S&B 9x19mm Contract Load-For Italy?


This headstamp showed up recently:

The box appears to indicate a load for Italy.

Can anyone shed some light on this load and the meaning of the “P.S.” in the headstamp?




Lew - with that box label I would almost expect them to be dummy cartridges (drill; exercise) but the word “Esercitazione” also means “training,” or “practice,” so I assume since they look like live ammo, they are relagated to training or practice firing, and not for issue in combat. Nice headstamp - looks familiar, but I don’t know why.

The rest of the label is the most thoroughly “out of my vocabulary” group of Italian words I have seen in years. I will play with a dictionary, but there are others on this Forum who can easily translate the whole label, which I cannot. Most box labels and the like I can read as well as English, but not this one! Well, actually, the more I look at it and try to remember all the Italian I have forgotten since my father-in-law died (no one to talk to anymore), I think it basically says “Store and trasport in a dry place and away from sources of heat.” don’t recall any other Itlaian pistol ammunition label with that admonition on it.

Since Italy is part of NATO and these rounds don’t have a NATO mark on the headstamp or NATO number on the box label, i want to think that the “PS” has some reference to police use, but I don’t know what. Police Service in Italian would be “Servizio della Polizia,” I believe, and therefore abbreviated “SP” and not “PS.” Really, I have no clue what the PS means.


Training Load ( bullet of the base sealed type, open point ( Maybe) which collapses in the target mound or the “floating” moving fluid bed backstop the Italian Security forces use for Training. Allows for a “lead free” envioronment. These “fluid bed” targets are mounted in a couple of 20 ft.Containers, end to end, and give a sound-proof training centre which can be shifted to whichever district requires it. ( Reviewed in “Diana Armi” several years ago.)

The PS and Lot Number( Lot 1, 2009) is “Pubblica Sicurezza” short for “Le Guardie di Pubblica Sicurezza”. the National Police Force, as distinct from the Carabinieri Nazionali (CCNN) or the Guardia di Finanza ( GdF) or other para-military type forces with Police roles. (there are about another Half dozen in Italy, all jealous of their “bailiwick”.

Both Winchester and Federal manufacture similar Loads of LE Use in the USA and export. Rigth Now, the Aussie Customs Service is training with US AirMarshalls Frangible Winchester 9mm, and the Qld. Police with Federal (American Eagle) Open Flat Point Bottom sealed .40S&W ( T series)…but they use Winchester FMJ on service. The .40 cal is nice…it flattens out into a quarter-coin-sized disc after punching thru steel garage doors ( round 50 cal hole,) and hitting structural steel at 5-7 metres. ( some tests I did.)

The Frangible 9mm goes to dust if it hits steel or aluminium, and partly disintegrates in sand. Goes straight thru a person. ( unless it hits a heavy bone, such as Femur head, or Vertebrae.)

A whole range of new collectibles…ammo specially made for LE use exclusively.

PS, the only thing which gives the Packet away as Czech, is the letter “c” with the little arrow on top in the tab label of the Box maker and the word “strela” ( with arrow on “r”)…and of course the headstamp… but an empty box??? would be instantly ID’d as “Italian” because of the printing. Forgot, the larger than life “S&B” at the head of the Label…but if this was torn away, well…look to secondary ID markings.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

JM, in Italian Usage, “da esercitatzione” means “training” but must be modified by " a salve" ( blank) or “da manovra” ( Manoeuver Blanks) or “inerte da esercitazione” ( Inert for training–ie, Drill or Dummies)


Doc - Thanks. I nver even thought of that meaning for the “PS.” I should have, but it has been so long since I was in Italy (1985) that I forgot the Public Security name for the police services. Unfortunately, any tiny abilities I had with that language are disappearing rapidly as I get older and don’t use it at all anymore.


Dear JM,
don’t deprecate yourself because of “Old timer’s Disease”…you probably know more than the rest of us put together here on this board, at least in your shop experiences and collecting Interests…Not since Leonardo Da Vinci was a person expected to “Know everything” in this world.

I am getting on as well, but health problems make the memory fallible at times ( or down-right stupid…) so you are in good company.

Happy New year, JM

Doc AV



Many Thanks! This perhaps explains the note that came with it “Short-range cartridge into -1200 meters” I had no idea what that could have meant since 1200 meters is not “short range” for a 9mmP as far as I’m concerned.




Doc and others,
“pubblica sicurezza” is a general term that ID any corp or government organization involved into public security ( and so also Carabinieri , Guardia di Finanza etc)

Improperly and commonly, the term “pubblica sicurezza” , is used to ID the national police corp only , but, according to italian laws, this is not correct


In several dedicated military training rounds, I’ve seen specs where the ‘maximum range’ was indicated as the true max rather than the effective range or intended range.

1200m seems like a long way, but it’s possible the note was meant to let the user known that 1200m was the true max range for cartridge; i.e. at 1350m the bullet is well into the dirt and nearby people/facilities cannot be struck.

Some of the GD Simunition product spec sheets I’ve seen have the same info…max effective/intended/useful range, and true max range.



I don’t know if this article is about the same ammo you depicted but it seems that the italian police has some problems with their S&B 9mm Luger ammo…

repubblica.it/cronaca/2011/0 … ef=HREC2-5

…the author of the article wrote about possible overpressure problems because faulty loadings.

All the best