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Old May 3, 2013, 03:34 PM   #1
wild cat mccane
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Silly--Submachine gun 9mm ammo

You occasionally hear about 9mm that is for machine guns-to hot for handguns.

Well, I was wondering if anyone has tried it (intentionally or not) or has clocked it.

No intention of using it, just bored and curious
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Old May 3, 2013, 03:47 PM   #2
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L7A1 9mm is supposed to go between 1500 and 1600 fps from a typical SMG. That's pretty high pressure for most any handgun.
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Old May 3, 2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Don't most subguns have barrels longer than the typical service pistol? I'd expect a 6"-10" barrel to give higher velocities than a 4" barrel.
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Old May 3, 2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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Just under 2000 rounds of Spanish SMG 9mm did this, and that is a SMG. The replacement upper in the pic below, went another 25+ years, with more a good bit more than a couple of thousand rounds through it in each of those years.

Not that those old SWD MAC's were anything "substantial", they hold up OK to commercial (standard, +P, and +P+) and NATO ammo.
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Old May 3, 2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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In Israel, almost the only 9mm we could scrounge was SMG ammo for Uzis. It ran fine in Hi-Powers, Lugers, Radoms, and Berettas, but tended to destroy Helwans in short order.
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Old May 3, 2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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Over a fair number of years, I have heard and read of "super hot SMG ammo" that would supposedly destroy pistols, including those of the country that issued the "super hot SMG ammo."

The first was the German steel case black bullet ammo, which supposedly blew up Lugers and P.38s all over the place. (Not true, it was just tropical pack.)

I don't know whether any given "SMG ammo" is too hot or not, or whether it would/could/did blow up pistols. But I don't quite understand why any country would deliberately issue ammunition of a pistol caliber that would blow up its own pistols and injure its own troops. That seems to me a more than a little counterproductive, not to mention being hard on troop morale.

And what would be the advantage? SMG's are short range weapons at best, what advantage would be gained by issuing high pressure ammo that would (I would think) ultimately destroy the SMG itself in addition to any pistols that might be loaded with the ammunition in question?

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Old May 3, 2013, 09:19 PM   #7
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Most of the SMG's are pretty robust (especially the older ones), even the ones made from stampings, and all have a pretty substantial bolt, and beefy chamber area. I think its the heavy bolt and chamber that makes the difference in the ability to handle the hotter ammo without issue.
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Old May 3, 2013, 09:25 PM   #8
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OK, so the "hot" ammo won't blow up SMG's, only pistols. So why would a country want to blow up its pistols? They usually cost more than SMGs and wouldn't those missing fingers sort of bother the troops? It is one thing to suffer injuries due to enemy fire, but the idea of ordnance officers sitting around bragging about how many of their own troops were hurt by their own ammunition does strain credibility a bit.

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Old May 3, 2013, 09:34 PM   #9
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I dont think they want to blow up the pistols, as most of the SMG ammo, is marked for the SMG's and not for pistol use.
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Old May 3, 2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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The original "hot" 9mm sub machinegun ammo was Nazi German stuff used in the MP40. It was on the surplus market in the 1950's and 1960's, and those people shooting 9mm handguns back then ran on to it, and noticed the difference. I was shooting some of it out of a Browning HP back then, and was told the BHP was one of the stronger guns, and would handle it o.k. Well, it never hurt my gun, but later it was determined that Brownings were NOT that strong, and shouldn't use too much +P's, etc. Since most SMG's are blowback design, it puzzles me that really hot ammo is used at all, as it HAS to cause more port blast when fired., making the guns more of a nuisance for the users, especially lefties.
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Old May 4, 2013, 06:53 AM   #11
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For a while, I owned a semi auto UZI.
A dealer at a gun show had ammo cans of Israeli surplus mixed head stamp 9mm at a good price per thousand.
He had signs on it saying "not for pistols-SMG only"
When I bought some, he asked me what I was going to shoot it in. When I said UZI, he said no problem.
Well, it shot great in the UZI.
Eventually, I sold the UZI. I still have about 500rds of that ammo. Due to the dealers numerous and earnest warnings, I'm just saving it for last ditch, gotta have 9mm, any 9mm use.
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Old May 4, 2013, 07:45 AM   #12
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As a present to myself for my 40th birthday I bought a Vector Uzi off one of the last group buys made from them before they ran out. While I waited for the paperwork to clear I picked up 15K of Israeli 9mm surplus from some place in Mississippi, I think it was something like $59 or $69 per 1000......this was all in 2003. Same disclaimer was given with this ammo, SMG only, don't use in pistols. It runs great in the Uzi and I still have a little left.

