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Part 6, update 01.09.2000

G.O.W. Kickback:

Questions and Answers

Answered by: P. T. Kekkonen

STEN MK II S suppressors

sten.jpg (20581 bytes)I was wondering if you have any information or prints on the original type 1 or type 2 suppressor used on the STEN MKII(S). I have some prints for the type 1 & type 2 suppressor that were drawn up a later date but they do not show all the dimensions and I wonder how accurate they really are. Any information would be appreciated and I will gladly pay the postage for a hardcopy set of prints if you do not have them in digital format. I really enjoy your WebPage, the information contained is excellent.

Photo: Afterwar production Reflex Suppressors for Sten MK II.

I would also be interested in any information on the original suppressors used on the German MP 40. I understand that the information on German suppressors is difficult at best to find as most was destroyed during the last years of WWII. The MP40 has always been one of my favorite WWII SMG's. Thank you very much for your time.


answer.GIF (573 bytes)  A book "SILENCER HISTORY AND PERFORMANCE Vol. 2." by Alan C. Paulson is presumably coming for sale before the end of this year. I've got it's text for proof-reading some months ago, but not illustrations or captions. There is a chapter on this coming book re submachine gun suppressors too. Publisher is Paladin Press, which was also published a booklet "SILENCERS FOR HAND FIREARMS" by Siegfried F. Huebner in 1976. Book number is: ISBN 0-87364-055-1. I don't know, whether it is still available or "out-of-print". The booklet contains dimensioned drawing of 2nd model STEN suppressor (figure 10e) on page 47 along with sectional drawing of shortened and perforated barrel of STEN Mk VI.
qawolff.gif (3545 bytes)
Image: Wolff suppressor

Suppressors for MP 40 were rarities. One design was derived from an improved Wolf suppressor (fig. 26e, top, on the booklet of Huebner) and another is similar to the suppressor for Walther P-38 pistol, with four cup-shaped baffles and heavy spiral springs between them (figures 34e and 35e). This information was picked from Huebner's booklet. May be correct or incorrect, I don't know.

We should be waiting for publishment of "SHAP Vol. 2." It may give to us additional/ confirmed information; I hope so.

2008 MM; PT

Heavy subsonic .45 bullet & nomenclature of special loads
qa45colt.jpg (17208 bytes)
Thank you for the information that you sent. I e-mailed NAMMO-LAPUA Oy about their trans-sonic research but have not yet received a reply.

Attached is a copy of a 480 grain .45 caliber bullet that I designed for use with the .45 Colt or the .45-70. The bullet mould is going into production at N.E.I.

According to the computer, 10 grains of 2400 should push this bullet to 900 fps from a 24" barrel with a maximum pressure of 35,000 psi and a muzzle pressure of 650 psi. Maybe it will qualify as a heavyweight "cat's sneeze?"


answer.GIF (573 bytes)  and comments: Your bullet design seems to be good. I cannot recall, whether N.E.I. moulds casts the bullet by base-pour or nose-pour of lead alloy (a method preferred by late Harry M. Pope), but for a short-range hunting of heavy game it is preferable to load these bullets reversed, i.e. to shoot them to hit base-on. It's "méplat" with diameter .395 inch shall generate a formidable "Stopping Power" and a big bleeding hole also at a low striking velocity. The bullet weight is also sufficient to assure a deep penetration.

Some repeater rifles with tubular magazines will also feed those "almost wadcutter" cartridges reliably. Marlin Model 1895 rifles may need slightly more than groove-sized bullet diameter, because of their Micro-Groove rifling, but your bullet may be O.K. for them, when cast from some less-shrinking alloy, like straight Linotype, and seated "as cast"; without any sizing.

"Cat's Sneeze" loads are propelled without a powder charge at all, with a primer's blast only, or with a tiny booster charge of very quickly-burning powder, AND the SPHERICAL bullet with a diameter (according to the original loading information of Finnish Civil Guard), less than the BORE diameter of a rifle, or equal with a nominal bore (SIC!) diameter of a rifle. If the diameter of a spherical lead bullet is bigger than the bore diameter of a rifle (usually somewhat bigger than a groove diameter) the correct name is a: "Gallery Load". Please note: With a spherical lead (alloy) bullet!! Your .45-70 /.45 Long Colt load is a "Low Pressure Cartridge" load, because of the elongated (non-spherical) shape of the projectile.

Many loads are called incorrectly as Cat's Sneezes in USA, like those handloads for .223 Remington with reduced charges and Russian FMJ bullets with a copper-plated mild steel jacket. In Finnish or Russian nomenclature they are "Semi-charged Loads". They are usually supersonic, with a muzzle velocity of bullet 1200 to ca. 2000 feet per second or even more.

Because GOW sites are under the threat of suppression by Finnish Ministry of the Interior, I'll give a list of nomenclature for special loads:

CAT'S SNEEZE. (In Finnish: Kissanaivastus or Kisuntirsku). Propelled by a primer only or with a small booster charge of easily igniting powder. Projectile is spherical (usually a lead buck shot, but may be also a sphere of some other metal or of plastic). Projectile diameter is about a bore diameter of a rifle or handgun. May be considerably smaller too. Ball must be heavily lubricated: The lubricant acts as a "discarding sabot". Muzzle velocity is usually very low, but it may be also as high as 7000 feet per second, when plastic balls are propelled.

6.0 mm ball of toy pistol fits for .243 caliber or 6 mm rifles. Noise of shooting is, however, not a "sneeze". It is very loud. The powder-boosted plastic pellet loads are therefore some kind of SHORT RANGE PRACTICE loads. For the home-protection a plastic pellet is very fine: It has a limited range and penetration. It is also invisible in X-ray radiographs.

GALLERY LOAD. (In Finnish: Salonkilataus for rifles or Paviljonkilataus for handguns). Loaded with a spherical lead bullet. A projectile may be buckshot or a cast bullet of hardened lead alloy. Bullet diameter is at least equal with a groove diameter of the bore, but it is usually still bigger. (Example given: If the groove diameter is .308, the bullet diameter may be .310 to .312 inch). Gallery cartridges are usually loaded to the cases previously shot in the chamber of a rifle/ handgun used for shooting of handloads and not resized.

Muzzle velocity of lead sphere must be moderate; no more than 1000 feet per second. Bore must be lubricated. Usually the bore condition is kept uniform by dip-lubing the bullets AFTER seating of them to the case mouths. Powder used for Gallery Loads must be easily igniting and have a rapid burning rate. Accuracy of rifle loads may be good up to 100 meters (my own experience) although most shooting galleries are built for shooting to 25 meters.

RUSSIAN EXECUTION LOAD/ "PRAVDA LOAD". (In Finnish: Venalainen Teloituslatinki). Actually a blank cartridge, loaded without a bullet at all. If loaded properly, it is also good for fire-forming of rifle cases, but a common sense is needed especially for the impregnation of a paper "projectile". One Finnish visitor almost wrecked his Magnum rifle by impregnating the tissue paper wad with an excessive dose of candle wax and shooting his blank cartridges in cold weather (some degrees Centigrade below the freezing point of water). Tissue paper is hard like a composite plastic when impregnated with over-dose of candle stearine, and the .300 Win. Magnum case has abrupt shoulders, when compared with original Russian 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant or .30-06 case.

Original substitute blank cartridges were loaded as follows: Fill one third (1/3) of primed case's capacity with fast-burning smokeless revolver powder. Then fill another 1/3 of case volume with a soft thin pulp-paper, rammed down to become a cylindrical wadding. In old Soviet-Russia was a newspaper "Pravda" = "The Truth" used for this purpose, because of it's poor paper material. That's why the name: "Pravda Loads". After a Bolshevik Revolution 1917 the "Pravda" was most usual source of paper in Soviet Russia, until early 1920s. A sheet of paper was crumpled and rammed tightly into the case. Onto the paper wadding was poured a teaspoonful of melted "Cannon Grease": Cosmoline or Vaseline. The porous wood pulp paper was able to absorb all the grease like a blotting-paper.

These makeshift blank cartridges were designed during WW I for single shot shooting. (In Finland we had fifty years later not even the substitute blank cartridges for daily fighting exercise of the conscripts. Riflemen should yell: "LAUKAUS!" and a machine gunner or submachine gunner roared: "SARJA PERRKELE!" when the "enemy" appeared. Blank cartridges were issued for the big manouvres only). Soviet-Russians used the Pravda Loads for executions of bourgeoisie and clergy, especially in the "Punishment Camp Number One" in Solovyechk (North-West Russia, an island of the White Sea) during the Russian Civil War in 1918 to 1923. This first destruction camp was established by Vladimir Lenin in 1917 to the Solovyechk monastery: Monks and clergymen of this convent were among the very first offers of Bolshevik Revolution.

There was a severe lack of rifle bullets during Russian Civil War. Paper wadding was found to be penetrating enough when shot from a very close range (one inch or somewhat less) between the neck and an occiput. A muzzle blast completed destruction. It is easy to perforate a pinewood plank, two inches thick, with tissue paper wadding (impregnated carefully with the candle wax - no more than some drops onto the wadding), shot from a .308 Winchester or .30-06 rifle. Behind the wadding may be a powder charge 12 to 15 grains of as quickly burning powder as available.

For fire-forming of the cases (necking-up or straightening of bottleneck cases, like making .458 Win. Magnum cases from .338 Win. Mag. brass) is recommended to use moderate powder charges but the wadding may be impregnated with more liberal doses of candle wax. (It may be added until the primer shows signs of normal rifle powder load's chamber pressure; no more). Stearine or paraffine wax is less expensive stuff than Hodgdon "Titewad" or Alliant "Bullseye" powder. For the anti-personnel use (home defence) is Pravda Load somewhat too noisy and rifle's muzzle must be almost in contact with the attacker. (A shot towards area of eyes or nose is preferred: It shall disable even a "crack-crazy junk" - or a "PIG" wearing the bullet-proof vest).

Wadding has practically nil penetrating ability after few yards flight (if missed) and definitely no risk of over-penetration. Ballisticians of "The Piggery" are unable to identify the rifle used for shooting: There are no rifling marks on the tatters of a paper wadding and a .308 caliber rifle may drill as big hole as a twenty-gauge shotgun into soft tissue but the penetration isn't deep. Pulp paper is invisible in X-ray radiographs, just like is also a small plastic bullet.

SUPU LOADS. (Pronounced: "soopoo". In Finnish: Supulatingit. Name is derived from Esthonian word: "Suputin" = a suppressor or silencer for firearms). These loads should generate subsonic muzzle velocity, preferably 290 to 305 meters per second (950 to 1000 feet per second). Bullet may be jacketed or cast, but swaged lead bullet is also practicable, because of low muzzle velocity. Mexican Aguila .22 SSS and .22 LR PMC "Moderator" rimfire cartridges are factory-made SUPU loads in all imaginable firearms chambered for .22 LR cartridges in all climatic conditions (with sole exception: Revolver). Firearms with a "slow" rifling twist are unable to stabilize flight of .22 SSS bullets, while .22 LR PMC "M" bullet is stable when shot from any rifled .22 LR bore. (All other tested .22 LR "Subsonic" cartridges shall generate trans-sonic or supersonic velocities in some bores or in some climatic conditions).

SWAS LOADS. (Silent Without A Silencer). Supu loads with lowest practicable muzzle velocity. Must be loaded with as quickly burning powder as available. Cast bullets of lead alloy or swaged lead bullets are preferable. Bullet may be spherical or pointed. .22 Long CB or Zimmer loads and Mexican Aguila "Colibri" for .22 rimfire rifles or handguns are factory-loads, generating SWAS noise level even in some revolvers. The very first lot (I/1936) of Finnish SAKO 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant low-pressure cartridges (with swaged lead alloy bullets) were SWAS loads: Dominant shooting signature was a snap of heavy striker of Mosin-Nagant's breech-bolt, especially if the barrel length was original 31 ½ inches.

