WWII special forces issue 32 ACP's


This is my first post, and I need some advice from the experts on the list. My father in law was in WWII and his division was assigned to the mountainous areas behind enemy lines. Their job was to perform covert operations to take out high ranking officials and soldiers in those areas. One of their assignments was Adolph Hitler. Too bad they never got him then … Anyway … He was issued a pistol and .32 ACP ammo. The .32 acp ammo was brass cased, steel cased bullet, and what was interesting about the bullet …there is no manufacturing marks or names of anykind on the bullets. When they would use these rounds in subversive operations, the army didn’t want the Germans to be able to place blame on the special forces operatives or know who to blame for the assassinations by having a manufacturer’s name on the ejected shell. I have two of those special unmarked rounds he gave me recently. he brought them back with him at the end of the war. I enclosed a pic below of the two covert operation bullets, and they are on the left. A box of modern 32’s on the right for comparison. I’m wanting to know since these Spec. op’s bullets are probably pretty rare, do they have any value to collectors of such things ??
Thanx and I look forward to any replies …
Rusty in Ohio


Rusty - welcome to the Forum. The story of your .32 auto rounds is interesting. From the picture, I would say the cartridges in question are of European manufacture, not American. That is not necessarily contradictory to your story since unheadstamped, European-made pistol cartridges were sold before WWII in the United States under various brand names, and in lots of other countries as well. The cartridges could have been acquired in England or from other sources as well. I have over a dozen unheadstamped .32s in my own collection, most of which are unidentified as to maker. At least two of them match your description and your photo.

Regarding value, aside from the obvious sentimental value to you since your Dad brought them back from the War, items like this generally do not have value above whatever the normal value of the cartidge would be as an “unknown” or commercial .32, unless accompanied by very solid documentation. Without that documentation cartridges like these lose their “identity” quickly as they pass from collector to collector. With rare exceptions, anecdotal evidence does not have much influence on the price of otherwise quite normal cartridges.

If they were mine, I would treasure them as a war-time momento of my dad’s service, put them in some container or tag them in some way that they could not get mixed up with similar rounds, which are very common, for which there is no known history, and generally enjoy them without worrying about their value to someone else.

This is only an expression of my own opinion, of course, but it is based on 45 years of collecting with a special interest in the .25, .32 and .380 pocket auto calibers.

You’re photo is quite good, by the way. I hope we will see more postings from you.