9mm Long nazi ammo green box 1930's

There is a box being offered for Auction that looks like the one below. Contact me before you bid on it. A PM here on the forum is fine, as is an email. I have written the seller, and perhaps it will come off the auction. This is the second one offered.

Again, do not bid on this before contacting either John M or myself.

I just sent Dwight an article for the IAA Journal on this box.


You could have asked me before publicly bashing.

I bought this along with about 6 or 7 other boxes, sight unseen. I don’t collect nazi, so put it on gunbroker.

wouldn’t let me add photo of MY box

The box is a fake. The word “Lang” should not be capitalized. There is no reason at all for the little Reichsadler on the box. The one I had was with another fake label underneath describing the cartridge as “Bergmann Pistolen-Patronen”. My label as the one shown above has the Reichsadler stamp on the other side of “Lang” and is stamp crooked. There are other things wrong with the label of this box, but I suggest you wait for Lew’s article, which will be better than anything I could write here.

The box is misdescribed and should be removed from the auction at the earliest possible time.

John Moss

I did remove it

I was surprised at the hostility you showed a fellow collector who did not know, nor cares about this type of cartridge.

Be nice, it doesn’t hurt you guys - jeez

Sorry to hurt your feelings. I accept that you didn’t know it was fake. We have all gotten items that we didn’t know were fake.

I considered taking down this post after receiving your email, but if there are two out there, they there are probably more, and the Forum readers include a lot of people who would not see the Journal article when it is published.


I second Lew’s comments. I was not bashing you. Simply stating my opinion that now that it is known to be fake, it should be removed from the Auction. I applaud your decision to do so. Thank you.

John Moss

Probably not bashing, it just felt threatening telling me he was notifying others, not giving me a chance to do anything. The words FAKE - and saying its the second one - the first one wasn’t me.

I cut open the box, this is what is inside…


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It’s too bad things like this are out, not only does the buyer get hurt, but apparently this time the unaware ‘almost’ seller did too.

That is the correct headstamp for the box. This box is also found with a Spanish-language label over the German one, completely legitimate, by the way. I don’t know why anyone would fake the label when the bottom label on most of the boxes is almost the same as the fake one, but not grammatically incorrect and with little eagles that were never on these boxes.

John M.

O.K., now I am more than a little confused…
Is the ammo actually .380acp/9mm Kurz/9mm Corto, yes? And who made it [4 stars]?
The ammo is original to what date, but the lable indicating Nazi [ownership?] is faked.

I think we should wait for Lew’s article in IAA for this discussion of the fake Gustloff-Werk label. However, while I see no point into going into detail, I will give a short answer to Jack’s questions:

  1. The ammo is actually caliber 9 mm Browning Long, and for this box, which is original (only the label is faked) it is the correct ammunition in all regards, which has already been said.

  2. The four stars without any dividing lines is a headstamp of the Hirtenberger Patronen-, Zündhütchen- und Metallwarenfabrik A.-G, Hirtenberg Austria.

  3. Hirtenberg merged with the Wilhelm-Gustloff-Stiftung in 1938, and the name was changed to "Gustloff-Werke, Otto Eberhardt, Patronenfabrik Hirtenberg. Hency, this ammunition must date between 1938 and 1945, when the factory temporarily ceased to exist.

  4. Germany was a National Socialist country - Socialism within capitalism. What is “NAZI Ownership?” Was it controlled by Germany, yes, of course. However, the Reichsadler was not part of the original, genuine label.

See the article when it is published.

John Moss

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I would only add that the bottom label is in Spanish with no manufacturer indicated. I believe that this is probably original Hirtenberger production for some unknown customer, and in 1938, undelivered ammunition was overlabeled in German with the Gustloff-Werke label. The ammunition could have been made some years before 1938. Unfortunately, i have no way of dating the original box.

I suspect the four star hst was purely Hirtengerger and where it is found in Gustloff labeled boxes it is relabeled pre-1938 production.

The article will not explain all, but it will explain what I/we know.



You may well be correct on that. I did reverse the order of attachment of over-labeled boxes, the Spanish label being under the German-language label, in my comments above.

