headstamped round illustrated in this thread and on my website. These turned up in Iraq in a box marked S&B for Sellier & Bellot of the Czech Republic, but a close examination of the box and the cartridges reveals that they were probably made in Romania. The dead giveaway is the diameter of the primer. Romania uses a somewhat larger primer on their 9mm Para than other European users. The letter style of the headstamp and the primer sealant color also indicate Romania.

The box is the blue and white illustrated below contained the PAR headstamped cartridges. The legit S&B box of this style is green and white, and dates from the 1970s (1976 in this case apparently). This S&B box style was long out of date by 1991. Note that the blue box retained the S&B logo but all other S&B markings including their patented Neroxin primer marking were deleted, although the white squares for the markings were retained. The significance of the


#3

Lew,
I’ll go down to my office and dig a bit, but that “P.9.” reminds me of something I’ve seen at 6:00 on French 9x19s.


#4

A fine piece of forensic examination.


#5

Teak,

Thanks for the BTT!!! As a result I have received new information on the 9x19 00 headstamp! It turns out that there are three known cases, and I think one is being shipped to me as I write this!

The Real Story!!!
Apparently, about 4 years ago, three 9x19 00 headstamped fired case turned up mixed with about 700 rounds of Olympic Industries (Greek loaded) ammunition found at the Waverly Gun club, Waverly, MN. The Wright County Police do shoot at the club, but most shooting is done by club members. The letter style on the 9x19 00 case appears to me to be very similar to the Olympic EDP headstamps and the person who found the cases indicated they have the same opinion. The EDP headstamped cases were reportedly made specifically for Olympic. Olympic only loads ammo and buys it’s components world wide for the lowest prices available. Before the EDP headstamp, Olympic cases were assorted headstamps that appeared to be surplus form other production in both Romania and the Czech Republic. I have no information on the source of the EDP cases, but somewhere in Eastern Europe seems likely. It appears that the 9x19 00 case was mixed with the EDP cases so it is likely that both are a product of the same facility. The 9x19 00 case could have been a contract for some other customer of the factory that made the EDP cases and a few leftover cases got mixed into the EDP cases shipped to Olympic. It wouldn


#6

As promised, here are the photo’s of the E.D.P. 9X19 and the 9X19 00 headstamps for comparison. The EDP case came from the same pile of ~700 that yielded the three 9X19 00 cases. As you can see, the “9X19” is essentially identical on the two cases.

Conclusion is that these three 9X19 00 cases were loaded by Olympic, and were produced by whoever produced the EDP cases.

Unsolved Questions:
- Who made the cases?
- Who were the 9X19 00 cases produced for?

Any additional information on these headstamps, or any of the headstamps is greatly appreciated.

I believe John Moss may have some details on what the EDP code means, but it apparently gives on hint of the case manufacturer,

Many thanks to the IAA member (and Forum member) who saw this post and provided me with the information on this headstamp and the case pictured


#7

Lew et al - here is the best I can do on the E.D.P. headstamp. At the SHOT Show circa 2004 (I don’t recall the exact year, but think it was that one), one of the representatives of Olympic Ammunition told George Kass and I that the “E” stood for Elias and that the “D” stood for Dimitri. Spelling of the two names is mine. That Gentlemen had no idea how they were spelled in English, or in the Greek alphabet before transliteration. He was not a native Greek-speaker. I recall him saying that they were the first and middle names of the owner of Olympic Ammunition, but oddly, claimed not to know the last name.

Since that time, I have gotten a second take on the meaning of the two initials - that they represent the first names of the children of the owner of Olympic Arms. I have no way to tell which is right. They could be a tribute from a “dad” to his children, of course, even though on the surface of things, the original explanation sounds more logical.

In the ECRA Bulletin number 445 of June 2002, a Mr. C. Z. Sazanidis of Greece identifies the name of the owner of Olympic Ammunition as "Basil Papadopoulas. The “P” would square with the headstamp E.D.P. Since his name seems to be Basil, despite any feeling about what would be “logical” it also lends credence to the idea that the letters “E” and “P” in the headstamp are not the owner’s initials, but rather those of someone else in the family.

