When did S&B introduce the SBP headstamp on Autopistol Headstamps?

Until recently I believed that the well known S&B headstamp on autopistol cartridges was SBP at the top and the caliber at the bottom were all post-WWII.

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Working on another project I noticed that 1937 S&B catalog included a drawing of a 6.35mm Browning box, but the drawing on the box appeared to have a two position headstamp instead of the four position headstamp in the drawing of the same caliber in the catalog which was the " S&P / * / P / * / headstamp that had been used by S&B on most autopistol cartridges for at least a decade.
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I realized that I had a S&B 7.65mm Browning box that was identical to the box illustrated in the 1937 catalog. except for the caliber. This box drawing clearly showed the headstamp as “SBP 7.65”. The cartridges in the box have shiny CNCS bullets, the same style that are on early “ak” headstamped 9mmP08 rounds (1941 dated cases and case lots 1 and 2 of 1942). They also had copper color primers.

I also found I had another 7.65mmB box with a totally different label which included “MADE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA” indicating that it was produced shortly after WWII and marked for the US market.
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The cartridges were a real surprise. Five were identical to those in the 1937 style box and the other 20 had GMCS bullets, the style bullet introduced on 9mmP, “ak” headstamped, near the end of 1941 (case lot 20 of 23 produced). They also have brass color primers.

My first guess would be that the first box was completed before the German occupation of the plant in 1939 and the “SBP. 7.65” headstamp was introduced in late 1936 or early 1937.

To better understand when the “SBP” headstamp was introduced, and the loads in these two boxes i am looking for some information.

  1. Is there any evidence to even suggest that S&B produced 7.65mmB or any autopistol cartridges besides 9mmP after the German occupation of the Vlasim plant in early 1939 and before the end of the war? If :“Yes” please explain!

  2. Is there any evidence suggesting the dates when the SBP headstamp was introduced on other Autopistol calibers and the boxes used for these cartridges before and after the war, if they differ from the two boxes styles illustrated above?

3 Is there any other information that may be relevant to this topic? If so please post it!

Any help is appreciated!

Cheers,
Lew

Lew, didn’t we have a longer thread on this before?

Question: Knowing that S&B had/has its Head Office in Prague ( Praha), did they also have a plant in Prague, or was Vlasim the only Czechoslovak plant in the 30s? ( excluding Schoenebeck am Oder and Riga).
When I visited the Czech Republic in1993, I had to be Security checked at the Prague Head Office before being driven to Vlasim for a factory Visit.
Doc AV

Thanks EOD! There was a long post in 2020 that I had completely forgotten about. Remind me again what my name is!

The topic you are referring to is:
https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/20-rd-7-65-br-box/37929/38

It includes some great information, mostly from Jan F, and unfortunately, some really bad information.

After re-reading the Topic I have decided to disagree with myself when I offered the opinion that Bob Rs box was post WWII.
There are three key points that make me believe this box was made during German Occupation of S&B.

  1. The Soviet Offensive to drive the Germans out of Prague concluded on 11 May 1945.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague_offensive
    I don’t know when the Germans left Vlasim but it seems likely that it was sometime after about mid-May 1945. Bob Ruebel’s box is very unlikely to have been made after October 1945 based on the line on the label and Jan Fs input
    "Von 24.10.1945
    „Továrny na střelivo, dříve Sellier & Bellot, národní podnik“(überset. Munitionsfabriken, vormals Sellier & Bellot, nationalisierte Betrieb)"

  2. As I discussed above, the CNCS bullets in these rounds would strongly imply they were made during WWII but likely not after

  3. The S&B factory was run by the SS, not the German Army. This means that ammunition made under German occupation, but not intended for the German Army would not have to meet German Army requirement like the codes such as “ak” or codes on boxes. There is documentation that in 1939 the SS set up a recruiting office in Berlin with the specific task of recruiting in the occupied areas. It is not clear to me whether the box is in Czech or Slovak, and that could give us some insight into who the SS was supplying with this ammo. 7.65mm Browning pistols were popular Police weapon during this period.

I wonder if there are any other S&B products from this period in other calibers.

Cheers,
Lew

Lew - once again, we have to look first at the pistols used in Czechoslovakia before we worry about the cartridges. The 9 mm Para was never an important caliber in the Czechoslovakian military sense until some time after WW2. During the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, we can assume that some 9 x 23 mm Steyr-caliber pistols were used since we have 9 x23 mm Steyr ammunition made by Sellier & Bellot during that period.