I never shot any through a pistol but there was one range session with some relatives from my wife's side of the family where I had a Walter P99 have the ejector broken off the ejector block, it was an easy fix to just swap out the block with a new one and S&W gave me one for free. I suspect that one of the relatives picked up a loose round from the ground ejected from the Uzi when their was a double feed and loaded it in the P99 and that's what broke it........but don't have absolute proof.

I have never ran any through a chronny but compared to regular WWB 9mm that I've run through the Uzi it is hot hot........If I really had to I would run some through a SW 5906 or a Ruger P89 but probably nothing other than those two.
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Old May 4, 2013, 07:57 AM   #13
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Since most SMG's are blowback design, it puzzles me that really hot ammo is used at all, as it HAS to cause more port blast when fired.
Ive shot it in a number of different SMG's, and never really noticed any port blast. Generally what I noticed, was an increase in cyclic rate and the added pressure the stocks put into my cheek while firing.

Mostly is was the cyclic rate though. My MAC would usually dump a 30 round mag in about a second and a half with "normal" ammo. With the hot stuff, it was under a second.

Back in the late 80's when I picked up my first Glock, my buddy who sold it to me got a letter from Glock on their letterhead (I read it), stating that due to the function problems people were having with commercial ammo, they recommended using UZI/IMI black tipped "carbine" ammo in the Glocks for positive function. I was kind of amazed at that, as that specific ammo, when shot out of my MP5, would start to fire form the brass into the flutes in the chamber, leaving slight ridges you could actually feel, instead of the normal sooty scratches. It was the only 9mm ever to do that, and I had shot SMG ammo out of before on a number of occasions, with no such effect. Kind of strange, as the load didnt "feel" hotter than anything else. Maybe IMI was scrimping on the brass.

Still, it seems Glock wasnt to concerned about using the hotter ammo in ther guns, which is a good thing I suppose, since I normally carry +P+ in mine.
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Old May 4, 2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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Back in the 80s, a friend of mine had his HiPower damaged from shooting some "European 9mm" ammo. Turns out it was SMG ammo, but I cannot now recall specifically what it was.

The Hi Power had the locking lugs "peened" from a few hundred rounds of this stuff, and had to be repaired. My friend got an education that all 9mm Luger ammo wasn't the same.

I don't think any nation would deliberately load ammo that would immediately blow up its handguns, but the SMG stuff is definately too hot for many handgun designs.

I think that the hot SMG ammo was not made for any velocity increase gain (although it likely was a result), but was loaded hotter to promote more reliable functioning under dirty battlefield conditions. Especially COLD conditions, where regular ammo loses a little bit of its "oomph". Just a theory.

Intended only for SMGs, and so marked, I'm sure quite a bit was shot in handguns under emergency conditions in combat. I rather doubt that any individual handgun shot a lot of it, even in combat, but the fact that it would fit, and work in their handguns, for a while, anyway, had to be a benefit.

Remember that when the supply system worked, troops got the right ammo for each weapon. When supplies get scarce, one uses whatever works, and uses it until the gun breaks, or the situation changes back to being able to get the "right ammo".

