Truncated cone 9mm question


I’ve read Lew’s 9mm collecting intro but I still don’t understand why they did away with truncated cone. Intuitively I feel it may even fly better, but I know nothing about its aerodynamics. May someone fill the gap?


My guess is that switching to a RN profile bullet greatly helped the feeding of the cartridge into the chamber of semi-auto and automatic firearms. Interesting to note that quite a lot of manufactures still produce truncated flat-nose 9mm loads including Fiocchi that still has a 124gr TC profile load that is similar to the early TC loads.


The story on the Truncated bullet is a bit complicated. The 1904 DWM catalog shows that the earliest Luger bullets, both 7.65mm and 9mm, were round nose. As Geoff Stugess discusses in both his great new book on the Luger and Borchardt pistols, and in his article on the ammunition in the anniversary edition of the IAA Journal, The 9mm version of the cartridge was specifically developed to interest the British and US military in the Luger pistol which was offered in 9mm to the British in 1902 and tested by the US Army in 1903, before any German military testing of the 9mm. Both the British and the US questioned the lethality of the 9mm bullet. As I recall from Geoff’s book (am on vacation with the granddaughters and don’t have access to the book as I write), the notes from the ongoing German testing for a new pistol, the first mention of the 9mm Luger was in 1904 and mentioned a new design bullet with improved wounding effects-This would have been the truncated bullet.

The change to the round nose bullet is also covered in Geoff’s book. This Forum has had a number of discussions about the controvesity during WWI between the combatants over soft point and hollow point and other banned bullets. Geoff has documentation from 1916 that German soldiers were very concerned because allied soldiers considered the truncated bullets as “banned” ammunition and trench justice apparently often included summary execution of any prisoner found with banned ammunition. As a result the German Army ordered in 1916 that the truncated bullet be replaced by a RN bullet.

The RN DWM design bullet design must have been around for quite a while since it is designated DWM bullet number 278G in their 1904 catalog. The Truncated bullet is 278F and the truncated HP is 278H. The earliest 9mm Luger bullet style illustrated in this catalog is a blunt RN bullet designated 278C. Since, under the DWM numbering system, the first 9mm Luger bullet design would have been #278, then the earliest we know of was the 4th bullet design (blunt RN) and the well known truncated and RN designs were the 7th and 8th bullet designs.

It is interesting that the early 7.65mm Luger bullet designs in this catalog include the original (#261) RN design while the 7.65mm truncated design was 471L or the 13th bullet designed for this caliber by DWM.

I have never seen any documentation that the truncated bullet or the conversion to the RN bullet had anything to do with feeding.



From a German point of view I think Lew got the story right.


From a US point of view the truncated bullet was apparently the most common 9mmP load until the mid to late 1920s.

UMC began manufacturing 9mmP before they became REM-UMC. I was fortunate enough a few years ago to find a full original box of the UMC ammo.

USCCo introduced the 9mmP just after WWI, but they l manufactured a very large number of 9mm Glisenti ammunition for Italy in 1918, and the ogive of their first bullets looks, to me, just like the Glisenti bullet. Of course, the Italians developed the Glisenti load for their Model 1910 pistol from the 9mmP and adopted the German truncated bullet style.

The 9mmP with a truncated bullet is illustrated in the March 1908 Winchester Catalog.

The 1922 Western Catalog also illustrates the 9mmP with a truncated bullet, and perhaps it is in earlier catalogs.

Fede sent me a copy of a March 1920 Peters ad on 9mmP which is the earliest info I have on Peters. There is no indication of the bullet style, but truncated Peters bullets are not uncommon.

Perhaps some of you have earlier documentation on these US loads than I do.

Maxium and Western also produced truncated bullet 9mm Glisenti ammunition during WWI for the Italian Government.

Vlad, Nice box! is there a date stamp on the back or inside the end flaps? A photo of the date code would be appreciated.



The bottom of the inside box says “67 Made in USA”, and the inside flap says “7623”


Vlad, I expected a code with numbers and letters!!! is there perhaps another code on the other end flap??? Strange.

Does anyone else know how to read this code???

Cheers, Lew


Pressed into the cardboard like that, those markings almost have the look of pertaining to the box manufacture, not the ammo. Just I thought. I really have no idea what they mean.


