Some odd 9mm - WRA aluminum case?


#1

I came across some odd 9mm loads that I wanted to check on, particularly the WRA headstamp cartridge (tracer?) that seems to have an aluminum case. I thought the case was steel, but it wont take a magnet, so I assume it is aluminum? A couple others appear to be South African, and the 2 in the center reference the FBI on the notes that are with them. The aluminum case load with the cup-point bullet is possibly a solid copper bullet of some sort.
The complete cartridge grain-weights, from left to right are: 183gr, 174.5gr, 191gr, 145.5gr, 182gr, and 224.5gr.


#2

DK, I think if you weigh it that it is a tinned brass case and the red tip is tracer.

The title of your email really got my attention because Olin did make an Aluminum case in the 1980s. I only have it, and have only seen it as a NPE case. The headstamp is “WCC 1985” with a gray anodized case. My initial reaction when I saw your post was that a similar round had been made with an WRA headstamp! What a find that would be.

Glad you are still finding new stuff!

Cheers,
Lew


#3

DK - the one on the oeft is made in South Africa, reportedly for Thailand. I don’t know what the “GO” stands for off hand. I should look it up in Lew’s book, but not much time right now. The second round is simply a South African round, probably ordinary ball from its weight. This headstamp, anonymous as to maker, is found in several variations, and in ball, tracer and as I recall, subsonic loads as well. I believe it dates ffrom the 1970s or 80s. I have had my specimens for about as long as I can remember. The third round appears to be nothing more than ordianry Reminton 115 gr FMJ Ball commercial ammunition. I see nothing special about it at all. Interesting bullet on the CCI aluminum-case round. on’t recall if I have that or not. The WRA is a High Pressure Test round (Proof Load) tinned case with red bullet in accordnace with industry standards for commercial proof loads. It is only lacking the all-red base usually found on commercial proofs, but that may not have been a requirement when this round was made. The last round is a Super Vel Subsonic, again, probably dating from about the 1970s or 1980s.


#4

A few added comments. The second round from the left with hst “9MM” is one of the RSA sterile rounds made for special forces types, operating outside RSA, or so I have been told. This round with a red pa and the remains of a red tip is a tracer. The R-P headstamped load at 191gr is probably a 124gr bullet. I agree that it looks ordinary, but it could be a special load or an evaluation load for the FBI, in which case the box would have an “EO” prefix number on it. Would be nice if the note that came with it gave the EO number. Like John, I don’t believe I have ever seen a Blazer round with that HP bullet. At 145.5gr it is probably a solid bullet of about 85gr-90gr, just a guess.

Thanks for the cute items, congrats on acquiring them!

Cheers,
Lew


#5

I have a full box of hollow-point Blazer 9mms, but unfortunately it’s not where I can get my hands on it right now. Therefore I can’t say for certain that the contents are identical to the pictured round. I almost shot them up not too long ago. Maybe it’s good that I didn’t.


#6

I would not describe the CCI Blazer round in question as a hollow point. It is nothing like a normal GD or other HP ever used by CCI. I think "dimpled point’ or “dimpled nose” would be a much more accurate description. “Hollow Point” conjures up visions of normal hollow point bullets with deep cavities and often pre-stressed (cuts) bullet noses.


#7

It is indeed a dimpled point, and seems fairly light in hand. I wish I had a section of it to see the construction and how / if it is fully 100% copper and what the base looks like.


#8

Maybe I can get pictures of my full box of the 9mm Blazer Dimpled Point (or whatever) rounds in early August, and I’ll post them. They don’t strike me as anything unusual, and I don’t remember where I got them, but certainly not recently. I believe the box says something about the bullets being hollow points, but I don’t remember. Surely I cannot be the only one with such a box.


#9

If it was an FBI trial of some sort then they may be fairly rare in terms of a box. The cartridge I have here has FBI written on it.


#10

I’m pretty sure my box does not say FBI anywhere on it. That I would have remembered.


#11

That Remington is pure commercial ball. (Lew - you are right, of course, about the bullet weight. My eyes got onto the total weight of one of the other rounds, which fit better with 115 grain. I am not sure that Remington ever even made a 115 grain in commercial FMJ RN loading). Could some cartridges of that type have been purchased by the FBI or some (or any) other LE Agency - of course they could have been. However, in absence of document proof of a specific FBI contract with other proof tying that round to such a contract, to call it an “FBI Load” is a stretch. And why? What is better about a police cartridge than about a commercial cartridge, if you don’t have one in your collection? Any interest more in one than in the other is only in the eyes of the beholder. I find commercial ammunition just as interesting, and sometimes more “entertaining” as military and police loads.


#12

DK:

Re: Blazer…the Blazer load’s bullet looks a lot like a 115gr or 124gr Gold Dot that had a light strike or poor execution during the final stage of forming/manufacturing. In the bottom (sideview) pic I believe I can see very slight striations/marks radially in the center of the cavity that would correspond with this. (GDHPs begin life as a plated/bonded FMJ, the same pill used in current Speer Lawman LE practice ammo). With the ‘C F’ primer I think it’s fairly recent? Maybe a Blazer practice-only round loaded with ‘reject’ GDHPs?

CCI has used GDHP pills in many of their Blazer JHP products for a long while (9mm, .44Sp, and .45LC for certain). The earliest CCI 9mm Blazer JHP I have is a very pointy conventional JHP with exposed lead in a very small/narrow cavity. If you ever pull the bullet, a solid copper plated base would be a good indicator of a GDHP.

