Unknown 9x19 Para ID


Gentlemen, here are pictures of 9x19 Para, that came to a friend of mine with a lot of other ammo, some from 1900, 1912, 1943, 1944 etc. There are no headstamps, and I try photograph the crimp of the case mouth, if applicable to the identification. The bullet jacket is magnetic, the case is brass, but I can not say anything more about it.
Can anyone help? Any resemblance? I’ll be very gratefull to learn little more about that cartridge!


It is very hard to ID these unheadstamped rounds, even when they turn out to be known cartridges. This looks very much like an unheadstamp Swedish round I have in my collection. It comes from the WWII era, I believe, although I do not know which factory.

We could use the diameter of the primer to help us make a proper identification. Cartridge over-all weight would be helpful, also. Cartridge measurements, other than the primer, probably would not be a lot help since it is clearly a 9 x 19 mm Para cartridge. The magnetic bullet would square with a Swedish ID, but also with several other potential sources.

If you can post those items of information, I will check out my Swedish round, and other unheadstamped ones, for ID. Right now, it would be futile.


I have a very similar looking round which came out of Kasailk box-no copy available. The overall weight of the round is 191.5gr and the diameter of the primer is 4mm to 4.1mm. This round has an ogive like the German WWII bullets like the round you picture. I have the same round but the bullet has a much more blunt ogive bullet and an overall weight of 192.5gr.




Lew - I had forgotten about the Bulgarian 9 mm rounds with no headstamps. I have two of them. One from c.1946, and one from either late in that year or after. In 1946 or 1947, Kazanluk changed the width of the extractor groove and bevel on 9 mm, and I have unheadstamped rounds with both the early style and the later-style groove and bevel.

In context, I would now agree that the round Ivo has is probably Bulgarian. The Swedish ones are somewhat scarce and not likely to have been found in Bulgaria.

Still, it is good when posting to give the best information you can. IN the case of the Swedish round, aside from ogive of the bullet which is hard to “read” in photos, and sometimes even distorted, the primer is that large primer cup that Sweden used in so much of their pistol ammunition, 9 mm Para and 9 mm Browning long, which is why I requested that measurement. Of course I asked for weight of the round
for the very reason you mentioned. While your posting is a little confusing, I assume that on the last description of the paragraph, you are talking about the Swedish round, with a blunter bullet and heaveier
overall cartridge weight.

At any rate, good ID! I should look at my 9 mm rounds more often and remind myself of what I have in
my own collection.


On retrospect, I guess you are speaking of a second unheadstamped Bulgarian round. I wish I owned an optical comparitor. With my two rounds, one of the bullets looks like a very slightly blunter ogive, but so little difference it is hard to tell if it isn’t just an illusion. Both of my rounds have the odd Bulgarian segmented neck crimp, which on most rounds where you can see it at all, you can barely see it at the very edge of the case mouth. One of the unheadstamped rounds has this crimp quite wide, the only round in my Bulgarian 9 mm collection that has more than a sliver of it showing at the mouth. headstamp rounds from 1946 in my collection have an over-all ctg. weight of 185.4 and 185.5 respectively, and I have a 1947-dated round with OAW of about the same. It has the later, narrower extractor groove and bevel. Both my unheadstamped rounds have a weight similar to your specimens, Lew, a little over 192 grains. Despite the 1947 round weighing like the earlier ones at about 185.+ grains, a 1950-dated round has the slightly heavier weight of around 192 grains. Like all the later rounds, it, too, has the narrower extractor groove and bevel.

Next Bulgarian topic to tackle is the case of the all-red bullet rounds from the immediate post-war period and the later black-tipped rounds, in CWS cases, from the Communist era. I have a theory, totally unsubstantiated, on that but I am still mulling it over and don’t care to discuss it yet.


Gentlemen, thank you very much for quick reply! Tomorrow I’ll be able to measure the diameter of the primer cup and the weigth of that cartridge and I’ll post them here. So, as far as I understood, this type of mouth crimp is essential for postwar Bulgarian 9x19 cartridges?




Ivo - I don’t know what prompted the mouth crimp on some Bulgarian cartridges. I am not even sure when they started doing it and when they stopped, as on many cartridges, it barely marks the case mouth, as the bottom of the crimps are an almost unmeasureably-small distance below the case mouth, and therefore barely visible. I don’t really know what good crimps like that would do. It was not until I obtained my unheadstamped round where the crimp is even slightly more than a normal segmented crimp, that I realized any of my rounds had it. I thought they were just tiny chambering marks (Marks made because the round had been chambered into a weapon at one time).


So, the primer cup has a diameter of 4,5 - 4,7 mm (.177 - .185) (my measuring method is not so good)) and the weigth is 12,33 grams (190,2 grains).




I definitely agree with Lew Curtis - it is Bulgarian, probably from about 1946 due to specimens having both the early and late extractor groove and bevel widths.


Thank you very much for this info, gentlemen!