TsNIITOCHMASH of Russia Announces They Plan To Start Production of 9x19mm Marker Cartridges in 2020

What if it is called like all other cartridges, by caliber and case length: 7x19?

The “7mm” I took only as an average, one may establish the true caliber (even aksing back to Simunition/IVI) and then add “x19”.

Dear forum members,

During our discussion, two important terms were mentioned:

  • the caliber of the cartridge;
  • designation of the caliber of the cartridge.

I am sure that understanding these terms is very important for cartridges collectors.

The caliber of the cartridge is a combination of external dimensions of the cartridge determining the possibility of using the cartridge for firing weapons of the appropriate caliber.

The designation of the caliber of the cartridge is a full or abbreviated designation, containing abbreviations, numeric, alphabetic and text designations and abbreviations. The dimensions in the designations of the calibers of the cartridges can be specified in the metric or inch system. Designations of calibers of individual kinds of cartridges are based on established traditions. There are no uniform principles for the assignment of designations to calibers of cartridges.

For bullet cartridges for rifled weapons, the designation of caliber (usually, but not necessarily) contains the approximate diameter of the bullet. For example, 9 mm Luger (9 x 19).

But how to determine the caliber of the cartridge for rifled weapons that do not contain bullet? This refers to the main part of special-purpose cartridges, including blank cartridges, marking cartridges, etc. Marking cartridges do not contain a bullet; the projectile of marking cartridges represents a capsule with a coloring substance.

In this case, the caliber of the cartridge is determined by the caliber of bullet cartridge using the same cartridge case. Thus, the caliber of marking cartridge based on the cartridge case for 9 mm Luger (9 x 19) caliber cartridge should be considered as 9 mm caliber. In order to distinguish the caliber of this cartridge from the calibers of other 9 mm caliber cartridges, additional letters, words, abbreviations, and so on are needed. In this case, the manufacturer assigned it the designation 9 mm FX.

For example, in 2008, I developed a rubber bullet pistol cartridge with using the cartridge case for 45 Auto caliber cartridges and assigned it the designation 45 Rubber. I could assign any designation caliber, but I liked exactly that.


The two meanings of the word caliber are indeed frustrating.
In theory, we have a standardized word for “designation of the caliber of the cartridge” (like 7.62 x 51), which is “Munitionsart” in German, “type of ammunition” in English and “type de munition” or “catégorie de munition” in French. At least that is what a German field manual on terminology said about 10 years ago.
Alas, nearly everyone continues using caliber.

Writer, You provided the answer at the end of your last post. The developer, or more often, the marketing department of the firm that the developer works for assigns the name, like the 9mm FX which is not truly a 9mm as was pointed out above. Other organizations like the military can assign another name that matches their criteria. In the end, all are valid names of the cartridge when used on one context or another.


Valid names for the precise cartridge, but not entirely the caliber designation. Like much ammunition, the caliber show on the headstamp of the actual cartridges is simply “9mm.” My entire argument was that the “FX,” which once again, since we seem fixated on that particular TYPE of load, is not part of the caliber name, but rather an expression of the type of cartridge, which is found on the box label, not the cartridge. Cartridge TYPES are not ofte expressed on the Cartridge’s headstamp. There are exceptions. Some blank cartridges (platzpatronen, cartuchos de fogueo, etc.) have that word on the headstamp. The .45 Rubber does as well. As Lew says, that is the choice of the manufacturer or designer, or both. The term “FX” is a registered trademark of Simunition pertaining to only one of their cartridge types. All the other types, with their own initials, are being ignored here, for reasons I don’t understand. I have enumerated some of those types and their initials above in this thread.

Simunition chooses to call this cartridge “9 x 19” in their catalog, and “9 mm” on their boxes, regardless of the fact that the conversion kits for this cartridge have progressed to the point of allowing these rounds to be used in pistols of other calibers. Originally, when named, they were only for weapons of original caliber 9 x 19 Luger.

