Aging Norma and RWS packets of cartridges


Can anyone please indicate the period for which each of the packet labels relate to -

And can anyone please refer me to any good reference for the task of aging older packets of RWS/DWM/Norma.



Does anyone know when Norma and RWS started packing their cartridges in packets of 20 ?



Dusty, Both RWS and Norma has used codes to indicate when the box was loaded. Do either of your boxes have a code of numbers and/or letters stamped on them somewhere, like the back or side or inside the lid?

I don’t think I have these codes but I believe some have at least the RWS codes for rifle cartridges.

If you post the codes, perhaps someone can help.

Lovely old boxes.




Perhaps someone at Norma might know?



Deciphering RWS box date code information, by Heinz Held, German ECRA group, is available in IAA Journal #495, page 40 (Jan./Feb., 2014).



Thanks Lew.

The only packet with a code stamped on it is the RWS packet and the code is J520.

No codes stamped on the inside or outside of the Norma packets.

Sorry Brian I do not have the IAA Journal. I am not your normal cartridge collector in that I only collect 9,3x62 cartridges including packets.




The RWS code, according to the info presented in the IAA Journal article translates as follows:

J = either 1939 or 1964
52 = 12th day of the month
O = May



Thanks for that Brian. So, what do you think most likely, '39 or '64 ?



Dusty, The pre-WWII RWS packets in 9mm typically had red labels and were marked Sintox. My estimate would be 1939.

I note that both of the Norma labels have some small printing along the bottom. I have not seen any 9mmP labels from this vintage, but this is often label information identifying the design style of the label, sometimes the number printed, and the date of the label design or other information. if you can post these in a readable manner, just typing them in a post is fine, than someone may be able to give you better information to help you date these boxes.

My guess is these two boxes are both pre-WWII, but is only a guess. This is just a guess and there are others on the Forum who could make much more educated inputs.



I think the RWS packet is from 1939, because in 1964 the code would have been written in the postwar format 52OJ.


Page 10 of the 1955 RWS catalogue shows this cartridge packet

To me this appears to be a more basic design. It has the string to cut the seal.

Back in the 1938 catalogue where a packet is shown, it appears to be a more basic again

I do not have any RWS catalogues for the period 1956 to 1965 so if anyone else does I would be very interested to see what packet images they contain.



Lew, the print along the bottom of the Norma labels is as follows -

for 285 gr Soft Point packet - Nr 720 10000 ARVIKA NYHETERS TR.
for the Hollow Point packet - Nr 755 ARVIKA NYHETERS TR.

svartkrutt, thanks for the link, I submitted a question to them…waiting for an answer.



My computer won’t translate “ARVIKA NYHETERS TR.”, but it is clear that the Soft Point box design is earlier than the HP box design. Without more Norma box design numbers it is hard to guess how much earlier.

My experience is that the artwork in catalogs is often older than the date of the catalog. Sometimes artwork, like cartridge drawings may be used years or even decades after the headstamp for example has been changed.



It’s probably “Arvika Nyheters tryckeri” = Arvika News printing shop. Arvika nyheter is still published triweekly, incorporated 1895.


Wonder if they have a record of the order for these labels??? The 10,000 is probably the print quantity.



I have ordered IAA Journal #495.

Is the postwar format covered in that journal article or is there another reference?



I originally only knew the postwar format. From the German collectors journal I learned that until 1945 the code was the same with the year coming first. I do not have IAA journal 495.


Looking in my Journal archive and lo and behold, haven’t got it either… Must have forgotten to download it or wasn’t sent the link or something…


It is on page 40 and indicates the code format changed around 1950. Both formats are discussed.



Thank you gentlemen for the assistance provided.

I received my copy of IAA #495 this morning so I am at least a little wiser on the RWS packets.