Shooting is "silent" when the muzzle blast is no more loud than mechanical noise of weapon's action, or striker/ hammer. There are not truly silent projectile-shooting weapons existing. The blowpipe sounds: "PHOOD!", string of a longbow or crossbow twangs or snaps, and even a rubber-sling generates some noise.

SEMI-CHARGED LOADS. (In Finnish: Puolipanos-lataukset. In Russian: Poluznaryad vystreliy). Loads for rifle cartridges with quickly burning shotgun/handgun powder, designed to generate good accuracy and a minimal velocity variation shot-after-shot. Chamber pressure may be par with pressure of factory loads, but usually it is about half from allowed maximum pressure. Bullet velocity is also about half from muzzle velocity level available with full the charges of usual rifle powders. The semi-charged Finnish 7.62 mm Mosin cartridges were factory-loaded in 1942 with 148 grains bullets and 10 grains charges of VihtaVuori N310 powder (then known as: "PaPP powder N14").

Term "half-charge" is misleading: Powder charge is usually 1/3 to 1/5, when compared with full charges of usual rifle powders. Terms "Semi-pressure Load" or "Half-velocity Load" are preferable, as well as the "Economy Load". (Halved charges of usual rifle powders are VERY risky in use! 1/5 dose of correct powder may be completely safe, especially behind the cast or swaged lead bullet). Muzzle velocity of a bullet is supersonic, sometimes about Mach 2, id est: ca. 685 meters (2247 fps) in a room temperature; possible for 123 grs bullets in .308 Winchester rifle. The bullets are usually jacketed. Muzzle blast is notably less loud than the bang generated by a rifle powder, and the recoil is mild, thanks to the low muzzle pressure. A well-balanced Economy Load generates about as noisy muzzle blast as is the noise of bullet's flight downrange, known as the "ballistic crack" of a supersonic bullet..

As you can see, there are several variations of reduced charge rifle loads, and the names for them are coined in Finland. Something shall remain to the next generations of handloaders, if the detestable Finnish "Pig Ministry" shall manage to turn off our GOW websites: All the GOW material shall become available by CD ROMs. Technology is gliding like an eagle while bureaucracy is jogging like the obese hog with it's short trotters.

2808 MM; PT

Scatterguns and Pistole-38

My English is not good, but I try to write you, please forget and excuse me my bad English, but I can read English much better.

1: I have an old shotgun double barrel, double trigger, with hammers outside, made in Spain, it's made by Fabrica de Pablo Juaresti, Eibar, around in the year 1900. Can you help me and tell me some about this shotgun or this factory?

2: I have also a shotgun Remington Model 3200 over and under with [birley shocks], can you tell me something about this?

3: Finally, I want to know all about the German pistol P-38, WWII vintage, with the eagle and swastica stamp.
Thanks for all.

Sincerely: Tomas F. (Mexico).

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  1: There were several hundreds of small gunsmithing shops in Eibar region, Spain, about a century ago. I am unable to tell anything about Fabrica de Pablo Juaresti or your shotgun. Don't shoot modern smokeless shells: Keep your gun as a wall-hanger.

2: Remington 3200 was a simplified variation of very fine and accordingly expensive Remington Model 32 over-under shotgun. Sales of M 32 flopped, since USA was and is a country of repeating scatterguns, usually those with slide-action (pump-guns). Since 1932 until 1942 there were made no more than 5053 guns M 32. Model 3200 is re-designed so that need of handmade fitting of action and barrels is eliminated where possible. My available literature don't tell, how many guns Model 3200 are made.

Original Remington 32 gun was copied in France by a small gun shop Damon Petrik. It was a pattern of Finnish Valmet "Lion" shotgun, but Valmet was unable to produce hand-fitted shotgun actions. The fittings of "Lion" (LEIJONA) guns were made by machines, just like those of Remington 3200. Sliding barrel latch of Remington M 32 was present but there were no more the extra lugs below breech-end of lower barrel, preventing strain on barrel pivot. (Extra locking lugs of Damon Petrik were especially prominent).

For Valmet 412-series of shotguns, combination guns and double rifles were finally adopted somewhat shallower extra lugs just before "count-down" of Valmet/ Tourula Works. Sako Oy bought their rival and discontinued gradually firearms production of Valmet Oy. These over-under guns are still in production as TIKKA 512 S series, but nowadays they are made in Italy. (An Italian firm, Pietro Beretta, is today owner of Sako).

About Remington 3200 I have no more knowledge, sorry! What means "birley shocks?" (Birchwood stocks, or some special chokes of barrel muzzles?!). If you have some difficulties with English, feel free to use Spanish terms, por favor! Your questions were easy to comprehend, with exception of these two words. I'll usually proof-read and revise all coming texts, and the really poor English I've met from those messages written by youngsters having English as their native language.

3: ALL about pistol P-38! A toiling, which lasts at least one full year: Mission impossible! About old hunting or sporting shotguns I am almost ignorant, but about military handguns I know something. The eagle and swastica stamp, presumably with letters: "Wa.A.", is a German proof-mark of military firearms during the Third Reich era. (I'll never use the insulting term "Nazi", because it is coined and used by jews and communists). Letters comes from words: "Waffen Amt"; actually "Heeres Waffenamt" = Weaponry Office of the Troops.

Development of a less expensive and more durable 9 mm pistol was started in Germany soon after WWI. During the Big War a P-08 or Parabellum, a.k.a. Luger, was found to be expensive and slow to produce. It's toggle-joint action was also critical and too frail: If a cartridge was slightly too weak, the pistol failed to eject or feed a fresh cartridge, especially if the action was fouled by mud or sand of trenches, or jammed by the rust after a chlorine gas attack. (Chlorine could jam all infantry firearms, with two exceptions: German Maxim MG-08 machine gun and British Vickers MG). If the cartridge of P-08 was too heavily charged, the left side of pistol's receiver/ barrel extension (weakened by a sear mechanism) could break.

Due to the war-time production of cartridges the loads could be either too weak or too heavy: A curse of hasty mass-production. Germans planned also to develope 9 mm cartridges with heavier loads for submachine guns. There were two competent pistol candidates in early 1930s for a next German military sidearm: Mauser Model 1916 (designed by Bohemian Josef Nickl) and Walther MP/I. Mauser pistol was based on short-recoil action with rotating barrel. It was produced in Czechoslovakia since 1922. Caliber was.380 ACP but the charge and power of Czechian 9 x 17 mm Type 1922 cartridge was about similar to German 9 x 18 mm Ultra or later Russian 9.25 x 18 mm Makarov ammo. Original Mauser Model 1916 and some earliest Czechian prototypes were chambered for 9 x 19 mm Parabellum/Luger cartridge.

Walther MP/I was also designed to shoot 9 mm Luger ammo. It was based on Walther PP design but it was considerably bigger and heavier than "Polizei Pistole". It was also based on blowback action, like PP and former Walther 9 x 19 mm Model 6 (designed in 1915 but never produced in quantity). Barrel lengths of prototype MP/ I pistols were 120 to 127 mm. Overall length of one prototype was 210 mm and weight 1.10 kilograms with an empty magazine. Despite of it's weight, the MP pistol produced "terrifying recoil" when compared with Pistole -08. I think, it's chamber was reamed and polished too smooth and shooting with 9 x 19 mm cartridges from a blowback pistol may be really painful, if the chamber is lubricated with grease or oil.

When compared with a revolver, caliber.357 Magnum with four inch barrel and weight ca. 1 kilogram, the recoil of MP was rather mild. I've shot rare Finnish VKT/44 pistol and Swedish Husqvarna Model 1907; both with a blowback action. Neither of them kicked badly. 9 x 19 mm cartridges for VKT had somewhat reduced charges, but I shot from Husqvarna -07 full-powered Finnish 9 mm submachine gun loads: Slightly corroded chamber of this pistol tamed the recoil efficiently.

Development of 9 mm pistols was banned in Germany by Dictate of Versailles in 1919, but it was continued secretly, and, when Adolf Hitler gained authority of German Reichskansler, one of his first heroic deeds was to show that: "Versailles Treaty is nothing more than some sheets of paper". Further design of 9 mm pistols was continued openly. Officials of German Army approved a new trigger mechanism of Walther MP/ I but they insisted on design of short-recoil construction with a positively locked breech. Waffenfabrik Carl Walther designed in 1936 some pistols, known as MP/ II, soon re-christened as Walther Armee-Pistole, because abbreviation MP was dedicated for the submachine guns. (Development of submachine guns - no more "Machine Carbines for Law Enforcement Use Only" - was continued after cancelling of Versailles Dictates).

Walther Armee Pistol was "hammerless". There is actually a hammer in it's firing mechanism, but it is enclosed into the slide. Visible hammer was considered to be unnecessary, since it was possible to cock a hammer by trigger pull (= double-action shooting) and de-cock it. Hammer stays also cocked after chambering of cartridge manually or after autoloading cycle. Pistol has a "loaded chamber indicator", a pin projecting from rear end of the slide, when there is a cartridge in the chamber.

German Army officials insisted, however, adoptment of visible hammer for cocking with a thumb (= single-action shooting of first shot). Rearwards/ downwards drawn hammer tells also by a glance, whether or not the pistol is cocked. Walther designed a transitional model HP (Heeres-Pistole). It's hammer is visible. Some prototypes with a visible hammer were still stamped as "Mod. M.P." They were extremely rare MP/III models. Presumably no more than 20 MP/III pistols were made. Evolution of Walther pistols was very rapid in 1936 - 38: Enclosed firing mechanism of Walther Armee-Pistole, along with a loaded-chamber indicator was protected by German patent DRP 706038 in 10th April 1936. Patentees were Eric and Georg Walther. About 200 pistols model Walther Armee were produced until the pistol was "turn'd down" by Heeres Waffen Amt.

The well-known breech locking mechanism was already adopted for Walther Armee pistol but it was protected not until by DRP 721702 in 27th October 1936. Patentees were Fritz Walther and Fritz Barthelemens (last mentioned was the actual designer of this breech locking system). Same mechanism is still used in Italian Beretta pistols. There are no notable differences between Walther HP and Pistole-38. When the Waffen Amt accepted HP pistol to be a new German military handgun, it was re-christened as P-38, just like 9 mm Parabellum/ Borchardt & Luger pistol was a P-08, according to official German military nomenclature, based on year of adoptment and never on the designers or manufacturers, if the firearms were officially adopted.

If you can find a book: "Handguns Of The World" by Edward C. Ezell, published by Arms & Armour Press, England 1981, you can find rest of the story about P-38. Code number of the book is ISBN 0-85368-504-5.

2308 MM; PT

Identification of a rifle

This is a bolt action rifle with the following markings on the left side of the action (facing the butt stock): St. Etienne Mle 1907/15. On the breech end of the barrel is MAS 1917, the letters: CN and the number: 5976. It looks like a Lebel design (with a protruding magazine). Any idea about this rifle? What caliber is it? Would it be safe to shoot if in good shape? I plan to have a gunsmith look at it to determine if it could be shot.

Thanks, Bill (Illinois, USA)

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Your rifle is not a Lebel design but a French Berthiér rifle: Lebel has a box receiver, with separate butt & fore-end and a tubular magazine, like most of Winchester lever action rifles, but it is a bolt action rifle; first one designed for use of "small caliber" jacketed bullets and smokeless powder.

Berthiér rifle was designed and adopted, because the original Lebel magazine was slow to fill with loose cartridges. Designer, general A.V. Bertihér, tried to enhance fire-power of rifles and carbines by adoptment of a Mannlicher "en-block clip", but the French 8 mm rimmed Lebel cartridge has a very fat case and large rim diameter. It was possible to dimension the clip and magazine of a rifle for three cartridges only, but the clip was as easy to push into magazine as a single cartridge into the tubular magazine of Lebel's rifle. The first gun based on Berthiér's 3-shot design was a Cavalry Carbine Modéle 1890. Next carbine was adopted for the Gendarme troops (P.I.G.s) in France, and the "Musketoon" (a short rifle) was adopted for French Artillery.

