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Old September 8, 1999, 12:21 PM   #1
ckurts
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Last Friday was my 9/80 day off, so as usual I picked a couple of pistols and some ammo out of the locker and headed towards Carter's. I had my Ruger P89 and the Tokarev. Ammo for the Tok was 210 rds of Chinese ball. It looks fairly new, but my Chinese reading skills are rusty so if anybody knows box markings I'd appreciate some info, as I am curious about the vintage. I brought 100 rds of S&B 115 grain 9mm and 50 rounds of an unidentified brand of 9mm that I bought at a gun show, which brings me to subject of the story.
I warmed up at the 15 yard line on standard slowfire targets with 70 rounds from the Tok and 50 rounds of the S&B from the P89. I moved down to the 7 yard line and tried to use my gunshow special. I had 7 failures to fire, and 2 out of those failed to fire with 5 or 6 trigger pulls. Accuracy was horrible- this was a silhouette target, and the shots were all over the paper and many keyholes. I may not be the best shot in the world, and the P89 is not my most accurate handgun, but it was only 7 yards and even I can't make a slug keyhole. The recoil was quite sharp for a 9 mm as well, like a 124 grain +P Corbon.
So here is a description of the ammunition: it was sold as "124 grain military FMJ". It is packed in a gray card box that measures 3.5 X 2.5 X 1.25 inches exactly (leads me to believe the ammo, or at least the box was manufactured here in the U.S.). A paper seal or closure on the box says "50 ROUNDS 9 mm BALL L7A1", then a cross-in-circle (NATO?) and a solid circle, and finally "HP 22/91". When you open the box, there is "SV 3890", "HP" and "90". The rounds themselves are bright and clean brass with coppery-appearing nonmagnetic bullets. The headstamp is "L7A1 91 HP" and a tiny cross-in-circle. The primers are lacquered bright red. I could not make out two flash holes inside the case so they may be boxer primed.
I am guessing that I was shooting some kind of SMG ammo. Any ideas?
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Old September 9, 1999, 01:53 AM   #2
George Hill
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This is an interesting case...

I would check the bullet size with a micrometer and also check your barrel to see if you have some fitting problems... Also check rounds and compaire the QC they have going...

If it recoiling noticable sharper than should be expected - it may be overheated and an unsafe load. Look at the firing pin marks on the primer... that will be an indicator, along with the ejection marks. Look for signs of overpressure. If there is not - This may be SMG fodder like you guessed. Got a Chrony? That would be interesting to measure... And I bet would work great out of a HK USP!

If its a well used gun - Is the barrel shot out? Maybe you have some serious fouling that you cant see when you just look down the tube... Not to question your hygene...

Is the gun shooting like this with only this perticular ammo?

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[This message has been edited by George Hill (edited September 09, 1999).]
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Old September 9, 1999, 05:01 AM   #3
Hal
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Sounds like you dodged a bullet(no pun intended as this is a serious topic) big time. It sounds like the ammo is not 9x19, otherwise know as 9mm Luger, 9mm parabellum(sp?). Like George says, mic the case and the bullet for dimension, I suspect the OAL (overall length) of the case is shorter than 19mm, allowing the case to slip foreward in the chamber. 9mmLuger headspaces on the case mouth, the stuff you have sounds like it is too short for the chamber. The keyhole effect is a mixed blessing. Fortunatly, it sounds like the slug is undersized for the .355 bore, and is not engaging the rifleing. That is a good thing because it kept the pressures down. Also a good thing is that you were using a Ruger(the things are dump truck tough), a lesser gun may have come apart in your hands. There are more 9mm designations out there than you can shake a stick at, so it pays to be sure of what you are buying. I would ask 2 or 3 or 10 people what exactly the cartridge was if I was unsure and it wasn't marked clearly, the price was so good you can't pass it up, or even if it was some stuff that somebody loaded at home. If they think I'm being a jerk for asking so much, screw em, it ain't their eyes, hands or fingers that are going to go if it doesn't work. I'm just guessing, but it sounds like somebody had a load of oddball stuff that they wanted to unload. Next show, I would have a serious discussion with the seller about what he is selling, and how it was advertised.

