Big 7.92x57 "FN 40" Belgian box

This big about 12x12cm box is filled up with green beauties. Why such a large pack? Not very convenient in the trenches.


The 100 round box may seem large, but the 2000 case they came in (20 boxes) was almost unmanageable. I used to struggle moving them around the shop. JH

The third line down on the label says “sans chargeurs” – without chargers (clips), which usually means the ammunition was packed for use in machine guns. So, your average grunt in the trench would probably never see one of these boxes unless he was loading belts for MGs.

Do the rounds in your box have the green mouth seal? The 1940 boxes seem to come both ways (with and without the seal).

Phil, no green mouth seals for me.

sksvlad – The ones with the mouth seals really make nice eye candy I think!!

It was common practise in the 1920s and 30s, to pack “MG” ammo (usually for Aircraft) in 100 round Boxes ( RWS,FN, etc). FN continued this practice well into the 1960s with 30/06 Tracer (that’s how we got it in Australia for AFV Brownings).

Possible users of this ammo (French language label) could have been the Belgians themselves, or more likely the Baltic States, or Greece, or various others with 7,9 mm calibre Aircraft Guns ( FN made a 7,9mm Browning ( “ANM2” style) at this time), such as Portugal, Spain, etc.

Obviously produced just before the German Invasion of Belgium in 1940 (April-May).

Very Nice…Don’t break up the box. (I have a RWS E37 SmK 7,9 full box, for Portugal with Port. label, as well as a couple of (alas empty) 1959 FN .30 cal Tracer Boxes…all 100 rounds.—I was one of the AFV guys who loaded up the belts (of SL 44) with the 1 in 5 FN 59s—and then fired them! — 2/14 QMI, 1973).

As to the weight, one guy at each end, or in a pinch, one man per crate…from the truck to a loading Bench/Table/pile of crates, for belting up…No “OHS” weight limitations in nthose days ( certainly none in pre-war armies etc either…We are such wimps these days…

Doc AV
AV Ballistics
Brisbane Australia


After the war FN still made these packings,this one is from 1962 and headstamp from 1956

gyrojet - That box is interesting and one I hadn’t seen before. I have a F N 56 headstamped Ball round but it is the sS heavy ball loading with GMCS bullet jacket. Not very many countries were still using the “S” light ball loading in 1962. Can you verify that the cartridges in your box are indeed the S type with CNCS bullet jackets. From the label and the pictures it looks like they are.

What does “SLAG HOEDJES FN Nr 17” translate to in English? That is a Dutch language label, right?

Phil, your Dutch is great.

It means Primer FN # 17


This is from a recent auction on Gun Broker.Com. Has the same F N 56 S type cartridges with CNCS bullet jackets as the box with the Dutch label but the label is printed in Spanish or Portuguese and the primers have a 3-stab crimp.

I have also this empty box

and the 30-06 and 7,62x51 have also these 100 round boxes
and they are all from the 50’s

30-06 box from NWM (blanks)

7,62x51 box Germany (rifle grenade cartridge)

@pbutler, this is what i have of "F N 56"
FN 56, S, cncs
FN 56, S, GMCS
FN 56, sS, GMCS
FN 56, sS, GMCS, with brown lacquered primer

(aslo made in the same year: launch, bull blank and tool)

'56 is also the latest S-made cartridge I have in my collection

sorry no pictures


Kurt - Thanks for the list. I am entering them into my records right now!!

I have a similar box, with a label in Russian. The rounds are 7.92 AP with the green tip color. The headstamp is “FN 38” but also contains a Cyrillic ‘P’. I have long assumed that this was Russian contract ammunition, but an assumption is all I have. Do any members or posters have any information on this ammunition?

SR43BVIIZ – The information I have (which could very well be wrong) says they were a FN contract for Yugoslavia. I have never seen the box and label for the rounds. Would it be possible for you to take some pictures and post them for us 7.9mm fans. It would be appreciated.

Would be great to get a look at the box.


I thought this round was made for Greece… Don’t remember where I got that…

Don’t think so.
If I remember well, Greece exported these days’s 8 x 57 to the UK.

I will post a picture of the box ASAP.

Phil - it is not impossible that they were for Yugslavia, as the earliest Yugoslav production of this caliber that I know of is 1940. However, it was also the era where FN was making a huge amount of 7.9 x 57 for Lithuania. The only problem is that I don’t know if Lithuania was using the Cyrillinc alphabet (speaking Russian) in those years of the mid to late 1930s.