Some iterations of the GDHP, for instance the initial standard pressure 124gr JHP that Customs carried around 1999, had a relatively shallow cavity but the cuts were much more marked. An early 10mm CCI JHP I have has a similarly shallow cavity, with almost no lead showing (pre-Gold Dot patent, listed as 180gr PHP [plated hollow point]).

The pill does not look like any SCHP I’ve ever seen, and the only 9mm SCHP ATK stuff was in the discontinued Federal Tactical line (brass case).

It also looks a helluva lot like the Lapua CEPP eXtra bullet, but its an odd weight (120gr) and I can’t imagine it getting used in this context.

Re: FBI load…the FBI’s body armor testing protocols use a 124gr FMJ pill manufactured by Federal specifically for in-house loading (tests as an exemplar round at very specific speeds/pressures). It’s possible this is an example of a loaded round used for the armor tests, or that particular pill loaded aftermarket into a different case. The bullets are pretty unremarkable, and agencies can obtain boxes of 50 from ATK for their own testing last I checked.


#13

Two month ago I acquired the CCI round. It came from a French collector who had bought it many years ago from an American collector. The round I bought was in a plastic bag, accompagnied with a note which reads: “FBI test 1992”.


#14

Thanks Mike, but a 124gr Gold Dot that I have here weighs around 197gr total, and this oddball load weighs in around 147gr. There is also the words “Solid copper” written on the side of the case under “FBI Test”.


#15

DK,

Hmmm! If you don’t mind I will forward these pics to my guy at ATK and see if he can dig up some background on it.


#16

Gentlemen, I have the same CCI Blazer “cup point” (which is what I call it) load that Matt has. I picked mine up from someone at the Western States show in Reno either last year or year before. On my case it is written: “Prototype solid bullet for FBI tests 6-92”. Overall ctg weight of mine is 145 grains. That’s right in the neighborhood of all my other Blazer alum cased rounds that have 115gr bullets.


#17

Leon - I have the same cartridge as well, but mine has written on it that it is from 6-92. It also has “Boxer Lead Free,” and these may (I don’t know for sure) represent the earliest use of a Boxer primer in the Blazer 9 mm case.

I also have an empty box that may be for the same type. It is a white box with black print, and on one end flap has written “FBI Load 8-93.” The top is marked"

SPEER
CLEAN-FIRE LFS
AMMUNITION
9mm 115 Gr. (7.4g) Lead Free Solid
Part No. 53613
Keep oput of the rach f Chidren. See all warnings on back label.

Unfortunately, I got no round with this box. I thought at first, when I wrote this aanswer, that it might be the box for the round in question. Jpwever. I just read the report referenced below from the Canadian Police Research Centre, and doing so prompted this edited correction. My mind was in the dark places again. I failed to even note that my box for Part 53613, which is mentioned specifically in the report, is SPEER brand, not CCI at all, so of course, it is NOT the box for the dimple-nose CCI blazer cartridge. The rather poor photo of the rounds discussed in the Canadian report do show that the round for this box has a receissed nose, but a very “busy” pattern is on the nose, so I suspect it is for the frangible loads that have the raised, asterisk-like stick figue formed on the nose of the bullet of some Speer rounds). The exact one, I am not clear on. Perhaps someone else has more information on “Part No. 53613.”

I also have the same box but with a green over-label. You can read through the overlabel enough to see it is the same box I discussed above. This is marked as follows, on the new green over-label:

9 mm LUGER
115 gr. Non-Frangible
Non-Toxic Training Cartridges
Lot #H29Z27
BLOUNT INC.
SPORTING EQUIPMENT DIVISION
LEWISTON, IDAHO 83501

I also have a box with a darker-green over-label that one cannot read thru, differing only in th the printing of the lot number, instead of it being from a rubber stamp put on later. It is lot number J26Y24. It also has the wording NT RFP-6401 printed on one end label, and is marked “FBI 9mm NT (First).” Both of the “green label” boxes have brass-casem, Speer-headstamped rounds with the flat-nose bullet that has the asterik-like 6-point star figure on the nose of the bullet.

Sorry for the mistake that caused this editing.

Leon - Sorry we did not see you at the Western States Show this last weekend.


#18

John - that index number is the key. I find one pdf document online that is a Canadian law enforcement evaluation of lead-free ammo which mentions it on page 7 in group R - Sample C:
http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2008/ps-sp/PS63-2-1995-3E.pdf

They call it the Speer “LFS CLeanfire”, and LFS stands for Lead Free Solid. On page 10 there is a low-res photo of item “C” which looks like the one I show in my photo. Speer / Federal of course went on to do the RHT frangible copper bullet, and so maybe this cup-point copper solid was an experimental along the way?


#19

DK - interesting report, although hard to follow with so many tests and all using abbreviations for the various entries, described elsewhere in the report. Can’t possibly remember them all which called for constant going back and rechecking.

Please see the very large re-write of my previous entry on this thread, which I edited just a inute or so ago after reading the report and re-checking my boxes.

I am back to ground zero on the Blazer aluminum-case dimple-nosed bullet round, as to detailed identification of it. I have the round, but no box label for it, evidently.


#20

Got an inquiry in to 2 gents at ATK, will forward any info.

I have a Federal Premium box (gold/blue) with a green-over label, 115gr 9mm solid copper NT. It’s a truncated cone pill, and it is indeed a solid copper projectile and not a jacketed/frangible. I’ll see if I can find it for a lot number; it looks much newer than the 1992-1993 timeframe for the ‘mystery’ aluminum cased round.