Raja Ammunition Factory

I thought I had posted this before, but a search netted no results. Forgive me if this duplicates a previous posting by me.

I am trying to get some information about the “Raja Ammunition Factory.” I have a 9 x 18 mm Makarov round (actually just the bullet and the inerted - snapped primer - case, due to impossibility of obtaining it in its original loaded state) with a German 9 x 19 mm case trimmed and reformed to Makarov dimensions and with a proper size and shape FMJ Projectile. I also have a picture of the box, which is a typical buff-cardboard 16-round box very well stamped only with “RAJA Ammunition Factory” and the letters “SB.” Those letters may be a subterfuge intended to protray “Sellier and Bellot,” or they could mean something else.

It is felt that this round (and its box, which I could not acquire) might be from Pakistan, in which case Darra would be the likely city location, or perhaps Afghanistan. I have no positive information that it came from either, however.

Can anyone provide any information, the more the better, on a “RAJA Ammunition Factory?”

I found nothing, myself, with a Google search.

John Moss

I posted a request for information on a major (only?) Pakistani gun forum and the few replies were universal in the fact that they never heard of it. Leads me to think it’s a small, backroom workshop.

Jon - could well be. I forgot to mention that they went out of their way to make this reformed German military 9 mm case look like a Russian or other combloc cartridge case, actually copper plating or washing the brass case to look like CWS and painting the extractor groove black like they do with real copper plated steel cases where the groove is cut AFTER plating, to make it look like the Soviet-style steel cases.

Just hoped that maybe someone had heard of it, because despite the scant markings on the box, they are very well printed and, of course, they went to an unusual amount of work on the cartridge case, far mor than was totally necessary to convert 9 x 19 brass to 9 x 18 Mak, which I used to do for a Makarov I acquired during the years of the Cambodian War, before there was any ammo for it in the US. I used, though, unresized cast-lead .380 bullets, which were still a little small in diameter.

John Moss

John - given the lengths that you describe taken in the manufacturer, is it possible that the company never actually existed? Could these have come out of the rear door of a manufacturer in boxes with a fake company name, to give the impression that they were made in east Asia?

They came from a police source and reportedly came from Asia, but there is no definitive information.


Mayhem - I am sorry, but I don’t fully understand the question. If it was just something from “a manufacturer in boxes” why would there be a cartridge with it? I would post a picture of the box, but I only have the cartridge, not the box, which is not my property to post at will.

For me, it has the look of stuff done at Darra, in Pakistan, but as Lew said, it is only believed that it is Asian (which, of course, includes Pakistan although I would describe that as either Central or Western Asia, not East Asia). I have some 9 mm cartridges reloaded in Darra, so have a tiny bit (and I am not being factitious - really is only a tiny bit) of experience with the kind of things they do in “manufacturing” ammunition. Anything about the manufacturer, at this point, is a guess and a gosh, which is why I asked if anyone had more information. I have done an intense study of all things “Makarov” and hate to have holes in that study.

John Moss

John - I was simply saying that the Raja Ammunition Factory may not have actually existed.

You state that the manufacturer clearly went out of their way to make a round that would appear to have been made elsewhere.

I was speculating that if they went to this much trouble it is possible that they also created a fake company name to put onto the boxes to further conceal the identity of the manufacturer.

I clearly don’t know the answer but if this was clandestine ammunition it is possible that the company name is part of the process of deception.

Apologies for the confusion.


What it is that I didn’t (do not) understand is why one company would create a “fake company” to manufacture or remanufacture ammunition obviously, from the box, made to sell commercially. That would be counter productive. Brand names are not always the same as the corporate name of the company manufacturing those brands. Also, if the “SB” on the box is there to falsely represent “Sellier & Bellot,” that is an unscrupulous attempt at increasing sales through representation of being part of a highly respected company.

I suspect that the confusion is that the term “clandestine ammunition” has a different meaning for me, and normally involves ammunition made for military or para-military use, in which case they would not likely create an identity with any factory name other than, perhaps, one that existed elsewhere, such as the Chinese did in headstamping some ammunition they made as a product of “Lake City” (.30 Carbine) or Radway Green (7.62 x 51 NATO), in both cases almost perfect representations of the original fonts and letter/number sizes of original headstamps of those companies.

At any rate, it is clear that this ammunition has nothing to do with Sellier & Bellot, and in my view, is still likely to be a product of one of the shops in Darra, Pakistan, who routinely create their own brand names, just as major commercial companies do the world over. They are also known to “enhance” ammunition actually manufactured there, using headstamps of other companies, as well as the remanufacture of any cases they can get their hands on, either removing the original headstamps completely, or doing that and applying new headstamps either of their own imagination of falsely using those of other companies, or simply leaving the original headstamp of the brass on the cases.

John M.

I guess I misunderstood your previous posts. I read them as indicating that the rounds were deliberately made to look like it was made by someone else, somewhere else. Hence my thoughts about the company name.


No apologies necessary. We all don’t think exactly alike. What a dull world it would be if we did.

We are likely talking about the exact same thing, simply using different words to describe it. When a company assigns a Brand Name to a product, differing from the corporate (or otherwise) name of the company, I don’t consider that a “fake name.” However, it is quite possible, as you said, that the “SB” on the box, due to the letter form, IS fake and meant to represent Sellier and Bellot - hence, to firm names on the same box. That is simply speculation on my part.

The rounds were made to look like typical COMBLOC cartridges (of the CWS case variety) but in this instance, I think to increase marketing potential to people who are in love with Soviet weaponry and ignorant of headstamps, as there was no effort to remove the original German 9 x 19 mm headstamp, likely under the knowledge that few with their marketing scope would even know what the headstamp meant.

I think we are both of pretty much the same thought. If any apology is needed, it should come from me. I am a person who easily gets hung up on semantics, sometimes not actually giving thought to the fact that both of us are saying almost the same thing, simply in different words. :-)

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my query.

John M.

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Here is an image of the cartridge. I checked and the round came out of the Middle East??? Not much help. The info provided is as follows

“The other is an unusual 9mmM cartridge made from a modified 9mmP case (DAG NATO). The case has been trimmed to 18mm, the brass has been copper washed, & the extractor groove painted black to make it look like Eastern Bloc Issue. The bullets have copper clad steel cups, roughly cut at the base & only half filled with lead, weighing 55grain. The propellant goes from small green granules to a very fine powder! These are reworked by a VERY small-holding called Raja, I think based in North Pakistan or South Afghanistan. Most of their cases (both Boxer & Berdan) are western 9mmP trimmed down & brass washed, but there are occasional original 9mmM copper clad steel cases, but even these are copper washed again and the extractor grooves painted black.”



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The propellant looks like green Curry powder…
I am looking forward to some dogooder accusing DAG for delivering ammo to questionable locations. http://www.ardenneweb.eu/files/ReneDislaire/27b64b24d7552ecb10b3364208f623e0_tn.jpg