The first full-length model was Sniping Rifle, Berthiér Modéle 1902, for Colonial Troops in the French Indo-China (Annam, today Viet-Nam). During the World War I the French Army was expressing it's preference for a Berthiér's model over the original Lebel. Large numbers of 1902 - 1907 Colonial Model Sniping rifles were removed from French colonies and issued to French troops as a Fusil Modéle 1907/ 15. Your rifle is made in 1917 by Manufacture d'Armes Saint Etienne = M.A.S. It is not a collect from colonies. Barrel seems also to be original.

Caliber of your rifle is 8 x 50R Lebel. Cartridges may be hard to find today. Another problem is availability of disposable three-round "en-block" clips of Berthiér rifles and carbines. In 1916 was designed also a five-round magazine and 5-rd clips for a Berthiér rifle, but those five-round clips are more rare items than 3-rd clips. You may shoot manually-fed single shots from your rifle, but feed from a magazine is impossible without a clip. You should keep your Berthiér Modéle 1907/15 as a wall-hanger or "a collector's item": Price of it is rising.

2608 MM; PT

Handloads for.43 Spanish

Do you have any reloading data for  .43 Spanish ( 11,15 x 57 R) with Vectan powders. Please help me!

Saludos; Jorge.

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Vectan powders are entirely unknown propellants in Finland. Are they black powders or smokeless? Blackpowder is the most safe in.43 Spanish cartridges. For the standard weight lead bullets (375 grains) is advisable charge 75 to 77 grains of FG grade blackpowder; depends on the thickness of case wall and bottom. For heavier cast bullet LYMAN N:r 439 186 there are suggested charges 32 grains of American powders IMR or Hodgdon 4198 or 40 grains of IMR 3031. If there is Finnish VihtaVuori N133 powder available in your country, you may load it also up to 40 grains charge with Lyman cast bullet (nominal weight 387 grains). Use modern cases with strong solid heads.

You may ask from our test-shooter Markus (MPP), whether his Broemel QuickLOAD ballistic computer program has some handloading data for.43 Spanish with Vectan powder. You must tell a barrel length of your rifle and the capacity of cartridge case: Fill the case up to it's mouth with pure water and weigh the water with a powder scale or other precise scale. Weight of the water in grams equals case capacity in cubic centimeters but if you have a scale with grains graduation, you may tell the weight of water in grains.

2208 MM; PT

More about silencers & subsonic.22 LRs

Dear Mr Pete. Thank you for your E-mail. This information was very useful for me. I have made silencer and subsonic ammo according to your instruction. I met some problems but everything is O.K now. I have some additional questions:

1. What are the kinetic energy and velocity of home-made subsonic ammo (.22 LR minus 25 % powder charge), at 10 meters. 20 m, 50 m and 75 m?

2. I'd like to construct another suppressor with baffles. Are the following dimensions possible: Length 145 mm, diameter 30 mm, six baffles ( first baffle with a diffractor)?

3. Can you tell me where I can find BROEMEL QUICKLOAD Program?

Thanks to you; EMIL (Poland).

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  1. I don't know, because the quality of powder in your cartridges is unknown, bullet weight is also unknown and muzzle velocity of the bullet is unknown too - along with a Ballistic Coefficient of your shortened bullet.

Explanation to the other GOW/Universal visitors:

My instructions to Emil were as follows: Remove the bullet from a trans-sonic or supersonic.22 LR cartridge. Reduce the existing powder charge to 3/4 (reduction 25 %). Cut away the damaged bullet heel. Spread some two-component epoxy cement/glue on the bullet's plain base. Center the bullet on a case mouth, while keeping the case mouth upwards. When the cement/glue is hardened, these cartridges are possible to load (manually!) into the.22 LR rifle chamber.

(Feed by a clip or magazine may be impossible, because of the frail fixation of a bullet). These instructions were sent to Emil by E-mail: They were not published by GOW/Universal until now.

I don't know, whether Mexican.22 LR HP PMC "Moderator" cartridges are/ shall become available in Poland. But, according to tests carried out by our test-shooter Markus, they're TRULY subsonic factory-loads in any & all firearms chambered for.22 LR ammo. PMC "Moderator" cartridges are designed in collaboration with ballisticians of Remington, to develope no more than 310 meters per second muzzle velocity from the "worst possible" firearms: Those with a tight chamber, barrel length ca. 16 inches and a bore lapped to offer least possible bullet friction. PMC "M".22 LR HP cartridge is, as far as I know, the only subsonic.22 LR factory-load available today in the World - with a reasonable bullet weight: 38 grains.

2: Your planned suppressor seems to be possible to build. Baffles may be of plastic (Nylon is preferable) or aluminium with a thickness 5 millimeters. Spaces between the baffles may also be five millimeters wide. If you can make the accurate mounting of suppressor, the bullet passage holes may be 7.5 mm in diameter, or as small as 7.0 millimeters. You have presumably found drawing of Russian (?) Humbert's Chamber Suppressor from GOW? Follow instructions of it, and you'll get an efficient... not only a suppressor but... a true SILENCER for subsonic.22 LR cartridges.

Spacers between the baffles may be cut from an aluminium sheet with thickness 1.0 millimeter, width 5 mm and length 100 mm. Bend the aluminium tape to @ shape. You may also cut the spacers from an aluminium tubing with a wall thickness ca. one millimeter.

3. I don't know. You must ask the address of Broemel Engineering Office from our test-shooter Markus. His E-mail address is < >. I presume, he shall give address of Broemel to you directly by E-mail. I know just the address of Finnish importer of these programs but we shall presumably publish E-mail address of Broemel also by GOW/Universal before the end of up-to-datings or ultimate suspension of this website.

Notice: Finnish Police Ministry is trying to suppress GOW websites (Finnish and Universal GOW) entirely, by menaces and accusations via TV.

2408 MM; PT

Argentine B-M parts

Hi. Just came across your site as a referal to lightening Nagants double action. Think I'll just shoot mine single action. You have a nice site though. I live in the States and I can't find a source for Ballester-Molina parts anywhere. I found everything I need except for the sear spring, hammer pin, safety, extractor and ejector. Would you have any ideas? I know this probably is not in your area but I need help.

Thanks. Jim

answer.GIF (573 bytes)   "Thou sayest it!" The "commercial questions" are definitely not in my area. Nobody on the Globe is presumably less interested in the "guns, ammo & parts business" than I am. (Therefore I am a penniless ragamuffin). Do you know a periodical: "SHOTGUN NEWS"? From it's ads you may find, with a good luck, somebody having spare parts of B-M pistol. In Finland there are not many Ballester-Molina pistols and definitely not spare parts for them available. Finland is a small country between Sweden and Russia - very far from Argentine.

2008 MM; PT

Voere-Kufstein .22 cal semi-auto rifle magazines

Pete, I am trying to locate a rifle magazine for the above gun I purchased 20 years ago from Sear & Roebuck. I have lost the only one I had. Unfortunately, Gun Parts no longer carry them. Any help you can render will be deeply appreciated.

Desperate Eric

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  I am very sorry, but I am unable to help you. I have no connections with "firearms business" in Finland or abroad. Trade-mark "Voere-Kufstein" is unknown in Finland. I have tested an Austrian Voere Model 2115 selfloader rifle, which was VERY accurate, and I've also shot several hundred rounds of cartridges from Voere American-180 (.22 LR light machine gun shooting burst-fire, of course). There were, however, also Voere selfloader rifles Model 2005, made in West-Germany and imported to USA by KDF, Inc. 2485 Hwy 46., Seguin TX 28105. (Letter "K" may denote "Kufstein"; US importer "KDF" ?!!)

I really don't know, whether or not the magazines of Austrian and West-German Voere selfloaders (both of them civilian models with Monte Carlo butts) are interchangeable. Please, ask from a Finnish firm PJ-WAFFEN-GUNS OY, whether they can help you. E-mail address is <>

As a scientist and historician, I haven't too much knowledge about commercial "gun business", even in Finland. I don't know, example given, who is Finnish importer of Austrian Voere rifles today. In early 1980s it was ELORANTA OY. May still be ? You can check it from home-site address <> . I can not, because I have no direct connection to Web, or even the skill for "surfing" on it. (I'm using my ancient computer just as a typewriter).

Usually I'll delete questions "From where I can get.?" without paying any attention to them: GOW/Universal is, in general, found to be a non-profitable transaction. We are considering (once again) to discontinue up-to-datings of it, since just GOW/Finnish is keeping us alive. There are just two "Privileged Visitors" abroad; one living in California and another in New Zealand. Finnish Police Ministry is also trying to suppress GOW sites; both of them, but especially GOW/Finnish.

2408 MM; PT (also desperate).

Disassembly of .22 rimfire cartridges



answer.GIF (573 bytes)  I have still ten fingers left in my hands and two eyes in my face, although I have disassembled several hundred rounds of .22 rimfire cartridges during the past 40+ years, most of them without tools at all. Use of a kinetic (inertia) bullet puller, also known as a "cartridge disassembly hammer", may be risky, but any slow motion of bullet is completely safe. Powder of cartridges does not explode and the priming compound is far from the bullet, on the bottom of case and especially inside rim of the case.

You may pull out the bullet without tools by bending the bullet sideways just like a dentist removes a deciduous tooth. If you are more than ten years old, you may do it usually by fingers. If the bullet is of hardened lead and it is crimped firmly, you must use some kind of tongs or pliers to hold the bullet. Mouth of the case and especially heel of the bullet (= base, pried away from the cartridge case mouth) are distorted after removal of the bullet. Do not try to re-assemble and shoot disassembled cartridges. EXPERIENCED handloaders may use salvaged (primed) cases for loading of TRULY subsonic cartridges, but the bullets must be new and intact.

Throw away the powder and de-activate primer by shooting it in the chamber of a .22 rimfire gun, or by dropping some oil into the case. After handling of lead bullets: Wash your hands carefully before eating, drinking, chewing, smoking or jerking. Lead is a poisonous metal.

0808 MM; PT

qam2semi.jpg (11882 bytes)How to hide firearms?

I live in California and I feel the sudden need to put a few of my firearms into long term under ground storage. Do you have any suggestions? Keep up the good work.


An example of my storage needs: It's a semi-auto M2.

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Melt good storage grease (Vaseline or Cosmoline) in a long sheet metal box, similar to that used for lye & nitrate blueing. Submerge the gun into storage grease so long time that it is as hot as the grease (slighty less temperature than is boiling point of water = 100 degrees centigrade/ Celsius).

Dribble away the excessive "dripping". Let the hardware to cool. Wrap the weapons into plastic wrapper (thin film) and bury them into the ground. Well-cooked and plastic wrapped hardware may be buried to be conserved several decades without deterioration. In Finland were firearms buried in 1944. They were greased and wrapped into tar paper. Many hide-away firearms were found 50 + years later in a good shootable condition.

The most famous hide-away gun was a Russian DP-27 light machine gun: A warfare instrument of Finnish ex-president Mauno H. Koivisto, who was in 1944 young LM gunner in the company of famous Lauri A. Törni; known later in USA as Larry A. Thorne. There was not yet plastic wrapper available in 1944 but many firearms were hidden and later found in "near mint" condition.

Still one useful trick: Sow several pounds of scrap steel (old nails, bolts, nuts and stamping waste) around the "graves" of your hardware. If somebody is trying to find it with a metal detector, the findings are just those rusty nails, nuts, sheet steel waste - and a deep frustration.

0408 MM; PT

How to reduce Officer Nagant's trigger pull?

Hello PT, Hope this finds you well. I have a question I was hoping you could help with. I have aquired a Soviet Nagant revolver which I enjoy very much. But, as you probably know, it has a very hard trigger pull in double action. Do you know of any way to lighten or smoothen the trigger pull on one of these? Also, do you know anything of the silenced version used by the Soviets in WW 2?

Thanks; Dave (Privileged GOW Visitor)

naganlau.jpg (11885 bytes)
answer.GIF (573 bytes)  A very slight stoning of friction surfaces of hammer's catch and trigger is allowed, but don't overdo it! A fine Arkansas oil-stone (used for sharpening of straight razors and Record hypodermic needles in past decades) is good for this purpose. Usual Russian trick was also to place a steel cylinder, with diameter ca. 8 millimeters, between lower limb of a mainspring (trigger spring) and frontmost steel frame of revolver grip. You may find easily a correct place, where this little cylinder must be installed.

