Two 9x19 cartridges with headstamp P

Please, help me to make correct manufacturers identification of the these cartridges
The left one with headstamp * P * looks like Austrian or Belgian
I am remember that some times ago John Moss already proved that manufacturers of 9x19 cartridge with headstamp P 24 was FN Belgium, but I can’t find this info in my files. Couls somebody confirm this?


Treshkin - the use of the letter “P” standing alone as the factory designator on 9 mm Para cartridges is incredibly complicated. It was not me that did all the great research on this group of cartridges, but rather Lewis Curtis. He sorted the outh very well, no easy task since this “P” was used by Polte, Soluthurn, Palencia, and possibly by FN on ammunition made for Cartoucherie Belge.

With the Specific headstamp “P 24” the choice narrows a little. Palencia of Spanin is eliminated, even though they used virtually the same headstamp on 9 mm Largo ammunition. The four companies involved seem to be Polte, Patronenfabrik A.-G. Solothurn of Switzerland, Cartoucherie Belge, and FN.

Regarding FN and CB, the cartridge with no serif line across the bottom of the vertical stroke of the numeral “4” is the cartridge related to them. It is also related to Switzerland. The best thing to do is to see the Curtis Book "9 mm Parabellum Case Type and Headstamp Guide, , Vlume III, Part 6, which covers among other letters, headstamps with the letter “P” as the primary entry. All I could do is simply retype it here. I will say that this headstamp, with the serif-4, is found with FN bullets in it, but there is also a headstamp “C B 24” that has the identical numerals. The “P 24” headstamp of this style has been found in boxes with a Dutch Label, “Patronen Scherpe No. 5, Luik 1923” overlabeled "328, the Swiss Identification number for 9 mm Para ball ammunition, and with a handwritten addition to the label “v. F.N. Herstal fur J.J.G.” "J.J. G. are the initials of the Director at Thun during the period 1923-1924.

The “P 24” headstamp that has a serif-4 is attributed to Solothurn. It is usually found loaded with a Swiss bullet, powder and primer. There is also a Swiss-Style box label for it, which Curtis pictures. However, it has also been found that both headstamps are found with a mixutre of primer, powder types and bullets, not typical of either Belgium or Switzerland. Further, these “Mixed loads,” as Lew calls them, have been found in Polte Military boxes together with 1926 and 1927-cated Polte rounds.

Lew’s final conclusion seems to be that both headstamp styles were primarily made for Germany in the immediate Post WWI period, and delivered to Polte to support their post-war production. The mixed loads are likely to be a product of Polte using a mixture of components from the two suppliers.

There is also an “x 24” headstamp, which is related, but that is another story I cannot pass on right now - the information on that also was sorted out by Lew.

Again, please note that NONE of the above is resulting from any research I did. This is simply a quick summary of the work of Lew Curtis.

John is correct. The first load (hst * P * is by Hirtenberger, and is probably Austrian, but it could have been manufacturered by or assembled by the Hirtenberger plant in Dordracht Holland in the 1930s. There is a similar headstamp * P * 1934, and both headstamps are encountered in Spanish label boxes with an identical layout. The box for the 1934 dated cartridges has an endlabel “Fabrica de Cartuchos Dordracht - Hirtenberg”. I have only seen RN cartridges in these Spanish label boxes. The * P * 1934 only occurs with RN bullets as far as I know.

The P 24 headstamp is even more interesting. It appears that it began as a Prussian Police contract with Solothurn in Switzerland, who subcontracted part of the production to FN. Early on the Allied Control Commission ordered the contract terminated, but subsequently the ammunition was delivered. Both FN and Swiss P24 headstamps show up on loads that are obviously the product of FN and the Swiss (probably Thun) using typical FN or Swiss components and powder, but many of these rounds are found mixed in German style boxes, some with repack labels. Others have been found mixed in Polte labeled boxes with Polte headstamped cartridges from the 1920s. The rounds from German boxes have been a mix of Swiss and FN made cases as well as a mix of Swiss and FN made bullets. All have had German (or Swiss) style primers and powder. Again, this is only among the ones I have examined. I have never seen a domed (FN) style primer in any of the P 24 headstamped rounds in German boxes, but they may have occured.

So to answer your question! The * P * load is by Hirtenberger made in either Holland or Austria, or possibly both. My GUESS is that the case was made in Austria and your load with the truncated bullet was probably also loaded in Austria—but that is only a Guess. Perhaps someone else had the documentation.

Your P 24 case was made by FN. If the bullet is magnetic, it is Swiss and if it is non-magnetic, it is FN. The primer looks flat to me so my guess is that it is either Swiss or German. My bet is that the powder is dark gray tubes instead of the FN black flakes. If your P 24 has a flat primer, my bet is that it was loaded in Germany.

This is a long way to say that I don’t know for sure where either of these cartridges was made. Like many other cartridges, the story on both of these is complicated.



Thanks John and Lew for your great comments.
My cartridge (P 24) has a non-magnetic bullet and light green flake powder, slightly grafitized.

Sounds like this is an FN load. The FN loads frequently have green or black pa seals.



Thank you!