6.35 Browning hs "SOS" ID


Gents, I been asked to post this image here and ask for an ID of the hs which is “SOS 6.35”.

Source: patronen.su/forum/index.php? … 0#msg12930


EOD - all I can tell you is that it is Austrian. I have the box for 9 mm Para, although I have no cartridge that I can place to the box - in fact, I have never seen the SOS headstamp on 9 mm Para.

Regenstreif’s book “Culots de Munitions Atlas, Tome I, Caraceteres Alphabetiques Latins,” Page 267, identifies it as a product of Patronenfabrik Lichtenworth, but I cannot either confirm nor deny this from any other source. I looked through Josef Moetz’s book on Austrian Ammunition, but did not find it, even though I think it is there somewhere. If I have time when I return from the Hospital, I will do some more searching. I don’t have much time this morning.

I think I have this headstamp only in 6.35 mm and 7.65 mm Browning in my own collection.


John, thanks a lot! That is of great help already. No hurry with further info.


According to my notes, in 1982 I obtained an unheadstamp 9x19mm ball load from an SOS marked box like John’s. The source was a well known collector who had a partial box of these cartridges. I have never heard of a report of an SOS headstamped 9x19mm though I’ve been told the headstamp shows up on other pistol calibers. The lack of a headstamp could have been associated with the restrictions placed on the manufacture of 9x19mm cartridges after WWI. The cartridge is reportedly a product of the 1930s, or perhaps late 1920s.



Lew - your brilliance is shining today! Yes, the restrictions on military-caliber ammo may well be why this SOS headstamp has never shown up on 9 mm Para ammo. My box label is in English, by the way, except for have “Austrian Industries” in German on it.

I thought I had an SOS box for another caliber in my collection, but could not find it this morning, before I left the house. I will dig into this a little deeper now that I back from appointments, both in my box collection and in Moetz’s books.


I have a SOS headstamped cartridge in cal .38 S&W SP.
The cartridge has a non magnetic capped lead bullet.


John, here is an earlier thread showing your 9 mm Parabellum box: iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopi … =8&t=11941

Patronenfabrik A.G. Lichtenwörth made several special headstamps and boxes for export, like this .32 S&W Long for Argentina:


Thi SOS ID has been discussed in the past. I will include the thread here…It starts with Point #4 (from Motz Book)
. Hope this helps.[Austrian Eagles)


cartridgecorner - while the link provides an excellent summation of background material on the Austrian ammo by JJE, I don’t see any direct reference to “SOS” anywhere on the thread. Am I missing something?


I have a 25 round box from Austria that came to me with 20 - SOS 6.35 cartridges. I assume the cartridges are native to the box but cannot be 100% sure since box was open when I acquired.
The box has writing in the bottom of front label with date 1.I.1940 ( I do not know what the word before it is).
On back of box in blue print is the numbers 1.40
The picture on 3x5 index card is from the Woodin Labs. I was fortunate enough to spend a day with the Woodins last Feb.
The box is the same a mine but came with 6.35 rounds headstamped S/J/M// per notes on card. The back of the Woodin Lab box has the numbers 4.41
Woodin Labs has the following 3 Austria Gustloff-Werke Hirtenberg headstamped cartridges.
SOS 6.35
/ (5 pt star)
G.W. H (6 pt stars)
Bob Ruebel


Empty SOS box. 32 Smith & Wesson.


Mostly full with a nickel primer & SOS over 32 S&W L headstamp. Look just like the label. Nothing on sides or ends as to maker. However a note inside confirms Patronenfabrick A.G. Lihtenworth as maker.

Bob & Fede great boxes!


Bob, this box was filled with metal capped bullets. The rubber stamp crossing “Lead Bullet” is written in Spanish language and says “metálica” (metallic).


the word on the bottom of your box says "gekauft"and translates into “purchased”


Great forum!


Bob Ruebel - the * G. W. * H headstamp is not “Gustloff Werk Hirtenberg.” They are cartridges made, for export from Germany only, for “Gebrüder Webendörfer, Hamburg.” There is no evidence that this company made any cartridges, but rather had them made for them. Some rounds are very similar in characteristics to cartridges of the same caliber made by * M W * S.