Troops on the sharp end are less concerned with the life expectancy of their gun than their own life expectancy, obviously. "ja, it vill verk in der pistol, but iss not recommended. Iff Ivan is charging you, den, who cares?"

The trouble only became really manifest when quantities of this ammo hit the surplus markets and "foolish Americans" (recreational shooters) run it through their pistols, most of them not knowing (or realizing) what the ammo was meant for.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old May 4, 2013, 01:36 PM   #15
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The 9mm was made by many countries and there were no international standards .One of my reloading books mentioned that there was a larger variation in case dimensions with the 9mm than any other cartridge !! More recently the introduction of +P and +P+ complicated things too. At the redesign of the BHP when they introduced the 40 S&W the metallurgy was changed while they changed from machined to cast structure.
As mentioned the military isn't that interested in long life but the civilian is. The MAC 10 was originally a throw away gun but I would think it changed after Viet Nam when civilians bought it. Another change is that gun companies are specifying replacement of parts at specific times.See recent discussions about Beretta locking block problems.
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Old May 4, 2013, 03:05 PM   #16
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In the mid to late 60s surplus 9mm ammo was prevalent and I was told the bullet nose of the SMG ammo was dipped in paint to distinguish it from pistol ammo. I used to shoot a lot of SMG ammo in an Astra 600.
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Old May 4, 2013, 03:37 PM   #17
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the worst culprit was some european ammo name started with H it was +p+ 9mm meant for subzero temps

there is no standard for 9mm +p+ ammo its pressure could be just above 9mm +p 38,500psi or it could be twice 9mm +p 50,000psi+

ammo was hirtenberger
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Old May 4, 2013, 07:41 PM   #18
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Hi, Sharpsdressed Man,

Yep, the German ammo that was on the market and supposedly "SMG ammo" was the tropic pack I mentioned. The Germans never issued any 9mm ammo that was made for or marked for SMG, or that would not function properly and be safe for their service pistols (the P.08 and the P.38). If you find any boxes marked that way or any other data from German sources to that effect, please provide photos.

Hi, AK103K,

OK, let us say that countries issued hot SMG ammo that would blow up their pistols. What are the markings that warned the soldiers not to use that ammo in pistols? What were the headstamps? Were warnings on the ammo in some way (primer seal color, bullet tip color)? Or on the boxes, cartons, cases? I think since everyone seems to hold that there was such ammo and that "everyone" knows it, surely "everyone" knows how to identify it.

It is actually funny, but some of the stories originated with the surplus sale of U.S. (Winchester) 9mm marked on the boxes by the British as NOT FOR STEN. Many true-blue Americans believed and wrote that good American ammo was too hot for cheap Limey guns. It was the opposite. The American ammo was so weak that it would not kick the STEN bolt back hard enough for the sear to catch; the Tommy couldn't turn the gun off until the magazine emptied!

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Old May 4, 2013, 08:45 PM   #19
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James, I cant say for sure what the markings were, on the boxes or ammo itself, as its been a long while since I shot any.

Some Ive shot did have black tips, but most were unmarked. Most of the packaging markings on the outside of the crates were in English over the original language, be it painted or a label, and said "not for use in pistols". We shot a ton of it back in the 80's and 90's as it was usually cheaper than most anything else when you found it, and we were shooting it out of SMG's.

Interestingly enough, the Spanish ammo I was shooting in my MAC that trashed the upper in the pics above, was marked in Spanish, " ......Schmeiser Y Pistola Parabellum". Then again, from the tank like Star pistols Ive owned over the years, they probably could have handled it.

This is a box of the Spanish stuff. I still have a couple, just never got rid of them over the years.

This is some Egyptian stuff that was hot and corrosive. It came in 36 round boxes, which happens to be what the magazines hold in the Port Said copies of the Swedish M45 the Egyptians fielded. This stuff is actually nastier than the Spanish, and would rust anything you shot it out of overnight, if it was humid and you didnt clean it right away when you got home.

