Upside down primer

John, no worries.
I am looking forward to the result of your comparison!

The top of the line priming machines run at 200 to 500 parts per minute. At this rate 99.99% correct still results in errors.

The old school Arsenal V&O O1W’s run at around 80 to 120ppm. It’s pretty easy for a primer to become inverted. Most of machines have detects to kick them out and later inspections, however it still happens. The V&O’s are probably the largest number of machines in the US priming ammo. They actually used to feed the primers to a fingers and the fingers flipped over and insert the primer.

Many now have been converted to what you see here in this video, straight fingers that don’t flip.


John, I found more information about this ICEBERG 9MM in my Barnaul files and you was right, it was found in a Barnaul box. It is the 95 gr Hollow Point load (*) box showing a standing shooter wearing ear muffs. This lead me to believe that the headstamp made by LVE would be ICEBERG 9mm (small caps “mm”). Another point to consider is that LVE hollow point bullets weigh 115 or 120 gr.



(*) This load was certified on March 16, 2000.

Fede - Thanks for that information. I have a couple of minor variants of that Barnaul box you described. I will match my “ICEBERG” boo-boo with a box sample cartridge from them.

It is nice to know that once in awhile I am still right, instead of having total lapses in memory (or perhaps simply in intellect).

Muchismas gracias, mi amigo.


Fede, how would that square with Barnaul made “mm” headstamps then?
I saw one on 9x19 in this configuration.

Alex, what I mean to say is that, since the ICEBERG 9MM headstamp is a product of Barnaul, the other variant headstamped ICEBERG 9mm would be a product of LVE. If not, what was the headstamp used by the latter?

I have also seen a few primers seated backwards, and two that were seated sideways [one 9mm and one .40 S&W] which, unfortunately, I was not allowed to keep…

Fede - you were correct about the error-headstamp cartridge being of Barnaul manufacture, not LVE. I compared it to loaded Barnaul cartridges and the same from LVE. Firstly, the LVE cartridges have a very-lightly struct 3 punch-type mouth crimps, while the Barnaul rounds do not. My ICEBERG round does not have these crimps. Secondly, aside even from bullet weight, the Barnaul and LVE hollow-point bullets are not the same in design, and are not seated to the same overall cartridge length. The ICEBERG error matches the Barnaul perfectly. Absolute no question who made it!

Thanks for the info that led to that examination. I may have done it when I first got it, but simply don’t recall.

John Moss

Fede, I may be confused now. Do both variants with “ICEBERG” headstamps exist?

Ok, found it.

Here the LVE version (electric primed).
Source: internet.
382423 382432

Yes, and except for those cartridges made from converted cases, most, if not all, early percussion and electric primed examples are headstamped with the small caps variant headstamped ICEBERG 9mm and assumed to be a LVE product.

The ICEBERG 9MM headstamp was the latest type and is still found in electric primed traumatic loads (rubber ball) introduced in the late 2000’s.



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LVE confirmedly made the 9mm ICEBERG.

Source: internet.

ICEBERG Revolver uses cartridges with a traditional primer.
travmaticheskiy-gazovyy-revolver-aysberg-205-iceberg-12-6926371 travmaticheskiy-gazovyy-revolver-aysberg-205-iceberg-9-6926371 travmaticheskiy-gazovyy-revolver-aysberg-205-iceberg-7-6926371

Cartridges with an electric primer are used in other weapons. ICEBERG GMC-710 and ICEBERG GR-40.
1472315331271658269 1472315311234572510

1019173_640 1019507_640

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How many people in Russia actually carry this? What percent of the population? I heard stories when these things were used at point blank (meaning the muzzle actually touching victim’s bare abdomen) and the projectiles inflicted severe damage.

The GR-40 having a muzzle end without obstructions is designated GR-40T, even though it is also marked just “ГР-40”. It is the only model able to fire Iceberg 9 mm traumatic loads (rubber ball) with electric primer.

And I once got this … I still did not understand the origin of this cartridge


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Hooke, While that headstamp is common in the USA, I have never seen that particular projectile before. Interesting. If you find out anything about it, please post the information.

Thank you.

John Moss

Unfortunately, new information about the cartridge can not be found out. This cartridge was one (random) in a pack with ordinary sports cartridges.

Hooke - that sounds like another manufacturing error to me, perhaps involving the form of the bullet core causing it to protrude into a purposeful hollow-point cavity and beyond, sticking our of the cavity. That happens sometimes with the manufacture of FMJ bullets, where the jacket is formed backwards, leaving a hollow point (although usually not so large in diameter) with the lead core squeezed down and protruding from the tip. I have an example of that with a Spanish 9 mm. It has a very long “tail” coming out of a very small hollow point, but unfortunately, that piece was broken off while in my possession and showing it to another collector. It still shows lead at the tip. The way it was originally, it was hard to believe that it got by inspectors. The lead protruding from the tip was at least 15 mm long!

Of course, it could also be an experimental form of soft nose ammuntiion, that accidentally got mixed into rounds being boxed for shipment. Hard to imagine that, though. Of course, stranger things have happened in factories.

John Moss