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Thread: 9mm Steyr (WWI)

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    Member Sako Workhorse's Avatar
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    Default 9mm Steyr (WWI)

    A long-since deceased relative gave me a 9mm Steyr in excellent condition a long time ago. He told me he had it rechambered for 380 ACP. I have never fired it. Any opinions about the safety of buying modern ammo for this and trying it out? Any peculiarities about handloading for this pistol?

  2. #2

    Default Well

    The 9mm Steyr was very much like the 9mm Largo. 9mm Largo is longer than the standard 9mm luger we shoot today and much longer than the 380 acp.The standard 9 Styer is a lower pressure round than the standard 9 Luger but yeilds as more power than a standard 9mm.
    I believe this pistol is loaded with strippers, probably not available any longer. BUT, Military 223 strippers might be modified for the task; I believe.
    Due to the influx of Starr pistols a few years ago chambered for 9 Largo, this ammo is available.
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    Default Be cautious

    Quote Originally Posted by Sako Workhorse View Post
    A long-since deceased relative gave me a 9mm Steyr in excellent condition a long time ago. He told me he had it rechambered for 380 ACP. I have never fired it. Any opinions about the safety of buying modern ammo for this and trying it out? Any peculiarities about handloading for this pistol?
    Sounds interesting. I started poking around the internet using Google Search.

    first thing I found was:
    http://www.9mmlargo.com/discus/messa...tml?1141679913

    which I quote here:
    Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - 11:23 pm:
    Mark,

    This is just a cut and paste from a previous email reply I did.

    The 9mm Steyr and 9mm Largo are similar but not identical:

    CASE: 9mm Steyer/9mm Largo
    BULLET DIA: .355"/.355"
    NECK DIA: .380"/.379"
    BASE DIA: .380"/.390"
    RIM DIA: .381"/.392"
    CASE OAL: 0.90"/.910"
    CTG OAL: 1.30"/1.32"

    The ballistics of these cartridges are also very close. I know of
    several people who have successfully used 9mm Steyr ammunition in their
    9mm Largo firearms, but am unaware of anyone doing the opposite.

    I urge you to take all prudent measures when using an old firearm
    regardless of ammunition. I cannot make a determination on the
    condition of your firearm and therefore cannot advise on it's safety for
    firing. I urge you to have it examined by a gunsmith familiar with old
    military pistols before firing it.

    Tejedor

    Lost Sheep

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    Default

    What type of Steyr do you have?
    I have a WWI Steyr Hahn M12 pistol that loads from the top, as well as a small Steyr pocket pistol.
    There are several types, so If you can post a picture or a modle # we can help you in a much better way.
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    Default More cautions

    Sako,

    Is this gun a locked-breech recoil operated design or a blowback? Got pictures? I suspect the 380 ACP is a mistake or misunderstanding, as 38 ACP seems closer to the chamber dimensions (see below). Do you have any cartridges for it (either loaded or fired cases)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sako Workhorse View Post
    A long-since deceased relative gave me a 9mm Steyr in excellent condition a long time ago. He told me he had it rechambered for 380 ACP. I have never fired it. Any opinions about the safety of buying modern ammo for this and trying it out? Any peculiarities about handloading for this pistol?
    I went in search of Steyr or Steyer, and could not find a source for cartridge case dimensions, so will have to go with the dimensions I got from the other forum thread. But I did find dimensions for the 380 ACP and 38 ACP. So, I added them to the table.

    CASE: 9mm Steyer/9mm Largo/380 ACP/38 ACP (and 38 Super)
    BULLET DIA: .355"/.355"/.355 in/.356
    NECK DIA: .380"/.379"/.373 in/.384
    BASE DIA: .380"/.390"/.374 in/.384
    RIM DIA: .381"/.392"/.374 in/.406
    CASE OAL: 0.90"/.910"/.680 in/.900
    CTG OAL: 1.30"/1.32"/.984 in/1.280

    I urge you to check loading manuals yourself. I caught one typographical error. I did not find others, but I am human.

    Anyhow, I conclude that (if these dimensions are correct) your relative who left you the gun 1) mis-spoke or was misunderstood or 2) got another barrel.

