Pre-War to Post-War .380acp/9mm Browning Ammunition - Does It Exist?

I’ve recently purchased a FN 1922, and now I’m trying to track down some military surplus .380acp/9mm Browning ammunition to go along with it (for collecting only).
My searching through various stores and websites hasn’t been successful, which makes me wonder if this sort of ammunition is even available anymore on the market? I realize there’s lots of new-production ammunition out there, however, I’m looking for the original surplus ammunition that suits my firearm.

Thanks in advance for any info or leads.

delican - The .380 Auto Cartridge, normally referred to as the 9 mm Browning Short in Europe (9 mm Court by French-speaking Belgians; not sure if you see it in Flemish, or
not), has never been in large quantity on the surplus ammo market, with the possible exception of Italian-made. It shows up from time to time, but usually not in big quantities.

A perfectly correct 9 mm Short (.380 Auto) cartridge to show with your Browning FN 1922 pistol could have a headstamp of “F N *” but of course, the FN 1922 saw service in so many different countries, some due to direct contracts with FN and others thru capture from one country or another. They were used in Belgium, France, Germany, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands and likely other countries as well. A truly proper cartridge-representation to go with your pistol would depend on how it is marked, as German-used ones often have Heereswaffenamt markings, Yugo and Dutch contracts had national crests on the top of the slide, etc.

This pistol continued in production during the German Occupation of Belgium in WWII. There are many, many small variations of it, enough so that I have know one collector in my life that only collected FN Model 1910 and FN Model 1922 pistols, in 765 mm and 9 mm Browning Short calibers.

John Moss

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Thank you, John, for taking the time to reply and provide this information. I figured this particular round was going to be a rather hard one to source, but I’ll remain hopeful that some may one day come my way (even a few loose cartridges).

From what I can gather, although I intend to research this further, my firearm was part of the pre-war contract for Yugoslavia. I haven’t been able to locate any additional markings that would point towards use during wartime occupation, but who knows where this pistol might have been.

Andrew (delican_38)

Withdrawn.
Sam3

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Hi Andrew - in light of the fact that your pistol is a Model 1922, and than Serbia ceased to exist as a separate country in 1918, when it became a part of the Kingdom of Croats, Serbs and Slovenes, it would be more proper to call it a contract for Yugoslavia, the name given to that amalgamation of countries.

Your pistol should have a crest on the front end of the tubular slide, which is the Kingdom’s crest, and is sometimes referred to as King Peter’s Crest. On the left side of the slide, there would be a word or combination of words, defining which service it was made for. I believe there are five different markings found, three of which, at least, are in the Cyrillic form. At one time, I have one marked (practical translation) “Army Property” and one mark simply “Police.” These were in Cyrillic. There is one marked specifically for the Police of the city of Split, and one for the City of Zagreb. I can’t reproduce Cyrillic here, and unfortunately, have no translation for the fifth one. The one markd as “Army Property” is the most common. I can reproduce the first word of that two word marking, as the letters have the same form as those of the Latin Alphabet, although perhaps not the same sound - “BOJHO.” Unfortunately, Balkans languages are a mystery to me.

The correct cartridges for these pistols, depending on when the ammunition was made for them, would have headstamps like the following, which are in my collection

F O M U 34 (also known with 35 and 40 dates)(the letters are in the Cyrillic Form)
IK 03 9X17

  • 11 * 55
    nny 61 (The Cyrillic equivalent of “PPU”)
    PPU-64 CAL.9-K (alsoknown with 66 date and “CAL.” abbreviation)
    PPU-67 KAL. 9-K (not spelling of “KAL.”)
    CAL.9mm PP-72 (also known with 74 date)
    9 - K nny-82 (also with 83 date)
    nny-87 9-K
    nny-88 .380 AUTO (this is likely a commercial headstamp due to “inch” caliber designation).

There are later commercial headstamps by PPU (Prvi Partizan Udice) but they are quite modern and purely commercial.

Hope this is of some assistance.

John Moss

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Thank you again, John, for all of the great information and specific details. Im fairly new to the realm that is 1922 pistols, so all of this is greatly appreciated.

As for the markings, I will have to confirm them when the pistol arrives - the information that I have presented was based on some photos and seller-provided information that I had received during the transaction process, so I might not be entirely accurate within my description.

The wide variety of Balkan-produced cartridges never fails to amaze me, it seems that every search leads to the discovery of new headstamps/manufacturers.

  • Andrew (delican_38)

BOJNO latin VOINO War/Military
Common Slavic language word in Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, SerboCroat, Macedonian, with some spelling variations.
Doc AV

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Andrew,
Here are a couple of non-modern 9mmK boxes that were laying around the storeroom.


The Manurhin box is post-WWII, probably from the 70s, but 380 isn’t my field so that is just a guess. I think the FN box may be a bit earlier, perhaps even pre-WWII but I doubt it. The Germans occupied the FN plant in WWII and DWM managed it. the 9mmK boxes produced were still 25 round, but had German style labels.

image

I recall seeing a green box that was Yugoslavian, probably from the 50s and may have one somewhere.

Below is the FN produced box that is probably appropriate to your pistol if it is Yugoslavian. the headstamp is Cyrillic. These show up occasionally, but are not cheap and in good condition can be a bit pricey.

image.

Since you own the gun, perhaps you want to collect the cartridges and boxes. It is a very interesting caliber.

Cheers,
Lew

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Lew - first time I have seen the FN box. I assume that it is for the rounds made in the early 1920’s with “F N” in the Cyrillic alphabet?

John Moss

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Thank you, Lew, for taking the time to get these photos, and for taking the time to provide the attached information.

As you guessed, my intentions are indeed to collect this particular cartridge when/if possible. I plan to keep up my search, in hopes that I may stumble across something soon.

-Andrew (delican_38)

The .380 Auto (9 mm kurz) is not a bad round to collect. I have about 800 specimens in my own collection, without collecting dates unless they are somehow different. I would class my collection as good, but certainly not great. Likely a really great collection of this caliber would offer more than a thousand examples. Even if you limit it to countries that used the Model 1922 N-Browning pistol, an impressive collection could be built.

John Moss