Sellier & Bellot 9mm & The History Of The Company Behind It


When you look at a box of Sellier & Bellot 9mm, you’re not just looking at mere ammunition, rather the result of almost 200 years of manufacturing progress. The company behind the cartridges is one with an illustrious past – something that we look more closely into now.


Founded by French pair Louis Sellier and Jean Maria Nicolaus Bellot in August of 1925, the company has been creating high quality ammo ever since. Sellier himself was part of a Royalist family that fled the country during the revolution and his entry into ammunition manufacturing began in Prague for Francis I of Austria, as he was responsible for creating percussion caps for the Austrian Army.


Soon after, he was joined by compatriot Jean Bellot who was influential in allowing the company to quickly grow. By 1830, the enterprise behind Sellier & Bellot 9mm had established itself in a variety of overseas markets across Europe, manufacturing hundreds of millions of percussion caps.


1870 – The Company Begins Manufacturing Cartridges


This success continued for around 40 years until the company began producing cartridges for the very first time. Along with Lefaucheux’s pin primer product and Flobert’s rimfire rounds, Sellier & Bellot cartridges were the first centerfire products on the market. Within just a few years, they were creating over 10 million rounds annually.


While this was a landmark moment for the company, 1870 also saw the loss of co-founder Louis Sellier, who left his share of the enterprise to his heirs.


1872 Bellot Leaves the Company


While the manufacturer still produces ammo called Sellier & Bellot 9mm, Bellot himself sold his share of the company to Sellier’s family who were able to convince him to do so. Taking a very different route, the Selliers brought in Martin Hala –  a Czech entrepreneur – someone who steered them to even greater success.


1872-1914 – A Period of Significant Growth


The next 40 years saw a meteoric rise for Sellier & Bellot (the company) who during this time established a new manufacturing plant in Riga, Latvia, providing its products to the entirety of Russia and Scandinavia. In 1893 the company trademarked its name in Prague and within 2 years started creating hunting cartridges and copper primers used in building demolition works.


The First World War 1914-1918


When the first world war broke out in 1914, everything changed for them, as their commercial production facilities were repurposed and expanded to create handgun and rifle cartridges for the Russian Army. During this time, they manufactured Steyr 9mm cartridges and grew to become the biggest handgun ammo supplier in Czechoslovakia.


A Modern Day Giant of Ammunitions Manufacturing


In the modern day Sellier & Bellot 9mm is still manufactured in the Czech Republic and since being bought out by Brazilian company CBC, it continues to be one of the biggest names in ammo manufacturing in the world.


Two centuries is an awfully long time and a period that most of us have a problem even getting our heads around, but that’s how long this business has been going for. So, next time you’re looking at your open box of Sellier & Bellot cartridges, just take a moment to think about what it took to get them there in front of you.

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