9 para 1942 "N" coding

good morning gentleman

i got this box last week. catalogizing it, i am woundering about the “N” manufactureres code.
checking sturgees book “pistole parabellum” i found this “N” code as an special coding for RWS Stadeln used for police ammunition 1933.

obvious there was a special reason this code was also used later on, any information about this fact available ??

regards from austria



I wish I could explain the use of “N” on this label but I can’t. This is a typical German Army box of the period, but the German Army codes were P151 and dnf. Police or non-Army use is likely since these boxes from '38 to '40 are found with RWS headstamps date 1940.

Perhaps John Moss or one of the others knows the story of this ammo. One bet is these were production for the SS.


good evening
after checking the latest acquisitions i found similar boxes.

funny to see, this box is part of the first lot 1942 and the previous postet one is one of the second lot 1942, but they are quite different.
these second box i got with 16 rounds in it, all RN GMCS about 190 grains

the last one has only a fragment of an Label

maybe this was also an “N” coded box, see the content of the box
also RN GMCS with about 190 grains

with my small knowledge some things give my thoughts food:

primer indicated on box as: N.S. ???
the dnh stamped rounds are without an star: 72% copper in the brass ???
is the fragmented label an “N” coded one, anyone out there with an picture of an complete label ??
the RWS stamped rounds are fitted with sinoxid primer: could that be a sign for civil usage ??

i would be pleased to get help

regards from Austria



The “N” was used during the period of the 3rd Reich on the headstamps of some 7.9 x 57 and 9 x 19 Patr. 08 rounds, scarcer on the latter than on the former, although not common on either. It probably stands for Nürnberg, as it is always seen in conjunction with RWS ammunition, it seems, and the had a factory at Nürnberg.

The question of “why” remains, for me, unanswered, since Rheinisch Westfälische Sprengstoff used the initials R.W.S. or RWS, on commercial headstamps, and from box labels, we know also on contract ammunition for the German Services. It has usually been thought that it was for the police. Since after a deal with Göring, the Reichsführer-SS was in command of all police as well as the Schutzstaffel, a “police contract” could have been for the SS, although not necessarily so. It could also have been for the Ordnung Politzei, Gestopo (I suppose that would actually be redundant to the SS), or any other police activity of the Reich. Because of the use of RWS, as well as P151 and dnf on military rounds, and because I believe that the “N” was used as a headstamp on the two aforementioned calibers only for one, or a very few production lots, it is interesting and a puzzle to me why it was used so much for components on box labels.

Regarding the “N.S.” for the primer, even though all are NOT marked with the impressed “O” on the cup, it is possible it stands for “Nürnberg” indicating RWS manufacture, with the “S” indicating a Sinoxid primer (non-corrosive). That is simply conjecture on my part. I have no documentation for that opinion.

In short, despite Lew’s confidence in me, I really didn’t answer the question at hand. Simply said the obvious, which wasn’t really stated in any of the other segments of this thread.

sorry, you confused me to a maximum …

i understand that you believe the “N” code stands for RWS Nürnberg.
so, if i hear RWS Nürnberg i think of Rheinisch Westfälische Sprengstoff AG, Werk Stadeln bei Nürnberg, am i correct ??
if i’m correct the military coding for this manufactorer is P151 and then dnf.
so, following my logic, 1942 all the cartridge cases should carry an dnf headstamp

look at the boxes, all are produced by dnh
of course also RWS, but Rheinisch Westfälische Sprengstoff AG, Werk Karlsruhe-Durlach (Geco)

so you see me very confused ???



Wolfgango, Do you have a photo of the ammunition in the first box you illustrated?



The whole sense of my answer to Lew’s invitation for me to reply was that I believe the “N” on those boxes stands for Nüremberg, but that I have no idea why they would use it on some labels, and even a couple of headstamps, (Actually, more than a couple if you count commercial sporting-caliber cartridges - my use of “two examples” is based only on German, military and/or police-used small arms ammunition calibers).

Basically, what I am trying to say is that we are ALL confused by its use, and I have never seen any explanation for it that eased my own confusion.

