7.65 Parabellum (Luger) DWM K 471 K and K 471A K headstamps


I found a thread on this subject but it was archived and couldn’t be brought up again.

I am confused by a statement in Dr. Sturgess’s monograph in IAA Journal #444, wherein he wrote on page 13, “…pre-WWI 7.65mm carbine ammunition, although having blackened cases, bore the regular DWM K 471 K headstamp, not the DWM K 471A K of later carbine loads.” Did Dr. Sturgess intend to say that the blackened 471 cartridges were the pre-WWI carbine rounds, but the 471A were not pre-WWI? Or did he mean that the blackened 471 cartridges were the first carbine rounds produced and were soon replaced by the 471A rounds?

The 1904 DWM catalog he included in his mongraph clearly shows the 471A case as blackened for the Karabiner, so if the blackened 471 cases were produced before 1904, they should be a great rarity. But in the archived thread on the DWM 471, a comment was made that the blackened DWM 471 cases are much more common than the 471A cases. How can that be?


I think the answer to the question is that the catalog number of the 7.65 mm Parabellum Pistol Carbine load was always 471A, but that they were not initially headstamped with the 471A number. Carbine sales were low, compared with normal Parabellum pistols, accounting for their scarcity today. By 1904, the date of the referenced catalog, very few had probably been made and probably did not justify the production of a special headstamp for the small amount of ammunition being made. Only ten years later, they became involved in a War that probably precluded most commercial ammunition production. After WWI, they may have felt that the number of carbines extant, by then, did justify putting the “A” on the headstamp.

I believe Sturgiss has the order of the two headstamps correct, in that my only DWM 7.65 mm Luger carbine round with a copper primer cup, instead of the more usual brass cup, is in a round with the 471A headstamp. I do not believe the copper cups were used much by DWM before WWI, although I have nothing except observation of a lot of specimens to prove that. Out of my 16 variations of the 7.65 Carbine load, only four have the “471A” appellation and only one of those has a copper primer cup. None of the standard 7.65 mm Parabellum rounds in my collection have a copper cup in conjunction with a serifed-letter headstamp style, only later ones with plain headstamp letters.

It would only be fair to mention though that there is one thing working against the 471A being a later headstamp. Of my four rounds, two are with soft-point bullet. This bullet seems to be the DWM 261A projectile, one of the earliest assigned number/letter combinations for this caliber. I have no blackened-case carbine rounds without the “A” on the headstamp that have this bullet, nor do I have any 471 pistol rounds with this projectile. I cannot say it wasn’t loaded in pistol rounds, but in 45 years of collecting I have not found one. Further, the 261A bullet is not shown in any catalogs I have from the 1930s, or for that matter, in any catalog I have for DWM, other the Bullet Register as published by GIG Publications.

Perhaps Lew Curtis, although this caliber is not his specialty, or someone more acquainted with the 7.65 Para cartridge than am I, can weigh in on this. It is an interesting question and actually, as far as I can tell, was not addressed until the Sturgiss article mention by JoeW.

John Moss


John, I’m sorry but you lost me. DWM produced their 1904 catalog, probably in late 1903), and indicated the blackened carbine round would be 471A. But because sales if the carbine were so slow, they felt no need to actually put that headstamp on production rounds? But they still chose to publish the catalog and send it out to the public, knowing they would inevitably have to reply that "sorry, we aren’ making that carbine round, try our 471 with blackened case?

Has anyone ever come across a 471 box indicating Karbiner and the higher 40 gr loan like the 471A. Yet John, you point out that copper primers on 471A rounds were used before WWI?

Fascinating. You have a dozen or more varieties of cartridges designed for the Luger Carbine?


Joe - I think you didn’t get what I meant. There would be no need for DWM to take a negative tact to reply to orders. They simply would supply the blackened case rounds regardless of not having the “A” on the headstamp for any “carbine ammo” order. If anyone noticed at all, they could easily “clue them in.”

