Screw-apart pistol "cartridge" dummy?

The item below was shown to me in Manchester, and I could not remember what it was or identify it. It screws together tightly to form what looks like a dummy rd, but in size it is not quite 9x19, and not quite .380 .38 auto, or .40S&W. It has a little pin inside it, and some kind of grease with no odor. It is shown in two pieces, and partially screwed together. There is no primer or headstamp:

Looks like it could be used to measure headspace.

Reminds me of the Japanese toy gun cartridges in 9mm.


Matt, this is a 8.5x23.5 “Plug Fire Cartridge” for PP and PPK/S replicas made in Japan by Marushin. This is the old model patented in 1980, not the later center fire version.


you never cease to amaze me with the breadth of your recall/knowledge/information

thank you for being a loyal participant on the IAA Forum !!!

Thank you Fede, I knew the term “Plugfire”, was probably want I wanted, but couldn’t for the life of me, recall that at the time. Thanks for the details on time-frame.

Matt, below you can see how this cartridge works (the flotating ring indicated with number 8 is missing in your specimen). Marushin also made an almost identical 9.5x23 cartridge for a Beretta Model 84 replica. Do you know the outside diameter of the case?

Pepper, you’re welcome, the forum is great and I’m glad to help and learn something new everyday.



I’d like to add to Pepper’s accolades by commending you for your flawless English (probably better than mine). If I ever go to the Land of Silver, I’d like to meet you.