Interestingly, there is a good comment by Mr. Sazanidis about another headstamp found in Olympic 9mm boxes, “N.P.A.” He says “The headstamp “NPA” stands for National Police Association, if we are to believe the explanation given by the industry’s owner Mr. Basil Papadopoulos.” In the preceding paragraph of this entry in the ECRA Bulletin 445-4, he says “The Greek headstamp comes from a cartridge loaded in Greece with components bought from abroad. In particular, the case comes from an unknown supplier other than Sellier & Bellot, whilst the powder and bullet do come from them.” (Note by JM - meaning the powder and bullets did come from Sellier & Bellot). I have heard this described as the cartridge being made completely by Sellier & Bellot, even though I doubted it. The headstamp is like that found on ammunition made in the Republic of South Africa for the National Police Association (or “Agency” - I have heard it both ways) of Taiwan, and looks little like any S&B made bunter. There is no question of the Taiwan connection, as we have a box label from the RSA rounds, as well as “NPA” headstamps from other known makers.

If Mr. Sazanidis is correct, this points to the always-existing problem of “identifying” headstamps from the components, such as primers, powder and bullets.

Note that all of the above is heresay, without any factory documentation from Olmpic on the subject, other than the information reportedly coming from the owner, as well as the information that did come from the Company’s U.S.representative at SHOT 2004(?) as mentioned above.

Also note that for what it is worth, I agree with Lew that the cases “9x19 00” and “E.D.P. 9x19” were made by the same factory, based on the near identical numbers on the two headstamps, as well as a comparison of the two cases from my own collection. that does not, however, identify WHO made the cases.


#8

Subsequent to posting this original thread, I obtained a box of these cartridges. Having a quantity of the cartridges to look at, and new information has changed my mind as to the source!

I was convinced that they were not S&B. I further confirmed that this September when I was in the Czech Republic. I showed photos of the box and the cartridges to a number of people who know a lot about S&B and the conclusion from all was that this was not a S&B product.

Originally I thought it may be Romanian, primarily because of the primer size and also some other characteristics. Now I have changed my mind.

When I made my original guess, I didn


#9

Just a thought – it is unlikely, I admit up front, but could it just be that PAR was used to mean PARA? Since these were fakes anyway, why not just abbreviate PARA to PAR? It’s not following the 9mm designator, I know – but something to add to a fake…?


#10

Mark - as one of the ones doing the primary research on this cartridge, I can tell you that while we thought of your idea for what PAR means, we rejected it because it would not be in the proper sequence for that usage. Further, we cannot simply decide what something means on the headstamp without documentation - we can theorize all we want, but the final truth is that we don’t know what it means, if anything. We don’t even know that the headstamp was made to deceive. Certainly the box was. The paper is much poorer quality than that of contemporary Seelier & Bellot boxes, and is missing some of the entries that are on a real S&B box; the color is wrong as well, although that was probably purposefully done. The “KMP” is not on any S&B box, and duplicate what would be the full initials of the Albanian factory "KM Poli


#11

John,

I’ve no doubt that you are correct. My point was simply that often it is easier to disprove a thesis when it is proposed than to definitively know the exact truth of something. Process of elimination is often the only avenue open when better information is not forthcoming. One of my heroes, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, famously said “That when the impossible is eliminated, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Because I know you to be painstakingly thorough in your analyses, I was merely proposing that another idea be challenged in due course. It is comforting for us all to know that collectors such as yourself are out there to do the tough research on even the most inaccessible subjects. Your point about the ancillary benefits is a good one, too. It is indeed difficult NOT to glean much when taking time in research – often about seemingly unrelated subjects. That is one of the many blessings bestowed upon collectors who do take the time to read! Thanks for sharing the light.
Mark


#12

Mark, The fact is, it could be a bad abbrevation for Parabellum, or a lot of other things that we do not have a clue about. That is the trouble with this type of research. Until we have more data on Albanian 9mmPs it is all just theory. Some is based on a lot of general and background knowledge, but it is still guesswork. If this were all well documented and printed in books that tell almost everything, like stamp or coin collecting it would be a lot less interesting.

Cheers and if you find a box of Albanian 9mm Para ammunition, please let us know!!! Lew