It is, though, also possible that both were made simultaneously, and then as you mention, unsold ammunition from the lots labeled in Spanish were over-labeled to be sold elsewhere. I base this on the belief, from close examination, that my Gustloff-Werke labeled box does not appear to have, or ever having, a label underneath it. What is certain is that the ammo sold in the USA years later as MILSURP was primarily, possibly all, of the Spanish Label. The Gustloff label in German is much scarcer.

I have no disagreement that the ammunition could have been produced before 1938. The only positive year-date spread I could give was the 1938-1945 dates, since it is positive that it could not be made later than 1945, or in the case of the German-language label, be earlier than 1938. It would be helpful to know who the Spanish Label was made for, as that might provide an clue or even an answer, but perhaps you know and it will be in your article. The Green Chaco War and the Spanish Civil War come to mind as possible destinations and date spreads. I don’t know of any particular use of 9 mm Browning Long pistols anywhere in South America other than Colombia, which received about 1,000 Husqvarna-made versions of the FN Model 1903 Pistol, or El Salvador and Paraguay, who had some, probably a lesser number than Colombia, of 1903 pistols, likely made, as I recall, at FN-Belgium. The Colombia pistols date from 1937, so if it was for them, we are only talking one year earlier than the date-spread mentioned, if that. There is also a Gustloff-Werke, Hirtenberg box of 25-round capacity with virtually the identical wording, other than the “25” in place of “50” to denote quantity contained therein. That box is unknown with labels in any language other than German, but still could, of course, be packaging from a “repack project.” In the Spanish Civil War, as we know, just about every small arm from up to that time in the 20th Century found their way to Spain in lesser or greater quantities.

Thanks for the clarification. I was trying to offer only the minimum information, awaiting your article.

John M.

John, here the 25rd box with german text, same headstamp, but packed in 1-1944 (stamped on the back is 1-44), so obvious stocks left in the factory, as during wartime where no production of this outdated caliber…


Peter - thank you. While I had a picture of this box in an article I wrote on this caliber for IAA, I had never seen the box itself and was not aware of the 1-44 date on the box. Good information, likely indicating that there were at least two instances of packaging or repacking of this ammunition, which likely was originally intended for a Spanish-speaking country. I agree that this ammo was all made about the same time, maybe in one large lot only, sometime before that date.

John Moss

So if the box & contents are matching, the under label is in Spanish & the over label is in German (added when it was redirected / repackaged), is it the ‘Reichsadler’ that makes this fake? Or the over label with capitalized ‘lang’?

Wait for Lew’s article in the IAA Journal folks. It will likely answer all questions.

Apoc - yes, the Reichsadler stamp is part of the fakery. It can also be noted that the Stück is spelled wrong, as “Stuck” missing the unlaut over the “u”. Further, the original printing has a dash between the words “Browning” and “Pistolen” (Browning-Pistolen-Patronen). See Forensics fine picture of a 25-round box. The print is basically identical to that on the original label of the 50-round box. Further the Gustloff-Werke, Hirtenberg, properly written as I just typed it and the way it appears on REAL GWH boxes, is without any punctuation. The final proof is that I have one of these boxes with all the labels soaked off except for the original Spanish-language label. The order in which they were applied is:

Spanish-Language label first.

German-Language label over that. Original without all the errors found on the fake.

Fake German language label which calls the cartridge “Bergmann Pistolen Patronen,” a total misrepresentation of the caliber of ammunition in the box.

Fake German-language label as seen in the first photo on the thread.

This is about the most amateurish fake label I have seen in 55 years of collecting. It is so obviously a fake, I don’t see what all the confusion is about.

John Moss

And that, John, is why you are the esteemed Professor of automatic pistol cartridges, and we, your students.

Guy - you must have me mixed up with Fede, Peelen, Brian, Forensic or Lew! Perhaps even with yourself. I have a hidden advantage when talking of 9 mm Browning Long. I wrote a long, two-part article on that caliber for IAA which I researched heavily for two years. I reread it occasionally so I can remember the material myself. I’m not much of an expert on anything. But, I have a big arms and ammunition library and can read. Now, if I could just remember where I put it? :-) :-(