S&B Blanks: 9mmP vs 7.62mmT


#1

I just got back yesterday for the Czech association meeting and had a good time. Forensic was there, and I see he has already posted the new set of S&B loads we both picked up there. We both picked up at least one additional “treasure” but that is another story, best told over a beer rather than posted on the Forum!

On the way to the meeting, Bob Ruebel and I stopped by the S&B Museum. I had been there once before for a very quick visit and saw the earliest S&B 9mmP box I had ever encountered. It was 25 rounds, red, with the drawing of a truncated bullet load. I have never seen a truncated bullet load on an S&B commercial case. I had taken a poor photo, but wanted better photos without the reflection of the glass top on the display case.

Does anyone have a truncated bullet S&B 9mm Parab from before WWII?

In the same case was a display of S&B made rounds and cards identifying each. In the case were the two steel case blanks pictured below and another brass case blank identical to the shorter blank below.

image

I had always been told that the shorter blank was for the Tokarev pistol and the other with the distinct shoulder was for the 9mm Luger.

The information in the S&B display case, created by S&B specifically stated that all three of the blanks (including the short case brass blank) were 9mm Parabellum!!! I don’t have the short case bass blank because it was, as far as I knew, a 7.62mm Tokarev round!

Does anyone have a box of these short case blanks which identifies their caliber???

I suspect they may have been intended for both calibers, but the display created by S&B only identifies them as “9mm Parabellum”.

Help and opinions appreciated.

Cheers,
Lew

PS: Does anyone have a spare of the short case brass blank. I have seen them frequently. but never picked one up!!!


#2

I have the box for the “short case” brass blank made
by S&B. The designation of the cartridge on the box,
and in Czech military literature, is 9-82 Cv (civicny naboj).
The “82” in that abbreviated version of the designation
stands for “vz 82,” and is also the model of the pistol for
which these were intended.

Technically speaking, this cartridge was not made for either
7.62 x 25 mm pistols or for 9 mm Parabellum caliber pistols.
It is for the blank pistol version of the CZ vz 82 9 X 18 mm
pistol. The Czechs only refer to commercial 9 x 18 mm they
make, with the normal Russian-type FMJ RN bullet of about
95 grains weight as “9 mm Makarov.” The military load, with
4.50 gram (69 grain) sintered-iron projectile is always referred
to as the 9 mm naboj Vzor 82.

In truth, the brass case blank is dimensionally nothing more than
the older 7.62 x 25 mm blank, possibly different only in powder
charge. Even that may be the same - I simply don’t know. Headstamps
of these blanks at hand are “S&B 38 SPECIAL” (Probably the first run, and
possibly a prototype, although they seem too common for that), bxn 88, bxn
89 and bxn 91. The military rounds can be found with and without red primer
seals. All have a red mouth crimp seal.

The blank-fire version of the 9 x 18 mm CZ vz 82 pistol was purposefully made
for the 7.62 x 25 mm dimension blank cartridges to prevent a catastrophic
failure if fired with a live ball cartridge. It will not fire or chamber a 9 x 18 mm
cartridge.

A look at the dates found on the steel-case version of this cartridge will tell one
instantly that they were not originally intended to be used in a 9 x 19 mm Para-caliber
pistol, as when they were made, there was little use in the Communist Czechoslovakian
military and police establishments, if any, of 9 mm Para-caliber weapons. The 9 mm Para
was still in use following WWII, but that use evaporated with the Soviet invasion of
Czechoslovakia and the introduction of Soviet calibers into the Czechoslovakian Agencies
I have recorded dates on the 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev-caliber blanks from 1952 to
1963, and have specimens of both brass and steel-cased rounds.
The 7.62 x 25 mm was standard in pistol and SMG. That is not to say that they cannot
be fired in a 9 Para weapon, although they are designed to headspace on the shoulder
(in this case formed into a rosebud crimp), rather than on the case mouth, as in the
design of the cartridge shown to the left of it in the picture above.

I believe there is some confusion over which 9 mm cartridge was shown in the display, either
due to poor captioning in the display, or errors committed by the clerk that prepared the
captions. Factory and Museum displays are not always identified accurately.

JLM


#3

Already planned on buying you a beer or two, so I look forward to the story :)


#4

John,
Thanks for the excellent rundown. The box label doesn’t apparently tell us a lot since it references a blank firing pistol. Does the “82” indicate this pistol dates from 1982? I looked at the internet and this is a 9x18mm pistol.

