WRA 9M/M LUGER Different Hsts

Alright, I promise this is my last 9mm thread tonight. Since I learned how to translate Winchester & Western box codes I have wasted the whole day!

I recently picked up two identical Winchester boxes from GunBroker. One was made in 1955 (top) and one in 1959 (bottom).


The interesting thing is that the 1955 box has the “A” prefix indicating it was made by Western at East Alton IL. So, I checked the headstamps and got a surprise.

The headstamp on the Right was made by Western, and the one on the right was made by Winchester in New Haven CT. The size of the letters and the style of the 9s and much else is different. I have never seen these two headstamps attributed to two different manufacturers and had assumed (always dangerous to do) that they just represented two different dates of manufacturer.



The headstamps are distinctly different.

Lew - of the 14 rounds with this headstamp I have in ordinary ball cartridges, Eleven have the headstamp with wide letters which incude three with GM Truncated HP FMJ bullets, 6 with GM FMJ RN bullets and 1 with a GMCS FMJ RN bullet (another has a lead bullet with a tiny bit of what appears to be a steel ball in the hollowpoint, but I seriously doubt that is any kind of W-W loading). The other three have the narrow letters. I have both boxes you show, one with black letters and one with blue letters for the caliber marking on top, but both came to me empty. The blue letter box has internal stamps of a “57” over “A56 10” while the one with black letters says “80” over “A53 6.” I cannot interpret those but evidently you now can. Don’t know how my boxes fit in with yours.

Looking at the three with small letters, I cannot see why I saved more than one of them. Better check my catalog. Am not in best light in the room I am in right now, and there may be differences in the color of the primer seal on two of them, but that doesn’t explain the third. I haven’t weighed them since taking them out of the cabinet, though. I just noticed that one has a flat primer. Winchester domed primers in 9mm aren’t very domed and their flat primers are not as flat as some - makes it hard to tell sometimes. Definitely the case here. That still doesn’t explain my third one. Will have to look it up. I note differences if everything is pretty much the same on two cartridges with the same headstamp.

Will get back if I find any amazing differences. The WRA with wide letters that has the FMJ FMJ GMCS bullet kind of blew me away. I had never thought of it before, but don’t see why it should have a steel jacket - Winchester commercial ammunition never seems to have, even in the war years (what little commercial ammo was made, if any at all). The round is NOT tampered with, in my opinion.

We’re really starting to get down to the nitty-gritty of these “common” rounds now!!!

John Moss


What can you make of this?