    It is understandable that someone might confuse 38 ACP with 380 ACP because the names are so similar. They are different cartridges and different in size, readily apparant when you look at them side by side, especially the length and the 38 ACP is semi-rimmed vs the "
    rimless" 380 ACP.

    To shoot 380 ACP in a gun chambered for the 9mm Steyr, the chamber would have to be sized smaller and the extractor reshaped or replaced, I think. The rim diameter is .007" smaller. The headspacing on the cartridge mouth is on a shoulder .900" deep, but the 380 ACP cartridge is only .680" long.

    Feeding the smaller cartridges reliably through the magazine and action would be easy, but might not be reliable.

    Shooting the 380 ACP in a Steyr could be done if you could get the cartridge to headspace on the rim/extractor contact area, but that would be excessively dangerous to the shooter, the gun and to anyone within, probably, ten yards or so.

    Much easier to shoot the 38 ACP in a gun chambered for the 9mm Steyr, the chamber would be reamed out only .004", the headspacing is the same at .900" and the rim diameter is only .025" larger. Reshaping the extractor for .025" should be easy, and the breechface might have to be relieved. Whether the magazines would feed the cartridge with a .025" diameter larger rim is the only remaining dimensional question.

    Internal pressures would be a MAJOR concern. I have no data on the 9mm Steyr to compare with the 38 ACP. Be VERY cautious about what you feed this gun, as the 38 Super is dimensionally identical to the 38 ACP and would very likely blow up a hundred year old gun. The 38 ACP is of the same vintage as your gun, so pressures would probably be within reason.

    I clipped these cautions from Wikipedia about the 38 ACP:

    One of the least successful of Browning's pistol cartridges, it was too powerful for a blowback pistol and not powerful enough to be considered for the United States Military. However, it did see small but steady sales up until the introduction of the more powerful .38 Super.



    Even though .38 ACP and .38 Super are the same size, it can be potentially dangerous to use .38 Super ammunition in a firearm intended for .38 ACP, as firearm damage may result.

    There are over a dozen autoloading pistol cartridges, both semi-rimmed and rimless, in this caliber. Often, foreign or ambiguous headstamps make identification impossible. When in doubt, it is best not to fire suspicious cartridges in any firearm.


    (end Wikipedia clip)


    I am far from an expert in .38/9mm caliber cartridges, but seeing the myriad offerings out there, I would take the gun to a gunsmith and have a cast made of the chamber (or do it yourself, it is not hard).

    You've got me curious now.

    Lost Sheep

    Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for what you get from the internet. Even this post. Check EVERYTHING independently.

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    Default Steyr Data

    Thanks everybody for the thoughts. I will try to supply pictures if I can figure out how to post them on the site, also will answer the questions asked. It may be a couple days before I can respond.

    I do have several boxes of 9mm Steyr ammo but I hate to shoot it because it has mercurial primers which are corrosive, requiring complete field stripping of the pistol and very thorough cleaning.

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    Default Well, there you go, almost set.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sako Workhorse View Post
    Thanks everybody for the thoughts. I will try to supply pictures if I can figure out how to post them on the site, also will answer the questions asked. It may be a couple days before I can respond.

    I do have several boxes of 9mm Steyr ammo but I hate to shoot it because it has mercurial primers which are corrosive, requiring complete field stripping of the pistol and very thorough cleaning.
    Well, there you go.

    Disassemble the gun. I forgot to ask before if there are any markings on the barrel. Drop one of the 9mm Steyr rounds in the chamber. See if it wiggles around more than you would expect. See if it drops further in than flush with the end of the barrel, or doesn't go in all the way. Do not force it in. If you do, it may be hard to get out.

    If you have access to a 380 round (loaded or fired) do the same. If you have access to a 38 Auto round, do the same.

    While you have the gun apart, see if the breech face appears to have been machine after manufacture, or if the extractor looks like it might be the original or a replacment or modified.

    Lucky you have some original ammunition

    Lost Sheep

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    Default All Will Be Revealed!