My short style steel case blanks date from 1954-1958 and 1960 to 1961. the shouldered blank is dated 1959. It sounds like the Czechs adopted a 9x18mm pistol long after these were manufactured. As a 7.62 Tokarev blank they could have been adopted for the vz. 52 which they apparently used for about 30 years until the apparence of the vz. 82. The vz. 52 was adopted (and designed according to one website) in 1952, and it seems strange that they would have blanks available in quantity during the same year. The gun was originally designed in 9mmP. The conversion to 7.62T was apparently made in 1954.This would imply that the short case blanks dated 1954 or earlier were likely made as 9mmP if intended for the vz. 52
A friend of mine who spent time in the Czech AF said that these short blanks were primarily for the “M.52 pistol and the M.24 & M.25 SMG”. This Series, M.23-M.26 series of guns was introduced in 1948 and continued in production for 20 years.The M.23 & M.25 were in 9mmP and M.24 & M.26 were in 7.62mmT. If this info is correct, the short blanks were used in both weapons and likely to be designed as a dual use blank from the beginning.

These dates are not inconsistent with the Czech rifle of the time, the vz. 52 which was in 7.62x45, and was converted ot 7.62x39 to become the vz.52/57 implying the conversion was about 1957.

Given the dates on these cartridges and the dates on the weapons being used by the Czech military, I am pretty confident that they were originally 9x19mm blanks, but likely designed for dual use as 7,62x25mm blanks. This is likely why S&B lists them as 9x19mm, though they were probably used more often in 7.62x25 weapons. The conversion from one caliber to another probably took a number of years so having a single blank must have been useful.

The information above came from the internet, mostly from wikipedia, but much confirmed by other sites. So, some if it could be wrong. If you have better information, please post it and help me sort out the story on these blanks.

John, I have two blanks with S&B 38 SPECIAL headstamps but these are clearly 9x19mm. probably from about 2008.

Cheers,
Lew


#5

Lew, the blank firing vz. 82 pistol is technically not a 9 x 18 caliber pistol, but a blank firing variant of the standard vz. 82 pistol chambered for this special “9 mm” cartridge (9-82 Cv) only. In short, this blank was not made for a 9 x 18 chamber, but for a special chamber with distinct dimensions (diagram below):

9-82%20Cv

Regards,

Fede


#6

Why are the .38 Special headstamped blanks clearly 9 mm Para? A picture would
help. The one I have is identical in all ways to except headstamp to the normal Czech
blanks, steel and brass case, using the various symbols for the manufacturer’s code.
They are clearly 7.62 x 25, both in design. The year 1952 is very significant, because
that is the year that the Czech CZ vz. 52 pistol, caliber 7.62 x 25 mm, was adopted.
A comparison of the cases of my blanks to 7.62 x 25 cartridges, shows the shoulder,
which on the blank becomes also the crimped case mouth, at the same height. There
was no need to make the case full shoulder different, and they headspace on that shoulder.
That is why there is no well defined “case mouth” as their is on the latter 9 mm Para steel
blanks.

If you look at the model numbers of many of the Czech small arms of that period, such as
the so-called “She Rifle” (slang-named for the manufacturer’s code found on them), the are all
most vz. 52, adopted in 1952, not 1954.

Had these early blanks been 9 mm Para, it would not have been necessary to make the very
well-defined 9 mm Para blanks later on.

Regarding the Czech pistol that replaced the Vz. 52, the CZ vz. 82, yes, the normal pistol is in
caliber 9 x 18 mm. But, once again, the blank-firing version of it is not, although they kept the
cartridge designation as 9-82, probably to avoid confusion. It is actually chambered for a blank
cartridge, as mentioned above, of the same dimensions in all respects as the blanks for the
7.62 x 25 mm vz. 52, roller-locked pistol, now very common in the United States. I own one, although
not the one I had in my auto pistol collection at a much earlier time, when only seven “sneaked in” to
the US, either in error or purposefully, described a M1950 French 9 mm Pistols, to which they bare
some superficial similarity due to the parkerized finish and the black grooved grip panels. I am well
familiar with these Czech pistols. The chambering of the blank-fire vz. 82 pistol prevents the chambering
of a 9 x 18 mm ball cartridge, since the bore in the barrel is no where near 9 mm. It is a very wise safety
feature that the pistol cannot chamber a ball cartridge of either 9 x 18 mm or 7.62 x 25 mm.

I mentioned above that it is quite possible that the blank cartridges could be fired in a 9 x 19 mm weapon,
although the headspace would be quite sloppy.