Photo: A small nut is in this case used instead of a cylinder described in text.

Length of this cylinder must be about same than is the width of trigger spring. You may also grind the trigger spring (lower limb of a mainspring) carefully somewhat thinner ahead of the implanted "spring tension relieving cylinder", but again: Do not overdo any irreversible actions. Nagant's trigger mechanism needs rather high spring power, because the same trigger spring is also a release spring of the wedge, pushing the cartridge cylinder forwards, when cocking of the hammer is almost carried out. If the trigger spring power is insufficient, the wedge stays in it's upmost position and it is impossible to rotate the cartridge (magazine) cylinder. It may happend when the mouth of a cartridge case is jammed into rear end of barrel.

Trimming of Nagant's trigger mechanism is more easy to carry out than explain verbally (even in Finnish language). It is, however, impossible to reduce trigger pull weight of Nagant to the level of - say - pull of Enfield Albion, because the same trigger spring is needed also for return movement of the cylinder wedge. Single action shooting is therefore advisable.
silnagan.jpg (5807 bytes)
Photo: One of post-war silenced Nagants with a Minireflex Moderator.

There is not too much information about a silenced Nagant revolver available, but they were really existing! No drawings (one from a German booklet, another in Russian source) exposes the bayonet mount construction of silencer. Jacket's outer diameter was somewhat bigger than o.d. of revolver cylinder. There were nine straight rubber "wipes" or baffles inside the jacket. Silencing effect of them degraded presumably after just a few shots due to the bullet shape of Nagant revolver cartridge: The very first flat-nosed bullet could drill a permanent hole through all the wipes.

Thickness of them was ca. 8 millimeters. They had a cross-like slices on their center. Because of thickness of the silencer jacket and concentric mounting of it, the silencer covered iron sights of Nagant entirely. Use of silenced Nagant was therefore a short-range job: Maximum effective range was about four arshins (2.85 meters) when the silenced Nagant was used by an average Red Partizan who was never practised "instinctive shooting" without use of sights at all.

It seems to be impossible to get reliable information about Nagant revolver silencer (photographs or detailed drawings, dimensions and weight). It was presumably never mass-produced because of it's impractical construction and large size.

0208 MM; PT

Ammo for Swedish/Norwegian Remington

Hello Pete, I have just found your firearms Q & A pages on the net and I must say that your anwers are very impressive - technically and otherwise.

I would like to ask you a question. Like you, I have an old "sporterized" Swedish Remington Rolling Block 12.17 x 44R C.F. rifle; mine was made by Husqvarna in 1870. It is in sound condition and rifling is deep and shiny. My intention is to reactivate it as a shooter, for target practice (and occasional deer hunting), with black powder loads and cast lead bullets.

I wonder if you could give me the proper dimensions of the case, especially the correct NECK diameter (I have some Australian Bertram "basic" cases with correct head diameter which I will shorten to 44.35 mm as suggested by an old DWM catalog, but the cartridge seems to have some taper).

There is also another problem: My rifle's bore diameter is 12.24 mm while groove diameter is as deep as 13.18 mm, but the correct bullet diameter is given as 12.75 mm by DWM. If I use this diameter, I am afraid my gun will not shoot accurately because of the deep grooves, and a larger bullet will produce a cartridge too wide at the neck and would probably not chamber. Should I try a .500 caliber (12.7 mm) Minie-type bullet mold, with hollow base? "As cast" it will probably be around 12.80 mm.

Being a Scandinavian, you probably know some local tricks how to put together good 12.17 x 44R loads and make these old guns (I happen to like them) shoot accurately.

Thank you! Sincerely, Jani H. (Slovenia)

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  My Remington Rolling Block rifle is made by Carl Gustafs Stads Gevaersfaktori; Eskilstuna, Sweden in 1875, for Swedish centerfire cartridges. It's bore diameter is 12.15 mm and groove diameter 12.70 mm. I presume, one spherical .50" lead bullet, propelled with 2 grams of blackpowder, I've shot, was a very first and only projectile ever shot through a bore since the rifle left factory. Your Husqvarna may be "Norwegian model", made for shooting with 12.17 x 44 mm Rimfire cartridges. It was easy to adopt later a new locking block, with a firing pin for centerfire ammo. Many rifles were sporterized for hunting and equipped with a new breechblock for reloadable c.f. cartridges in Scandinavia. Most popular hunting bullets might be lead sphericals, diameter ca. 13.3 millimeters.

Those Husqvarna Remingtons made for Norway (3000 rifles during years 1869 - 70) had excessively deep grooves, because Norwegian rimfire cartridges had a Minié-type bullet with a deep base cavity. Cast bullet was of almost pure (soft) lead. It expanded easily to fill the deep rifling. Norwegians adopted swaged bullets as late as in 1874. Rimfire cases were of copper. So it was necessary to keep the chamber pressure as low as possible.

Swedish & Norwegian 12.17 mm Remington cases are not bottle-necked but almost straight-sided. Dimensions of centerfire cases are as follows: Case length 43.90 mm. Thickness of rim 2.0 mm. Rim diameter 15.85 mm. Case diameter ahead of rim 13.87 mm. Case mouth (outside) diameter 13.82 mm. (Just 0.05 mm of straight taper along the length 41.90 mm).

Your idea to shoot .50 caliber Minié bullets is correct, since your rifle is actually designed to shoot them! I don't know a true diameter of your .50 cal. Minié bullets, but they are soft and easy to size down or expand. It is also possible to wrap a paper jacket around the bullet, if it seems to be too thin to the case mouth. A correct ratio between bullet weight and powder charge weight is 6 to 1 (= 24 grams lead : 4 grams black powder, for example). When your cases are sized to fit the chamber of your rifle, you should never resize them:

You may prevent expansion of the cases by coating them with tallow, but you must wash away the tallow after day's shooting with hot soap-suds. (Tallow is harmless to case brass, but it may stain the cases green). This was a special trick of Finnish target shooters still in 1930s. The proper (and traditional) bullet lubricant is a mixture of tallow (3 parts by weight) and yellow beeswax (2 p.b.w.). Mutton (sheep's) tallow is preferable, because it is sticky. For use in cold winter climate it was recommended to add some Vaseline or cylinder oil (of steam engines/locomotives) into the lubricant mixture.

Have a nice shooting with your charcoal burner! 3007 MM: PT

Spare parts for old rifles

Dear Sir: I have been following the legal changes due to the European Community and I am starting to think that, in a not distant future, the various "national" governments will conduct a general ban on all firarms and even airguns (!).

I am a registred firearms owner, with a clean record (and a "steady" job) and I intend to keep it so, but also intend to keep some of my rifles. I have several that are deactivated (the barrel is plugged and cut) and not registred.

These weapons are surplus bolt action rifles, with sound receivers. I have been trying to purchase barrel blanks from European manufaturers but no one is willing to sell them (and I must get them in any E.C. country). Do you know who is willing to sell me (a private citizen) such material?

Thank you very much for your time and attention; Luso

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Sorry; I don't know.  0208 MM; PT

All stuff in English too!

Sir: I was just looking at the Suomiese language Q & A & noticed that they were different than the English language ones. I tried an online translator but got a garbled mess. Any chance we can get an English language translation of all that other stuff? (It looks interesting too!)

Your friend in the USA - Rusty

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  That Suomiese, I'm writing, is impossible to translate "mechanically". More than 1/3 from my vocabulary is entirely unknown in Finnish-English dictionaries and online translators. Even the Finnish laymen have met difficulties to understand my language, full of archaic words and sayings, extempore coined new words, scientific terminology and sayings with hidden sense ("arcanes"). Just the "hard core gun-nuts" are able to comprehend my slang. From the dialects is easy to find new technical terms, and also from foreign languages (Latin; Esthonian & al.). My day isn't done, if I've not found at least one new word or term.

No chance; I am very sorry! GOW is edited/ published by collaboration of just handful of peoples. We simply have no time and resources to translate Finnish Q & A and articles also for GOW/Universal site.

1007 MM; PT

Valmet magazines

I am looking for magazines for my Valmet Model 76-S, caliber .308. Where can I find them? Other than the one my rifle came with they appear nonexistent in the U.S.

Thank you, Jim, USA

answer.GIF (573 bytes)   Remaining stock of Valmet spare parts is in possession of Finnish Sako Oy. You may ask them by Sako site. US importer of Sako products is a firm Stoeger; publisher of annual book "Shooter's Bible".

0907 MM; Pete

Re: 7 x 57 subsonic loads & .22 LR Supu ammo:

Larry: First of all, I weighed a fired case, with purified water filled flush with the top of the case. I'm not familiar with the term "Sweet Water". The weight of the water was 59.0 grains on my reloading scale. The barrel length is 24 inches, I'm not sure on the rate of twist. The rifle is a Parker-Hale model 81 Classic.

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  PT's comment: "Sweet Water" (a term derived from sailor slang) is as pure H2O as available from a tap; in a contrast to sea-water - or the "suds" used for volume measuring of the cases with a syringe or pipette. "Suds" contains dish-washing detergent, some drops in a cup of water. Detergent shall lessen the surface tension of water. So the suds renders filling of the case flush with top of the case, especially when a volume of some very small cases like .22 Short or BB Cap must become determined. If you'll weigh grains weight of a case, is use of sweet water recommended. Suds shall give most accurete readings when the case capacity is measured by volume.

59.0 grains of purified water seems to be correct reading for "Sweet Seven's" case. I don't know rifling twist of Parker-Hale Classic's bore, but it is presumably steep enough to keep your Hornady Spire Points in flight without tumbling. I think, you'll get the "PPI" success when these inputs are fed into a computer with "QuickLOAD" ballistic program. There is also data for slightly shorter bullet N:r 2820 included.

"Starting Load" data, for 7 x 57 mm rifle with 24" barrel. Case capacity: 59.0 grains of sweet water:

Outputs for Hornady 7 mm 154 grs Spire Point N:r 2830 and Alliant/ Hercules RED DOT powder were as follows: Muzzle velocity, calculated; 296 meters per second. Powder charge: 0.50 gram/ 7.7 grains. Chamber pressure, calculated: 1310 atmospheres. (Completely safe pressure level: Not too low! Less than 800 atm chamber pressure may cause bore-lodged bullets and a Secondary Explosion Effect if everything goes wrong ).

For 139 grs Hornady 7 mm Spire Point N:r 2820 calculated Broemel QuickLOAD program handloading instructions as follows: Powder charge 0.49 gram of RED DOT powder/ 7.6 grains. Muzzle velocity: 300 mps. Chamber pressure, calculated: 1211 atmospheres. (Also safe pressure level). Computer calculations are carried out by Markus; Technical Editor/ Test Shooter of GOW.

If you can get your loads chronographed, you may adjust bullet velocities so that Average velocity is 300 mps, Maximum velocity is 305 mps (1000 fps) and Minimum V = 290 mps. You can use the same powder charge for both of these bullets and adjust the powder measure or dipper to volume 1.1 cubic centimeter. My estimation (½ gram/ 7.7 grains of Red Dot) was correct - as they are usually - within milligrams or 1/10 grains. (PT).

Re: Remington CB Longs:

Larry wrote: I have used tried them. I really like the pellet gun noise level of these cartridges. They are much quieter than the Remington Subsonics. However, accuracy is around 3/4 inch groups at 25 feet. As I found it similar in 2 different guns, I assume that this is typical. For hunting, this is not acceptable.

On switching to the Remington Subsonics, my group shrank noticeably. With accuracy like that, CB Longs are more novelty than useful. For one of my shots, the gun shot quietly, followed by a louder bang and flash as the bullet cleared the end of the barrel. I don't know what that was. Was my barrel too dirty for the bullet? What has been your experience with these cartridges? Does lubing the bullet and scrubbing the barrel before shooting help their accuracy?

