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Thread: Can I get some old ammo ID help?

  1. #1
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    Can I get some old ammo ID help?

    Was at a LGS on a 9mm ammo hunt (I can barely scrounge enough to make a range trip and subsequent cleaning worth the trouble for 9mm).
    Owner pulled one box off the shelf, and this was hiding behind it in the shadow, out of view for anyone behind the counter unless they crouched down.

    Owner had no idea how long this had been hiding there, but he blew the dust off of it and there was a price, I figured I'd take a gamble on $8 seeing as I'd also found a 100 pack of WWB and some Gold Dots to add to the hoard (hoard is now at 35 rounds of defense ammo, I'm such a greedy hoarder!)

    Anyone know how old this stuff is? One side of the box was printed with "14-6-44", this can't be from 1944, can it? I hope I didn't open up a collector's item. Cartridges and box are marked with "VPT" (although the "V" isn't quite normal). No info on bullet weight, velocity, or much specifics beyond "9mm Parabellum" was printed.
    The ammunition seems to be in good shape, and appears to be sealed at the case mouth and primer cup. I don't know if this is even safe to shoot, any information would be helpful.
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    VPT stands for "Valtion Patruunatehdas", that's the Finnish Ammunition factory, and it appears to have been made or packed on June 6, 1944. "44" is the year, and I believe the finnish dateformat is day-month-year.

    It seems this particular package was exported to the US though, since the box is in english and it says Alexandria on it.

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    Thanks ErikS ... anyone know if this stuff is good to go downrange, or worth anything due to age?

    My current impulse is to stash it along with the stuff that some of my pistols don't feed well, as "last resort" ammo.
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    I dont know about this ammo, but the Swedish Army had a 9mm Luger cartridge called M39/B that they used in submachineguns. It had a steel bullet, and could hurt some handguns due to the higher pressure it created. Lots of that ammunition is still around.

    I believe, but I'm not sure, that the Finns also used 9mm in submachineguns, and if so this could also be a very hot load.
    But if so they shouldn't have exported it to the US without being clear about it...

    I'd personally be careful with it unless you can get better information.

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    steel bullet
    Neither the bullet, case, or primer cup exhibit magnetism.
    I tried with a fairly strong RE magnet, no response.

    Could ammo from 1944 really be this shiny?
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    The M/39B is a Swedish round, not a Finnish one. I've even seen it described as "armor piercing" due to the steel in it. I'm not aware of anyone using a round like this except the Swedish army. More info and pictures of it here That round was designed to be used in the submachinegun M/45, not for handguns. I'm told the Finns also used 9mm primarily for submachineguns, not handguns. But I have no idea about the loads they used in them.

    They look to be in really good condition, but the 44 really is the year, they stamped them "VPT" for the factory and then the year under it.
    Here's a description of their other calibers, where you see the same markings
    Here's a photo I found of the 9mm.

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    ErikS - They look a lot like the red-sealed 9mm in this photo, except the red sealant is only on the bullet, and doesn't cover the casing at all.


    The question is becoming; what was this doing lurking on the shelves of the LGS, and is it worth anything to a collector?
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    I have no idea on either of those questions. I'm sure there are collectors that would be interested in it, but I have no idea if it's worth much more to them than what you paid for it. If there are lots of it around, most interested collectors probably allready have it.

    I have no idea how it got to the US, but a guess is that someone sold surplus ammunition from Finland. It happens. I know lots of swedish military rifles and ammunition found it's way to the US, and Finnish should be even more common.

    As for the Swedish weapons, I know the M/45 submachinegun is a popular collectors item in the US, and I've seen the M/39 indoor round above sold in US stores as handgun ammunition (it's not, it's a submachine training round for practicing house to house battle). And I would be surprised if the M/39B isn't to be found on a shelf somewhere in the US, there are still loads of it around here even though they stopped manufacturing it years ago. Neither of those swedish rounds should be worth much to a collector, they're just too easy to get hold of. M/39B is still used among swedish sportshooters as cheap practice ammo (though somewhat risky for the weapon...)

    But as for your finnish ammunition, I really cant tell you much more about it. I'm not familiar with it.

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    Thanks for what you DID know about it, ErikS ... it was a lot more than I knew to start with.
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    It's just old Interarms stuff. They imported and repackaged the stuff. It is mil surplus, it shoots fine, it is worth nothing above it's value as a 9 mil round, go shoot it up.
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    In June 1944 the Finns were still fighting the Russians, so I very much doubt they would have been exporting ammo to the US. The outer label must have been added later when the stuff was sold as milsurp. Either that or the original manufacture date was copied over onto the new packaging.

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    check this site out Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE).

    http://www.afte.org/ExamResources/ga...Letters_001/V/

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    The Finn military issued a 9mm sidearm (the Lahti) during WWII. Interarms imported literally tons of surplus ammo in the post war years.

    Since your stuff doesn't respond to a magnet it's unlikely to be anything more than standard issue handgun ammo for the Lahti that has been repackaged after importation.



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    Am I the only one who noticed Lapua on the second pic?

  15. #15
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    Am I the only one who noticed Lapua on the second pic?
    Nope.

    http://www.lapua.com/
    The Lapua cartridge factory was established in 1923. From a modest and practical beginning, Lapua has grown into one of the most respected ammunition brands in the industry. Striving for accuracy has always been the Lapua way to operate, and the more than 80 years of experience shows in the choices of the top shooters worldwide: they choose Lapua cartridges.

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    I noticed it but coming in here late. Believe the Lathi was the M35 or M40 (ones Finnish, the other Swedish) I did have a Swedish K copy of the SMG made in Eygpt last year in Iraq. Ammo should be good to go as I'm sure the gun store area is enviromentally controlled. That ammo brings back memories back in the mid 80s shooting tons of WWII Canadian 9mm out of MP5s and my P7.
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    Iraq: 91,03-06,08, 09,15 & 16'
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