There headstamp is found on many calibers and variations of ammunition. The cartridges are seldom found in Germany, which since they were for export only, evidently, that comes as no surprise. Most seem to be found in Australia and New Zealand, and the GW firm had an office in Sydny.

Peter White, with help from others initiated and finished a marvelous piece of research on this headstamp, which was initially published in Jounral No. 82, Second Edition of 2000, of the Australian Cartridge Collectors’ Association, on pages 4 thru 8, and entitled “The Fourth and Final G.W.H. Story.” Due to its importance, it was subsequantly authorized for publication by IAA and appeared in issue 440, November/December 2004, Pages 6 thru 10 under the same title.

It tells the whole story, including an examination of previous, erroneous identifications of this headstamp.

I have some question in my own mind about the SOS rounds being found in a Gustloff Werk Hirtenberg box. That company name is quite a bit later than I would think these rounds were made, and the SOS brand seems to have been primarily an export brand as well. I suppose the packing of these rounds in Gustloff Werk Boxes, which would have to be in 1938 or later (and I see dates of early 1940s mentioned in association with the boxes), could have been a Hirtenberg-factory cleanup of stored, unsold ammunition or components, but the timing sure raises doubts. Anybody have any thoughts on that? Bob? Fede? EOM?


Great Thread! I have been confused for a long time about SOS, and this thread just continued my confusion at first, but as it has grown, it has convinced me that SOS didn’t manufacturer, it was just a distributor of ammunition made by others.

I was struck by the variations in both the Box Styles and the Headstamp Styles of SOS cartridges. In addition, nearly identical boxes contain ammo made by both Lihtenworth and Hirtenberg (see 38 box below). It seems pretty obvious that in the 1930s, manufacturers in Austria would provide ammo with any headstamp you want- Just like most commercial manufacturers today. SOS appears to be like Eagle and International of Germany and Keystone of Austria, a distributor of ammunition, not a manufacturer.

John Ms SOS 9x19mm box is very different from any illustrated. John, if you will send me scans of all the markings, I will post them on this thread.



Lew - One of the guys already posted a link to a previous discussion that pictures my SOS box on a thread you started on “anonymous” 9 mm boxes. The red box and green box I discussed in a personal email with you (just sent today - you may not even have seen it yet) are pictured in the same photo.

If you need more on the SOS box, let me know and I will provide what you need.

By the way, it is natural that there is similarity in things Lichtenworth and Hirtenberg, since Hirtenberger acquired the Lichtenworth concern.

One of these days, a good project for an IAA article, or series, would be to establish a lineage for some of these factories like Hirtenberger, Sellier & Bellot, Povazske Strojarne, etc. It could even include some U.S. firms which are not as cut and dry as they sometimes seem. Dominion, DA, DI and IVI would be a Canadian candidate for inclusion. Much information has been on this Forum lately. Or, establish it and publish it as a separate monograph. A good project - just not one I care to undertake right now. I am talking along the lines of the “Company Histories” that appear in the back of the red-cover books by Erlmeier & Brandt on Pistol and Revolver Cartridges. Basically, a listing of company names used over the years, and the dates of changes. A single-source publication of these would be an expecially valuable research tool, I would think, saving future collectors lots of time in going to dozens of sources to find this information, and then sometimes only finding partial stuff because they are looking in the right places.


John, I agree with you, finding a SOS headstamp in a Gustloff box has its logic but also wonder why this was used in such a late date. A Gustloff 7.65 mm Browning variation of this box in red color was filled with cartridges headstamped G * * *, which by the way is often listed as unknown or “probably Genschow”. I’m not sure which would be the correct headstamp for this 6.35 mm Browning box, but I guess that probably * / * / * / * /. What do you think?

Does anyone have a list of the label codes found on some of these SOS labels? The ones I have noted are E317 (6.35 mm Browning), E246 (38 S&W), and E3?? (7.65 mm Parabellum).


the 32 S&W long has most all of the side labels, but no bottom label & no trace of a code anywhere.


Fede - I don’t have a .32 with the stylized "G * * * " headstamp, but that is what I would think should be in the Gustav boxes. That is definitely their headstamp. I have a 9 mm Corto (.380 Auto) with that headstamp.

It would not be * / * / * / * /. That is a Hungarian headstamp. It might be simply four stars without segment lines - * * * * which is a Hirtenberger headstamp.