Unidentified round No.1


I have had this long 9mm for over twenty years but have never identified it correctly.

It has all the appearance of an original factory round, the headstamp is IVI 78 (+), but the Nato symbol is covered with a blob of red paint. The bullet is a normal 125 grn 9mm proj and charge weight is 4.5 grns of normally looking pistol powder.

Case length is 1.142" (29.01mm) and head diameter is normal for a 9mm round, .388" (9.84mm). It is not a trimmed 5.56mm case with a 9mm bullet as the head and body diameters of the 5.56 are smaller.

Any ideas?



9mm WinMag?
I think that there was some tests for military use.


That is a possible, but I cannot find the case length of the 9mm Win. Mag. I seem to remember I checked this years ago and my round is longer, but I could be wrong.

If anyone has the correct case length could they post please. John M?
I cannot seem to connect to the SAAMI site at present.



Win Mag is 29mm in length.


That seems to suggest that mine is a 9mm Win Mag. then. Do any of our Canadian friends know anything about military trials?



Tony - I wish I could identify this round positively. I have the identical cartridge in my own collection, and was told it was a Winchester Magnum when I got it. However, case length of the 9mm Winchester Magnum should be from 29.45 - 29.50m/m. These rounds are shorter. Mine measures 29.04m/m (1.1435") at its longest point. (Case measurement). You can see the case-length difference with the naked eye.

Admittedly, the headstamp date of the IVI round is not inconsistent with the 9mm Winchester Magnum, which according to Erlmeier-Brandt was introduced in 1979, which I believe is correct. It is not impossible that this round had something to do with the development of that cartridge, but I have never been able to find out any documented, positive information about it, and in my catalog I note that I have it marked, in pencil, “WFF” (Watch For Fakes). Knowing you have the identical round makes me less concerned about it being a fake. I wonder how many more there are out there?



The case length of mine (29.01mm) broadly agrees with yours and is indeed a bit short for a Win Mag.

I know fakes are good, but everything about that round says “legit”. For a start, what brass would one start with to make it?

Anyway, an interesting anomoly until someone finds the answer.



It is the case used that was the reason I acquired this round and have kept it, despite wondering if it could be a fake. Your question is spot on - what case could have been used. The headstamp and the head and base measurements are pure 9mm Parabellum from Canada, but in the case draw sets I have from many countries, case trimming is done before the cartridge case is finished headed, and headstamped, like this one. That would indicate to me that the case manufacture was purpose-driven, and legit, as well.

An interesting round. Where are our voices from Canada?


I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like that in Canadian experimental trials or service, but IVI WAS big into supplying anything that someone was willing to pay money for; they did many of the SPIW loads on contract for the US.


The 9mm Win Mag was announced in 1979 along with notables 45 Win Mag and the 375 Winchester. But Brass and Ammo for the 9mm Win Mag was extremely scarce in public hands for some 20 years maybe.

A side note to the 9mm Win Mag history is that on a trip to Great Western in 1989 or 1990 I was visiting with one of the new managers of Iver Johnson/AMAC, we will call him “Neal”. He was bouncing ideas off me to improve the company product line. They had just come out with the 338 Lapua rifle as I remember in 1988. I told him that he should chamber the rifle in 9mm Win Mag. He was very skeptical that the round would be a good idea. I actually was traveling with a couple 9mm Win Mag show rounds. I showed him that they would fit and cycle in a carbine mag and action. ( He refused to let me have them back and they were a $25 dollar round I think at the time. ) Over the course of the weekend I made the idea sound tempting. This was a bit easier since they had 9mm para barrels in stock from an attempt at marketing the carbine in that chambering. We discussed pressures and were only a tiny bit concerned that the “set-back” of this high pressure round would be a bit much for the carbine locking ears on the bolt.

A couple months later I received a handwritten letter discussing the success of the tests and a couple bags of fired proof and standard cases. The gas-port vent diameter was his main challenge. Winchester was happy to have a project that would finally take advantage of their design ( ten years after the development ). He said the diameter was set, and that he had fired 20 proof rounds through his test gun to prove to himself that it would work.

When I saw him shortly thereafter in Tulsa, he agreed to let me have the first ten off the line, five of which were going to be e-nickled and special serial numbers.

Sadly the project was discarded when “Neal” was removed from the company. It was so close to production and could have a pretty good comerical success.

One other thought on the 9mm Win Mag Canadian, I once had some LC basic cases for the 223, that if trimmed would have made a great “display” 9mm Win Mag case. I wonder if someone else had that thought when the 9mm Win Mag brass was not available.


Thanks everyone for their input. Until someone finds further info I guess this will remain a minor mystery.



Crunch41 - these rounds are not made on .223 brass. Tony states that in his initial question, and the measurements of my own round verify that he is right. There is no question in my mind that these cases were made for a specific purpose. The only question I ever had was the load and the red dot, but they appear to be original as well.