Just because a case number was assigned, doesn’t necessarily mean that rounds were always headstamped that way. There are many sporting rounds that have the caliber stamped on the head rather than the case number - I am talking here about DWM production. There are likely DWM rounds with NO headstamp that were assigned a case number. The round known to most as 7.65 Glisenti, but boxed by DWM simply as 7.65 mm Parabellum 471C, do not have any headstamp for example.

The DWM case register was simply there in-house record of what the had developed. It was not written in stone with them that the case number would appear on the headstamp, or that every variation of a given case number (the small letters after the number, for example, would appear as part of the headstamp.

I don’t know nay other way to explain it. It is all conjecture anyway, since I am not sure anyone knows why the did everything they did. Why did they continue to use the * D.M. * K. headstampstamp, for example, long after the company became D.W.M.?

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of questions that have never been answered even by intense research. I spent a year researching an article on the 7.65 mm Glisenti cartridge so I could wow everyone with what I found out about it and what I knew about it. My article, when all was said and done, had to wow people by my explanation that we really knew nothing about the cartridge, and weren’t even sure it had anything to do with Glisenti, or at least the DWM production of the cartridge. Some of this stuff will never be answered, and I have a hunch that if all the people that worked with this stuff originally could reappear on earth, they would be amazed by the interest in things they probably considered very unimportant.

Regarding the headstamping of different loadings, remember, it was years before they started, in America, to use the +P designation on headstamps of cartridges where the load exceeded the normal standards for any given caliber. That is similar to the “A” situation on carbine loads, which at least were identified from the first with a blackened case.

John Moss



Thanks very much for taking the time to explain this to me.


Howdy JoeW
For what it’s worth, the catalogs of many companies have omissions / mistakes or problems, as JohnMoss illustrates, in them. Headstamps that never were & other things to lead us astray. Taking a catalog as a dependable source is not always the best thing to do, as the guy in the art department didn’t talk to the guy ordering or making the bunter or vice versa, or perhaps it was just Monday morning. Other mistakes also show up, not just headstamps.


Just a question. I have the same catalog, but the only loaded rounds described are cartridges for military rifles.

Pistol and revolver cartridges are described only as cases or bullets

Why DWM did not list them as loaded cartridges too?


Captions: Boxes:

Here are two DWM 471A boxes, differing only in the bullet type. Note the pen and ink change to the bullet type on the top one, from round nose to hollow point. Neither of these boxes contained the “471A” headstamp. The top box came to me with one round only, now in the collection, and the other full, with about half still there.

Caption: Cartridge Picture

Here are all of the .7.65 Para DWM Luger Carbine loads I have in my collection. The top row of three are all “* D.M. * K. " headstamps, with truncated, round nose, and hollow-point bullet styles. The Second row are all " K DWM K 471” headstamps. with print variations and bullet variations first three from the left truncated, then two FMJ RN and finally four with hollow points. The bottom row are with " K DWM " K 471A headstamps, this time with RN, HP and SN bullets. The last round on the row, a soft-point loading, has a copper primer.

Caption: Headstamps

The headstamps in this picture are arranged exactly like the rows of cartridges above - that is, the placement of any given cartridge is identical to the placement of that cartridge’s headstamp. You can see, to the best ability to read this mediocre picture, the many minor variations in lettering shapes, sizes, punctuation, spacing that DWM used over the years. Note though, that all of the headstamps of these carbine rounds, with or without the “A” have serif letters. I don’t recall ever seeing a DWM Black Case 7.65 mm Para round with plain letters, again, with or without the “A.” It may be simply that the load was discontinued before the letter-style was modernized.

In the headstamp photo, all of the cartridges are blackened case, despite some appearing as plain brass in the picture. Some bases look almost like plain brass, perhaps a result of the head rubbing on the inside of the box during shipping and handling. I just don’t know.

DWM’s job of blackening these cases was not first rate anyway.

John Moss Collection


Fascinating John. Thank you for the education.


Excellent information about a rare 7.65 para variation. It is actually the first time I saw examples of the boxes themselves. Very nice indeed.


