Unknown 9x19 headstamp


a friend of mine asked me to post his question about this 9mm Luger round. It was found in Romania near a WW2 battlefield.

Thanks in advance,

This cartridge is certainly Romanian manufacture. However, as of October 2003, we had not identified what the “US” mean’t on it. I don’t know when the factory “SADU” started operating, but it could mean “Uzina Sadu” I suppose, although perhaps its 1948 production date is too early for that. It really does no good to guess, anyway, since only documentation tells the real story.

I hope the Liviu Stoica is reading this, and that he has found an answer since our 2003 correspondence on this headstamp. A picture of it appeared in a 1972 edition of a Romanian book entitled “Criminalistica” but evidently did not identify the meaning of the initials.

Sorry I can’t be of more help. I really thought I had the identity of the initials in either my “9mm Para Romania” file, or in one of the IAA Journals (Lviu has written much excellent information about Romanian ammunition in the Journals).

  • @ strakv: I made a drawing of this headstamp which later was printed on the IAA Journal a few years ago. Nobody has come with any information about this headstamp which I’m almost sure it’s Romanian. Back in Romania in 1970s I noticed this headstamp in a book named “Criminalistica”, book written by Camil Suciu [edition 1971 or 1972]. Definitely “48” is a two digit date for the year “1948” and “9” is the caliber. The mark “US” may be for “Uzina Sadu” [Sadu Arsenal] but I cannot be 100% sure. As I mentioned in my “3rd Addendum / Romanian Headstamps Since the Beginning of World War 2” [see on page 39, IAA Journal #455, May/June 2007], “Sadu Arsenal” had been established in 1939 as an “Army Pyrotechny”. It started the ammo production in early 1940s and one type of cartridge manufactured there was the 13.2X99 Hotchkiss Long rimless round for the AA guns and some aircraft heavy machine-guns made by FN in Belgium. After 1945 the ammo production in Romania suffered important changes since the Soviet occupation and little is known today what happened between the period 1945-1951. It did make sense for Romania to manufacture 9mm Parabellum ammo [9X19] after 1945 considering that the Romanian made “9mm M1941 Orita” submachine-gun [and the variant modified in 1948] remained in military service until late 1950s. 9X19 ammo made in Romania in 1950s is clearly headstamped with the State factory code “21” or “22”, the “RPR” mark [“Republica Populara Romana” - in Romanian, “Popular Republic of Romania”] and a two digit date. Liviu 12/11/07

Liviu - thanks for chiming in. I was hoping you would. That is good information on SADU. Much more than I knew about the history of that company. It is also good information on the Orita SMG. Of course I know that gun from many sources, including you, but did not know, or recall, that it had been modified in 1948. That fits in well with this headstamp, not because the dates are the same necessarily (since they would have had ammunition for the pre-modified versions) but because it shows that in 1948, they were getting their act together again after the destruction from the war and starting to work with the small arms situation in their country. This could have been the beginning of the resumption of ammunition production in Romania, as well.

Can you tell us when the name of Romania officially became the People’s Republic of Romania? It is my impression that these Communist-style names came about a little later, as the USSR established Communist puppet governments (home-rule, more or less) and “officially” ceased to be an occupation force. I could be wrong about that. I have not researched the various names in years and years, and have forgotten anything I found out on that subject during my college years. If I am correct, that would explain why the “RPR” headstamps came along later.

John Moss

  • @ John Moss: Soviet troops remained in Romania between 1944 and May 1958. The young King Michael [born in early 1920s] was forced by the communists from Romania to give up to his throne on December 30th 1947 and go in exile in early January 1948. On that very bad day [December 30th, 1947] Romania became “Popular Republic of Romania” (“RPR”). It remained like that until the summer of 1965 when Romania became “Socialist Republic of Romania” (“RSR”). The 3-letter mark “RPR” was used on some Romanian headstamps [1965 was the last year] but the 3-letter mark “RSR” was never used on a Romanian headstamp. After the “Romanian Revolution” [December 1989] Romania became again just “Romania”. —> Many Romanian made “9mm M1941 Orita” submachine-guns were lost on the Eastern Front in 1943-44. These weapons fired shot by shot and also automatic fire. In 1948 the remaining “Orita” SMGs were modified to fire only automatic fire and the rear sight was also modified and actually simplified. A model having a metal folding stock was made too. I’m 100% sure that I’m the only author in the world who wrote a serious article about the Romanian made “9mm M1941 Orita” SMG, an extremely rare weapon today considering that some remaining “Orita” SMG were recently destroyed in Romania by the authorities. My article can be read here at —> worldwar2.ro/arme/static/orita.htm The article is signed by me and my wife, to gratify her patience with me. I should update the article since I have more info about the subject. Liviu 12/11/07