9 mm Parabellum ww2


good morning

collecting german 9 para for a while i’m asking myself which quantity of cartridges a produktion lot comprises.
any one of the specialists who can help ??

regards from Austria

ps.: i remember sometime to have read that one lot number contains about 270.000 cartridges
but i have no idea who wrote it and if it’s correct…

pps.: my highes collected production lot is an P405 (RWS) lot 116 probably of 1940


I understand that the number of cartridges in a 9mm P08 lot varied between factories and also varied over time.

Unfortunately, I have only been told this verbally and have no documentation.

It is a great question and I hope someone can answer it with better insight than mine.

I do have some numbers on the production of 9mm P08 from 1 Sep 39 through 30 Sep 41 or 25 months total. If we can put together an estimate of the total lots produced than we could come up with an estimate.



It may not apply to other countries, but I asked this very question of Footscray many years ago. There was no strict criteria for the lotting of cartridges. For .303 Ball it was usual to be around the 200,000 rounds, where for .303 Tracer the number was closer to 100,000 per lot. Basically it came back to the quantity ordered. For instance we see lots as small as a couple of thousand rounds, and the 7.62mm Ball L2A1 was only 37400, which was considered a pilot lot.
Lew’s idea is probably the best.



As an example we have the 7.9 mm assault rifle cartridge, of which the approximate production figures as well as the headstamps are known. Looking at it, the rise in production is much, much larger than the rise in observed case lot numbers on headstamps. So over time the lot size must have grown very significantly. Estimated of production based on headstamps would be very misleading.

Erik Windisch in 2000 wrote that in 1944 the lot size for 7.9 mm rifle cases was raised from 1 to 3 million. I have no case lot figures from around 1932, but rifle bullet lot size at that time was only 100 thousand.
From specifications it is known:
The maximum lot size for cups of all types (cases, bullet jackets) was 35 metric tons in 1935.
In 1933 the maximum lot size for completed 9 mm bullets was 240 thousand.
The maximum lot size for 08 SE bullets (undated) was 1 Million.

I am afraid that reliable information about actual lot sizes of PistPatr 08 production will not be found.


Production lots for loaded ammunition are only found on box labels. JPellen is correct, it would be of little use to look at case lot numbers since that would only give you an idea of the average case lot size during the period.