Regarding the earlier version of the Vz. 52, they were in prototype form. The initial Model designation for the prototype was CZ vz. 482. In was improved into the CZ vz. 491. Both of these were 9 mm Para. However, due to the unification requirements imposed by the USSR, these were abandoned in 1950 (not 1954), and the Soviet 7.62 x 25 mm cartridge was prioritized. The year 1954 is when the improved 7.62 mm version, prototype designated vz. 513, was finally accepted in the Czech service. The conversion of the design (not any pistols) into the 513 was evidently troublesome, causing a delay in finalization of the design into the Vz. 52, but during the development period, 7.62 mm ammo types were required, of course.
Ball ammunition was no particular problem, since it had been manufactured in Czechoslovakia since 1947, not surprising considering the quantity of Russian SMGs and Pistols that floated around the Eastern block
countries until standardization and rearming began c. 1950. So, it is also not suprising to find training blanks in 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev made in Czechoslovakia in 1952, a full two years after it was decided the “new” pistol was to be in that caliber. All of the Cz vz. 52 pistols were made in 1952-1954. My own vz. 52, purchased some time after selling my collection when they appeared on the market in the USA at incredibly cheap prices, was made in 1953. It was too tempting to not buy one once again, especially since I wrote the first article to appear in a U.S. gun Magazine, “Shooting Times,” on this pistol, in June 1970. The same unification requirements were applied to the SMG 23 and it was redesigned for the 7.62 x 25 mm cartridge beginning in 1950 and culminating in the adoption of the SMG 24 (infantry model) and SMG 26 (paratroops). It is almost certain that the blanks in 7.62 x 25 mm were more widely used in these SMGs than they were in pistols.

Reference (Primary): “Czech Firearms and Ammunition,” by Vladimir Dolinek, Vladimir Karlicky and Pavel Vacha.

References (Secondary): “know your Czech Pistols,” by R. J. Berger
“The Little Known Czech M52 Pistol,” Shooting Times, by John Moss
Miscellaneous notes on Czech vz. 82/83 and vz. 52, John Moss files

JLM


#7

John,

The two 38 Special blanks were sold to me as 9mm Para and were from a box so marked. they are extended case about the same length as a 9mm Para and with a shoulder in about the right place.I just checked them both by putting them into a couple of spare 9mm Luger barrels I have. both stuck out slightly less than 1mm more than do 9mm Luger cartridges, I checked the same barrels with a Winchester 30 Mauser and it fit very close to the way the blanks fit. I suspect they are probably 7.62x25mm blanks. Their shoulder is much less sharp than the shoulder on a 7.62x25T or 30 Mauser round. Sitting next to a 9mm PPU blank it is not easy to tell they are not 9mm Para. With that sloping shoulder, I an not really convinced that they wouldn’t work in most 9mm Para weapons. Again, perhaps they are dual use blanks??? The two S&B dummies have slightly different headstamps. One has the barrel and arrow symbols and a green base and the other does not.
image

The data I have found indicates the vz.52 pistol was adopted in 1952 in 9x19mm and then in 1954 the Czechs decided to convert to the Soviet calibers and produced the remaining vz.52 pistols in 7.62x25mm. They also began converting the 9x19mm pistols to 7.62x25mm. I agree that the 1952 date is significant, because at that time the Czechs began producing a 9x19mm pistol.

As I tried to explain above, perhaps poorly, is that the vz.52 rifle was originally, like the vz 52 pistol, designed and delivered in a non-Soviet caliber 7.62x45mm and it wasn’t until 1957 that it began being converted to the Soviet 7,62x39mm cartridge, and the resulting weapon was
re-designated the vz.52/57.

This is based on the best data I can find on the internet. Perhaps one of the Czech or Slovak members could tell us more about when the Czech Army converted to Soviet calibers?

Cheers,
Lew


#8

Your data does not match that of the given references. While the secondary
reference I quoted, “Know your Czechoslovakian Pistols,” by Berger, is a rather
short and cheaply produced part of the “Know Your” series of books on firearms,
it is not badly done for a short survey. The Primary source, by Dolinek, Karlicky and Vacha
is a scholarly study of Czech firearms beginning in 1373 and moving foreward to the time
the book was published in Prague in 1995. It is a Czech book, written by Czech arms enthusiasts,
and published in the Czech Republic with assistance from many, including Sellier & Bellot and
Zbrojovka Brno. The reference of Technical Literature cited covers six pages, with over 30 references
per page.

There is no scholarly information of which I am aware that would indicate any of the CZ vz. 52 pistols
were ever converted from 9 mm to 7.62 mm. The 9 mm pistols were all failed prototypes. Work on the
7.62 mm pistols began in 1950, as I mentioned above and as covered in cited material. ALL of the actual
adopted form CZ 52 pistols were made between 1952 and 1954. Those made from 1950 to 1952 were
prototypes. Those in 9 mm ceased any further development in 1950, in compliance with Soviet Standardization.

The Vz 52 rifle was, as you say, adopted in a Czech improvement and adaptation of the Soviet 7.62 x 39 cartridge, with case lengthend to 45 mm. This was allowed to persist only until 1957, when the rifle was redesigned in order to comply completely with the unification for Soviet ammunition, just as you said. What
9 X 19 mm pistol did the Czechs begin producing in 1952??? That was the year they began producing the finalized, adopted CZ vz. 52 in caliber 7.62 x 25 mm. The Model 52 remained in used until replaced by the CZ vz. 82, in caliber 9 x 18 mm vz. 82, and commercially in 9 x 18 mm Makarov (the difference cited above in one my replies). The Cartridge 9 mm vz. 82 was for those pistols of the same model, and the blanks in 7.62 x 25 mm form were produced for the blank-firing version, just as the box label for them indicates, even though they were given the appellation “9-82.”