As 44AMP said, its likely the countries that issued it during war, werent to worried about occasional or emergency use in pistols, since they were likely not really used all that much, and werent getting a steady diet of it.

Another possibility here is, some of the ammo released as "surplus" was actually nothing of the sort, and was refused as unacceptable, and ended up in the civilian market, and simply marked for SMG's as a liability disclaimer, so people wouldnt shoot it in pistols.

We got a bad batch of 7.62x51 (if I remember right, it was CBC head stamped) back in the 80's out of SGN, that was recalled soon after, due to guns shooting it blowing up. It was sold as "surplus", but Im not aware of any 7.62x51 being loaded "hot" for issue use, so we always assumed it was a bad lot that was refused and got into the system.
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:46 AM   #20
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I had some Egyptian SMG marked 9mm that I ran through one of my hi-powers once. I looked at a fired empty, and the primer showed signs of 'flow', and the indention from the firing pin was pushed back into the firing pin hole by the pressure. On ejection, the extruded metal sheared off, leaving a little metal in the firing pin channel with each shot. My hi-power quit shooting after a bit (until I cleaned the metal out of the firing pin channel), which is how I discovered the issue.

So, yes, it's out there, and some of it is hot. In an open bolt, fixed firing pin gun, I'm sure it would have been fine.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:43 AM   #21
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just curious...

Do these SMG' require the hot ammo to function correctly?
If so I dont really see the point of it if they (pistols & SMG's) need different ammo... sharing seems like it would be one of its biggest benefits.
Otherwise, why not just chamber the SMG for something even more potent?
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Old May 6, 2013, 10:04 AM   #22
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44 AMP,
Was it Blue and Black Box 147 grain GECCO?…..That stuff was HOT!
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Old May 6, 2013, 10:20 AM   #23
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Most European SMG 9MM ammo was loaded to the same pressure specificatiopns (CIP) as any other 9MM ammo. The difference was a very hard primer that was needed to prevent premature ignotion in fixed firing pin weapons.

I purchased a quantity of both German and Egyptian military surplus ammunition. The German ammunition was from the war.

Niether would fire in my SIG-Sauer or Glock handguns. Some would fire on the second strike. I donated that ammo to the sheriff, and I was told that it functioned with 100 percent reliability in their SMGs.

I've used several thousand rounds of recently manufactured so-called SMG ammo from IMI.

These were used in my SIG-Sauers and registered the same velocities on the chronograph as any other NATO specification ball ammmunition.
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Old May 6, 2013, 06:55 PM   #24
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wild cat, I have used a fair amount of IMI/Eagle "Black Tip" ( marked "Carbine only") and a lesser amount of Israli TZZ 115 9MM ball ammo. I have "clocked"/ chronographed these in several 9MMs. Both were warmer than most standard pressure U.S. ammo but worked perfectly in the pistols, revolvers and carbines I used it in. I have also used a fair amount of Winchester Q4318 NATO ball,+P and +P+ ammo in several of my 9MMs, with no issues.

Okay, I've got a ton of chronograph records going back over 35 years or so, but I'll keep it brief, and just mention a few results with the IMI "carbine only" and the Israli TZZ ball ammo.

IMI/Eagle "Carbine only" 115 ball: Marlin 9MM carbine w/16.25" barrel=1439 fps, Browning Hi Power w/4.67" barrel=1249fps.

Israli IMI/TZZ (A360), 115 Ball: Marlin 9MM carbine w/16.25" barrel=1541fps, Browning Hi Power w/4.67" barrel=1317fps.

The TZZ (A360) ball was not marked carbine or SMG but was actually warmer than the stuff that was marked carbine only...
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Old May 7, 2013, 03:56 AM   #25
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I had understood that it was use of " hot" 9 mm smg ammo that caused failures when the M9 ( wonderful pistol) was first issued?
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