PT's comments: You have presumably shot a double-charged cartridge. (= Doubled powder charge or priming pellet. Not a very common occurrence - but not unknown or impossible condition). Unfortunately, there are not truly subsonic .22 LR cartridges available today. Each & every bore shall generate exclusive bullet velocity, which also depends on the bore temperature. .22 rimfire shells are designed for blackpowder charges. A .22 Short case is too short and .22 Long/LR is too long.

Since 1992 I have nagged that users of .22 LR firearms needs factory-loaded cartridges with "Intermediate Sized" cases. Or preferably primed cases with 12.5 mm, ½ inch or 13 mm length as the bulk components, along with heeled copper-washed or cadmium-plated bullets, weighing 45 or 50 grains (solid) or 40 grains (hollow points), for HANDloading. TRULY subsonic cartridges with a good accuracy cannot never be - frankly speaking - factory-loads, but exclusively designed handloads. Just like centerfire subsonic rifle cartridges. (You may easily quess, why I have not many friends in the cartridge industry: Too much knowledge re Interior & Exterior Ballistics - and no "inhibitions" to prevent distribution of this information to anybody).

Remington CBs gave acceptable accuracy within 10 to 25 meters from TOZ 17-01 rifle because of it's unique chamber dimensions: When the .22 Long or LR cartridge is chambered, the closing movement of a bolt action breech-bolt push the bullet into the rifling. There is no more than ca. one millimeter long "leade" or "throat" between a case mouth and rifling. Closing of a bolt (not the sudden thrust of powder gasses) shall concentrate the bullet into a bore of TOZ rifles. Rifling diameters of TOZ bore are usual, 5.50 mm bore dia. and 5.70 mm groove diameter. There are four grooves in the bore, with dimensions of them also unique: Width of the rifling "lands" is about twice, when compared to width of the grooves.

I have possessed four TOZ rifles and tested many more of them, but I've never met inaccurate one. Just original Austrian Voere .22 LR rifles or some expensive competition rifles (and very old rifles made in Central Europe, before arrival of those f..king, lousy C.I.P. standards in 1914 - with ca. 5.3 mm bore diameter or hexagonal rifling) may be somewhat more accurate. Rifling must "lap" the bullet tightly. Some "Micro Grooves" may be O.K. if the bore diameter is 5.2 to 5.3 millimeters and the rifling starts when the chamber ends (no more than .60 inch from rear end of the barrel). Width of grooves and lands may be equal but if there are less than eight grooves, the lands must be more wide than grooves. I know, how to make accurate barrel for .22 rimfire rifles! "Dictators" of C.I.P. and S.A.A.M.I. standards seems to have forgotten too many facts of lead bullet shooting ballistics. (PT).

Larry: I posted a query about the CB Longs at a rimfire forum, ( and these are two of the responses,

PT: Will you, please, post my comments to that forum?!

Remington CB Long accuracy?

Response: Tried it with a Hopkins and Allen falling block that was being rebarreled. Used the old tube, shortened and rechambered...first to .22 short then to .22 long (then on to LR before rebarreling to .22 short). Helps some, but not a great big deal...if the chmber is TIGHT enough (in diameter as a good match chamber will be) the difference in chamber length isn't nearly that great...a little "freebore" does make accuracy less, but not drastically if the "freebore" is tight enough to prevent bullet "wander". Understand, i'm talking about the difference in CB accuracy as a CB shoots very well as they have too much vel. variation (too little powder in too large a case without a filler AND variations in crimp that would never pass in your own handloads). Usually end up with a strung group with lots of vertical and little horizontal.

PT's comment: It is really difficult to get accuracy from existing Long/LR case length and the powder must be VERY fast-burning: "Next from TNT!" Swedish Norma R1, Russian SOKOL Porokha or Finnish VihtaVuori N310 may be good for subsonic CBs. Recommended case length is 12.5 mm or ½ inches. I'm sad and sorry: No manufacturer yields "intermediate length .22 rimfire shells. All of them are stuck to blackpowder era or trying to develope some noisy "mini-magnum" loads like CCI Stinger or WW Expediter. Jesh: Always expensive factory-loads! Never primed cases and heel-based bullets for handloaders, although the grim fact is that every rifle or handgun is individual, needing an exclusive combination of components for each use. (PT).

Remington CB Long accuracy?

Response Nr 2: Ditto the vertical stringing problem. When shooting at plywood for instance, i can definitely tell the difference in velocity just by the sound of the bullets hitting the target. I have an old Savage 63 K single shot that shoots CB Shorts accurately but haven't found another gun that shoots them worth a hoot. But in all honesty - I haven't tried the "longs".

What do you think of the stringing and velocity variation mentioned? Is lubing the bullet before firing and perhaps cleaning and lubing the bore the solution to this problem?

PT's comments: I presume that a chamber pressure of CB Long is too low to give consistent velocities for copper-plated bullets. Copper has not inherent "bearing quality" at all like many lead alloys or copper alloys (like original Lubaloy or Nobeloy: 95 % copper + 3 % zinc + 2 % tin). Lubrication of bullets, or actually lubing of the bore, is always beneficial. Hardness of bullet's lead alloy may vary, as well as "ignition rate" of tiny powder charge in a large cartridge case. Jess; .22 Long case is LARGE, when compared with small (if any) powder charge, because it was designed for loading with black gunpowder.

That term "ignition rate" may be hard to understand? You may shoot ten or twenty shots with alternate powder position (one shot with powder charge in the rear end of a case, just ahead of primer, and next one with a charge just behind the bullet). A chronograph shows usually not exceptional velocity spread but you may find two separate groups from your target, one above another. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was usual trick to "set" the powder charge by lifting the muzzle upwards and then taking a steady aim towards the target. Cases of contemporary "Schuetzen rifles" ("tarkkuus-tussarit" in Finnish) were loaded with reduced charges - usually filling mere 2/3 of the available powder space.

Cases or shells were heavily coated with neat's or mutton tallow, and washed in hot soap suds after day's shooting session. It was unnecessary to resize the cases, because the tallow prevented any expansion of them, and they were "everlasting" until abrasive residue of primers made the primer pocket too large to keep the primers, or careless use of de-priming chisel deteriorated the anvil of a case. (Majority of cases had pockets for Berdan primers). This old "Muzzle Up & Steady Aim" routine may improve accuracy of .22 CB Longs, and so'll do also lubrication of cartridges - not only the bullets but cases too! A lube like neat's fat or tallow shall concentrate the cartridge into a chamber.

These old tricks are, of course, just makeshifts! A decisive solution is a .22 rimfire cartridge, designed for loading with smokeless powder to the moderate (read : TRULY subsonic) velocity level, no more than 305 meters or 1000 feet per second from any imaginable bore, in any imaginable weather condition. Ideal case length is ca. ½ inch or 12.5 millimeters when crimped around heel of the bullet, weighing 40 to 50 grains. Fourty-grainer may be hollow-pointed with a nose cavity at least 8 millimeters deep and wide enough to hold a sufficient payload of some detonating or venous substance like dishwashing machine detergent. (It contains 80 + % sodium-hydroxide in Finland: Inexpensive stuff - and available from each & every household goods shop/store).

There are bullet moulds available for suitable 45 grains flatpoint cast bullets with a rebated base for a gas check, which may act as a heel for crimping of case mouth. Most promising "cast-it-yourself" bullet seems to be Lyman N:r 225 415, looking like a projectile of .22 Winchester Rimfire cartridge; 110 years old design and a reliable getter of small-game animals to 75 yards or meters. Suitable powders for handloading of .22 x .50" rimfire cases are plentily available. We need nothing but primed cases and (preferably inexpensive) crimping tools for production of cartridges which shall generate no more "crackling surprises" in some firearms in some weather conditions.

Factory-made bullets are, of course, desirable. But they must become sold as HANDloading components; no more as the "warheads" of factory-loaded cartridges only. But who is able to distribute handloading data for rimfire cartridges with odd case length? An answer: Modern ballistic programs for modern computers, like German Broemel QuickLOAD! Just feed the information about barrel length, case volume, desired muzzle velocity, bullet weight and type, and the kind of powder into your computer.

It shall soon give to you handloading data: Needed powder charge and (usually a very precise) forecast about the chamber pressure. Jess; even for the .22 rimfire handloads in .22 LR rifles with "highly illegal" barrel length and powders like VihtaVuori N310, claimed to be "too fast for safe handloading of rifle cartridges" - but actually good for subsonic loads from .22 Short to 20 x 138 mm Solothurn Long anti-tank rifle ammo, and 12.7 x 99 mm/.50 Browning Machine Gun cartridges, of course.

Finnish N310, or until 1st September 1973 "PaPP powder N14", was actually designed for use in rifles as a blank cartridge powder and since early 1936 as a propellant for low-pressure cartridges of 7.62 x 54 mm Mosin-Nagant rifles. Much later it became known as "a handgun & shotgun powder".

2706 MM; PT.
Revised edition 0607 MM; PT

Supu Loads for "Sweet Seven"

I've just discovered your site and am starting to explore it. I'm from Canada, where subsonic .22 cartridges are readily available, but I only discovered them last year. So far, the Remington .22 subsonics have proven to be accurate enough for my purposes and I use them quite a lot. I plan to clean out the metal fouling tomorrow and try applying some bullet lube on the .22 subsonics and checking their accuracy.

I'm interested in trying subsonic loads in a 7 x 57 mm. Do you have any data on that? I have 2400, 4227 powders and can easily obtain some Red Dot. I plan on using 154 gr Hornady spire points, I don't have casting equipment or a source for cast bullets, so I'd use the jacketed ammo, but as you noted on your site, would apply a bullet lube to the bullet before firing. Do you have any comments or suggestions?

Thanks for hosting such a comprehensive site. Is there a search feature on it? Bye for now;


answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Comments & suggestions: I know also one kind of TRULY subsonic Remington .22 rimfire ammo for firearms with .22 LR chambering. It is (or was?) known as .22 CB Long, loaded into LR case with copper-plated Short's solid lead bullet to the ballistics of .22 CB Cap.

These cartridges were "silent without silencer" with their muzzle velocity ca. 220 meters per second. I shot them once upon a time from a target revolver with 6 inch barrel length. The wheel-gun sounded no more louder than a compressed-air pistol, despite of it's rather wide gap between cylinder face and barrel. When shot from a Russian TOZ 17-01 rifle, with a barrel shortened to 10" length and equipped with a PARKER-HALE MM1 "Sound Moderator", a dominant shooting signature was the snap of rifle striker. Actually, "dry-firing" on empty chamber was somewhat more noisy than shooting with CB Long cartridges.

I don't know, whether Remington CB Longs are still in production. In Finland they are no more available. They are expensive ammo here because of high exchange rate of US dollar. Advantages of "silent without silencer loads" were also unknown in Finland. I presume, it was banned to publish information about them by any printed media, or Finnish gunwriters are "in corpore" interested just in the roaring & kicking loads. With one exception: Writers and test-shooters of G.O.W. site.

Both of our active test-shooters, KJA and Markus, have a German ballistic program QuickLOAD/QuickTARGET by H.Broemel in their use. It is able to calculate/estimate very precisely a correct powder charge for subsonic loads, but there is some additional information needed: Barrel length of your 7 x 57 mm rifle and volume of the cartridge cases you use for loads. Fill the empty shell with sweet water and weigh the water with a powder scale. You may also use Hodgdon BALL-C (2) powder for measurement of the case capacity. It's weight per volume ratio is one gram or 15.4 grains per one cubic centimeter. Id est: The case holds equal charges of water or BALL-C (2).

.308 Winchester cases used by Markus hold 56.0 grains of water or BALL-C powder, or their volume/capacity is 3.636 cubic centimeter. I am a diabetic, and so possessing small insulin syringes with a 1/100 CC scale.    With a syringe I am able to measure the case capacity directly in cubic centimeters with water. Case must be primed.     (It may be discharged in your rifle). Case must be filled up to the mouth "until overflowing" with water. You may weigh the empty shell first and then the same shell filled with water. The difference is weight of water. For measurement of H2O weight are units grains. For direct measurement of case capacity are units cubic centimeters for "input" to QuickLOAD Ballistic Program.

