9x19 Weird repackaged box


Wanted to show this ‘little’ box which, according to one of our Dutch collectors / sellers was acquired by him in Spain.

It is a 2-piece box with metal edge retainers and it holds a total of 56 rounds of 9x19 para. The contents are a mix of DWM 480C (Karlsruhe, 1930s style) and S.P.C. 9mm marked rounds. All with nickle plated magnetic fmj.

The box itself is divided into 3 compartments using loose cardboard inserts. The rounds are placed in rows of 8:

2 rows - divider - 3 rows - divider - 2 rows.

Maybe it is from Portugal? Sociedad Portuguesa de Cartuchería?


Head stamp wise, it makes sense. Portugal was also a good DWM / Mauser customer, so that could also explain the DWM 480C head stamps.

But I wonder for what reason the ammunition was repackaged in these boxes, one would think that the size of the box dictated the number of rounds. The box is relatively high, so it doesn’t appear to be made for 9x19 at all.

Perhaps some sort of surplus clear-out in the 1950s?

I have the same exact box. I am told mine was full of only the SPC 9 mm rounds, but I can’t be sure of that as I received it with just two rounds - one for a box specimen and one for the singles collection - the way I prefer to get boxes.

The headstamp mix is not surprising, since Sociedad Portuguese de Cartuchería was officially affiliated with Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken A.-G. of Germany. SPC operated until 1940. I don’t know when the factory originally began production. There are two different styles of “SPC” 9 mm Parabellum headstamp, though.

John Moss


Thanks, that is a link I didn’t know yet. I wonder what factory wasn’t affiliated with DWM during the war years. (FN in Belgium being run as DWM Luttich, a heavy equipment plant in Poznan, Poland being run as DWM Posen, etc…).

Vlim - those examples are a little different, since the countries involved that you mention were over run by the Germans, although my understading is that FN Liege was already legally owned by DWM through stock control - I have heard that so many time I assume it is correct. Perhaps someone can verify it or deny it.

SPC goes back before WWII, closing in 1940. Also, Portugal, of course, was a neutral country and never occupied by the Third Reich.

John Moss


You are correct about the FN affiliation with DWM. The Loewe group, of which DWM was a part, acquired a majority of the FN shares after a trial scare following the unlicensed modification of FN-made rifles. A number of FN share holders, afraid of law suits, quietly sold their shares to Loewe. When DWM was formed in 1897, the FN shares were transferred from the mother company (Loewe) to it’s daugther, DWM.

In 1918, DWM was forced to sell its FN shares. A conglomerate of Belgian investors bought them. So FN was owned by DWM between 1897 and 1918.

Vlim - thanks for the information. So, what I “knew” was basically correct, but I had been told the wrong era. I was told many times that FN owned the factory, basically, when they occupied it in 1940. That was untrue, obviously.

John Moss

Vlim, The boxes like you picture seem to have come from Spanish military bunkers, and I’ve been told two stories.

  1. The ammo was made by DWM and packed by SPC and sent to Spain during the Civil War
  2. The components were made by DWM and SPC (which I have been told once made shotshells) loaded the ammo on German supplied equipment to avoid Germany directly supplying ammo during the Spanish Civil War.

The other headstamp John mentioned (SPC * 9mm *) also comes in a very strange box!!!