Box of 7,65 para rounds needs identifying


good morning gentleman
last week i bought a full box of 7,65 parabellum rounds.

now i’m trying to date this box…

as far as i know, the company name “Gustav Genschow & Co.AG” was established 1907, the Geco name and sign was established around 1920.
so at the first step i will date this box btw 1907 and 1920, because it is labeld “gustav genschow & co. AG” and has no “Geco” label on it

anyone out there who can narrow this down ??

all rounds have a *, D, * headstamp
my kowledge tells me this is not an military headstamp, so it must be an commercial one.
sturgees wrote in his book (page 1684) this will be a genschow durlach marking - without further precise dating.
so it seems that the content of the box could be original …

what me confused:
– in the thread (viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10721) WBD wrote "…From the Erfurt Conference of 1909, Genschow was allocated the “D” letter for their hs representing production at their “Durlach” factory…"
so first i thought the “D” will be borrowed of the military genschow headstamp, so this should be a produktion date after 1909

but take a break, “D” was code for “munitionsfabrik dresden” (see sturgees page 1803)

so pls give me an educational advertising to this Point

regards from Austria … wolfganggo


Nice box. I am no expert but it says “Durlach” on the side of the box. All the ammo inside looks original to me, all uniformly clean, same headstamp etc. I say this box is probably all original. It survived the end of WWII, presumably in Austria, where my grandfather saw the end of the European part of the war before being shipped to China. Many civilians dumped ANY guns and ammo in the street to avoid a search/retribution. If this was carried by someone willing to resist, it wouldn’t be so clean/virginal in appearance. I bet at the end it will be pronounced original. Now let’s wait and see.

Wolfgang - “D” is one of those letters found on headstamps that is very confusing, because it was used by several companies. Dominion Cartridge Co, Gustav Genschow Durlach, Dordrecht Netherlands, Koenigliche Munitionsfabrik Dresden, Dum-Dum Arsenal India, Desa Industries and others including French and Swiss metal suppliers, etc.

I do not think Dresden offers any confusion in the case of your box because to my knowledge, they did not make commercial ammunition. The “D * *” headstamp is well-known to be a product of the Gustav Genschow & Cie, and likely represents Durlach, as Vlad suggested. It is a headstamp often found in the correct Geco boxes. I have a 7.65 Para box similar to the one picture that also has the original D * * headstamped round in it. I also have one that I believe was the next headstamp used, which is D GECO D with the caliber marking at the 6 o’clock position on the headstamp. Both of these headstamps appear on various pistol rounds.

In identifying which company any specific round marked “D” is from, one must take into account the caliber, the cartridge characteristics, any date that can be derived from the headstamp, the box, a catalog, or any other scholarly source. IN the case of Dresden, they often used a dot after the D (D.), but I certainly can’t say they always did. Geco’s military headstamp during WWI was normally in the format of " 19 G 17 D " with little variations in letter size, punctuation, etc. found on headstamps.

I guess what I am trying to see is that I firmly believe, in this case, that the “common knowledge,” which we know is not always right, is correct in this case. The circumstantial evidence is highly in favor that the D * * headstamp IS from GECO. There may be positive evidence of that - I simply don’t recall as I first identified this headstamp for myself some 45 years ago, from sources available at the time. I did not have any box labels for it at that time, like I do now.


thank you

my personaly believed “common knowledge” against checking the books does the confusion in my brains.
i thought to be shure that “D” will be assigned to genschow cartridges
i checked the book of mr. sturgees (pistole parabellum) and did not find the “G” stamp dedicated to gustav genschow.
sturgees wrote that we have to expect “G.D.”, “Ge.D.” for the periode 1902-1908 and “GD” and/or “GeD” on genschow cartridges (page 1803)

do you have an idea about the timeframe the D, *, * headstamp was used ??

regards from Austria … wolfganggo


Wolfgang, this “D” headstamp found in cartridges made by Gustav Genschow & Co. A.-G. not only represents “Durlach” but it is also one of several independent trademarks used by this company. The earliest source that I’m aware that shows this headstamp is the “Munition-Export-Preisliste 1925”, where a 25 round box of a similar style than yours is illustrated with cartridges headstamped * * D. Other autopistol cartridges listed are: 6.35 mm Browning, 7.63 mm Mauser, 7.65 mm Parabellum and .380 Auto, but headstamps of these are not illustrated. I believe that this headstamp may have been used in an earlier date, but I’m afraid that I don’t have documentation to prove it and earlier catalogs are not very informative on this subject.