After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, following WWI, the Czechs began to look at pistols in caliber 9 mm Browning Short (9 mm Kurz) with a serious intent to make that the standard service caliber of the “new” Czechoslovakia… The CZ vz. 1922 pistol, followed quickly by an improved version, the vz. 1924, were adopted, and to my knowledge, remained the primary, official pistol of the Czech Army thru the end of WW2. Of course, after the German Occupation, those of the former Czech Army that were joined into the overall German Armed Forces of the period certainly had German weapons as well, likely including pistols of 9 x 19 mm Parabellum caliber, but they would have been basically substitute-standard to the 9 mm Short adopted in the early 1920s.

S&B likely produced produced the 7.65 mm Browning cartridge during WW2. I suspect on that caliber, which was actually more German than Czech, the Germans leaning more to the vz. 27, the .7.65 mm version of the vz. 22 and vz. 24, and certainly continuing production of that version of the Czech Pistol during the War. I forget off hand if they also continued any production of the Pistol vz. 24 in 9 mm Short caliber. I have many variations of the 7.65 mm Browning with the SBP 7.65 headstamp, including several steel-case versions, almost certainly wartime production. Among many variations of the " SBP 7.65 " headstamp version I have one in a brass case, but with a steel primer cup (with black PA).

In the 9 mm Short caliber, I have a cartridge " 19 / SB / 40 / III " cartridge (case made in March 1940). However, it seems much of the pistol ammunition production fell to the Povazske Strojarne (PS) factory. I have a steel-case 9 mm Kurzpatrone headstamped " dou. St 1 43 " in my collection. I also have a brass-case 7.65 mm Browning round with headstamp " dou 7.65 " where they have skipped the normal dot after " dou" used to properly orient the case and prevent reading of the code as " nop."

There is also a 7.65 Browning with steel case and a “Z” headstamp.

So, while S&B seems to have been secondary to PS in the manufacture of pistol ammunition during the WW2 era, there is no question that Czechoslovakia manufactured these calibers. What I have not seen is any non-coded Czech 9 mm Para from the war years that I know to be made during the war, other, of course, than the “ak” and “dou” coded headstamps.

I did not research any other pistol calibers, nor commercial ammunition, from the WW@ years. I simply do not have sufficient information to make much out of that question.

I hope this is of some help, and that I did not just “muddy the waters.”

John Moss

1 Like

Lew, ah yes, this one! I was unable to locate it, my ability to find older threads here is very limited…

EOD,
My most successful search technique on the Forum is to ask Fede!

Cheers,
Lew

Lew, that’s the default setting.
Dan

Lew, ah, so you are playing unfair and use secret weapons, is it this what you are saying? :grin:

Lew,
I add some 7,65 boxes from ak and 9mm kurz.
7,65 ak 41



9mm M22 Wlashim

ak has to produce per month 300.000 cartridges 7.65 until April 1945.
Cheers
Norbert

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Norbert, thanks a lot!

Is known when exactly S&B used the “P90D” code for the first time?

We have not mentioned the 7.63 Mauser rounds with the SBP headstamp, I have seen them ID’d as everywhere from the 1930s to the 1950s, but I have always believed the were pre- and during WWII.
Thoughts?

Norbert,
outstanding info! Many thanks! Any idea of the headstamps in these various boxes??? it is really interesting that only the last 2 boxes that meet German Army standards and only the P90 that is S&B. I would love to know who the other boxes of ammo were made for. The SS took a lot of liberties’ with their production.

EOD,
Its a Secret Weapon only to those who ignore the relative value of posts—or to pinfire and .22 rimfire collectors!!!

Now I am in trouble with the moderators and will soon have to edit this post!!! If I was still a moderator I would have to slap my own hands. Perhaps I can recover by saying…

THANKS FEDE!!! for all your contributions…

Cheers and thanks for humoring an old man,
Lew

This is the second label sS rounds from P90D under German occupation.

This is a label from non-German style 7,9 ammunition

chech 11

Rgds

1 Like

Willem, thanks!
So by now nothing earlier than 1940?

And one more question; do actual headstamps “P90D” exist in 7.92x57 and 9x17?

Alex, here is the famous 7,9 change from “P90D” to “ak”.
In the beginning they forgot to remove the character “P”. Fixed it during lot 2.

I have never seen a 9x17 head stamp with a P90D marking

Rgds

1 Like

EOD - I concur with Dutch. I too, have never seen or even heard of a .380 Auto (9 mm Kurz) with a P90D headstamp, and I have been a serious collector of that caliber most of my adult life.

John

Willem, the “Pak” is wonderfull! Thanks!

John, yes, this made me wonder. Wish it existed!

Lew,
the ak boxes contains SBP 7,65


Cheers
Norbert