Sorry, no other markings. Here is the only part of this box I’ve not shown. It is a detached side flap. An old hunter “gave” it to me with 11 original rounds and this flap inside for $1 at a recent show.


Vlad, Good buy-great box!

Just to expand the subject about German 9mm truncated bullets a bit.

DWM continued to manufacture truncated bullet loads into 1918 for the Dutch Military. I have seen the boxes, in Dutch, dated 1916, 1917 and 1918. The cartridges have the normal German Army DWM headstamp with the four positions like “DWM K 7 17”. After WWI, Kynoch continued to produce truncated bullet 9mmP ammunition for the Dutch. Known headstamps are 1920 through 1924, and FN rounds for the Dutch are also known dated 1922. In the 1930s RWS continued to produce truncated bullet ammunition for the Dutch. Both RWS and Geco, and perhaps DWM produced truncated bullet rounds during the 1930s. I suspect most of these were contract loads but have no proof of this.

There is an open question on the German Navy 9mmP ammunition. Through most of 1914, the German Navy (which was entirely separate from the Army and reported directly to the Kaiser) bought their ammunition directly from DWM. The Navy continued to use the Luger pistol, including for it’s land-based units that fought as infantry (in Holland I understand). I have been unable to find any documentation as to where or how the Navy got their 9mmP ammunition after 1914. No German Navy boxes from 1915-1918 have been found as far as I know. Perhaps they procured their 9mmP from the German Army, but this has not been documented as far as I know. There is some indication that perhaps they were using 50 round boxes so perhaps they were simply procuring 9mmP in commercial boxes from DWM, but this is just speculation.

Though the German Army directed the use of RN ammunition in 1916, there is no evidence the German Navy ever directed the use of RN ammunition. There is Navy correspondence in 1918 asking about stocks of RN bullets (as I remember without access to my documentation) which implied they may still be using truncated bullets!

Does anyone know whether the German Navy was using truncated or RN ammunition in the 1917-1918 period and if so what was the source of their 9mm ammunition???

Finally, a very strange 9mm showed up in Austria within the last couple of years. The bullet is CNCS just like the German WWI production and unlike the Glisenti production. The headstamp is just “S 18” with the “S” at the top and the “18” at bottom of the headstamp as illustrated below. My immediate reaction is that this is Spandu, but the headstamp is not the German Army style and what is Spandau doing loading truncated bullets in 1918. It could be a Spandau contract for someone else, or it could be something else entirely. Does anyone have any ideas on this round??

By this round is not in my collection, but I saw it myself a couple of years ago.



While neither the style of the headstamp, nor the CNCS bullet jacket, nor even the shape of the bullet, the style of the “S” is most like the “S” in the “SMI” headstamps on Glisenti.

A real mystery round. I wonder when Sako of finland first made the 9 mm?


Jphn, As best I can dig out, Finland didn’t product 9mmP ammo until sometime around 1931, or perhaps a bit later.



Lew - o.k. That rules them out, I would say. Some of the early Finnish rounds of other calibers, usually headstamp “SAT” had a similar “S.” That’s why it came to mind. I din’t think they made the 9 mm that early, but wasn’t sure.


That would have been Belgium. The Netherlands kept their neutrality during WW1 and were never occupied. The Dutch government did purchase Germany navy equipment after WW1 from Belgian dealers so we occassionally find German equipment that was used in the Netherlands during the inter-war years.


Vlim, Thanks. I am on vacation at the beach with my granddaughters (9 & 7) and no acccess to most of my references—only a failing memory!

John, As far as I can tell, the Finns first used the 9mmP in conjunction with their MP31. Their first machine pistol, the M26 as I recall, was chambered for the 7.65mm Luger cartridge as was their Luger pistol. If anyone else has better info than this, please let me know. The “S 18” headstamped round showed up in Austria.



Somewhere in the forum’s archives there are drawings from Eley and Kynoch of 9mmP. Each shows both truncated and round nose bullets, why where these English firms loading two different versions ?

Personally, my Mauser Red 9 cycled truncated bullets more reliably than round nose. Round nose bullets would consistently fail to feed correctly when the magazine was full. The truncated rounds would not give any issues, never found out why. Supply of truncated cartridges ran out,so I sold the gun.

