9x19 RWS Nürnberg headstamp from 1933


Please let my known, is this a civilian production by RWS Nürnberg ? The marking system look like a standard army style (first before create code P151).


Do you know such headstamp from other years or another lot numbers ?

Best regards.


I don’t know of a box associated with this headstamp so there is no firm indication that it was made for the German Army (.i.e military). You are correct that it is a military style headstamp, but the date of 1933 is significant in German history. In 1933 there were a number of pseudo-military or police organizations that it could have been made for.

Note that it is unlikely to have been made by RWS. In 1927, Geco and RWS reached an agreement where RWS made all rifle ammunition and Geco made all pistol ammunition for both companies. This ammunition would have been made by Geco. There are a set of interesting 16 round boxes with “N” used as the loader and “N” as the manufacturer of the case. The format on these boxes is military, but the codes are not military. Beginning in 1939 and continuing into 1940, the code on RWS made 9mmP08 rounds was P151 and then dnf. The code used by Geco on 9mmP08 was P405 and then dnh. There is no evidence that, after 1927 and before 1939, RWS made 9mmP08 ammunition.

Below are the known “N” produced boxes with brass case ammunition:

The headstamp found in these boxes is “RWS . 1 40” or one of the earlier dates from 38 or 39. This ammo was made by Geco.

The three later boxes, still showed “N” as the loader but the case manufacturer was shown as Geco since the box code for the case was P405 and then dnh. The 1941 box contained the normal military style headstamp.

Another box from 1942. The cartridges in this box have the normal brass case rounds headstamped "dnh * 3 42)

I dug out my boxes like the 1943 box below. I have two of them. One of them is headstamped dnh St+ 4 43, but the rounds in the other box are headstamped dnh St+ 1 42, so at this point-apparently the last production batch, it appears that they were using whatever cases were available.

There are also some unusual headstamps from this period. they look like the military headstamp, but are missing the material code (the star). I have not documented the box for these although dummies with this headstamp, along with dummies with a P405 headstamp and a Geco commercial headstamp were found in a Commercial Geco 50 round box.

The bottom line of all this is that it unlikely that the “N” code was used on “military” ammunition, but more likely ammunition intended one of the Nazi controlled organizations like the SS, SA or Gestapo or perhaps all three.

Other thoughts, opinions and facts welcome.


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Is this headstamp for real? It looks etched to me, and pretty recently. Jack

1927 Agreement between RWS and Geco

The 1 33 N could also be export no?


I also have the N box in a 1942 date and added it above.

Jack, Yes the 1933 cartridge is legit and has been known for over 50 years. It is in most better 9x19mm collections. A scarce round but not rare. Below is a photo of mine from my headstamp guide.N01A

EOD, I see no evidence that the rounds in the “N” boxes are export. Most of the exports had foreign language labels until the forces were actually in combat with the German Army and were receiving ammunition from the same source-the army munitions depots.

The fact that these are very close to German military labels, going back to 1938, and Geco (P405) military 9mmP08 production also goes back to 1936. The only difference between these and the Geco military production is the use of the non-military “N” code and the use of RWS on the headstamp. Sure sounds like SS to me and perhaps SA. These boxes are common enough that they must have been produced in some quantity. During the period up to 1943, as I understand it, the Waffen SS had to provide their own ammunition, and the Army was unlikely to be interested in the Waffen SS using the Army codes, particularly early on in '38 and '39. Beginning in 1940 it appears that someone decided it made no sense to pay for two different headstamps for essentially the same case production and the RWS headstamp was dropped.

I have never seen a box for the N 1933 round so cannot state that it is not an export, but the connection with the subsequent rounds from N marked boxes, the German military style and the sudden ascendancy of the Nazi organization would argue to me that it is for a Nazi organization.

I have spent some time digging out the actual boxes in my collection and made some edits on the text with the 1943 box above.



Lew: I believe you, but if I picked this out of cigar box full of odds and ends I would just pitch it back in. Jack


Jack, If you find it in a cigar box, keep it and sent it to me. I can always use a good dupe!!!



Lew: Would be glad to. I should say that judging objects from images is something I am ordinarily leery of, and it’s possible if I had the round above in my hand I might feel better disposed to it. Thanks for bearing with me. Jack


Jack, I understood your skepticism. The round at the tip looks like the headstamp has been cleaned up, not surprising for a dug up case. I was just pulling your leg a bit. I got my round almost 50 years ago and learned about it before then. I was amazed when I got it and for a bit, it was the best headstamp in my collection. I think I first saw it in Don Amesbury’s collection in about late 1966! That was when he gave me three WWI German 9mmP, one with a truncated bullet which were then the treasures in my collection. This is a great hobby! it was, and still is full of great people.



Absolutely legitimate. I have always felt it might be a police load, but then that would also cover what Lew said - SA, SS, etc. I went 50 years looking for this headstamp, getting it only in the last few years. a similar headstamp, " N S* 1 34" is found on 7.9 x 57 cartridges, and while not common, is not as scarce by far as is the 9 mm. I would rate the 9mm round as being somewhat “better” than just “scarce.”

John Moss


Here is the head stamp John s revering to.


There are some similar 7,9 head stamps with a “P” marking from 33/34.
Lot 1, 2, and 3 from 1933 and 1, 2 from 1934 are known.
Lot 3 from 1933 is also known as a chrome plated Ex round.
I have also no proof for which organisation they were made for. Police, custom?


Dutch & John,
Thanks! I hoped that some similar 7.9s would be posted.

Dutch raises a good point. In 1933 the Police were not associated with the Nazi party. By 1938 the party controlled them.

