S&B headstamp history

Hi all, im new here and this is my first post so hi 👋🏻
I was wondering if anyone was able to help me please. I have a S&B 9mm Short cartridge case with one “NEROXIN” in the two o clock position. The orientation of the little legs (?) are pointing anticlockwise in relation to 0• . I know the position and orientation of the “NEROXIN” are used as date codes, however the info I have seems to post-dates my case (pre 2001). My question is, does anyone know when SBP changed to S&B or when the double “NEROXIN” changed to the single one? If anyone could provide an official reference that would be very much appreciated 😄 thanks in advance.

Thanks for asking this question. Sorry I can’t help you. I know that there are collectors who understand this code, but I do not have anything I can send you. Any codes you have would be appreciated!


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The “Neroxin” symbol appeared initially in pairs with the “SBP” hs from c1936. In mid 1983, the “S&B” hs replaced “SBP” and the “Neroxin” symbol was continued to be used in pairs. It has been rumoured that this single “S&B” hs was produced by a new factory at Ceperka but this is unconfirmed.

From c1996-97, single neroxin symbols appeared in hs and evidently these indicate the use of Boxer primer case holes whereas the twin neroxin symbols indicate Berdan primed cases.

Changes in orientation of the single neroxin symbols are believed to be date codes (Ref: John Moss - still unconfirmed). Sometimes these were placed on the left, sometimes, right and sometimes they were rotated (to at least three different orientations). However, this theory appears unconfirmed as there does not seem to be enough variety in the observed orientation to indicate date codes ?

Regarding references, most of this comes from articles by Vladislav Badalik and also the book on S&B “Dejiny firmy Sellier & Bellot” by Vladimir Karlicky; and Jindrich Hykel:. I have known most of this for a long time and have taken it for granted so can’t be more specific. If someone can be more specific then that would be great.

[Edited once to correct the info re the “S&B” hs]

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The number of “Neroxin” symbols, and whether
there are two, one on the right side, or one on the left
side, cannot be a indication of priming-system type.
I just pulled three rounds of 9 x 18 mm Makarov -
two symbols, one symbol right and one symbol left,
and all three were Boxer-type cases. Further, I have
9 mm Parabellum S&B cases with both one symbol and
two that are Boxer primed. It is possible that the single
symbol only is found on Boxer-type cases, but I don’t have
enough dupes to pull apart to confirm that. But again, the
double symbol is found on cases with both priming systems.

Just as a note, I have Sellier and Bellot fired, CWS cases
in 9 x 18 with both two and three flash holes in the Berdan-type
cases, which may be by design, but I have the same in 9 mm
Parabellum with one, two and three flasholes, which to me, would
be an indication of poor quality control.

Recent manufacture S&B commercial 9 x 18 mm Makarov cartridges,
at least, still had the single Neroxin symbol on the headstamp, so this
feature continued until about three years ago, and may still be in use
on other calibers. Recently, even the commercial 9 Makarov rounds have
a military-style, trinomial headstamp containing a date, with the Neroxin
symbol completely gone from the headstamp.

As for the date code, I discussed this on an earlier thread. Documentation
exists, but it is proprietary information which I am not at liberty to discuss
here. I do not believe that the original double-symbol headstamps did use
them as a date code, but when the single symbol started changing attitude
on the headstamp, it became one.

John Moss

John, it is interesting that the many variation in the position and orientation of the single Neroxin symbol on “S&B” handgun ammunition does not seem to exist for rifle ammunition (which is what I am basing my comments on).

Maybe this date code only applies to handgun ammunition ? Most “S&B” rifle ammo with the single neroxin has only one hs variation for 20+ years of production - I know of two variations for 9.3x62 only - if others have more variations on rifle ammo I would appreciate hearing about them. Maybe I just haven’t seen enough examples to pick up the variety or maybe very few ‘lots’ were produced ? Maybe the “boxer” primer comment only applies to rifle ammo ??

Also interesting is that some previous threads on this subject including comments by Vít Krèma in 2006 seem to have disappeared (or can’t be found in the website search engine) ??

For rifle cases with 2 Neroxin logos there is also:
8x57JS (cal. given as in headstamp)
5.45x39 (but these were made by TCW for S&B and then scrapped)

In handgun ammunition, S&B headstamps are many and varied. I probably have,
for example, over 100 S&B 9 mm Variants, between loadings and headstamps, and
I would class my S&B 9 mm collection as being good, but not excellent.

Unfortunately, I cannot address this subject beyond how the questions asked and
answered pertain to cartridges for self-loading pistols and SMGs.

John M


Above you said

[quote=“JohnMoss, post:4, topic:28959”]
Just as a note, I have Sellier and Bellot fired, CWS cases
in 9 x 18 with both two and three flash holes in the Berdan-type
cases, which may be by design, but I have the same in 9 mm
Parabellum with one, two and three flasholes,

Do you mean you have 9mm Parabellum with CWS cases and S&B headstamps???

If so, WOW!!!

I have seen brass washed steel cases, which as far as I can tell were not made in the S&W factory, nickel plated steel cases, lacquered steel cases-all with the commercial S&B hst, but have never seen a S&B hst copper washed steel case.


EOD, do you mean “S&B” hs with two neroxin symbols in the hs - there are many of these. What I am talking about is “S&B” hs variations with a single neroxin in the hs but with a different orientation. Here is the only “S&B” single neroxin 8x57JS hs that I have seen. The neroxin is on the right side orientated at 2 o’clock.


Here are the two 9.3x62 single neroxin variations that I know of (as mentioned previously):


The left one has a single neroxin @ approx 2 o’clock, the right one at 11 o’clock.

Does anyone else know of similar “S&B” single neroxin hs variations for rifle calibers ?

For the 5.45x39 I don’t know any with a single neroxin just the two as in “S&B Ô 5.45x39 Ô”. I have an image of this but it is poor.

WBD, ah, ok, seems I got it wrong before.


No, I don’t have those in 9 x 19 Parabellum. My statement was
"I have Sellier and Bellor Fired, CWS cases in 9 x 18 …). A silly
little millimeter shorter, but an in important difference.

Is your statement "I have seen brass washed steel cases, which as
far as I can tell, were not made in the S&W factory…) a typo (Did you mean
“not made in the S&B factory”)? However, I made a boo-boo in not claryifying
my statement about have the same in 9 mm Para, where I have fired case
examples, actually out of South Africa, with one, two and three flash holes,
but…THEY ARE BRASS CASE. Im not sure I have any S&B 9 x 19 Para with
a steel case of any finish. I would have to check my collection. There are so many
different S&B 9 Para that they are beginning to confuse me.

John Moss

Thanks for the help all, I’m blown away by how much you all know. I will have a look for the papers and books you have pointed me in the direction of and hopefully I can find something to quote officially but if not, atleast I have learnt something. Many thanks again.