7.63 Box ID?

Just received this 7.63 Mauser box. Nothing definite as to maker, but clues lead me towards Spain or Italy. No headstamps on the rounds or markings on the strippers. Does the labeling or box construction look familiar to anyone?

“Cartouches” is French.

The word is French of course, but the phrasing “N.20 Cartouches” does seem Italian, and the cartridges themselves look a good deal like some 7.63 m/m Mauser of suspected Italian origin. Jack

I share the opinion that this box is Italian. The box construction, in some ways similar to some DWM boxes, is
nevertheless distinctive in the size of the rivets on the box ends. I have an identical box which is stamped in purple ink “ITALY” on the bottom. I also agree that the N.20 (sometimes on boxes “No.” instead of “N.”) is characteristically Italian. The cartridges have Italian characteristics as well. It is not unknown, by the way, for Italian ammunition to be boxed labeled in the French language.

I have a second box, identical, with the whole “lid-closure side” blackened out, obscuring the top of the label on the box shown on this thread. The bottom part of the label, folded over to the bottom of the box, is visible. It has no national-identity stamp, but is nicely printed on the top, on two lines of print, “SEQUOIA
S. Francisco Cal.-USA.” One of these days, I must get down to the local library and research this company in the San Francisco City Directories. If anyone has a pretty definite time frame for this company, please report if on this thread. It would save me some searching when I get around to this.

The box does have a small purple ITALY stamp, but I wanted to confirm that. Importers are not always that accurate on the origins of their goods.

The Italian Navy placed the first government order for Mauser self-loading pistols after trials including many other types. Eventually they bought 5000 pistols to be used on board ship and by landing parties, they were known at the Model 1899 after their date of adoption.

A couple of years ago a large number of 10 round stripper clips became available in Italy, coinciding with the Italian Navy selling off the contents of their armouries. This sale saw large numbers of Garands, Enfield MkI SMLE, No 4 and No8 rifles, most of which were in excellent condition, finding their way onto the market. The clips came in several permutations, brass bodies with blued steel springs and phosphated, bare or nickeled steel with plain or blued springs. The most often seen were the brass ones with a very bright blued spring. Here is one of the steel ones.

I have a suspicion that the clips were also used with Beretta 9x19 M38 submachine guns using a separate magazine loading adaptor, maybe someone can confirm or deny this, it’d be good to know for sure.

Happy collecting. Peter

Peter - you are absolutely correct that Mauser-type stripper clips were also used with the Italian 9 mm Para caliber “Moschetto Automatico Beretta, Modelo 1938” (and the later Mod. 38/42 variants). They come in twenty-round boxes, two clips, and the boxes are usually marked “Su piastrina” (“on ribbons” better translated as “on stripper clips”). I have many of these boxes. Usually, the clips found in these boxes are phosphated (gray) steel with a blue spring, but I can say always, because some of my boxes came to me empty. One box I have doesn’t mention clips, but it contained them. The box is typically Itlaian style, with the stapled end marked “tear off” in Italian (Strappare) and German “Abreißen” (not sure of the last two letters - the are obscured). The label is both in Italian and German and says “Cartucce Cal. 9mm. Per Moschetto Automatico Beretta” and “Pistolenmaschine Patronen Kal. 9mm.” Note the reversal of the noun and adjective in “Pistolenmaschine” which in Germany would be written “Maschinepistolen.” In Italian, the adjective normally comes after the noun, so this type was probably set by an Italian printer. The box is dated on the back “MAG.1944” (maggio 1944 - May 1944) in Italian. The cartridge headstamp is “9•M38F. 1944” indicating production by Fiocchi, even though the box is anonymous.

A very late box has ammo packed on beautiful chromed-steel clips of the highest quality, with no markings, and is from LBC (Leon Beaux & Co.), with cartridges marked “LBC9M38 966”. This box does not indicate the model number of the weapon - simply “Cartucce a Pallottola per Armi Automatiche Cal. 9 (Su Piastrina)” (Ball cartridges for automatic weapons cal. 9 (on clips)." The box is from LBC Lot 1-1966.

This is the bright plated example I have, it’s unmarked as are all of these that I’ve seen.

I’ve never seen the packaging for these clips, is there much variation between the wartime and the post-war production?

The steel clip shown a couple of posts ago has traces of phosphating, something that I forgot to mention.

happy collecting, Peter

Here is a second variation of the Fiocchi box pictured by Jon. The only information I have about its contents is that cartridges were unheadstamped and loaded on 10 shot chargers.

Fede - Great shot. We used to see a lot of these boxes in our area, with the French “Cartouches” on it, because one of the large gun shops in San Francisco, before WWII imported quite a bit of it evidently. However, this is the first time I have ever seen the English language version of the same label. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Dear John M.
I think you have confused “Piastrina” ( small piece or strip of sheet metal) with “Nastrino” ( Cloth ribbon, as in lady’s hair ribbon, or military medal ribbon)
“Nastro” can mean Tape ( as in recorder), Measuring Tape etc, or MG belt (Cloth or metal)…Nastrino is the diminutive.

“Piastra” is sheet or plate (of stone, metal, etc.) Thus "Piastrina"
is a small piece of sheet metal…when applied to cartridges.( stripper clip)
It also means “Dog Tags” ( soldier’s ID ) in Italian.

Just to round out the cartridge theme, “Caricatore” is "Charger or Loader"
as in 6,5 Carcano packet chargers, etc. “Caricatore” also means “Magazine” for cartridges, and can also refer to fixed “strips” or “trays” ( Hotchkiss and Breda types).

Wonderful language, Italian.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Doc - I probably confused it with something I read in an Italian Dictionary years ago, when I first
got a cartridge box marked “su piastrina.” I didn’t know the other word you mention as correct for
ribbon" at all, so I didn’t confuse the two. No matter, my initial translation was obviously incorrect,
and I appreciate your correction. I hate to make these language errors but simetimes with these arms
and ammunition terms, it is hard to research them in language dictionaries, as they often aren’t shown.
“Piastrina” is not shown in my unabridge edition of Cassell’s Italian Dictionary, a fairly respected source, at all.
However, it is shown, similar to your description (Military ID Tag; metal platelet, etc.) in The Oxford Italian Desk Dictionary, a more condensed work than Cassell’s. Makes it tough on us “Gringos.”

Here are the pics I posted previously that were stolen by Photobucket.

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