I had not considered Customs. I suspect by 1940 they were under the control of one Nazi organization or another but I have no information that I can recall.

Can some provide a brief outline of the evolution of German Customs from 1930 to 1945??? It may fill in the story a bit.

What type of weapons did the Customs Service carry???

Thanks again for the added information.


PS: Dutch, ius there a box label associated with the “N S* 1 34” headstamp?? Are N labeled boxes known like the 9mmP08 boxes above?



In regard to the last reply from John Moss could I have a clarification to the last sentence regarding a 9mm
round!! does this refer to a 9mm round with a stamp that says only 9mm??? if so I have one always thought
it was an odd ball.Please also tell me the significenz of a truncated bullet on a round with the stamp DWM 9 10
but the bullet is hollow point ( that early?) further I found 2 ordinary rounds with WRA stamps one just with
the Stamp WRA but the other had dots between each letter like W.R.A.C.O.How scarce is on from the other?



Since my answer here was totally off topic, I moved it to a seperate thread! You can find it at

I have also added images and more information to my reply.:

PS: I have also moved your two replies below to the new topic!

Sherryl: W.R.A.CO. vs WRA; DWM HP 9mmP; Hst "9mm"

Thanks Lew for your reply I will take note of what you told me and I will look out for that special
stamp you described I found out with these 9mm one could trip over almost anything while huntiing
for unrelated other stuff


I Just went trough my 9mm once more and I found a round with a stamp you mentioned however
the the stamp has points between the letters like W.R.A. 9 M-M it has a nickel primer and by the looks
of it a lilac annulus copper clad bullet.Is this the stamp you had in mind on the above post?
of course there is no box.


Lew, sorry no box label known, but now it is the other way around.
I hope somebody reading the forum have seen a 7,9 Mauser with a “K” head stamp from 1934. I have many years this empty box in the collection.
The base of the label I translate; 35 000 labels printed in June 1934 by W.B.

Any information appreciated.


This is great!!! I hope someone turns up a “Kynoch” round in their collection that is headstamped “K S* 1 42”!

If the “N” stands for Nurnberg as we all suspect, then “K” would be Karlsruhe or so it seems to me.

Thanks for the image.



Have had no luck with a box for the dnh 2 42 rounds pictured above without the material code (star) so have written a question for the ECRA Bulletin. Perhaps we can find an answer there. I would not be surprised if they came in a 16 round “N” box like those pictured above.

Thanks for the help!




I have not seen a 7.9 with “K” headstamp, other than the ones made for Kaunus, Lithuania. They would not belong to your box, of course, since they are several years later as I recall.

Once again, though, we have a box without a cartridge, and in my case, cartridges without boxes. There is a “K” 9 mm headstamp, known in two dates, both of which I have, but I have never seen a box for them. They are both brass case, with CNCS Truncated bullets, very much in the shape of those from DWM. One is “K 5 35” and has a brass primer cup with black primer seal. The other is “K 4 39” and has a copper primer cup with red primer seal. In both instances, there are K DWM K 480C cartridges with these same primer and primer seal combinations.

There has been theory that they are made for Kaunus, Lithuania and even that they were loaded there, from some DWM components. Looking at the cartridges, I personally believe the are 100% a product of DWM. The “35” date on the one is, I feel, somewhat early to be a Spanish Civil War headstamp, another theory that has come up in conjunction with these.
Considering the use of a truncated bullet as late as 1939, my personal theory, and I stress that I have little documentation regarding it, is that these cartridges were made for the Colonial Dutch Forces in Indonesia, who used the Luger pistol.

The dates of 1935 and 1939 on the “K” headstamped cartridges fit well into the timeline
of Dutch Purchases of both pistols and ammunition, as does the use of truncated bullets.
Beginning in the year 1930 (the whole story goes back to 1905 and is superbly covered in the book “The Dutch Luger,” by Martens and de Vries), a drawing is known that shows cartridges headstamped * H * 1930, possibly made by the Dutch factory N. V. Nederlandsche Patronen-, Slaghoedjesen Metaalwarenfabriek, at Dordrecht, Netherlands.
While I have not seen this exact headstamp, I do have one headstamped * H * 1931 that has the truncated bullet so favored by the Dutch. The date is not at all out of line in relation to a drawing from 1930. The Hirtenberg-style headstamp, with “H” factory designator, was often used at Dordrecht, which had some ties with Hirtenberg.

The Dutch Luger book’s ammunition section does not mention the “K” headstamped cartridges in 9 mm, but once again, the dates of 1935 and 1939 on these cartridges are not out of line for Dutch contracts. Germany continued to supply the Luger pistols during the 1930s. A group of 1000 were made for the Dutch in 1940, although there is reason to believe that these pistols, complete with Dutch-style safety and extractor markings, were diverted to German use. Regardless, there were deliveries 1931, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1939. The 9 mm Parabellum (Luger) cartridge was, by the way, not made at the Dutch State Arsenal, Artillerie Inrichtingen, until after WWII.

Prior to the end of WWI, DWM was the exclusive supplier to the Dutch East Indies Colonial forces, ao there was certainly precedent for a resumption of handling Dutch contracts by DWM in the 1930s.

In summary, it is the history of the connection between the Dutch Colonial forces and DWM in regard to supply of the 9 mm Pistol cartridge, the sole use of the truncated bullet, and the dates the “K” headstamped ammunition was made that gives me the theory that they are solely of DWM manufacture, not connected to Lithuania or any other country. The history of the supply of Luger Pistols to the Dutch East Indies reinforces that belief.

John Moss