The very nice 7.62 x 25 mm blanks you originally described as 9 mm Para and which you show in your excellent photograph, which very nicely shows the difference in the shoulder of a true 9 mm Para blank, the PPU one, and a 7.62 x 25 mm blank, I envy. I do not have either of them. My blank with the S&B .38 Special headstamp is quite different from those, and the only type I had seen until your photo, being basically dimensionally identical to the 7.62 x 25 blanks made in the 1950s and those using the same
case dimensions made in the late 1980s and early 1990s for the Pistol vz 82 Civicny version.

I classify cartridges by their original design or in extreme instances by their official designation, such as the 9-82 Civicny, and not by the possibility that they can be fired in some other chambering. There are many examples of such cartridges which can be safely fired in other chamber types, but of course, normally with very poor results.

JLM


#9

John,
Thanks for your clarification. I do not have the Czech book but I probably know people who have the details.

I have ordered Czech Firearms and Ammunition: History and Present. This is what I was looking for!

Cheers,
Lew


#10

I have been pondering the question of the 7.62 x 25 blanks vs.
ones made for 9 mm P caliber weapons in Czechoslovakia, and have
rediscovered another view at why I firmly believe the blanks without
a well defined mock case mouth at 19 mm, but rather simply a cone-shaped
shoulder containing the rosebud crimp mouth closure, are specifically and
probably only for 7.62 x 25 mm weapons.

From at least 1949 until 1951 (the latter date significant as it is the year before
the adoption of the 7.62 x 25 mm CZ vz. 52 pistol) blanks specifically for the
9 mm Para weapons were loaded on standard 9 x 19 mm cases and used a
purple wood bullet. I have the date spread indicated, but not every date as
I do not collect them by simply changes of the headstamp date. Then, in 1952
we see the change to the type with undefined case mouth (at 19 mm). In 1959,
another blank obviously specifically for 9 mm para, with a defined mock case
mouth at 19 mm appears. I have this type with bxn 59 headstamp and with ZV 61
headstamp. There may be other dates - as I said, I don’t collect them by date.
However, within my own collection, I also have a blank of the type I consider to
be 7.62 Tokarev caliber for the vz. 52 pistol, with headstamp bxn 63.

This is significant, in my view, as I would ask the question "if the obvious 9 mm
blanks came along in 1959 and 1961, and simply represented a change of design
from those produced starting in 1952, why would they regress at bxn by making the
1952 type blank again in 1963, after producing those that are certainly 9 mm P in 1959 and 1961?
The most logical, and to me obvious, answer would be because they represent blanks
of two separate calibers, as discussed here, with the undefined case mouth types being
7.62 x 25 mm, and those with a well-defined mock case mouth being 9 mm Parabellum.

As to why in 59 and 61 they were making 9 x 19 mm blanks when the service pistol and SMG
were still 7.62 x 25 mm, I simply don’t know and really don’t care to advance a theory for their
production, although it is not impossible that they were (a.) foreign contracts, (b.) for use in
2nd line, older substitute-standard pistols and SMGs still in use, or (c.) that they are Cinema blanks. Again, these are just possibilities. I have no idea what the answer actually is; just putting out food for thought.

Confusing??? You bet! I think, though, with a careful reading, most will get what I am talking about,
even though I wish at this late hour I could have concentrated on a simpler format for this additional
information and opinion.

JLM


#11

Might as well finish this up. I thought today about looking in the book
“Zabudnuta Municka Na Povazi,” covering cartridges made by the Slovak
factory Povazske Bystrica between 1934 and 2004, by Karol Smatana.

I was looking for the actual designation given the blank cartridges made by
both S&B and PS. That designation was “7.62 mm Pi. Cv.” (Cv. = Cvicny, or
in English, Blank). That tells us the intended caliber was 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev.
There was no mention of 9 mm Parabellum in conjunction with this type blank
cartridge.

I cannot read Czech/Slovak, so the two paragraphs on the cartridge are not much
use to me, but it does mention “samopaly vz. 24 a 26” referring to the two versions
of the official Czech SMG Models 24 (Infantry) and 26 (Paratrooper). As alluded to
in one of the answers above, I see no mention of its use in the CZ vz. 52 Pistol, caliber
7.62 x 25 mm, so with the little I can get out of the Slovak text of the book is that the
blank was only used (or perhaps “intended for use” would be more accurate) in the
7.62 mm SMGs.

John Moss