9mm Gauge cartridges Go No Go

I was doing some research and came across pictures of a German Go or No Go Gauge Cartridge. It was marked oddly at least for me.
Markings ‘S’ (inside triangle w curved sides) P.08 WL
34L 20821
Ive seen a few of these but never w/o waff and never the "S MArking? Any thoughts on this?

Could be
Simson&Co Suhl.

But the Simson logo is made up of three triangles. Two side-by-side in the background, mostly hidden behind the central foreground triangle with the S. This is in contradiction to the “curved sides” mentioned by JohnG. The lines in the Simson logo are straight.

I have images of the German 9mm Gauges in Bill Woodin’s collection. I am having trouble understanding your description. Could you post an image or even a drawing of the syumbol(s)?


Lew - the only thing missing from John G.'s description is the presence or absence of the Waffenamt Marking, likely (Reichsadler) WaA 42. Everything else seems to be an accurate representation of the order the information is in and the number of lines used to record that information on the gauge.

I have not seen the “S” marking for the gauge manufacturer he describes myself, but then while I have seven of these WW2-vintage gauges, I have only one, made by H u. K in 1941, marked for the Luftwaffe (WL), and like John G.'s gauge, is for for the P-08. A couple of my other gauges are marked for the P-38.

I also have five post-war gauges of the same type, from the DDR, but their marking system was quite different so they are a completely different story.

I will not guess on the maker of John’s WL gauge.

John Moss

I am not so familiar with 9mm.
But the gauge drawing number is 34L 20821
Perhaps this helps.


It’s true that the Simson logo was made up of three triangles, but a one triangle logo was also used. Here is an ad which shows both logos. According to the book Training Rifles of the Third Reich Germany, by Robert Simpson, the Simson family changed the name to Waffa in September 1933. Shortly afterwards the name was again changed to BSW.

Here is a picture of the gauge and marking:


Looks like the Simson & Co, Suhl single “S” trademark to me. It is obviously hand-drawn with some kind of tool, so I don’t find the curved sides of the triangle troubling at all. JMHO.

It is, though, without a doubt, the crudest job of marking one of these gauges I have seen, and Between 9 mm gauges and 7.9 mm gauges, I have seen 35 or so. Of course, that makes this one quite interesting.

I would like to know if this gauge, perhaps on the other side, has a mark of the Heereswaffenamt. On these gauges it is usually, but not always, WaA 42.

Someday, maybe Lew and I will finish a pictorial article on these. As far as I know, I wrote the first article on the 9 mm gauges years ago, published, as I recall, either in the California Cartridge Collector’s Club (Now Western States Cartridge Collectors) bulletin or the IAA Journal, I forget which now. Since then, both Lew and I have done a little more research on the subject, and a lot more gauges have shown up.

I was going to post a picture of a drawing of a gauge using a “cartridge shape” of my design that extends out the middle of the main body of the gauge so that all markings on the gauge can be shown on a single plane. In the case of these gauges, because of the systems of marking the hardened steel, I honestly believe that good drawings are superiod to most photographs. I am sure a professional photo lab could product excellent photos, but it would likely take two photos per gauge to show all the markings. Unfortunately, a search for a half hour before writing this failed to turn up any of my files where these gauges are recorded. I could not even find my article on them. Perhaps Lew has copies of much of it? My library has simply grown past my ability to keep track of all that is in it - my “old man’s memory” does not help matters either.

John Moss

Thanks! This helps a lot! I have images of almost50 9mmP gauges from Bill Woodin’s collection. He sent them to me just before he died to document. Quite a few of these were from Randy Elzea’s collection which Bill bought. The gauge Fede shows is nothing like any of Bill’s gauges. I agree with John that the markings are pretty crude compared to most German gauges and look like they were hand etched with an electric pen of some kind-jut my guess. I suspect it is pretty late production.

I think that is a great project when we can get to it. I started with images of Bill’s gauges. Below is one of them. I have done 8 but haven’t gotten back to it in some time!




Your article on 9mm gauges appeared in The International Cartridge Collector (pre IAA Journal) issue 265 (January 1978), beginning on page seven.


John No Heers waffenampt! Thats what got my attention to begin with. Think these were actaully made for the luftwaffe not Army. THX for responses from all. John Guenther

Brian - You are simply incredible my friend. I am a trained clerk, and have always done well in that type of paper work. I am over my head right now due, I hope, to advancing age and lots of distractions. However, in my best days, I couldn’t touch your command of files usage.

Thank you. I will pull that in awhile and do something to put a picture of the format I used into this thread.

John G. - Thanks for confirming that your gauge does not have a Waffenamt mark. However, it is not because it is a Luftwaffe issue. My one and only “WL” marked gauge, for the Luftwaffe, has the following markings:

H.u.K. 41
(Reichsadler) WaA 41

"G" is from some form of the word "Gross" , perhaps "Grossformatig" (oversized)(my German is not good enough to know the exact form) and is equivalent to our "No Go" headspace Gauges).  I forget right now if the word "Heeres" (Army) belongs in front of the "W.L." or not.  Perhaps there was a "Luftwaffe Waffenamt."  I simply forget.  I'm sure someone will tell us.

Lew - I actually prefer the stock drawing of the “extended” center" gauge to the photographs, which aren’t always easy to read and sometimes confusing in orientation. There ARE times when a good line drawing is better than a photograph.

Here is a page of drawings from my ICCA article. These were not all my gauges. At the time, I only had two.

John Moss

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It has a very faint Luftwaffe LWaA mark without numeral.


Not to nitpick but as we are obliged here to correct spelling and terminology it shall read:
Heereswaffenamt (one word, no “P”)

The WaA marking people are referring to stands for “Waffenamt Abnahme” (to what I know).

I agree that the drawings are a better way to communicate the markings on a gauge, but a drawing does not document the markings. My interest with Bill’s gauges was to document what he had!

Additionally, a decent drawing takes time that I didn’t and don’t have.


Lew - my mention of drawings had only to do with the possibility of an updated version of the ICCA (IAA) article I wrote so long ago. It was not a criticism of your posting of the photographs. All the documentation needed for a drawing is a comment that all drawings were made from actual gauges either at hand, or from photographs.

I am having second thoughts about doing such an article. Other than more gauges, I do not have any information on them that I didn’t have in1978. Since it would be impossible to show every German 9 mm gauge ever made, I am going to “stand pat” on the original article. It shows enough of the gauges to establish what they are and what they were used for, and 42 years ago I had a much steadier hand for doing drawings like those I did for the original article.

Like you mentioned, the drawings are time consuming to make, and lacking a professional photo setup, it is hard to make really good photographs that show all the markings on these “Stahlpatronen.”



I was just hawking back to the subject we often discuss of “information” verse “documentation”. You have reminded me often how important documentation is. My intent with the Bill’s gauges, and the other’s I have “documented” is to make the information generally available, and let others who are far more qualified than I provide information on the meaning of the markings.

To that point, I recently (within the last year or so) acquired two German WWI vintage gauges, or that is what I believe they are.

If anyone out there has a 9mm gauge, particularly a German P08 gauge, please post them below using the imaging like I have above to make all the symbols available so that someone with the talent can do the drawings.

Please post them in the new Topic I started Titled German 9mm Gauges-Pre-1946