Help identify ammunition markings


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mkonops
May 12, 2013, 05:51 PM
I received a box full of old ammo from a friend, and in it were a dozen boxes of what I believe to be 9x19 ammo packaged 36 rounds to a box. The attached image has the three box labels I found. I have no idea what language they are written in. Please help me to identify what exactly I have. Thanks!

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Jim Watson
May 12, 2013, 07:58 PM
Arabic.
Might be Egyptian surplus, there was a lot of it imported at one time.
It is said to be ferociously corrosive, I would figure on wet cleaning at the range.

SDC
May 12, 2013, 08:52 PM
Yep, Egyptian; the labels show production by Factory 27, in Cairo (Shobra).

mkonops
May 12, 2013, 09:00 PM
Very interesting. I especially wanted to know if it is corrosive. Thanks for your input!

blitztech
May 12, 2013, 09:03 PM
I have 2 employees that can read it. The one who could understand the technical Arabic just left the country for the month. The other one confirmed that the first column is telling you where its made. The middle column is upside down and I can't flip it for him on my phone, and he can't really understand much of what the third column says as its mostly technical as well

mkonops
May 12, 2013, 11:22 PM
I flipped the middle label in this image. Thanks for the help.

blitztech
May 13, 2013, 05:49 PM
I have 3 days off, but will ask him to look at it again when I get back and see if he can interpret for you. If you still don't have a good interpretation when the other one comes back in a montg I'll get a full interpretation from him for you.

newfalguy101
May 13, 2013, 05:52 PM
I have 2 employees that can read it. The one who could understand the technical Arabic just left the country for the month. The other one confirmed that the first column is telling you where its made. The middle column is upside down and I can't flip it for him on my phone, and he can't really understand much of what the third column says as its mostly technical as well


Cant you just simply flip the phone ?? ;)

DCoke
May 13, 2013, 06:26 PM
Ok gents...as I read it, it is Arabic ...it is manufactured in the United Arab Republic (the Old Name for Egypt during the time of Gamal Abdul Nasser) in factory 27 in the year 1957 for the tag on the far right but the blue box reads as 1934 (unsure if date or another number designation)... the middle tag has a possible date but I can't read the last two numbers (19??). It is 9mm and the propellent is nitro-cellulose (corrosive).... there should be 36 rounds (tulqa) per box (if they were full) for the two white labels and the blue label may have had 68 rounds (unsure as the number 68 has no specific designation on the blue box). Don't have my dictionary with me here at work but there are a couple of words I'd need it for and I don't know the number sequences on the white labels (253947 middle and possibly 111594 on far right label...smudged numbers). Hope that's enough for you.......almost forgot....the Arabic word for Cairo isn't Shobra..... it's Qa'hira (or Cawhira if that makes it easier for you to pronounce) and I can see no ref to the word Shobra on any of the labels.

blitztech
May 13, 2013, 07:53 PM
Flipping the phone just flips everything so it's right side up again no matter what direction its turned. Tried that lol

Jim Watson
May 13, 2013, 08:42 PM
the propellent is nitro-cellulose (corrosive)....

The propellant is not itself corrosive. Nitrocellulose is the primary constituent of all modern smokeless powder and burns cleanly to nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Nitroglycerine in double base powder can generate a bit more soot but is not corrosive, either.

The corrosive component of older ammunition is the priming compound, mostly potassium chlorate which burns to potassium chloride, a salt even worse than sodium chloride (table salt.) Egyptian ammunition is reported to be especially corrosive which probably means their primers have even more potassium chloride than other lands'. Possibly for longer shelf life in the tropics.

(The stuff you see advertised as "mildly corrosive" either contains less potassium chlorate than usual, meaning the rust pits will be farther apart in your barrel, or the vendor is simply lying.)

SDC
May 13, 2013, 10:34 PM
"Shobra" is the district in Cairo where Factory 27 was/is located.

DCoke
May 14, 2013, 09:59 AM
Thanks SDC for that clarification. I know of many many districts and suburbs in Cairo and did not know that Factory 27 was located there. I only noted that I did not see the word Shobra on the labels. I know of a Shubra Al Heima district.

After more looking this morning....I managed to decipher a couple of other things on the labels....the center label says 9mm parabellum (Arabic doesn't have a "P" and substitutes a "B" and the dot below where the 2nd p/b in the cognate word is missing) .... another cognate (Arabic word using the English spelling/pronunciation) is "lot"....rather confusing that the blue box has two different lot numbers..... Ammunition Lot number 19 and Lot 4 (space) 68/101.

DCoke
May 14, 2013, 11:24 AM
Jim Watson, my comment on "corrosive" for the nitro-cellulose should have read as "corrosive??" because I don't know what the standards for Egyptian manufacturing were in the 30's and 50's....I don't know that they used "retardants" or other chemicals to slow the breakdown of the nitro-cellulose at that time. Today they use many things to reduce flash, reduce the breakdown, reduce the chance of static ignition, etc., etc. but I honestly don't know that they did those things back then. The following is taken from Wiki so take it with a grain of salt.... and take my words with a grain of salt. My chemistry in college goes back 30+ yrs but I do remember making some unstable nitro products in the lab....a couple of them were fun.

Nitrocellulose deteriorates with time, yielding acidic byproducts. Those byproducts catalyze the further deterioration, increasing its rate. The released heat, in case of bulk storage of the powder, or too large blocks of solid propellant, can cause self-ignition of the material. Single-base nitrocellulose propellants are hygroscopic and most susceptible to degradation; double-base and triple-base propellants tend to deteriorate more slowly. To neutralize the decomposition products, which could otherwise cause corrosion of metals of the cartridges and gun barrels, calcium carbonate is added to some formulations.

To prevent buildup of the deterioration products, stabilizers are added. Diphenylamine is one of the most common stabilizers used. Nitrated analogs of diphenylamine formed in the process of stabilizing decomposing powder are sometimes used as stabilizers themselves.[17][18] The stabilizers are added in the amount of 0.5–2% of the total amount of the formulation; higher amounts tend to degrade its ballistic properties. The amount of the stabilizer is depleted with time. Propellants in storage should be periodically tested for the amount of stabilizer remaining, as its depletion may lead to auto-ignition of the propellant.

Jim Watson
May 14, 2013, 06:07 PM
I know about the degradation of powder with age, one of the regulars posts on it, well, regularly. Not a surprise, nitrocellulose is an unstable compound, that is why it is a propellant (and an explosive if done right... or wrong.) Black powder is superior in that regard.
But it is not the source of corrosion when fired in a gun, the chlorate primer is.

I worked in fertilizer R&D and dealt daily with potassium chloride. Nasty stuff on mild steel and even some stainless.

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