Pistol Rounds I can't ID


Here are four pistol rounds I cannot ID:

Top - The ball is spring loaded and the little “primer” is peened over so the unit stays together. Makes me think of a Hollifield dotter device.

2nd - Why the two rings on the case? w = 240.4 gn.

3rd - Some sort of Ubungs/gallery cartridge. There is a 4mm ubungs round in the base. Any idea what this went to?

4th - Some kind of special blank. What for?



Dave, no. 2 is an Spanish Astra Model 400 caliber 9 mm Bergmann-Bayard adapter for 4 mm Übungsmunition M20. No. 4 is designated “Actuator Cartridge for Device #3F15” and was made by WCC. I don’t have documented information about its specific purpose.


I think your number one is a spring loaded latch, perhaps for a cabinet drawer. To be insert in the door & compressed when the door is closed & then open into a stop of some kind.
The 38 Special, Western made these with two & three cannelures variations, and also in nickel plated cases, no idea why.


Dave & Pete, the extra cannelures were used in Super-Match Target cartridges to indicate different loadings. Two of them indicated a 148 gr. Mid-Range Clean-Cutting for “timed and rapid-fire”, and it seems that three of them were used to indicate a 148 gr. Full Charge Clean-Cutting for “50 yard slow-fire accuracy”. Your example looks like a reload to me. Am I right?


Very interesting Fede! Yes, now that I look at it, it is certainly a reload.

After reading your reply on Spanish Astra Model 400 caliber 9 mm Bergmann-Bayard adapter for 4 mm Übungsmunition M20, I looked it up in John M’s book on the 9x23. Do you think this is one of those issued to the Spanish Navy as he mentions on Page 52 or are there others out there for civilian use?

Thank you very much for the great information.



Hey Pete,

The reason I thought #1 may have something to do with cartridges is the way I found it. A local friend had 3 or 4 of them. They were in a small box along with what looked like the bottom 1/3 of a 30-40 Krag round with no headstamp. They fit perfectly into the cartridge case which had an empty primer pocket. When inserted, the peened over stub was right against the primer pocket so a firing pin of some sort would definitely contact it. That was many moons ago, and the gentleman would only give me one of the “projectiles”. I happened to find the thing in the bottom of a drawer recently.

I certainly agree I can’t think of how it would work other than a ball snap for retaining a drawer shut, but thought I would ask to see if anyone else had ever seen one in use as some sort of gallery item.

Thanks very much,


Dave, this subcaliber conversion kit was a commercial product that according to its maker was adopted by the Navy, but I’m not aware of different models made for civilian or military use. The only box I have seen containing these adapters (as illustrated in John’s book) is black color and labeled “Cañón sub-calibre 4 m/m y accesorios para pistola Astra”.


Last one

38 cal ejection seat actuator (or I call a “CAD” Cartridge Activated Device)


Dave describes it well on his website (and has a sectioned example to see)

As he says USAF (Time delay) cartridge for ‘50’s-60’s ejection seat

The square primer pocket is the give away


Thanks Pepper!