1940 FN 6.35 box

Is this a box for military or police use?
Headstamp on cartridges
FN* very small letters
green primer ring and cms, cn fmjFN 1940 6.35 box FN 1940 6.35 box a


Great box. Thanks for showing.


Likely for some sort of government use by the German Occupation forces, or even outside of Belgium. Great box. Have not seen one so like this in German, much less with a manufacturing date. Thanks for posting.

By the way, it could even be for individual purchase by people authorized to carry pistols, I would think. German military official use of 6.35 mm pistols was pretty much confined, I am told, to medical officers and other officers considered as “non-combatants.” I don’t know about Police during this period. Certainly not for uniformed police.

John Mos

There is a 9x19mm round headstamped “F N 40” which must be a companion round to yours. Unfortunately, I have never documented a box label.

Perhaps someone out there does have a box for the FN 40 9x19mm rounds. It would be interesting to see how it compares with your box!

Perhaps there are 9mmKor 7.65mmB rounds with the FN 40 headstamps or boxes dated 1940 like yours. It would be nice if someonf could post one.

Very nice box. Thanks!


I don’t have a 7.65 mm Browning F N 40, but I do have it with “39” date. That in no way implies that there is not a 40 date as well. I do not collect dates in this caliber. The 39-dated round is typical Belgian in all specs, including its F N 39 headstamp, lacking the caliber designation of the later ones produced under German control of the factory.

I do have an FN 9mmK 40 headstamp though. It has a CN (non-magnetic) RN bullet, brass case and copper primer cup with black primer seal. I do not have a box for it. I do have the box for the 42-dated version - small headstamp letters, and green PA and CMS - otherwise the same as the 40 date. It is in German, and is pictured below. I believe the “Belg. Polizeimodell” was the M1922 FN Browning pistol. Of course, the box for the 1940 cartridges could be entirely different - I simply don’t know.

John Moss

John, Great!!!

The 765mmB hst FN 39 would imply i this headstamp style is for Belgain use probably not German. Makes me wonder at what point FN prodicrtion moved from the Belgian ordered production to that ordered by the Germans. That change probably happened sometime in 1940, perhaps before your FN 9mmK 40.

Very interesting.


Here is the 7.65 mm Browning box from 1940:

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I labeled the contents of this box when I acquired it as-
21 - DWM 43 479A
copper pri, green primer ring and cms
lacquered steel case.
Not sure these would be the right cartridges as the box is dated 1940 unless box was loaded in 1943
Box is identical to 6.35 box.
7.65 Br FM box 1940

Bob, there must be a typo in your text…as the 7,65Br has 479A…in your text shows up 497A

Just for the records…:-)

Corrected in my post.
Thanks - Peter

Bob - I am inclined to think that the cartridges are not original to that 1940 7.65 mm Browning Box. The DWM headstamp would be o.k. - those rounds with the trinomial headstamps are usually ones made by FN as I recall, sometimes with “FN” on them and sometimes with “DWM” who had stewardship of the FN plant during the war, and as I recall, had already major financial interests in FN.

I have a similar box, undated and with French Language label, which of course could be FN as well. It is anonymous as to maker. Picture below. Interestingly, the headstamp on the one round that came with the box is also “DWM 43 479A” in a steel case with copper primer and GMCS FMJ RN bullet. I am not at all sure the round is original to my box. I would think with the DWM headstamp and the where the war was at in 1943, that the box would be in the German language. I could be wrong, of course.Sorry for the poor picture, but the box is a wreck and you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as they say.

7.65 Brng Anony. French Language Box

John Moss

For comparison, here are some 9x19mm FN boxes from a friend. The only dated one is the military label dated 1936. The others with French and Spanish “commercial style” labels are a mystery to me. Not only don’t I know the dates, but I don’t know if they are pre or post WWII On dated headstamps, green is pre-WWII/WWII and red is post WWII as far as I can tell from headstamp styles and . the dated rounds in my collection…

I do have a 1943 dated box similar to the ones above tjat I will post latter.


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Probably a box for police use. 6,35 was used for law enforcement in Belgium, even for uniform use as I’ve encountered small flap holsters in the same style and quality as those used for the FN 1910 - 1922 family of pistols. I think we can rule out civilian use as the occupiers were not keen on an armed populace and that early in the conflict protection for “trusted collaborators” seems unlikely.

Peter (BE)


I don’t disagree that the box could very likely be for police us, but I wonder about the theory that it was used for LE in Belgium. If so, why is the box label in German? There was some use of 6.35 mm pistols even in the German military, but certainly also in German Para military groups like the S.A. I own a Beretta 6.35 mm pistol made in 1939 that came to me in a purely German-style flap holster, with spare magazine pouch. At one time, it has a fairly large Reichsadler insignia, like metal due to the impression still in the holster, affixed to the outside of the lid. I always figured that was an “out of uniform” personal addition, likely by some member of the Para Military establishment who acquired the pistol in Italy. Just conjecture of course.

John Moss

In his book German Army Uniforms and Insignia (Arms&Armour Press 1971), Brian Davis shows a photo of bajonet drill under gas mask (page 194, figure 346). One of the instructors, a Feldwebel, has a on his belt a holster that in my view is clearly too small for a 7.65 mm pistol and would fit a 6.35 mm. The photo looks to be from prewar training.
It is the only case I recall having seen an obvious 6.35 mm holster worn by a soldier. That is why I remember it.

Peelen - I have only seen one also. It was a picture of a German Officer, probably field grade (major and up) from the brown, plain buckle on his belt and other things I don’t recall now, wearing what was obviously a 6.35 mm pistol, again due to the size of the holster in comparison to the width of the belt it was on. The holster was similar to, but as I recall, not identical to the one I show in the picture I posted. It was movie film on something about the War in Europe, so not on the screen very long. Being in black and white, I would have no way to know what branch of the army he was in. I saw another picture once where I thought an Air Force office was wearing a very small holster, but it was inconclusive.

I was told once, and I wish I could remember who (Erik Windisch?) that in the Army, only Doctors, Dentists, Veterinarians and Lawyers were authorized to carry 6.35 mm pistols as the displayed, in uniform, sidearm. Mention was made that lots of officers carries what we term here as a second, “hide-out” pistol in their pocket, usually a 6.35 mm, but that is purely anecdotal “evidence.” I don’t know if my source for that information was correct or not, only that he knew much more about such things pertaining to the Wehrmacht than did I.

It could, though, explain the existence of what is clearly NOT a commercial cartridge box meant for sale to any permit holder in a gun shop. These are almost never dated, from almost any country, other than coded dates stamped like lot numbers.


I presume the reason the box label is in German is just because they took over the arms and ammunition factories and they had a habit of marking guns and ammo in occupied territories. I suspect no single use for the calibre, even no single country of use. All I know for a fact is that the calibre was used by BE police in limited numbers as the main calibre was 7,65. For all I read there was no intensive pistol training to speak of and pistols were used more as a badge of authority than for actual self defense so I guess ammunition expenditure was low.

Why do you think these calibres like 6,35 and 7,65 were only used by the police and not by the army. After 1942 only the possession from 6,35 cal. pistols is not allowed anymore.

There are several examples that in a “soldbuch” is written that a solder bough a pistol from the army or private in these calibres.

Thank you for the text. That makes it clear that carrying pistols of 6.35 mm “and below” by soldiers was prohibited from 8 Nov 1943 onwards.

I don’t. 7,65 was a standard army calibre in BE these days. I know of no use of 6,35 in the BE military but I have knowledge of incidental use by BE police. No comments about DE.