The 1904 DWM catalog also shows a 480D case for the 9mm Carbine load. I first saw a drawing of that case in the 1957 Charles Yust article on 9mm Luger cartridges in the National Rifleman. That was the article which started me collecting these cartridges. I have looked for this cartridge, or any proof of it’s existance for 53 years without success. The general conclusion is that it never existed. Blackened case DWM 9mms exist. I have them with no headstamp (probably pre-WWII) and with the post-WWII DWM commercial headstamp with out serifs. I have never even heard a rumor of the existance of the 480D headstamp. As John speculated with the 471A, there was never enough demand to set up for a special headstamp.

I will offer another alternative on the dating of the 471 & 471A carbine loads. I suspect that initial production of the 471A began before WWI, or even during WWI because of the serifs on the headstamp. There are two reasons this (and perhaps other) non-military headstamps would be made during the war, either they could make money-like the Dutch 9mm ammo contracts from 1917 & 1918, or because somebody infulential wanted them to make some ammo (for example for their Luger carbine). Production of the 471A cases was probably low so the headstamp bunters lasted a long time an postwar production probably continued with the same bunters.

Until John pointed it out, I had not realized that the soft point loads in 7.65mm Luger Carbine were the 261A load which does not occur in the 1904 catalog. It is possible that the design of this bullet could have been done very early and that it was then produced in the 1920s or 1930s. A more likely explaination to me is that these bullets were made in some quantity early on, but were not used in production for one reason or another. Later, after WWI they were found in the DWM warehouse and were used to save costs. There must have been something about the 261A bullet that seperated it from the other early 261 bullet variations developed by DWM. In the bullet log there is a note that translates as follows:

Lt regulation of DWM Berlin are to [unreadable word that looks like nierden or merden] the projectiles NO 261 B-H not more manufactured.

None of these bullets, 261B through 261H are illustrated in the bullet list. These must have been 261 projectiles that were not going to be used in production. The fact that they didn’t also include the 261A may be because some quantity had been produced and were on hand.

An interesting question Joe. Thanks for asking it.



Lew, great info.

The untranslatable word is probably ‘werden’ = ‘are’.



It is interesting what the 1904 catalog has and what it doesn’t, as well as the DWM bullet register as (the copy published by you). The 1904 catalog shows two different HP bullet, 261I and 261K. I believe the one encountered is the “K,” but am not sure. The Register doesn’t even show a 261I bullet.

Also, in my collection, in various headstamp variations in the standard, non-Carbine, 471 pistol loading, the truncated bullet is a step-child. I have only two variations of it in loaded cartridges, and one in a nickeled dummy (exerzierpatr.), and none at all in the * D.M. * K headstamp.

I have one bullet loaded in a * D.M. * K case that is a Schlitze HP bullet, not shown in any source I have. It may be a carbine load. Somewhere along the line, before I got it, the cartridge got varnished, giving the case a dark look, especially the head. I am not sure whether or not the case was blackened - it could have been - or it is just the varnish giving it the look, so I have classified it as a standard pistol load. I don’t recall ever weighing it against on or all of the carbine loads with HP bullets - the Schlitze form should weight about the same - but will do that later today.

I also want to mention here that JoeW sent me, to have posted, some perfectly decent photos of one carbine box and some rounds. I only bothered to use mine because I had a few more variations than did he, and I have the equipment, because of doing a book, to take the pictures without a cluttered background, right out of the camera. Thanks Joe. Don’t be afraid to have pictures posted in future threads - your pictures were perfectly usable!

John Moss


I forgot to mention that I have never encountered a round of standard pistol DWM 471 7.65 mm Para loaded with the soft-point bullet. Only the two carbine rounds I have, one of which has a copper primer. I had given some though to whether or not DWM used 7.63 Mauser bullets in those rounds. The diameters and weights are compatible (diameter in the 1904 catalog for both is 7.83 mm and I assume the same approximate weight since the HPs and SPs between the two calibers both have the same approximate length of 14.00 to 14.40 mm). However, neither of the bullets shown in the 1904 catalog are of the exact style of the bullets in my 7.65 mm 571A rounds. There is less lead apparent and the meplat on both of the 7.63 bullet shown are flatter, than on the bullets in the 7.65 mm Parabellum rounds. I have no 7.63 Mauser rounds by DWM in my collection with a bullet even similar to the soft-nose ones found in my 7.65 Para rounds.

