Those protracted P codes

Are these P codes Made by FN?? where does the single P fit in on that
Cartridge,and the single one with ST is that an early steel case??
Is P28 stand for 1928??in this case??What about the single Ps.???
are the numbers given years,or lot number??
SherrylIMG_0342 IMG_0342 IMG_0344 IMG_0346

IMG_0342 IMG_0342 IMG_0344 IMG_0346

Sorry for the picture screw up it is major problem every time
to get them placed you have to take your pick

Firstly, it would help if you would tell us the caliber of the ammunition about which you have questions. Fortunately, In this instance, the caliber, judging from the headstamps and their content, seems to be 9 x 19 Parabellum (9 mm 08).

The three position headstamp of P * * is from the Hirtenberg firm. I am not sure which factory, to be honest, but the use of the “P” often signified production at the Dordrecht factory, in the Netherlands.

Headstamps with “P * 10 40 (and other lot numbers and dates) are from Polte, Werk Magdeburg. The case from Polte with St” as the case material code is CWS. As late as these are, the number before the year should be a lot number, not a month.

P28 is the German code for Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken A.-G., Werk Karlsruhe i/Baden.

I have no idea what kind of cartridge the Polte one with deformed rim. It might be an instance of improvised ammunition, sometimes referred to as “Quetsch Rand” which made the cartridges usable (although I wouldn’t pull the trigger on one) in captured British .380 (.38 S&W) caliber revolvers. You find this, in varying forms of deformation, also in .45 Auto ammunition. Most of my specimens of both calibers came out of Republic of South Africa, with at least one or two captured from terrorists in Angola by the RSA military. There is more than one form of this alteration.

John Moss

Sorry for not mentioning the cal.I was to fixeted on the 28 and assumed
they were made at the end of the 1920 when the Germans could not
produce Ammo I have more of those with other dates,in this case Polte
did not even cross my mind,I only know that FN made some under that what point in time was the P28 produced??It must have been
in the early 1930???The term Quetch Rand is indeed a new one on me
why would someone do this??In any case I thank you for again some
surprising info

Firstly, I am not aware of FN ever making ammunition with a P28 headstamp, if that is what you are referring to. In the case of letter “P” standing alone, there exists the headstamp “P 24” on 9 x 19 mm cartridges, in three slightly different forms That has been covered on this forum in detail, I believe by Lew Curtis, some time ago, and I don’t have time to recount the story here. One of them was made in Belgium. I forget off hand if it was by FN or by Cartoucherie Belge. Perhaps you can search the Forum and find the threads on that - they are from some time ago.

Why would anyone deform the rims of one cartridge to fire in a different caliber of gun? Easy! They needed ammunition and had 9 mm Para (or .45 auto) and by squishing out the rim, they could use them in British .38 and .455 revolvers. Good, accurate ammunition? Almost certainly not, but probably good enough to hit a man-sized target at short range. There is nothing new about improvised ammunition. It has been done often, in the larger sense by irregular forces like the VC in Vietnam, and various terrorist groups. As I said, many of my relative few specimens came out of the fighting in Southern Africa.

Unavailability of proper ammunition is reason enough for altering these cartridges. I cannot think of any other reason for your Polte cartridge with the distended rim.

The Polte and Hirtenberg “P” cartridges are quite common, by the way. Not so much the altered-rim rounds of any caliber.

John Moss

if you push down the cases into the foam so that the case heads are more or less flush with the foam surface, your camera will be spared desperately guessing where the focus should be and your headstamps will be as crystal clear as the foam surface is on most of your photos above.

If you present your camera a large surface from which a few small objects (cases) stick out, the focus will normally be on the large surface.

Thanks for the reply.yes I had the P24 cartridge in mind and assumed FN
kept using that letter for a while.Yes I am aware that the Vietnamese used
and fitted often anything during the beginning of that conflict into guns where
no normal person would ever think it is possible.but fitting these quetch
loads into 45 is really something else.I thank for the lesson.By the way
just finished reading the book by Max Hastings(VIETNAM) it just about
blew me over,even you and me have lived through that period you realize
how little they told the unwashed masses.

You have no idea how i Appreciate your advise,I took some of it and try to use only white foam back ground,but my wife takes those pics and she
struggles valiantly to get the right focuss.The trouble is more getting these
things into the computer,I know the younger ones have little understanding
with these inabilities.As you know very often the golden years (SIND ZUM
KOTZEN)Thanks again Sherryl

Sherryl - I don’t understand why you feel that the enlarged rim 9 mm and .45 are “really something else” from the type of things done by many people, both for military and quasi-military use, or even just be be able to shoot a gun for which they have no proper ammunition. Improvised ammunition is just that, taking one form of ammunition, be it a cartridge, an explosive device, or an incendiary device (as in Molotov Cocktail) and turning it to a use for which it was not originally intended. I fail to see any difference in concept. The 9mm Para round with a squashed rim will fit in some .38 Revolvers - I have tried it - although I personally would never pull the trigger on such an item except in the most dire of situations. The same goes for a squashed-rim .45 auto, which will work in .455 and some .45 revolvers, although to what end in accuracy and possible damage to the firearm, I could not say, because there are too many guns and too many related factors to make positive statements about every single instance of such use.

I would like to clarify that although a 9-year veteran of the U.S. Army and the Active U.S. Army Reserve, I was never in Vietnam. However, I have (had - many gone now) many friends and classmates that did, and am well aware of the disgraceful doctoring of news in covering that conflict. The lies told to the American public by its own media were more responsible for the unfavorable, for our point of view, outcome of that war than all the military might of both sides of the conflict put together.

Enough on this topic, I think.

Edited only to remove comment on spelling of Quetsch. I see that I spelled it correctly originally in my post here.

The German verb quetschen means to squash or to squeeze.
For example, HESH projectiles are called “Quetschkopf” (squashhead) in German. Quetsch is pronounced in German like quetch is in English.

thank you Peelen. I just didn’t recall seeing many German words starting with the letter “Q.”


English (at least American English) has the word ‘kvetch’, from the Yiddish, in which the sense has changed to mean something like whine or complain. Jack

FN used the “P” code on the P 24 rounds because the actual contract was between the Prussian Police and Solothurn who also used the “P” code. FN was a subcontractor to Solothurn and used the code directed by Slothurn.

It is important to know the history at the time to make any sense of the headstamps.

Polte began making 9mm P08 Ex cartridges in 1921, but I strongly suspect this was a preparation for making the live ammunition. This is supported by the fact that in 1921 they made some normal ball cases with primer pocket and all, but known examples were completed as plated case Ex rounds. I see no reason for this except that some of these were loaded as normal ball rounds to validate that Polte could produce 9mm P08 ammo since they had never produced this caliber prior ot 1921 that I have seen documented.

The delivery of the P 24 ammunition was frozen by the International Control Commission, but in late 1924 Polte began producing this ammunition with their own headstamp.

The use of the P28 and similar number codes was initially to assert that all were Polte production at different lines, but was continued long after Germany dropped out of their treaty restrictions in about 1935 as I recall. In 1933 Hitler dropped out, but there was a requirement for a two year notification, as I recall. I am in Wyoming just now, working on a really good bottle of wine so some of the above may be slightly wrong—but is is the fault of a really good bottle of Chalk Hill CS! Early morning tomorrow to go chase some trout in the local creek. It is fun to spend my son’s inheritance!!!



Better still get your son to fund the wine tasting and wine tasting.

Thank you both for your excellent replys I learnt a lot
from both of them thanks again
Oh and John I a m sure you heard the english saying