Rare WRA 9M-M headstamp

The headstamp “w.R.A. 9 M-M” is one of the most common military headstamps ever made on 9x19mm cartridges. it was introduced before WWII for sale to the Finnish military. The rounds were never delivered but were bought by the British. It was produced throughout WWII, for both the US and Allies.

There were also two or three cartridges that I knew of with the same headstamp, but without the dots between the letters. I had never had the opportunity to acquire one
WRA%20hst%20comparison

I did have a black and empty white box since before the mid-1980s that looked very similar to the WWII boxes. and was marked specifically for the Sten Gun.
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It was interesting since it was obviously a militarhy contact and the date code inside the box indicated production in March 1957. I believe I have previously posted this box on the Forum to find out what the cartridges were.

Recently I had an opportunity to buy the same box, but with cartridges. Today I was digging through “stuff” getting ready to travel to the ECRA meeting and I ran across the box and opened it. I was more than pleased to find it contained the cartridges with out the dots in the WRA!

I believe this is the first time I know of that the box and the headstamp have been tied together. Someone out there may have a case of them, but if so it has been a well kept secret!

Cheers,
Lew

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Lew,

Thanks for posting!

Brian

A friend pointed out to me the two dummy headstamps below.

image

Both lack the period after the letters. The periods were only used during WWII and then only on the “W.R.A. 9M-M” format headstamps. All post-war WRA headstamps lack the dots.

These two headstamps are interesting becaus if you look at them closely you will see a number of differences in the headstamps, Particularly in the “9” and the orientation of the “/” in “M/M”. This is because the case on the left was actually made by Winchester in New Haven CT, and the case on the right was made by Western in East Alton IL. Will have to check since I am not sure I have dummies with both headstamps???

Cheers,
Lew

Now that slash detail is very, very interesting, do you think we can use that to ID other Winchester N.H. or Western production in other case types?

I have no idea. If you identify two different WRA headstamps on a given caliber the different letter styles may be a giveaway. On 9mm the letter style is a bit larger on Western production. John M and I had noted the two different styles, but I didn’t understand the WHY until I started checking box dates. An “A” pdsfix headstampcode on either a Winchester box or Western box means the ammo was made by the other factory. So, a Winchester box with a A prefix means Western Production. When I began acquiring the red & yellow Winchester boxes, I noted that the A code boxes had larger letters on the headstamp and the distinctive 9 and /. Check the codes on other boxes and see if you can identify the difference,

Cheers,
Lew