    I think I figured out how to do the photos (I hope). This first one is the whole shebang with the barrel out. Markings on it are "STEYR 1914," "S," and "6297" (on both the trigger guard and the slide." On the barrel is the number "7726d" followed by a small circle with a "P" in it. Elsewhere on the barrel is the marking "Co." Here is the picture:


    The next photo is an original 9mm Steyr cartridge:



    Finally, a picture of the cartridge fitting into the chamber ("snug as a bug in a rug"):


    The pistol loads from the breech only, and it feels like it could easily shoot me in the leg in gratitude for my efforts.

    I can't tell what is original machining vs. what is done at a later time.

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    Question

    Sooooo...

    If the 9 Steyr cartridge fit snugly, but not tightly, then the pistol is probably not a .380 ACP, right?

    The extra .007" on the Steyr neck would have meant you'd have needed to force the cartridge in to a .380 ACP chamber, yes?

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    Default

    A nice old Steyr pistole there. I'd say your gun was not rechambered, certainly not to 380 anyway as that round is quite a bit shorter. Many of those old relics were shot with the American round 38 Automatic (That's probably what the information that was handed down was supposed to be) or the same as the 38 ACP round. It will handle that but not the 38 Super which will fit and is the same case as the 38 Automatic (ACP). You likely cannot find that ammo today either but could hand load 38 ACP data in the brass. The 38 ACP has a slight rim and is called semi-rimmed and some pistols will not take that slight rim maybe your Steyr was modified to accept the 38 ACP rim. (rechambered?)

    The 380 is incorrectly called an ACP even though Colt made semi-auto pistols in it. It was originally chambered in the Browning model 1910 and used to gun down the Arch-Duke in Bosnia, but that is another story. It was a Browning design to boost power of their model 1900 in 32 ACP (that one was an ACP cartridge.)

    The Largo and the Steyr are not exactly the same but very close in dimension and are modernized today in Italy as the 9x23 and use to make major in pistol shoots. The 9mm Winchester is 25mm long and new brass for that is available from Starline, and maybe 9x23 brass, and can be used to load ammo for your old Steyr. Exteranl dimensions are such to allow easy chambering of 9x23 brass, or shortened 9x25 Winchester, in the 9mm Steyr chamber. Do not shoot loaded 9x23 ammo in the gun.

    Now excuse me while I go shoot my 9.5mm Steyr.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default Serial number?

    Very valuable information. Thanks everybody!

    After learning all this, I think I will keep it as a family heirloom and not experiment with other ammunition!

    One additional question: Does " the number "7726d" followed by a small circle with a "P" in it on the barrel mean it is not original, since it does not match the number on the trigger guard and the slide?

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    Default

    Good picture, it helps.

    Your M1912 is also known as the "Hahn" or "hammer" modle, as it has an exposed hammer.
    The barrels serial # shows its not original to the gun, but with the excellent outside appearance, it could have been easily changed out by an Armorer, if corrosive ammo had had bad effect on it, or if it were being rechamberd for another countrys use. Guns often outlast govornments..Armys dont care about matching #s like colletors do.
    Chilie, Romania and Austrio/Hungarian armys issued them, with the following Czech repeublic and Germanys Nazis useing them as well.
    If yours had has ben converted to 9X19mm, AKA the "9mm Luger"and "9mmParrabellum", it will have a visible "08" stamped on it, and your Steyr cartridge wouldnt have gone in that far. The Austrians and Nazi's converted alot of them, often with a mismatched barrel. Not with yours.
    Corrosive ammo is as easy as washing the priming salts off with hot water,scrubbing it with solvent, and rinsing with boiling hot water... which also heats the steel, and its self drying. a good oiling will prevent further rust.
    Look in the shotgun news or the internet for ammo, its out there. Specify 9mmSteyr, so you don't end up with some hot loaded 9X23, as its a poular "Race gun" round in Europe , where they cannot own military caliber personal guns. Go buy shells and shoot it for fun. I shoot mine without a flaw, I just donet have strippers, so its slow to load.

    Of subject , Sako Workhorse, my "work horse" rifle is a '41 Sako, M-39......Sweet rifle.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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