If we are to ignore the factory that designed them and named them, considering them to not know how to “properly” name a cartridge, than they cannot be called 9 x 19 at all, since the composite cases I measured were closed to 19.5mm in length, and the bullets range from roughly 8.5 mm on the earliest I have (steel collar) to approximately 7 mm on the later versions of the FX. Since everyone seems to only recognize the “FX” loading on this thread, I have not bothered to check the diameter of the projectiles, or mouths of blank cartridges, of the several other types.

I do not chose to ignore the Manufacturer’s designation, as it is descriptive of the caliber of the guns originally used with the conversion kits for these cartridges. Of course, anyone can classify them to their own pleasure, for inclusion in collections. If following the suggestion that the designation of the type, “FX” indicates a separate “caliber”, then consistency demands that all of the other types where the numerical designation is the same, but followed by different initials, must also be classified as individual, different calibers.

Too confusing for an old man like me, thank you. I will accept Simunition’s description of case type, 9 x 19 mm, and include them in the 9 mm Parabellum portion of my collection. For those with the view that the 9 x 19 designation is faulty, if they don’t collect other calibers, I assume they will remove all the simunition types from their collections.

I do agree with Lew that various cartridges have many synonyms to describe them, ranging from inch to metric measurement designations, Model designations primarily used by military establishments, and even the case type, which is descriptive of different types of loading. Sometimes names are part of the caliber designation, usually to avoid confusion with other similar case types, although designer, national or company egos sometimes seem to play a roll in that, as some “similar case types” are simply within specs to be interchangeable with each other and may vary in nothing more than slight differences in velocities and pressures that generally do not interfere with their interchangeability. The 9 mm Para round is all over the board in bullet weights, types, pressures, velocities, etc. and yet this in rounds that are all intended for weapons of 9 x 19 mm Parabellum caliber. The 7.63 mm Mauser, 7.65 mm Borchardt and 7.65 x 25 mm Mannlicher are examples of that. UMC used both names initially, but noted in their log that the two, 7.63 Mauser and 7.65 mm Borchardt, were the same.

Enough of this for me.

John Moss

I would just add that the caliber designation (from the manufacturer) on odd cartridges such as paint-marker training cartridges, is typically a function of whatever caliber of firearm they are intended for, despite whatever adapter parts are required. So, although the 9mm sims rds are not technically 9x19, they are colloquially referred to as such (9mm) in order to make clear for the law enforcement customers which firearms they are intended for. The industry often keeps things simple by using colloquially popular terminology in place of technically correct designations, such as when they label a box of .410 bore ammo as “.410 gauge”, which they know is incorrect, but they believe that a majority of consumers is more comfortable with this sort of label.

Dear forum members,

During the discussion, the term “cartridge type” was mentioned.

I will try to explain the meaning of this term from the point of view of the C.I.P. Documents.

The type of cartridge is a lot of cartridges of a specific caliber, with a specific commercial name, produced serially by a specific manufacturer.

Thus, the type of cartridge is tied to a specific manufacturer. And the type of cartridge is not the same as the caliber of the cartridge or the designation of the caliber of the cartridge.

Consider the types of cartridges on the example of 7.62 x 51 (308 Win.) caliber cartridges produced by the Barnaul Cartridge Plant.

In accordance with the catalog, five types of 7.62 x 51 caliber cartridges are produced:

  • 7.62 x 51 caliber cartridge with FMJ bullet with a weight of 9.4 g;
  • 7.62 x 51 caliber cartridge with FMF bullet with a weight of 10.9 g;
  • 7.62 x 51 caliber cartridge with SP bullet with a weight of 9.1 g;
  • 7.62 x 51 caliber cartridge with SPBT bullet with a weight of 10.9 g;
  • 7.62 x 51 caliber cartridge with HP bullet with a weight of 9.7 g.

Thus, the type of cartridge for rifled weapons includes:

  • cartridge manufacturer;
  • cartridge caliber;
  • bullet type;
  • bullet weight.


I agree entirely. And, the “FX” is a description of the cartridge type, not the caliber, which was my whole point in the first place.

John M.

Comparative section of fired marker cartridges 9mm FX (left HS is IVI) and Russian (right HS is 61 11)…