Australian .45 auto


Hello, I have 2 of these boxes. One still sealed and one open. The rounds are made bij MG (Footscray No.2). Why is the label different in style to for instance a 9mm or a .380 box?
Is it normal that the boxes are made of a dark waxed cardboard?


I do not believe this is the normal box for Australian .45. The normal box is tan with black print, but is not waxed, and are for 24 rounds of ammunition. The labels say:


I don’t even know why I say this, but that box looks dutch to me. Which when it comes to Australia, would probably mean Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). I could be way off, because I don’t even know why I am saying that. I do believe, though, that the Colonial Forces in the East Indies had some Thompson SMGs in their inventory. The only thing I forget, and don’t have time right now to research, is when the Japanese took the East Indies, in comparison to the date of the ammunition. If packed like that in the Australian factory, for the Dutch Colonial Forces, it would not necessarily ever have been delivered, if by the time it was ready, the Japanese had made delivery impossible.

Harrie - help me out here. I think I am getting myself into deep water, and I can’t swim!

Regrdless, it is a great box. Wish it were mine! : )


John you are 100% right… with the Dutch East Indies



Harrie - Thank you for your unequivocal answer…I think… : ( Thank you for your edited answer
done while I was typing the first part of this edited answer …I am sure… : )



KNIL correct, but for period 1945-1949 ( Indonesia proper) or up to 1960s (Dutch New Guinea–“West Papua”-- Now Irian Jaya").

Label reads: PS ( Patroon Scherpe–Ball Ammo) .45
PW 49-6 ( 1949, Repack Lot 6)

During the re-occupation of the Indies, Australia gave the Dutch quite a few Small Arms ( TSMGs included); Then the Japanese inspired INA of Soekarno took the " Political Actions" to get the Dutch to leave for four years, leading to Indonesian Independance in 1949.

There should be probably be similar (KNIL) packs of .303 Mk VII with Aussie Wartime headstamps, and maybe even some 9mm as well.

MG was by far the biggest .45ACP producer in Australia during WW II; very little was made by MF ( unless one counts the lone 1956 production by MF for the RAAF,) this Post-War “MF” was simply the MG factory Location ( across the road from “MF”) as a rebadge after 1948.

Doc AV


Doc, regarding .45 production, “very little was made by MF” (during WWII), I am not aware of ANY WWII production of the caliber .45 A.C.P. cartridge by MF during the War. I have a ball and a dummy round from the dated 1956, which you mention, but I have never seen or heard of a WWII-dated “MF” .45 round. Do they exist? If so, a picture please, for file.



Doesn’t the shortage PW means Publieke Werkplaats.


You never cease to amaze me with your expeditious, authoritative answers…you make the Forum what we have always hoped it would be. (Now I just wished I liked brown waxed boxes with 45 ACP’s in them!)


Thanks for all the answers. Happy to hear the boxes are Dutch.


Early post-colonial Indonesian packaging and labels are very similar to the earlier Netherlands-derived style, and it would be wise to carefully examine the box before deciding on its origin. I have such a box, made of sturdy cardboard, heavily waxed and with this 6 line label: 42 / P. 6.5 m/m / D-29 / P.S.M. 55-1R / KL. III / 13 Aug 1955. It originally held 42 rounds of 6.5 m/m rimmed ammunition with the headstamp 29 over D. Jack


Thanks for your input, Jack, but even your box could still be Dutch (New Guinea), and not Indonesian…the Dutch only let go of West New Guinea (Papua or “West Irian”) to the Indonesians in the early 1960s.

The lettering ( and use of Roman Numerals etc) indicates more a Dutch system of marking, rather than Indonesian.
Naturally, after the 1960s ( when all the equpment in New Guinea was also acquired by Indonesia) this ammo would then have become “Indonesian” and surplussed as such in the 1980s. (Both to USA and to Australia)

I would still call your box “Dutch” until further proof is available.

PS, “Cartridges” in Dutch is PS ( Patroon Scherpe) ;in Bahasa Indonesia (a Malay language) it is “Butiri”…

Doc AV
AV Ballistics



Doc: My source, such as it is, is Hogg’s headstamp book, which indicates PSM (Pabrik Senjata Mesiu) identifies what I take to be an Indonesian facility in Bandung. As I understand it Bandung was in 1955 in an area under Indonesian control. Is that not in fact the case? Jack


Yes, Jack, Bandung (Bandoeng) is in Java, and part of Indonesia from 1949. It used to be the KNIL’s major Installation for Arms and Ammo repair etc ( Surabaya (Soerabaja) was the other one.)

But I would not place too much reliance on Hogg’s information, especially with “foreign” (Non-English ) connections…he is (was) known for some real howlers… But I will take your info on board and research further.

Thanks and regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Sounds good, Doc. I’d be interested in what might turn up. Jack