Wolfgango, your assumption is correct: RWS Nürnberg is in fact RWS Stadeln, because the factory was moved from downtown Nürnberg to Stadeln. (Only some metal work continued to be done in Nürnberg until 1945)

In 1909 the German ammunition manufacturers started a project to standardize commercial ammunition (Normalisierung). Apart from agreeing on case dimensions, factory codes were assigned, “N” going to RWS Nürnberg. So N is clearly a non-military code. I assume the box being from a police contract, for export, or the like.

I see no reason why Stadeln should no use cases from Geco (dnh), if they were available. (It was against regulations to use “dnh” outside an army contract, but in the middle of a war rules tend to be broken.)

It is likely that Geco made all of the COMMERCIAL pistol ammunition with RWS headstamps, as well as their own GECO headstamp, after the working agreement of 1927, except for those military contracts with P151 and dnf headstamps, and perhaps the RWS dated headstamps from around 1938. On commercial ammunition, headstamp and cartridge characteristics for Geco and RWS are essentially identical after 1927.

I agree with Peelen that it is not impossible that “dnh” headstamped cases were loaded at the Nürnberg/Stadeln facility. That is why box labels are important especially with German military ammunition. The case maker on the headstamp was not always the loading factory. In some calibers, as most know, there were loading factories that didn’t even make cases. Also, even factories that made cases and loaded them sometimes sent cases to other factories to be loaded. Wartime contingencies!

good evening gentleman
i’m editing my last post, inserting the pictures, so here they are
my little “N” coding collection:

originaly closed

16pc. R.W.S.1_39.

fragmentary N.?.L.39 / third picture in this post
15pc. R.W.S.1_39.

10pc. R.W.S.1_40.

1pc. emp_stern_1_41


N.1.L.42 / second picture in this post
16pc. dnh_2_blank(no star, no st, nothing)_42

N.2.L.42 / first picture in this post
mixed italian 9mm M38 ammunition

5pc. dnh_st+_2_43
6pc. dnh_st+_3_43

pls remember:
these boxes went through many hands until they reached my collection, were pictured and posted here,
maybe the were mixed up,
what ever can happen in the past 60 years, possibly happend to them
so i’m carefull accepting what i see

i’m always trying to crosscheck things, so i’d be pleased to get your comments if what we see above, is probably correct

regards from austria


Wolfganggo, Great thread and great info. I have never seen either one of the two 1942 boxes you pictured. I had wondered about the box for the dnh headstamp without the * until your post. If you ever see duplicates if either one, please pick them up for me! I get to the ECRA, German and Czech meetings regularly. Great boxes!

This is a good subject and one that I have wondered about. In ECRA Bullitan 538 I asked about the relationship between Geco and RWS, and in 540-3 received the following answer from a knowledgable ECRA member.

There is considerable evidence that Geco produced the 9x19mm ammunition for RWS commercial during the 1930s.

It looks to me as if all the ammunition with the “N” box (or headstamp) markings was made by Geco for RWS. The style of the RWS headstamped ammunition in these boxes looks like a Geco product to me. The 1942 boxes you show all have cases made by dnh (Geco).

I can’t argue with JPeelen, always a wise move, that these are possibly Police or export (I say “contract” instead of “export”). The military characteristics of the box make me suspect that they were contract ammunition bought by the SS before the SS had access to German Army ammunition stocks. The dates seem to match.

I have the N boxes like the ones illustrated dated 1938, 39 (lots 1 & 2) and 40. The three with ammunition are RWS headstamps like the ones illustrated above. I have one other box which supports the Geco production of these cartridges.

The headstamp is P405 * 3 39 indicating another Geco product. The box is a strange orange cardboard which I have not encountered before. Has anyone else encountered this kind of box?


thnx for all the information above

regarding the dnh_nothing_2_42 headstamp.
i meet this headstamp two times
— first in a mixed up box of all red primer sealed (partly with impressed O) 9 para “dnh”-cartidges.
the box was labeled "50 Patronen zur Selbstlade-Pistole Cal. 9mm Parabellum Ganzmantel Geschoß, Öldicht)
— and now here, in these “N” coded boxes

regrads from Austria