I weighed by 7.65 Para with Schlitze bullet, and the weight falls between weighed specimens with and without the blackened case. Since it is lighter than black-case rounds weighed by 2 grams, suffeicent for the different powder charge, I must assume that the cartridge was NOT a black-case carbine round, and that the darkness of the case is due to the lacquer on it. Before weighing, I would have gone the other way in a conclusion.

This is an interesting thread. You don’t really find much discussion anywhere on the 7.65 mm Para (.30 Luger) round, and I don’t know why. It deserves a closer look, with many countries having made it in many variations. It was used as the official military caliber by many countries - Switzerland, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Brazil all come immediately to mind, and I am sure there are others - and chambering has not been confined to the Luger pistol. Further, it was the first of the two Luger cartridges.

John Moss


[b]Since this thread and another are both focusing on Luger bullets (9mm & 7.65mm) I have started a new thread http://iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9216 titled Early DWM 7.65mm and 9mm Luger Bullets where I have posted the DWM reference information for both threads. If you are talking bullets, please carry that conversation in the new Thread.




When I sent John photos of my DWM 471A carbine box, I though we were on the same page. I attempted to take some better photos, but comparing to John’s, I have a way to go. But I figured out how to attach photos. How about that John.

But taking these photos I finally looked at the single end piece of the box that remained. Surprise! The box was filled at BKIW (vorm. DWM) and sold commercially after WWI but filled with DWM 471A ammo.

I have also a box of 7.65mm Para ammo and it too is from BKIW. Here are photos of the box that contains DWM 471 ammo.


The only other 7.65mm Para ammo box that I have is this Geco box. Comparing the end pieces, the lid does not seem to match the bottom. And it was empty. This is the only Geco 7.65mm Para round that I have. Does anyone know if it is proper for this box?


Joe - much better pictures than you sent me, although the ones you sent to me were perfectly acceptable for use on a Forum like this. I could not have taken as good photos as even those had I not spent a lot of money on a good camera and setup to take pictures for a book I am trying to write.

The BKIW (Berlin-Karlsruher Industrie-Werke A.-G.) was the name of DWM from c.1922 to 1933. Theyy changed the name on May 22nd, 1922. They changed the name again on June 29th, 1933 to Berlin-Karlsruher Industrie-Werke A.-G., vormals Detusche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken. Then, on June 30th, 1936, they took back their old name of Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken A.-G.

I am sure it is from that sequence of names that Dr. Sturgiss determined the “when” of the 471A headstamp, and your box confirms his research that it was used primarily after WWI.

I have a goodly number of other DWM boxes (as well as other companies) for the 7.65 mm Parabellum round, but not for the Carbine, so I didn’t show them. I can if anyone wants.

Regarding your Geco box, there are so many nuances to the Geco headstamps (primarily dots appearing in various places, probably a date code but I have seen n confirmation for that) that it would be pretty difficult to tell you the correct round for your box. However, I think your box is too early for that style of headstamp. I have the identical box you show, and the headstamp on my box specimen is " D * * " and it has no colored seals and a GMCS bullet, rather than CNCS. These predate the round you have. I have another rendition of the same box - pink label on a blue-green box with box specimen having the headstamp * D GG&Co D * 7.65, no colored seals, CNCS FMJ RN bullet. The boxes for the era of your cartridge are primarily found in 25-round size, and are blue with designs very similar to the post-WWII boxes first used after the war, and up until about the 1980s.

John Moss


I have these box 7,65mm parabellum

this box looks the same as the DWM box…

headstamp H 1933 that is Hirtenberger Austria year 1933


It is amazing how much the early DWM box was copied in style. The Geco early boxes are much
like the DWM, and now we see a Hirtenberg box like it. Is the factory name on the box anywhere? This is turning into a great 7.65 Para thread, a caliber that seems to be ignored to a great deal.

John Moss