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Old September 9, 1999, 05:02 PM   #4
ckurts
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The Ruger is well broken in, about 3000 rounds or so, but not shot out. I had just cleaned, degreased and re-lubed after my last session. FYI, when I do clean, I try not to overapply the elbow grease with metallic brushes. I have seen people put the equivalent of thousands of rounds of wear by improper cleaning (albeit on .22s). I'm scared as hell of barrel obstructions as I have seen a little of what they can do- I always double check for obvious buildup. The empty brass was flung all over north Houston, but I didn't notice any with abnormalities such as swelling or striations. There was one empty I picked up that might have shown a little cratering of the primer, but I didn't see any that were pierced or blown. Using that fine instrument, the calibrated eyeball, I did compare a round to one of the Sellier&Bellot 115 grainers I had and it looked within tolerance (except that the bullet was longer). I'll mike a few at the house tonight. The keyholing explanation you gave seems reasonable. The recoil was sharp and "torquey", as I said similar to a hot 124 gr JHP- it made the S&B 115 grainers feel like .380s.
The only other ammunition that has given this pistol trouble was "American" brand 115 grain copper plated lead.
As you implied, the Ruger is built stout as a drilling barge and this is one of its best points as far as I am concerned. I'm not interested in testing its limits, however.
I don't have a chronograph or access to one here. A couple of the old gang out in west Texas have them. Next time I'm out that way I have a bunch of ammo I'd like to chrono.
We have a bunch of hunters, CHL permit holders, and just general gunowners here but I only know 3 other guys who are real gun nuts like me. They aren't familiar with this ammo either. One of them, a real HK bug, made the a similar remark to George's regarding the USP.
The ammunition does not appear to be reloads. It was not particularly cheap- I bought 3 boxes and got a couple bucks and change back from a 20 and a 5. I saw the box and was curious. I will have a discussion vendor about it at the next show.
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Old September 9, 1999, 07:41 PM   #5
Hal
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ckurts:
I've been trying to think of a round all day that would chamber in a 9x19, but not be a 9x19 and am coming up dry. Maybe someone on the general board could shed some light on the rounds. I know the 9mm Largo and the 9mm Luger are sometimes mixed up, and I believe there is also a .351 diam round that is also labeled as a 9mm. At .351, it could very easily not upset enough to fill the barrel, and keyhole. I don't know the designation of the round though.

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Old September 10, 1999, 06:07 PM   #6
ckurts
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I'm sticking with the 9mm Para subgun ammo hypothesis. I did some measuring last night on the unknown stuff, some Federal, some Corbon, and some Norinco 9mm P. I won't publish all the numbers here, and my wife thought old Kurt had gone away for good, but everything appears copascetic with the new stuff. I also compared it with .380 and .38 ACP I have. DEFINITELY not either of those. (Heavy sigh) I guess I'll just have to buy me a 9mm carbine of some kind or maybe take Georges suggestion and get a USP compact 9 to shoot it up. Darn.
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Old September 10, 1999, 07:25 PM   #7
Hal
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Yep, if it measures up to spec, then it does sound like sub-gun ammo. If they used small rilfe primers that would account for the mis-fires I imagine. The keyhole is kind of a mystery though. If you find out anything from the gun show guy please let us know. This is a good one as far as puzzles go.

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Old September 11, 1999, 12:20 AM   #8
George Hill
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Hey - it is NEVER a bad idea to get an HK...


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Old September 12, 1999, 03:09 AM   #9
Hal
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I ran across some of this same ammo yesterday at a gun show in Medina Ohio. The guy selling it advertised it as NATO spec 9mm, and it was selling for $9.98 per box. I asked him if it was something special as far as 9mm goes and he told me it was not. I asked if it was any hotter than standard 9mm, and again he said no. Needless to say, after reading this post I passed on buying any, not that I would have anyhow, 10 bucks is pretty steep for shoot um up 9mm, but it is always good to be aware of what is being sold. The same guy did have some surplus 30-06 ammo that I would have bought, had I not read this thread prior to going to the show. I figured if he didn't know what the 9mm stuff was, the 06 might also be questionable. Thanks ckurts, you helped me out in a roundabout way.

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Old March 8, 2005, 05:11 PM   #10
anygunwilldo
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This ammo is British SMG 9mm NATO...

This ammo is British SMG 9mm NATO if it is what I think you are describing. It is FMJ loaded VERY, VERY hot (think +p+p+p+), and is for use only in Sub machine guns and their semi auto variants. It will actually blow the slide off a handgun(or worse). Here is a memo the BATF released after a series of accidents from people trying to shot it in handguns:

Hirtenberger AG WARNING: Austrian ammunition maker Hirtenberger AG has put the word out concerning a quantity of its 9x19 mm ammunition that is "unique for use in any handgun." According to a November 7, 2003 BATF Industry News release. "This ammunition was loaded to produce pressures far in excess of that intended for use in handguns. This ammunition should not be fired in any weapon other than what it was designed for." The ammunition was produced for the British Ministry of Defense from 1990 through 1992 for use in the L7A1 "under adverse conditions" and carries the "L7A1" designation, as well as submachine guns or the semi automatic versions of such weapons. The ammunition covered by this warning can be identified by the following head stamps: 12 o’clock position: "HP" 3 o’clock position: "90, 91, or 92" 6 o’clock position: "L7A1" 9 o’clock position: "a cross within a circle (NATO cross Å). (Information from the International Ammunition Association, Inc.)

The ballistics are an amazing 1412 FPS and 475 ft-lbs! IT is FMJ, BTW, if we are talking about the same stuff.

If you have a UZI, Heckler and Koch MP5, Sten, Colt, Cobray, Tec-9, Mac/Ingram/MPA/Vulcan, and any other 9mm SMG or SEMI AUTO Version of one, this is the stuff it was built for!
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