Bullet HORNADY 154 grain Spire Point N:r 2830 seems to be correct for subsonic or "supu" loads of 7 mm Mauser rifle and other rifles with 1 - 9½" or steeper rifling twist. You may also cut off the lead tip of the bullet. Powders 4227 or 2400 may be too slowly burning for subsonic loads, being rifle powders. RED DOT is highly recommended, being easily igniting!

I presume, our test-shooter/junior editor Markus may give to you very exact loading data with muzzle velocity 300 meters per second when he'll get information about barrel length and case volume/capacity. My rough estimation is 0.50 gram/ 7.7 grains of powder Alliant's RED DOT but you may start from one cubic centimeter (nominally 7.1 grains) dose, using a 9 mm Luger empty case as a powder measure/dipper. If the bullet's flight is "cracky", you must reduce the charge somewhat - but, please, give to us the information needed before you'll use charges less than seven grains!

RED DOT powder is unavailable in Finland. We have no experience about it's usage as a "supu powder", but just a knowledge that it is a good propellant for this very purpose. QuickLOAD ballistic program is able to give information precise enough for correct powder dosage to get "Per Primam Intentionem" success, but it needs precise inputs too. Program know characteristics of the RED DOT powder .

Dip-lubrication of jacketed bullets is always beneficial if the bullets are not Moly-coated. Before shooting of "supu loads" it is also beneficial to lubricate the rifle bore lightly. Cool & "dry" bore shall many times generate much lower bullet velocities for first "supu shots" than a lubricated and warmed-up bore. Lubrication of bullets is actually lubing of the bore; an easy way to keep the "bore condition" uniform.

The word "supu" means: "subsonic". It derives from Esthonian word: "suputin" (= firearms suppressor/silencer; pronounced in English as: "soopooteen" with short vowels).

1306 MM; Pete

Shotgun gauges & other numbers

Can you send me to a link to learn how to read shotgun shells. I do not understand all those numbers, gauges etc. I want to know what shell to buy for an older 12 gauge single shot shotgun I have. What do the numbers mean, etc ?

Thanks: Tom

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Gauge of shotgun and musket bore means number or spherical bullets, snugly fitting to musket/ shotgun/ old rifle/ old handgun bore with total weight one pound (Lb) of pure lead. For 12-gauge gun is diameter of fitting lead ball 18.52 millimetrers or caliber is about .73 and from one Imperial (English) pound of lead it is possible to cast twelve bullets. From one Imperial Libra (pound; 453.6 grams) of lead it is possible to cast 16 bullets, weighing one Avoirdupois ounce each = 1/ 16 pound = 28.35 grams. Diameter is 16.81 mm or caliber .662". Gauge of a cylinder-bored shotgun with a bore diameter 16.8 mm is so 16.

Once upon a time there were also rifled revolvers made in England - like Adams "Double Action Only" wheelguns - bored to gauge dimensions. A popular manstopper was 38-gauge Adams, shooting bullets with .50" diameter. British big-game hunting rifles with gauge dimensions were made still in early years of 20th Century. Those with gauge 4 were usually single-barreled "elephant guns", caliber 26.72 mm or 1.052". Most popular gauge-sized big-game rifles or guns (many of them were smooth-bored) were 8-gauge side-by-sides. Caliber is 21.21 mm or .835". Most usual size of signal pistol cartridges is still 4-gauge, caliber usually "rounded downwards" to 26 mm.

The gauge system was not a British invention but discovery of a mathematician Georg Hartmann, living in Nurenberg; Germany. He calculated an "Artillery Yardstick" with lines for iron, stone and lead balls based on pound weights of them. If the weight of bullet was less than one Nurenbergian pound (509,9 grams), the weights were given in fractions of a pound: 1/2, 1/3, 1/ cetera. Line for stone balls ended to one pound. Graduation for iron balls ended to 1/24 Lb but lead line continued down to 1/50 pound. "STONE Line..??!" Yess, my young friends.! Hartmann's Yardstick was introduced in 1540... 460 years ago. Stone balls were still shot from the biggest bombards.

Linear measures were more variable in those days than weights of pounds, and the Nurenbergian pound was heavier than pounds of other countries (or even cities) in early 1500s. An artillery piece, bored to shoot balls weighing 24 lbs could accept balls of same material, weighing 24 lbs of other countries or regions. Original gauge dimensions were based on Nurenbergian Quarter (½ Nurenberg's foot = 292.056 mm; so a Quarter equals ca. 146 mm). A lead ball with one quarter diameter weighed 37 lbs, an iron ball weighs 24 lbs and a stone ball 8 Nurenbergian pounds. (Stone was presumably granite).

If the artillery piece was bored to accept an iron ball, weighing 24 lbs, the actual caliber was 146 mm and it was warranted that 24-pounder solid iron balls were fitting into it's bore (with more or less "clearance") despite of the actual weight of a pound in a country, where the balls were made. A 24-pounder iron ball was never too big. So it was possible to export the artillery pieces without a ship-load of included balls. The very first Standardized Caliber System was born as early as in 1540, or 250 + years before birth of the first scientific Metric Units System of Measures and Weights, adopted by entire civilized world, and scientists in the less civilized countries too.! ("Hoi polloi" may use inches and feet, grains and pounds, pints and gallons, if they please. Educated Class of People is able to master Metric Units - those revolutionary children of Great French Revolution - everywhere).

Modern shotgun gauges are based still on Imperial System of English weights. Why ? I presume: Old Casimir LeFaucheux knew the lousy conservatism of British shotgunners, when he designed the first breech-loading pinfire shotguns. British would-be buyers of LeFaucheux shotguns knew 12-bore/gauge or caliber .75 of Brown Bess bore. Some 18 millimeters was confusing, since it was easy to mix to 18-gauge, considered to be too small during the blackpowder era, when there were bitter "which-one-is-better" arguments between protagonists of 10-gauge and 12-gauge shotgunners. Eugene LeFaucheux, who designed pinfire revolvers, was able to adopt Metric caliber system for their bores, since there was no "the gauge heritage" for breechloader revolvers.

Even the Britons were adopting linear measurement units (decimals of an inch or "calibers" instead of ancient gauge units) for revolvers and other military firearms. Eugene LeFaucheux adopted metric calibers from 5 mm to 15 mm LeFaucheux pinfire handguns. Most popular might be 7 mm LFx, but there were also 9 mm, 11 mm and 12 mm pinfire wheelguns. Most rare might be 15 mm pinfire handgun cartridges. 15 mm LeFaucheux revolvers were almost all exported to South-America.? There were also single shot or side-by-side hunting pistols made to shoot metric sized pinfire cartridges; bulleted or loaded with a shot capsule.

Chamber dimension standards for gauge-sized shotguns were developed by Casimir and Eugene LeFaucheux along with technicians Robert and Houllier (designer of metal-cased pinfire handgun cartridges) for Gevelot company in Paris. Gevelot started factory-loading of shotshells in 1852; twenty years after introduction of LeFaucheux pinfire shotguns. Formerly shells were handloaded by the gun-owner to factory-made primed cases (and usually reloaded many times. Repriming tools were essential utensils in the kit of loading tools & dies). Most dexter handloaders bought just the primers, "ignition needles" (= firing pins), primer battery cups and the brass head cups - along with powder and shots.

The paper shell tubes and base wads they rolled from strips of moistened glued paper. The very first LeFaucheux guns needed no actual chamber but just somewhat tapered breech ends of the bores to assist extraction of empty paper shell and the crimped brass head (of very thin brass, a cup without a rim at all. It was not yet needed, since the empty shells were pulled out from chambers by catching the firing pins with some special tool or fingers). Shell tube was very thin-walled; presumably not yet reloadible and it might be self-consuming. It was not uncommon that the shot charge was still wrapped into snapped-off paper tube when it left a muzzle. Lethal range of this "slug" was within several hundreds meters.

Germans made purposely similar "Sauposten canister slugs" with copper or brass sheet container, rolled and soldered with tin alloy to become a shot cup, filled with buckshots and molten wax. Both ends of this shot container were closed by roll crimper. Mouth and bottom were covered with a top wad. Germans shot usually wild boars (= Germ. "Sau") with these loads, to get almost explosive effect at close ranges. "Posten" means buckshots, but sometimes were capsules filled with irregular fragments of lead: "Gehackhtem Blei". Invention of more accurate von Witzleben's shotgun darts ("Boltzen"/bolts/"fléches") and Brenneke rifled slugs made "Saupostens" obsolete in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

Accidental "slugging" of shot charge was, of course, unwanted occurrence while reloadibility of LeFaucheux shells was desirable quality. Presumably designer Houllier standardized the shotgun chambers so that the walls of paper shells were of cardboard; no more just of paper. Houllier designed also the solid base-wad moulded from "fiber" or "papier maché". It was no more just a rolled or "wound" paper cylinder, but a solid wad of contemporary "plastic composite". (Later there were made base-wads of Vulcanite/Ebonite rubber or even of aluminium. LeFaucheux shotshells were produced until 2nd World War. Maybe still later in Italy and France ?!).

Since late 1840s were pinfire shell-heads rimmed like modern centerfire cartridge shells. Rim was not yet needed for extraction, but it prevented shell from sliding too deeply into the chamber by recoil of another cartridge fired, also bending or snapping off the brass firing pin. Vast majority of shotguns were double barrelled, and enhanced power of improved shells increased the recoil accordingly. Chamber of shotgun must be excessively deep, compared with the length of loaded and crimped cartridge. It is essential to know correct case length too; not only the gauge.

It is usually harmless to shoot short cartridges in a long chamber, but it is - unfortunately - possible to load the shotgun, chambered for 12/ 65 mm blackpowder shells, with 12-gauge/ 70 mm shell, charged with smokeless powder and 42 grams "Mini-Magnum" shot loads. This combination may wreck some old scattergun "Per Primam Intentionem" (= by the first attempt) of shooting. Gauge and the chamber length are usually stamped on the left side of barrel or below the barrel. The most usual chamber lengths are 65 mm, 70 mm and 76 mm. Ancient Imperial Inch readings are 2.5" (may be also 2½" or 2 5/8") or actual 2.56". Especially the most hidebound shotgun manufacturers preferred fractions, not decimals, of inch. 70 mm chamber equals 2 3/4".

76 mm cartridges are definitely too strong fodder for old guns: They are full-length 12-gauge Magnum loads; chamber length 3 inches. Old 12 gauge guns may or may not be designed to shoot smokeless cartridges at all. You must know the proof marks. If your gun is chambered for 70 mm = 2 3/4" cartridges, it may be still unsafe to shoot, despite of "nitro proof" stamps, because there are available so-called Mini-Magnum loads with shot charges more than 36 grams. They may wreck nitro-proofed shotguns - and even the most sturdy modern guns chambered for 12-gauge/ 76 mm cartridges; not by explosion but by the mechanical strain of the action - especially when the 12-ga/ 70 mm Magnum loads are shot from topmost barrel of an over-under shotgun.

Use of still more powerful 12/ 76 mm Magnum cartridges is safe in the guns chambered for them. Why ? Because 12-ga/ 3" loads are stoked with proper powder but some 12-ga/ 2 7/8" loads are not ! They may develope their peak chamber pressure during that very moment when a shot charge is just squeezing itself through the forcing cone between chamber and bore. Shot load pulls the barrels away from the action mechanically. Chamber pressure may be, and usually it is, in the safe level. But the acceleration of a shot load is highest: Just in the wrong spot, distance 77 to 80 millimeters from the case head.

Its is not easy to advise cartridge selection for "the older single-barrel 12-gauge shotgun". If the gun is old enough, it may be safe for shooting of blackpowder shells ONLY.! Gun may be "proofed" for smokeless shells, but the old iron may be fatigued. Let a competent gunsmith to look, whether your gun is in safe shootable condition.! If the chamber length is 65 mm, do not shoot shells with 70 mm case length (even those, loaded with blackpowder). If you have 12-ga/ 70 mm chamber, do not shoot 12/ 76 mm Magnum shells - or even those lousy 12/ 70 mm Mini-Magnums.