Lew, Maxim’s name is on the headstamp but [color=#4000FF]USCCo. [/color]made all the Glisenti for them. When the war ended USCCo. was stuck with millions of 9MMG heads(and the machines and tooling to make them) it is not a stretch to think they recycled those for 9MMP loadings.

USCCo’s 9MMP bullet style would change when they ran out of surplus or when Winchester started loading USCCo. ammo after 1926.


It is NOT correct that USCCo made ALL of the Maxim headstamped 9 mm Glisenti ammunition. You will have to wait for the second and third installments of my article on the Wise-Maxim-USCCo connection in the IAA Journal for details. It IS true that USCCo finished the contract for Maxim.



I await your article. Your material will likely contradict mine,but I stand by what I wrote.

Maxim admitted in the press & in court that the company failed to produce ANY cartridges for the Italian contract. When faced with losing the contract & having to repay the Italian Gov,t. the contract was “sublet” to USCCo., whom Maxim failed to pay later on,thus the lawsuit.

USCCo. took possession of the Maxim plant, took all relevant machinery & inventory to Lowell. Then USCCo. used Maxim’s former plant for manufacture of artillery primers. USCCo. remained there until 1920.

Maxim’s likely first choice would have been Remington Arms ,however Maxim was suing Remington over a powder deal that went bad.

Apologies for diverting the thread onto this matter.


regarding your question why Eley and Kynoch made truncated cone bullets.

I think they made what the customers wanted. If an army or police outfit had previously bought from, say, DWM I am convinced they were glad to furnish the same bullet shapes the customer was used to/required and willing to pay for.

The “truncated cone bullets are against the Hague declaration” statement should be viewed as a move in psychological warfare, aimed at triggering press hysteria, not as a statement with any substance to it. I am sure nobody with some understanding in ballistics, be he British, French or German really believed this. So there is no reason for Eley or Kynoch not to offer truncated cone bullets.


Eley began producing 9mmP ammunition pretty early, perhaps before WWI. Kynoch took over Eley and continued until taken over by Kynoch. There is a complete Eley box with a commercial label containing Eley headstamped loads with truncated bullets. What appears to be the original drawing for the truncated bullet contract load for the Dutch Vickers Lugers is an Eley drawing with an Eley headstamp that has never been documented on an actual cartridge.

Kynoch produced truncated loads headstamped “K 21” in the years 1920-1924, at least those are the dates I’ve documented. Entries from a Kynoch order book shows most orders received were from Vickers but also lists trade enquiries from the Irish Free State, and BSA as well as one for what appears to be “Ass. d Br U frs” and under comments is “Mannlicher” even the caliber is listed as 9mm Parabellum so some Kynoch production could have gone to other than the Dutch. In fact, it seems likely that the Dutch refused at least a large quantity of Kynoch’s 1922 production and FN apparently provided the Dutch ammunition this year. Kynoch boxes of 9mm from the 1930s are filled with “K 22” headstamp ammunition, as are Canadian Dominion 9mm boxes from the 1930s which indicate that the ammunition was made by Kynoch. Conclusion is that Kynoch took over a decade to get rid of their excess 1922 production. There is some indication in the order book that Kynoch made the components but they were loaded at the old Eley factory.

Bulgeria produced truncated bullet 9mmP from the 1930s and continued into WWII.

Hirtenberg also produced truncated bullet loads in the 1930s, but I don’t recall having documented any boxes for these loads (don’t have my collection references available)

The Dutch don’t appear to have ever produced truncated bullet 9mmP but have purchased from foreign companies to satisfy their needs. I have a box of Winchester produced truncated 9mm with a Dutch overlabel from early WWII.

Italian catalogs and a box indicate that Italian companies sold truncated bullet ammunition as 9mm Parabellum prior to WWII

I have seen an early S&B box which illustrates a truncated 9mmP on the label, and specimens of this load are known-but not in my collection

Belgium cartridges by FN and AEP with truncated bullets show up occasionally, but without boxes, there is no way to even guess the reason for these loads.

France apparently produced a truncated bullet load ca’1912 with a commercial SFM headstamp.

Switzerland made a truncated bullet 9mm in 1918 as part of it’s machine pistol trials. This is a very rare round and never a production item.

That is all the pre-WWII truncated bullet 9mms I recall (beyond the ones discussed above). I’m sure there are some I have missed.