View Full Version : WWII Ammo

April 15, 1999, 05:53 PM
Welcome Harley.

Do you know the weight in grains and the velocity of German, English, Canadian or other WWII 9mm ammo? Realizing it was all hardball, how does it compare to the current stuff.

Harley Nolden
April 15, 1999, 08:04 PM
Sierra: My knowledge on the subject is very limited, however, if you will be patient I will research it for you.

Possibly one of the Ammo guys would care to respond?


James K
April 16, 1999, 11:51 AM
Harley and Sierra,

I can handle this one in part for the German ammo. The Germans used three different 9mm bullet weights in WW II. The standard was an 8 gram (123.5 gr) lead-core bullet. Due to the lead shortage during the war, they went to two iron cored bullets.

One type was called "PistolenPatrone 08 mit Sintereisenkern" (with sintered (pressed) iron core). That weighed 5.8 grams (89.5 gr.).
Boxes are marked "Pistolenpatronen 08 S.E."

The other was called "Pistolenpatrone 08 mit Eisenkern" (iron core). That weighed 6.4 grams (98.7 gr.). Boxes are marked "Pistolenpatronen 08 m.E.".

I have not been able to locate velocity figures.

Observe that the German Army did not call the cartridge the 9mm anything. They called it the "Pistol cartridge 08."

A couple of other interesting points. Most 9mm steel case was marked on the cartons "Nur fur MaschinenPistolen" or "Only for Machine Pistols". Many think this is because the ammunition is too strong for pistols, but it was actually because the early steel cases had lacquer that flaked off and the pistol chambers were so tight that it would cause jams. Also, the iron core bullets tended to jam in the P.08 (Luger), although the P.38 took them OK.

Note: Except for proof loads, ALL German 9mm WW II ammo is safe in pistols. None is super strong or will "blow up" a pistol. Per above, the indication "only for MP's" is not because of ammo strength.

Some Italian 9mm is meant for submachine guns and is too hot for the old Brixia (Glisenti) and Beretta pistols.

Hope this helps.