On the cartridge/shell box are printed gauge (12), length of the shell (example given: 70 mm or 2 3/4") and weight of the shot charge (example given: 32 grams or 1 1/4 oz. Again those lousy fractions; not decimals. One ounce equals 28.35 grams). Gauge and shell length may be printed on each shell and the gauge number may be stamped on the case head. On the box is printed also legend "Smokeless (powder)" or "Black powder" (and on Italian shells: "Polvere nero". In Italy are blackpowder shotshells presumably still available).

Some light loads are preferable, and blackpowder loads are most safe fodder for old unknown guns, but the shell length must be matching with chamber length or slightly shorter, but never excessive. Shells with 65 mm case length are O.K. for 70 mm chambers and 70 mm shells are safe for 76 mm chambers. Smokeless loads are, of course, unsafe to shoot from old "blackpowder only" guns, having no proof stamps. I don't know manufacturer and model of your gun. So I am unable to give more detailed information or advices. This was just general education to young or unexperienced shotgunners.

1505 MM; Pete

Suppressor: Easy. Mount: Difficult

Suppressor for pistol Taurus .380 ACP. Where I will find an address in the net so that i can obtain technical information including measures for each part of it ?


Answer: Sorry, I have not easily available direct contact to net or Web. Design of suppressor itself may be very simple but mounting of it on the muzzle is, sometimes, almost impossible mission. .380 Auto is a very good cartridge for suppressed handguns but muzzle construction may prevent mounting of the "suputin". NET or WEB is not yet the only source of information. Do you remember one funny ancient invention: A book ?! There are many books published, full of information about technology and history of suppressor designs. Some of them are old and "out of print". Some other books are new and still available, like "Silencer History and Performance, Volume One" by Alan C. Paulson, published in 1996 by Paladin Press, USA, code: ISBN 0-87364-909-5.

Read - and learn ! Also learn that it is ESSENTIAL to let the authority know exact model of a handgun (or any gun) needing some device on it's muzzle. There are Forjas Taurus pistols and Taurus of America pistols made. Muzzle dimensions of them may be different even when the caliber is same. We may tell to you, whether mounting of suppressor is possible or impossible without lengthening of barrel or other (more or less expensive) gunsmithing. There are just few small-sized handguns designed for easy mounting of additional devices even with frictional mount, needing ca. 20 mm of cylindrical muzzle extending from the slide.

1605 MM; Pete

20 mm Discussion Board

Hi Pete! We have a 20mm discussion board up and running finally. the address is:

I already posted your story about the L39 there.


Finnish military 9 mm ammo

Hello again Pete, and thank you for your help so far.! I was wondering how powerful the old "SA" Parabellum ammo was, and the weight of the bullet?

Greetings; Bo, Norway.

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  There were two main categories of 9 x 19 mm Para cartridges and two manufacturers of them: VPT (State's Cartridge Manufactures; there were at least two loading plants using headstamp: "VPT", one in Lapua, another in Kanavuori, but the cartridge loading activity was de-centralized during our Third Independence War 1941 - 44 very efficiently even to the private homes), and SAKO. Headstamps: "S" or "SO", not "SA".! Sako Oy, a firearms and ammo manufacture of Finnish Civil Guards, Suojeluskunnat, had also two plants, one in Riihimäki, another in Kalkku, close to the city Tampere. Kalkku plant was entirely underground, accommodated into a large cave quarried on the rocky wall. Nowadays it is occupied by Finnish Red Cross as a large store-house.

It is difficult (and to me: it is IMPOSSIBLE) to get complete information about Finnish military ammunitions in general, or even about the 9 x 19 mm cartridges. History of the Finnish ammo production is never written. There was, as mentioned above, two kinds of 9 mm cartridges, namely Pistol loads and Submachine gun loads. Pistol cartridges had usually a bullet weight 7.5 grams and muzzle velocity 340 - 350 meters per second. During the war had all Finnish military cartridges Berdan primers, with one exception: 12.7 x 99 mm aircraft machine gun cartridges (produced by private-owned Tikkakoski Oy) were primed with "8 mm Boxer caps". 9 mm pistol cartridges had a convex bottom of the case head.

9 mm, 8 grams, 400 m/s

s70drum.jpg (16105 bytes)The SMG cartridge was developed by the idea of firearms designer Aimo J. Lahti. The case head bottom was concave, somewhat stronger than the head of pistol case. According to the "brainstorm" of Aimo Lahti, the bullet weight should be 8.0 grams and muzzle velocity from the barrel (length 314 mm) should be 400 meters per second. Maximum allowed chamber pressure should not exceed that of 9 x 19 mm pistol load, or 2600 atmospheres (bars). Outside dimensions of SMG cartridges should be similar to those of the pistol cartridges. Since start of Suomi submachine gun production in 1930, the sights of KP/-31 guns were graduated along with ballistics of oval-pointed bullet, weighing 8.0 grams and having the muzzle velocity 400 meters per second.

Photo: Filling Suomi drum with wartime 9 mm pistol rounds.

Idea of SMG cartridge was born presumably in late 1920s, but there were some problems, created by the reduced powder space of strengthened cases. A new kind of powder was needed to allow loading with heavier compressed-load charges without exceeding the maximum limit of chamber pressure. The new propellant was presumably VihtaVuori's N 13 (from 1st September 1973 known as N 330. Still in production, and called - inofficially - as "the submachine gun powder"). I don't know, whether the bullets with a weight 8.0 grams were actually adopted. I have met just those with weight 7.5 grams from the war-time loads. There was a severe shortage of copper and lead in Finland during the war-time in 1939 - 45. Half gram of "strategic materials" per bullet means a ton of them when 2 millions of bullets are produced. A daily consumption during the most ardent phases of wars, when life or extinction of Finnish people was at stake.

A special powder for special loads

The submachine gun was re-considered as a short-range "mowing machine"; no more as a selfloader carbine with the burst fire option and range within 500 meters. Even with the 7.5 grams bullet weight, the SMG cartridges were not recommended to shoot from the pistols, although the chamber pressure generated was within the limits given for normal 9 x 19 mm Parabellum loads. SMG cartridges were loaded with heavy charges of "cool" powder, presumably mixed with potassium carbonate, Glauber salt or other non-oxidating salt in the "powder dough". When the water-soluble salt is washed away from the extruded and cut powder kernels, their surface turns rough or "porous" like a sponge.

More common salts for this purpose are oxidating inorganic nitrates like potassium or barium saltpeters. Non-oxidating salt mixed into the powder "cools down" the burning temperature. Powder gasses contains more carbon monoxide, hydrogen, nitrogen and methane (all light gasses) and less carbon dioxide and water steam (dense gasses), when the hydro-carbon is burned with a shortage of oxygen. Volume of the light powder gas, generated from the cellulose, is more large than the volume of dense gasses, which needs much more high burning temperature to become expanded for production of equal kinetic projectile energy.

This "cool burning" of nitrocellulose powder was discovery of Russian professor Dmitri Mendeleyev (at University of St. Petersburg) in 1890 - 91. Western literature is usually ignorant of "The Mendeleyev's Principle", which is especially useful when adapted for the powder of cartridges in full-automatic firearms with air-cooled barrels. I don't know the actual bullet velocities of Finnish SMG cartridges, but it was presumably 400 + m/s from 314 mm barrel of KP/-31, because the bullet weight was lightened, bullet was shortened and the available volume of powder space was accordingly increased.
mauseC96.jpg (11323 bytes)

Not for frail pistols!

Volume of the powder gas, generated by increased charges of "submachine gun powder" burning by the Mendeleyev's principle developed a long-lasting remaining pressure into the bore of submachine gun, where it was beneficial, but also into the pistol bore, where it might be harmful. Some pistols with a short recoil mechanism are designed to shoot loads generating just a low remaining pressure when the breech-bolt starts it's independent movement backwards after "unbolting". Best known example is Mauser C-96 (photo at right): Remaining pressure blows the breech-block back and completes the reloading cycle. Some other handguns, like Luger/Parabellum P-08 and Lahti L-35 (= in your country, Sweden, Husqvarna Model 1940) needs no remaining pressure at all for functioning of action.

Shooting with SMG cartridges could sometimes wreck Parabellum pistol by first shot, and many L-35 pistols in collections have a fracture on their "Achillean heel", below the fulcrum of accelerator lever, on the left side of receiver, behind the barrel. Pistol L-35 without this fracture has presumably never been "Over There" (= in the actual battle). At least it has been never "discharged in anger". Fourth kind of 9 x 19 mm pistols, issued to Finnish Air Force personnel, was omivorous: Safe to shoot with SMG cartridges. It was Browning Hi-Power or F.N. GP-35 with a refined Browning mechanism of action (light barrel and heavy slide, connected with ribs during the high pressure).brow1903.gif (8077 bytes)

O.K. for blow-back actions. (STRONG ones)

Funny enough: It was also safe to shoot SMG cartridges from Swedish Husqvarna Model 1907 pistols, despite of their different chamber dimensions and blowback action. Not all pistols M/-07 accepted 9 x 19 mm cartridges with too short and slightly too "fat" cases. Overall cartridge length of 9 x 19 mm is, of course, excessive to the magazine of M/-07 but it was easy to move the bullet backwards one millimeter or so. The powder charge became still more compressed but, strange enough, without any ill effects.! M/-07 pistols with somewhat corroded chambers were pleasant to shoot. Recoil of the pistol with a smooth and shiny chamber was considerable - but tolerable.

Cut-away drawing: FN M/-03 /Husqvarna M/-07.

Photo at right: VKT 9.00 pist/44.
vktpis44.jpg (10789 bytes)
When the first and sometimes second shot was discharged, the "kick" was hard if the chamber was greased or oiled. Use of 9 mm Para ammo was an un-orthodox but more common practice than "the laity" is able to imagine. The experts had a better knowledge - as usual: Experiences from use of 9 mm SMG cartridges in M/-07 pistols led the Finnish authority on autoloading handguns, Ltn. Colonel Birger Linkomies/ Flinck, to design of an inexpensive VKT/-44 pistol with a blowback action and stamped & welded sheet steel construction. There was a pre-production batch of 25 pistols finished in 19th September 1944, when the sovereign Finland passed away. Mass-production of this highly mass-productible pistol was never started.

7.65 mm Parabellum

lugerp09.jpg (13228 bytes)7.65 x 21 mm Parabellum cartridge was also officially adopted Finnish pistol and submachine gun cartridge for Army and the Civil (or National) Guards. Name "Suojeluskunnat" means literally: "Protective Associations" (or "Vigilant Committees", like those in the Old American West). The very first Finnish "martial sidearms" were pistols M/-19, cheap Spanish so-called "Ruby" pistols, bearing dozens of brand names from Alkartasuna to Zulaika, caliber 7.65 x 17 mm or .32 ACP. This caliber was actually sole common feature of these pistols. Parts were not interchangeable even from the gun to gun bearing very same brand name. Pistols M/-19 were really "armorer's nightmares".

