Blue GFL Box

The box below contains unheadstamped cartridges with RN GM (non-mag) bullets and flat brass primers.

Can anyone estimate the date of production of this box?

What do the markings on the bottom of the box mean?



According to my notes only Fiocchi and Martignoni produced unheadstamped 9 mm M38 cartridges and 25 - pieces boxes for this cartridge.

Martignoni used re-labelled 38 S&W boxes. These are very rare

The picture I have show two unheadstamped cases with red or green painted primers taken from Fiocchi boxes

Anyway the text states that they were probably made shortly after WW2 , when production re-started

Is this another case of a mis-match between capacity of magazines and number of cartridges in a box? Weren’t Beretta M’38 magazines made to hold even numbers of cartridges?

I have a number of cartridge clips, found in Italy, that I was told were for ammunition made for M’38s. Is this likely? I have them with both brass and steel bodies and with plain and blued springs;

The cartridge clips are dimensionally identical to those for the Mauser C96 pistol. Has anyone seen packaging for Italian 9mm in these clips?

Happy collecting, Peter

yes, these cartridges were packed both in clips or as loose rounds

The boxes contain 2 clips of 10 rounds each

Clips were made in steel ( nickel plated ) or brass washed steel

Dear Lew, that stamp on the back indicates, that it was in the possesion of the finnish civil guards. In fact, this boxes you find occassionally in Finland, as they where part of a shipment to them in WW2.

Hello Peter, I don’t think that mark indicates that it was in the possesion of the finnish civil guards. I have a Fiocchi 9 mm box labeled for Argentina which bears a similar seal (“UVM B” instead of “UVM D”. It was imported during the 1938-40 time frame.

I tend to agree with Fede, regarding the mark on the back of the boxes shown. I have what I
would call a non-typical Italian box (non-typical in that it holds 25 rounds, instead of seven
or eight) for the 9 mm Corto (.380 Auto), from Fiocchi dated 1939 along with the Mussolini calender
year of XVII. The box is of the type with the “tear tab” marked “Strappare”. It has the “UVM” stamp
but with letter “G” below it. It also has the number “249” stamped in purple on the back.

I also have a “Polizia Coloniale” (Colonial Police) box for 50 rounds of 9 mm M38 ammunition, packed
loose (not on clips) (“Sciolte”) from Fiocchi. I have no cartridge with it, so don’t know the date for
sure, but it is WWII vintage. It has the same UVM G stamp on the back as the .380 box did, along
with the number 243. The number is in identical style digits with those on the .380 box above.

I had thought that this was an Italian Stamp, for some Agency perhaps, that may have handled
distribution of ammunition to end users other than the military - Police, Colonial Police and perhaps
even contracts for Foreign Forces (which might explain the Finnish connestion, since Italy and
Finland were allies during the War). None of my boxes, in any caliber that are obviously commercial, or obviously for the Italian Armed Forces, have this stamp.

Just my thoughts. I wish we kniew precisely what the initials stood for. I will try, when I have time, to
research it a little more.

Fede and John,
I think, you are right. I just assumed that it belongs to a finnish organisation, as ALL my italian boxes from that timeframe out of Finland bear this mark. But as all other foreign packets from Finland do not have such a mark, it must be an italian stamp. I found an organisation UFFICIO V. MILITARE, which with a wild guess maybe means: Office for military sales, if V. maybe means Vendita or similar in italian language.
This would explain, that this stamp shows up on military or semimilitary boxes for “export”. May our italien friends can make further studies, as my italien knowledge is tending to zero…
My best

Peter - it may well stand for Ufficio Vendite Militare. Why didn’t I think of that. A slales agency in Italian IS “Ufficio Vendite.” You were correct except you showed the word for sales in the singular, when in this sense, as in English, it is usually used in the plural. (vendita, vendite). I would then guess, and of course, this is all a guess at this point, that the various letters (G, D, etc.) are simply various offices of the Agency, perhaps standing for the city or region they are in, or simply an assigned letter.

I’m going to bring this thread back to life for a moment and add a little more confusion. I recently bought a few empty 5.7 Velo Dog boxes with the UVM B stamp. This is certainly a non military/police caliber unlike the other boxes discussed here.

The top label indicates the box was sold by Sociedad Espanola de Armas y Municiones S.A. - Eibar and Madrid Spain. A Spanish tax stamp covers three sides of the original side-sealing label.

The text on the left side of the tax stamp indicates the cartridges were loaded outside of Spain.

The text on two sides of the original side sealing label indicate the cartridges were loaded with smokeless powder and full metal jacketed bullets. This text is French, indicating production likely occurred in that country, perhaps by SFM?

UVM Ufficio Vendite (Pl) Militare. An approval Marking allowing the sale of “Military style items” to Export or to properly authorised Buyers (Ie, through Military Supply stores, with items such as Uniforms, Badges, accoutrements etc…,equivalent to the British Co-operative “Army-Navy Store”, which supplied officers and NCOs Needs outside of Normal issue. ie, the Italian equivalent of “Private Purchase”…these are Definitely NOT the US “Surplus or Disposal stores” but rather, Military (approved) Outfitters.

The Letters probably signify one of the Major Cities (M Milano, B Bologna, etc.) although these should be cited by their Auto Registration and Postal Abbreviation (MI, BO, etc as they are also “counties”/Provincia (Province).

AS to the stripper clips, Fiocchi supplied Mauser 7,63 ammo to the Italian Navy for their M1899 Slabsides from early in the 1900s, and Beretta promoted the use of strippers for the various Magazines (20, 40) it used for the MAB35 (African Colonial Police) and the MAB38A ( General Armed Forces Issue.).

The Reference to “Moschetto Beretta” refers to the 35 and 38A; the M18/30, as supplied to Argentina, although initially made to use 9mm Glisenti, could also use 9mm Parabellum (it was SA only?in the Police Version).

BTW, the Boxes were also serialised, so the sales could be recorded to authorised Buyers…Future shock? ( referring to antigunners legislation in USA).

Doc AV

DocAV, I’m afraid that this information is not correct, as this marking has nothing to do with “Military items”. Its correct meaning is “Ufficio Vendita Munizioni” and was one of several industrial consortiums created in Italy the 1930’s as a measure to avoid financial crisis. It was integrated by only two companies, Fiocchi and Léon Beaux.

Guy, the cartridges inside the SEAM box were indeed made by SFM in France and the tax seal was applied in Spain. Because of the UVM marking, I assume that it was traded through Léon Beaux in Italy.

The tax applied to explosives and associated items was established on December 23, 1916 and put into practice after September 1, 1917, when the UEE monopoly was suppressed. The value was indicated by means of a series of seals printed by the National coin mint and stamp print works in Madrid. This box show the earliest seal design but the price of 3 pesetas per hundred (0.75 per 25) was established in 1932 and used during several years thereafter (I don’t know for how long).