Interesting box, is it original? If so, is the ammo original to the box?
It’s an original Interarms box, but the ammo is not original to it. It is full of USSR Tokarev ammo, usually the headstamp you posted and 38 * 51 *.
I’ve had a number of these boxes in the past. Still one that is half full.
They all contain some form of Tokarev ammunition, marked * 38 * 51 in most of them, some with earlier dates.
The wrap goes all around the box when they are still factory sealed.
The stuff worked well in the C96 but was quite fouling (and with corrosive primers).
So, if I understand correctly, that “.30 Mauser” on the label is a mistake? Right? Are Tokarev and .30 Mauser freely interchangeable in the respective firearms?
Within some limitations (manufacturer’s specification overlaps) the .30 Mauser and 7.62 Tokarev are interchangeable, although the 7.62 Tokarev is loaded a little “hotter” and some competent authorities argue against its use in the C.96 Mauser-type pistols, due to the Mauser’s rear mounted bolt and small bolt-retaining lug. Accelerated bolt travel is not good for Mauser pistols.
The ammunition you mention is, absolutely, original to the box, but I don’t believe for a minute that Jonny’s answer is actually wrong - just a difference in semantics. Obviously, the original packaging for the Russian ammunition found in these boxes was packed differently when it left the Soviet factories that made it, probably in paper packages or 71-round boxes, I am not sure which. However, since interarms repacked this ammunition, the plastic Interarms box you picture was made up specifically for that ammunition, hence the ammunition is “original” to the box, or perhaps it wouls be more correct to say this box is original to the ammunition it it.
I would not call the label exactly wrong, but rather an advertising ploy, since the primary caliber identification on it is “7.62 x 25 mm” but it is, in some people’s opinions, ill-advised to increase the ammunitions saleability thru indicating it is also viable for the 7.63 x 25 mm Mauser pistols thru the use of that caliber designation. Again, while I have no firm opinion on the matter, the use of Tokarev ammunition in the older Mauser pistol design is often discouraged by knowledgeable people. I can say I have seen a few Mausers with cracked or chipped bolt-retaining lugs, but can’t say for certainty that it was a result of firing Tokarev ammunition in them. Regardless, the front-mounted slide of the Browning-system Tokarev is much safer than the rear-mounted bolt of the Mauser. In catastrophic failure, it can’t readily send the slide back, off of the gun, into the shooter’s face, as can the Mauser with its rear-mounted bolt. Perhaps theory only, perhaps not.
John, you’re right, that is what I meant, but did not say clearly. The ammo was originally in a different package, but that box only ever had that ammo in it.
A scan of the missing bottom part of the label
And a 3D impression I did last year while playing with some 3D modelling software.