9mm Finnish box


Just a neat box.


Vlad - I remember these boxes well. Our sales of this ammunition sent our local Interarms Rep on a trip to England as the Salesman of the year. At the time the ammo, in the quantity we bought it, was incredibly cheap, and very high quality, and we were able to sell several hundred thousand rounds out our store on a retail basis.

The headstamps were all “VPT” and “S-##” (S and the date) with mostly, as I recall, the “S” dates being 40 and 41 and the VPT dates 42, 43, and 44. The ammunition was originally corrosive and on some rounds you could still see the green seals underneath the red ones, the latter denoting non-corrosive ammunition. They actually broke that ammo down - basically remanufactured it for Interarms - and the price by the time it got to the US and out to dealers was still incredibly cheap.

The box you show was the first one that the ammo came in. Later, the box, still a 25-rounder, got a little more colorful in the label.

Those were the good old days for the casual shooter, and darn it, they WERE the good old days.
That ammo at retail was about the price per round of reload .38s, and even the casual shooter often bought it by the case from use (about 1,000 rounds per case) as I recall. Anyone who could afford to own a gun could afford to shoot all they want of that stuff. I think your box represents one of the best surplus ammo deals ever made, at all levels from the factory to the shooter, if not THE best. There were plenty of other calibers around then almost as cheap.

Not long ago, I shot up a few boxes of that ammo that someone had given me. I had a few hangfires. I don’t know if that means the ammo as converted is reaching the end of its service life, or simply that the ammo I shot had been badly stored. We live in a generally damp climate out here in the SF Bay Area.

Thanks for posting Vlad. That should still be a very common box to find, but the story behind it is interesting, I think.

John Moss


My box is filled up mostly with these plus several American rounds, are they correct for the box?


Vald - I completely forgot that headstamp from Sako - yes, plenty of that was in there too. Many of the boxes, and cases, all had just one headstamp, sometimes with a single of something else found in there. They seemed to sort it well. Occasionally, you find some boxes pretty well mixed up with the different headstamps noted, but in the main, they were match in each box. It still amazes me how cheaply that project must have been done to sell at such a cheap price as this ammo was.

John Moss


Here is a similar box, and one that was already opened, I carefully removed the label to see what was lurking underneath.

And an example of the more colorful later version that John Moss mentioned:


Vlim - Thank you. That last picture you show is the box I referred to as the later box that was a bit more colorful. I removed the labels from lots of those boxes as I used to shoot that stuff like .22s, dealer cost was so cheap. Many of them had the label underneath that you show - most of the ones I took the labels off of, I would dare say.

John Moss


Living in one of those countries that did send men to the finnish side in the winter war, I am familiar with these. About a year ago I found a few S044 cases in the brass-catcher at the local range. They had the typical Glock striker mark… The (pistol-) club I am a proud member of was formed by veterans from that conflict. My granddad even gave me an old finnish military compass that he got from a friend who had been up there in 1939-40.