Ammunition identification assistance please-Model 1888 box

Hello: I bought this box of ammunition at an auction recently. Can anyone translate the information on the box? Since the box has managed to remain sealed for over 100 years, I don’t plan to open it. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

See photos below

Glad you made it here. If you use the “IMG” line from Photobucket and just paste it on your post, it should show up here automatically.
I hope someone can help more with what I think is a nice box of M88 cartridges.

Does this work now?

Hopefully this is better

I should really let one of our German friends do this one. I cannot translate the whole label, as I am not good at all with German abbreviations. The box looks to me to be for the Model 1888 7.9 x 57 Mauser cartridges, on clips for the Model 88 Mauser. They were evidently made at Danzig, nad the Gef. 23 3 06 I believer means they were made (Gefertigt) 23 March 1906.

Hope this is of some help. There seems to be some information about the primer (Zundhütchen) but I can’t read it not just because of my poor familiarity with German, but also because the stamp is rather smeared. Someone who knows what it is supposed to say will probably be able to read it just fine.

Sorry for the amateur answer.

Great box.

Keep it the way it is.


The information regarding the primers (Zdh) says manufactured 1905 at Spandau.
The next line “G St P” says Geschoss mit Stahlmantel (cupronickel plated steel, not the early cupronickel) made by Polte.

Who is the propellant supplier identified by (as I make it out) S? In various of these boxes I’ve seen S seems the commonest source. I’ve also seen R and Gn (?). Jack

S - Spandau
R - Rottweil
Gn - Gnaschwitz (Saxony had its own army like Bavaria. The Bavarian manufacturer being J for Ingolstadt)

JPeelen: I thought maybe S was for Spandau, but for bullets Spandau is identified by an M, and for primers by Sp? I was aware Spandau was responsible for a considerable range of activities and products and this then is reflected in the multiple identifiers? The particular box which cited Gn as the powder supplier was packed in Stettin, so the Prussians apparently bought Saxon propellant from time to time. Thanks much for the identifiers. Jack

Your confusion about S, Sp and M results from the ill-founded belief that we Germans are systematic. ;-)
Spandau was a center of military technology and had a number of arsenals/armories:

Feuerwerkslaboratorium - pyrotechnic lab; primers were made here (Sp). There was another one at Siegburg near Bonn, maybe that is the reason for not using a plain S.
Gewehrfabrik - rifle factory
Munitionsfabrik - ammunition factory (the M on bullet bases originates from this name while headstamp was S)
Pulverfabrik - powder/propellant factory
Geschützgießerei - gun foundry (making artillery and field gun barrels)
Artilleriewerkstatt (? I am not sure) - making carriages and completing guns
Geschossfabrik - artillery projectiles
and even a
Militärkonservenfabrik - military factory for canned food

Edited to add Geschossfabrik and mention of Siegburg

JPeelen: Thanks for the helpful and detailed explanation. Actually this isn’t unsystematic, but it is perhaps surprising to someone living in a federal state like the U.S. In this federation even at an early date there was a strong emphasis on decentralization of military procurement, with the result that small arms were produced at Springfield, Massachusetts and Harpers Ferry, Virginia, artillery at (I think) West Point, New York, and ammunition in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In a centralized state like Prussia it was, of course, reasonable to have these activities close at hand so the king could see what was going on. Thanks again, and double thanks for explaining about Gnaschwitz! Jack