German "commercial" Luger/Parabellum pistols were adopted in 1923. Barrel length of them was 99 millimeters and caliber 7.65 x 21 mm, because the dictates of Versailles' Humiliation Banquet in 1919 banned 9 mm pistols and barrel lengths more than 100 millimeters in handguns made in Germany. Usual bullet weight of 7.65 mm Para cartridge was 6.0 grams and the muzzle velocity of it was 365 meters per second from 99 mm pistol barrel. Accuracy of 7.65 mm Para cartridge is inherently good. There were also submachine guns with 7.65 mm Para chambering imported to Finland - and later made in Finland. Civil Guards bought Swiss-made licenced copies of German MP 18.I as "Brevét Bergmann" guns. Finnish armorer Aimo J. Lahti designed a independent model KP/-22 (photo below). Some prototypes of it were actually made. One sample is still existing in Germany.sproto22.jpg (5615 bytes)

Bergmann copies and "pre-SUOMI" KP/-26

Finnish firm Leonard Lindelöf in Helsinki bought the manufacturing license for building of Bergmann SMG, but there were many difficulties met, because of sabotage in the privately-owned engineering shop, making firearms for the Civil Guards: Too many agents of Komintern were infiltrated to the non-selected personnel. (This fact is still "taboo" in Finland, as well as the terror to the patriotic workers from quarter of "red hands" with idea that "a member of working class should be loyal to Soviet Union and the socialism only". This way of thinking was common in Finland still in 1970s). There were just ca. 60 "Lindelöf Bergmanns" assembled during nine years of production in 1923 - 32.suomi26.jpg (7228 bytes)

During the 3rd Finnish Independence War were much more complicated Suomi KP/-31s produced with the rate of 60 + guns in one day. The Finnish "pre-Suomi" submachine gun KP/-26 (photo at left) was also chambered usually for 7.65 mm Parabellum cartridge. From it's long barrel (345 mm) was the muzzle velocity of 7.65 mm bullet ca. 410 meters per second and from the barrel of Swiss made or Lindelöf Bergmann (210 mm) it was about 400 m/s. Bullets, shot from 10 meters, pefrorated easily a pinewood block 35 centimeters in thickness. There were not special submachine gun loads developed in caliber 7.65 mm. They were all pistol loads, safe to shoot from the frail Parabellum pistols too. 7.65 x 21 mm Para cartridges for use in submachine guns (especially Bergmanns) should not have the case mouth crimped around the bullet. In pistol the cartridge "positions" to the chamber on the case shoulder but in submachine gun it positions on the case mouth.bergpurk.jpg (9403 bytes)

Russian 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev cartridge positions to the submachine guns on the shoulder and to the chamber of TT-30 or -33 pistol on the case mouth, but Russian submachine guns (at least since PPSh -41) have a more deep and powerful firing pin intrusion to the primer than Bergmann's designs. 7.65 x 21 mm Bergmanns were never very reliable firearms, as they were designed to shoot 9 mm cartridges. Misfires were commonplace even when the fresh cartridges were shot. (When equipped with 9 x 19 mm barrel, the Swiss-made "Brevét Bergmann" functions positively). Finnish KP/-26 shot reliably 7.65 x 21 mm ammo, because it was designed to shoot them, and it's magazine was also designed to feed 7.65 mm Para cartridges. The adjustable pneumatic buffer of it's receiver allowed use of more powerful cartridges, including 9 x 25 mm Mauser Export and 9 mm Bergmann-Bayard. Needed were just a new barrel, less crooked magazine and re-adjustment of the pneumatic buffer.

Box label markings and rubber-stamps

Back to the theme 9 x 19 mm SMG cartridges: It is very difficult to identify them, because they looks like pistol loads. There are no special headstamps on the cases or bullet color codes (with one exception: White painted tip of the tracer bullets). Cartridge boxes may have a label with text "KONEPISTOOLIN PATRUUNOITA or PATRUUNIA" ("submachine gun cartridges") and the box holds usually 50 rounds. There are usually red or green lacquer on the case head and sometimes around the case mouth as a sealant of bullet and primer (so-called "primer annulus"). It is usually thought that the red lacquer denotes "non-corrosive primer", while the green color code means "mercuric/chlorate primer", but it is a delusion.

Actually the color of annulus and bullet sealant had no special meaning. Loaded cartridges were sealed with a lacquer whatever was available. Cartridge boxes might have rubber-stamped text: "SINOXID NALLI" (non-corrosive primer) or: "RÄJ. ELOHOPEANALLI" (mercuric fulminate; corrosive primer). It is, however, advisable to wash the bore of pistol or SMG after shooting of ANY surplus ammo with hot water and dish-washing detergent or soap before the standard gun cleaning procedure.

Military and commercial headstamps

Pistol cartridges were usually packed into boxes of 25 rounds with a label text: "PISTOOLIN PATRUUNOITA/ PATRUUNIA". If the arcaic term "patruunia" exists on the label of cartridge box, the cartridges are very old and too highly-priced to shoot. Headstamps of military cartridges have always year of case manufacturing along with the manufacturer's name abbreviation, like: "SO 43" or "S-40" (Sako Oy) and "VPT 44" (Valtion Patruunatehtaat; Lapua or Kanavuori). Headstamps "LAPUA" or "L" in the shield and "SAKO" denotes the cartridge loaded for commercial sales. They are usually pistol loads in caliber 9 x 19 mm or 9 mm Para/ 9 mm Luger. Caliber of them is also stamped on the case head. Old commercial cartridges may have Berdan primers but modern loads have Boxer "caps".

1903; Pete

"Hoplophobi Horribili..."

I wish to thank you for your valuable handloading insights, reflected by your detailed response to my inquiry. (re: "cat sneeze" loads for cal. 30-06.) Your e-mail is constantly referred to as I investigate many of the subjects mentioned. U.S. Service Rifles are a favorite of mine, although I don't get to shoot as often as I would like. California has enacted laws restricting Service Rifles. The politicians call these rifles "assault weapons" in an attempt to demonize an inanimate object instead of holding people accountable for their actions.

Contrary to what impressions are given to the world by the media, the U.S.A./ California are/is not infested with criminals. There is, however, definite proof that criminals are deterred from committing criminal acts because of the fear of armed honest citizens. Hopefully, enough people recognize facts! God help us if we loose our 2nd Amendment Rights.


answer.GIF (573 bytes) and comments: You, Californian and American firearms owners, shall presumably lose your 2nd Amendment Rights! Since 1934 you have lost each and every fight against hoplophobics because or your defensive strategy and tactics. It is impossible to win a war by weak defence, retardation and fending off. Residents of New York City lost their right to possess handguns as early as in 1912 by the "Lex Sullivan". Since that year N.Y.C. has been one of the least safe place to live; a real "Anus Mundi".

How free-minded are the "liberals" ?

The hoplophobes (= anti-gun creatures, looking physically like human beings; presumably descendants of survived Neanderthal's Men, survivors of a big struggle fought ca. 60 millenniums ago against more intelligent and therefore more efficiently armed Cro-Magnon's Men) have always been superior in authority to the pro-gun people. How ? By cunning! By infiltration to the positions giving some kind of influence. Infiltrated is most authoritative press, wireless, TV (ESPECIALLY) and the Movie Business. Many hoplophobes are also politicians, lawyers and school teachers. ALL they are necessarily not "liberals" (pronounce: "rhinocero communists", as we call our "Liberal Democrats" in Finland), but MOST of them are "The Rhinos". A Republican hoplophobe sounds as impossible combination, but may be possible.

The word "liberal" means in Latin "a free-minded person": One who allows all the legal activities to all the peoples for earning of daily bread & beer, along with the freedom of their leisure hobbies. A free-minded person allows also anybody to guard his/her inviolability (anywhere), home privacy, property and security of his/her family by the DIRECT/ IMMEDIATE activities, with the methods and devices designed by the contemporary science. Really liberal nation does not need a costly and heavy administrative "machinery" for the law enforcement: There are more criminals in the unmarked graves than on the streets.

I don't know, who called firstly the Stalinists, the Rhino-Communists, the most narrow-minded Reds, the revengeful Descendants of Neanderthalers as "the liberals". His/her sense of humor was ENVIABLE! I am known in Finland as "the maestro of sarcasm": No printed media is daring enough to publish my text (even the most dry scientific articles re interior ballistics) in Finnish. But I must envy the ironical attitude of that Great Humorist, who could name the very most inhuman thoughtful creatures on the Globe as "The Liberals".

The limited Third World War

The hoplophobes are not members of the working class, since it is very hard to get authority to alter "general opinion" in the community of workers into hoplophoby. Workers are unable (and unwilling) to dictate new hoplophobic rules. I don't think that an office or profession converts human being into hoplophoby. On the contrary: The hoplophobes are eager to get qualifications, "the formal competence", for some administrative offices or professions (like TV commentators or editors/columnists of the printed media), giving the authority for anti-gun "missionary work".

Especially TV and the movies creates the delusion that USA is nothing but a big battlefield of criminal gangs, and "entirely unrestricted supply of the firearms is cause of this endless gang war". Not the race prejudices! Not the drugs! Not the over-population! Just the Mini-UZIs, apparently available from sporting-goods stores (?!) as easily as the fishing-rods.

As long as the pro-gun people is trying to oppose acts of the hoplophobes by dispute or debate, the pro-gun people is fooled to fight a defensive war. And defensive wars are never won during the known history of a mankind. The end result has been a draw - at best! Just the offensive war, and in this case the total war - annihilation of the enemy - shall be victorious! If the gun-owners - not in California/ USA only, but on the whole Globe - are trying to continue the desperate fight just by dispute and debate against the verbally superior enemy, which controls a vast majority of the mass-media, there are very soon no more gun-owners left - anywhere. "Vain luodit voivat parantaa maailmaa" was the saying of Finnish patriots in early 1900s: "No other means but bullets can reform the world".

A name of the game: "The 3rd Emancipation War"

In USA this inevitable struggle between descendants of Cro-Magnon's and Neanderthal's species of human beings is already called as "The Second Civil War". Actually it shall become known as "The Third Emancipation War". Emancipation means: The releasing from a tutelage and oppression. The first North American Emancipation War is usually called as The War of Independence in 1775 - 83. Thirteen American colonies became emancipated from tutelage and oppression of British aristocracy. The Second Emancipation War, in 1861 - 65, was a less successful effort of some Southern states to become independent from the Union. Third one shall be - actually - a Continuation War of a prehistoric struggle, and a global fight, since the Anti-gun Mob is organized globally: American Handgun Control Inc. is just one tentacle of a very big, very ugly cuttle-fish.

If those descendants of the Neanderthalers, hoplophobes, shall revoke your 2nd Amendment Rights (it was actually done by the Federal Firearms Act in 1934, and in N.Y.C. by "Lex Sullivan" in 1912), they'll also revoke their own Constitutional Right for Life. You have still your firearms! They have usually nothing but a glib tongue, charged with the "wahoo"!

Selfloader rifle isn't an assault rifle!

About the real Assault Rifle: It is an autoloading military rifle, shooting cartridges with the cartridge case length shorter and the powder charge less powerful than in the usual contemporary infantry rifle and machine gun cartridges. Invented by V.G. Fyodorov (Imperial Russia) in 1916 as an "ABTOMAT/ AVTOMAT" for shooting Japanese 6.5 x 50 mm Arisaka cartridges loaded with slightly reduced powder charges. A self-loading rifle is either rifle or carbine. Essential characteristic of an assault rifle is, without known exceptions, the FIRE SELECTOR and ABILITY TO SHOOT FULL-AUTOMATIC (burst) FIRE, when needed. If the rifle shoots full-auto fire only, it is called as a machine rifle or a light machine gun.

American TRW company made in early 1970s 5.56 x 45 mm full-auto-only rifle prototype, known as "Low Maintenance Rifle", and Russians called submachine guns PPS 43 as "Avtomat", although they shot full-auto fire only, but these are rare exceptions. If the cartridge case length is more than 50 millimeters, is the rifle called as an automatic rifle. This classification is created by V.G. Fyodorov already during the First World War. The word "Assault rifle/ Sturmgewehr" was coined by Adolf Hitler in the late 1943 or early 1944. Prototype rifles were known as "Machine carbines" and the 7.9 x 33 mm Polte cartridges were "Pistol cartridges 43" or "Short cartridges 43 m.E." (m.E. = "mit Eisenkern" = with iron bullet core).

Preferred: Flintlock musket and stone-bladed axe

Some Californians, having grim sense of humor, may execute the politicians, who demonizes selfloader rifles as the "assault rifles", with smoothbore muzzleloader flintlock muskets! Every kind of firearms is able to kill a human being (including Neanderthalers) equally death, if projectile(s) hit the correct point of organism. The first massacre of Neanderthalers was carried out with stone-bladed axes, spears and clubs. Firearms are actually not needed for the purge, but The Purge is needed as a final act of the Sixty Thousands Years War.

1603 MM;  Pete

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