"unknown" 9mm (ID'd as Israeli)


Below is pictured an unknown 9mm cartridge. I picked it up at SLICS this past April, I don’t remember from who. Probably either from Gary Muckel, Jim Hamby’s bins, or from the woman in the corner of the show who had a couple boxes of rare special-purpose 9mm cartridges.

The total weight of the cartridge is a hefty 226.4gr, which is by far the heaviest 9mm cartridge I have as far as the 20 or so other cartridges I tried - hollow points, fmj’s, tracers, subsonics, etc… It is not attracted to a magnet at all, and the headstamp reads only “97”. Does anybody recognize the font of that headstamp? Maybe another Israeli subsonic?


DK, This is clearly a subsonic with a bullet in the 150gr range. I have seen this same headstamp style a couple of times, not in my collection and I have suspected it was South African or Isreal. The tip color on this round makes me think Isreal, but that is just a guess.




It is 100% Israeli. Lew, I might have a spare for you, will PM if I do.



They came from Pepper ! (I had…and still have…some of each “flavor”)

I too was confused by the colors…and queried Mr.’s Curtis & Moss (and wrote to a friend w/ IMI)

These are my weights and descriptions of colors

green (old sub sonic) 113.967 grain bullet
purple 114.970
black 115.048
yellow 124.075
blue (dark) 158.490
blue (baby blue) 158.490

this is what I rec’d from IMI…

The meaning of the colors is as follows:

Yellow tip- 9mm 124 grains- Israeli police
Blue tip- 9mm 148 grains sub sonic
Violet tip- old police 115 grains
Black tip- 9mm Armor piercing
Gray tip- new 9mm Israeli police 115 grains.

intersting…I do not have a “gray tip” to speak of (? silver)


Pepper - I wonder if the “gray” tip is what we call a “silver tip” which is a pistol load - that is, not loaded quite to the velocity of the standard military load intended primarily for Uzis.

John Moss


The Silver tips became Gray tips sometime before 1995 as far as I can tell. At least the ball and dummy I have are dated 95 (TZZ 95). The dummy (blind primer pocket) came from a Israeli guard at the Israeli embassy in Belgium.

Latest silver tip is a 1982.




Blind, empty primer pockets are pretty much the norm for Israeli dummy rounds. I’ll have to check my silver-tip rounds. Although I don’t save dates, I have a number of them due to headstamp-style changes. I don’t recall having ne I would call “gray” although I felt that maybe that was simply the way Israel was now describing them.

John M.


John, The color on my cartridges are distinctly silver and gray so it is not a matter of just the description. Of course I don’t know if they have stopped making the silver tip loads.

My silver tip loads and gray tip loads are all 115gr bullets except for the silver tip load made for the USAF in 1984 with 9mmS on the headstamp.




Ok, it is all coming back to me now. Pepper did give me a list of the tip meanings and that cartridge was from him. I really need to start applying myself to that database software that I mentioned around a month ago so as to keep track of cartridge provenance.


I have seen a 9x19mm with a similar headstamp in the Woodin Lab collection

The earlier date on this case and the distinctive primer crimp make me suspect that this is a product of PMP in South Africa. PMP used this style crimp in the 1980 timeframe (cases dated 78 and 81 in my collection).

Would appreaicte opinions.




I don’t recall ever seeing that style of primer crimp on any Israeli 9mm. I would lean towards PMP.