A neat German 7.92 Box


Here is a neat box of 7.92 I picked up recently. What I like about it is that the label is printed directly on the box, it is relatively early, and it has the Military District Code in the first line rather than the loader.


Nice box Dave!! I haven’t seen a S.m.K. box from Wehrkreise (Defense District) IV before. Not so long ago I picked up a S.m.K. box from Wehrkreise III which I hadn’t seen before either.


Hey Phil,

Also a nice box. I have not seen any boxes from district III at all. Thanks for sharing that one!



Some other boxes with the district code.

District/ Wehrkreis:
I - Königsberg
II - ???
III - Jüterbog
IV - Zeithain/Riesa
V - Kassel from 1935 IX
VII - Inglostadt



451kr – thanks for showing the labels. The 1500 round label VII 1. L. 35 is another 1st time seen for me. I’ve seen the 15 round label before but not the 1500 round.


Very interesting stuff gentlemen. I’ve not seen a German 7,9 box with the label information printed directly on it before. What is the purpose and significance of the district numbers?



Let’s see if I can explain this without being too long winded or getting too many facts in error.

After WWI Germany was divided into a number of “Wehrkreise" (Defense Districts). Because of a potential ammunition shortage in case of a conflict and to hide the production from the Allied Military Control Commission the HWA (HeersWaffenamt) fitted a few artillery depots with machinery to load ammunition. The ammunition loaded in these facilities carried the roman numeral of the District where they were located instead of the code for the loading firm on the labels. No cases or components were produced by these facilities.

This practice was terminated in 1937.

Ref.: Die Patrone 7.9mm der Deutschen Wehmacht 1930-1945 by Windish/Mike/Kellner


So the “P” marked cases were made at Polte (?) and shipped to the various military districts to be loaded? Was all 7,9 ammunition loded in this manner during this period or was there “above the board” manufacture at factories such as Polte, etc…?



There was “above board” loading of the 7.9 ammo during the 1920s. Remember, Germany was authorized a very small 100,000 man army under the Treaty of Versailles, and the Reichswehr, as it was called then, had a legitimate need for 7.9 Mauser ammunition, aside from any “under the counter” shipments.


Was there not a similar practice of loading 7.9 m/m ammunition at artillery depots in pre-Great War imperial Germany from components supplied by the usual cartridge makers? I ask the question because some of the cartridge boxes in this early period have such place names as Dresden or Stettin stamped on their cloth sealing strips and indications that the components were from various sources and with varied dates of manufacture. Jack


“Von der Patrone 88 zur Patrone S” by Windisch/Kellner/Micke/Platzer has this to say about the loading of M88 ammunition:

“1.8 Cartridge loading
In times of peace, loading was accomplished exclusively by the State controlled ammunition factories in Spandau, Dresden and Ingolstat; also on a small scale in certain Artillery Depots to keep the machinery in shape and train its personnel. The private industry acted as supplier of cases and bullets only.”

S ammunition:

“4.4 Loading the Cartridges
In peacetime only the State owned arsenals at Spandau, Dresden and Ingolstat; and in 1915 also Cassel and a few specialized artillery depots loaded ammunition. Bavaria transferred ammunition production to a new installation, the Pulver und Munitionsfabrik Dachau. DWM loaded ammunition for Bavaria, as did Göggl in Moosach beginning in 1916, and after the end of the war also Polte in Magdeburg started loading.”

Note: I hadn’t realized that Polte didn’t begin to load 7.9mm until after WWI but only supplied cases. - pb


Phil: Thanks for the clarifying passages. I have the earlier book by Windisch et al. but not this one. Jack


Phil you are right,

Fist off all, the state owned plants get orders. If they need more, the private owned.
That’s why a lot of months are missing by a lot of manufacturers.


The mention of “P” being “Polte” is correct, only if the “P” has no other number associated with it. IN the 1920s, the Government factories havinjg been dismantled or otherwise rendered inoperative to manufacture ammunition, Polte was “nominated” to be the only German Factory to supply ammo to the Wiemar Republic ( as Simson was for Small Arms); whether they supplied cases and other components to the Wehrkriese for loading is unknown…I doubt it, as the production of Small Arms and Ammunition was under Versailles Commission control at least till 1926 (?), maybe even later.

When the Nazis came to Power, in order to camouflage the origin of ammunition, the “P-code” system came into effect. To the naive British and French inspectors,and intelligence sectors, these numbers probably meant different Lots etc. of Polte, or something similar…unknown to them this was the beginning of the German Ammuniton Industry rebuilding. The “P” Code meant simply “Patronenfabrik Nr. xyz” and the locations were kept confidential.

The P-code system lasted until 1940-41, when it was changed to the two and three letter lower-case alphabetic coding, extended to all factories producing Military supplies.

Anybody have an early “P-code” label ( before 1934???); What about “P” labelled 1920s ammo?

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

PS, Polte was supplying Holland with Cartridge cases (and ammo?) well before WW I (6,5x53R), marked “P” and two digit date, and made Mexican Mondragon “Piston” 5,2x68 ammo in the 1890s.
Anybody got Polte Catalogues from the turn of the Century, with export military type ammo???


“What about P-labelled ammunition?” If you mean headstamps with “P” for “Polte” from the 1920s, they are scarcer than later dates, but well known in 9 mm Para and 7.9 x 57 Mauser, and perhaps other calibers. My earliest Post WWI “P” headstamped round is a chromed exerzierpatr. with headstamp “P Ex 21” (did that from memory. It might be “P 21 Ex”) and it was made as an Ex.patr. Just a firing-pin clearance dimple in the base - no real primer pocker. Oddly, it seems to be a fairly common date in these Polte drill rounds. I don’t recall seeing any box labels for Polte from the 1920s, but I could be wrong. I have looked at a pretty fair amount of German 7.9 and 9 mm labels in my life time, and unfortunately, didn’t pay a lot of attention to them my first 20 years of collecting. Very short-sighted of me, frankly.


After WW1 the Germans had plenty of WW1 made ammunition. They were checked and repacked in Artillery Depots.

The beginning of the coded head stamps additional to Polte started in 1924.

By putting a character behind the “P” the Germans though they could be smarter than the allied control commission.

Pi = Hirtenberger Patronenfabrik
Pu = Burgsmüller, Kreiensen
Pö = BöhmeTreuenbrietzen. in 1926 new owner; Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbrietzen. (P25)

In 1926, long before the Nazis came to power, the number system was introduced. Not only for ammo but all items used for reaming German forces.

The 7,9 started with P25, P120 in 1926 and P131 and P132 in 1928.

Here some examples of box labels before 1934 as DocAv would like to see.
The Platz 27 boxes are a nice example.
It was only aloud to make powder in the Pulferfabrik Reinsdorf. (rdf)
By the box from 1931 you read “rdf 128”. This “128” means the powder was made by the Pulverfabrik Walsrode. Not Reinsdorf!!!

The WW1 ammo was still used in the 1930s but only for practice.



I went back through my notes on artillery depot loaded 7.9 m/m M88 cartridges (1902-1913) and noted powder suppliers identified on the labels as Gn, R, S, and W. I’m willing to guess the last three represent Rottweil, Spandau, and Walsrode, but what of the Gn? Jack


Here are a few more early Polte labels:


Does the blue “X” across those labels mean anything or has that been added by a civilian owner for some reason?


Phil - I have never even seen the trinomial headstamp “P 1 18.” That’s
one great box!