My latest reference showing this “D” headstamp is Geco’s catalog No. 45 of 1929 (pre-Sinoxid) where it is illustrated together with the “D Geco D” headstamp (at left). This last headstamp is also shown in a drawing dated 1925 but as far as I can tell it is not illustrated in catalogs until this of 1929. Also, is still found in catalogs of 1939.

Enlarged to appreciate “D Geco D” headstamp:

thx fede
very interesting scans

i expected to see the Geco trademark at the box shown in the 1925/29 catalog.
as far as we can see the sidewalls of the box … no evidence of the Geco trademark
so my first dating (not later then 1920) seems to be obsolete

regards from Austria … wolfganggo

Wolfgang, as discussed before on this forum, according to the application filled by Genschow in USA the “Geco” trademark was used since 1919. However, this does not necessarily indicates that this trademark was used in headstamps since then.

You will find more information in these earlier threads: … =8&t=10721 … =8&t=14310

Wolfgang, I don’t understand completely your questions to me about my posting. You mention that you have not found a “G” headstamp for Geco. If you are talking about a “G” standing alone as the only alpha-entry on the headstamp, I am not aware of one either. However, as I stated, during WWI, the first Geco military headstamp was of the style of 19 G 17 D in a four-place headstamp. The next style during that war was 19 Ge 18 D. In both cases, the “D” is on the headstamp, so there is no “G” standing alone.

The name Gustav Genschow & Co, A.-G. on the boxes is hard, by itself only, to put a date to, since that was the offical name of the Durlach facility from 1907 until 1959, followed by Gustav Geschow & Co, G.m.b.H. from 1959 until 1962, when it became Dynamit-Nobel-Genschow G.m.b.H.

I personally believe that you are about right in judging your box to be from about the mid-1920s, perhaps a little earlier. I would think it is almost certainly after WWI though. Fede’s catalog pictures, I am sure, leave no further date in your mind that the D * * headstamp is commercial and a product of GECO.

excuse me sir
my fault. after thinking, reading, again thinking and reading, i found the knot in my brains.

obvious genschow mil. headstamps consist of two alphabethic characters for the manufacturer identifikation, one in the 12 and one in the 6 o’clock position. (see pictures at … =8&t=10721)
but now, a few minutes ago, i became aware of such a "two part identifier"
so all of my book entries make sense again
sturgees wrote … GD and GeD for genschow … indeed “G or GeD” at 12 o’clock, “D” at 6 o’clock, corresponding to the pictures at the above mentioned posting

so my confusion mentioned at the initial post ended in smoke

best thx and regards from austria … wolfganggo


Wolfgang - correct except that in the Case of “Ge” it is only those two letters at the 12 o’clock position. As with the “G D” headstamp, the “D” is at the 6 o’clock position. It was not until much, much later, long after WWII that Geco used the initials GD on various 9 mm loads, with the two letters together to signify Geco Durlach.

yes, of course …
this was a typing, not a cerebric/understanding failure when i wrote my post

The Initial Photo has the diction “…verm. vor erstem WK”…WK is either Werft Kiel ( Kiel Naval Dockyards, a user of 7,65 Para). or it could be “Werke Karlsruhe” another of the DWM-RWS-Geco combine of Factories…, (especially if it is from the 1920s)…just a question…whether it clarifies anything, I don’t know.


"…verm. vor erstem WK" = suspected to be pre WWI

Doc - I am not aware of any “combine” with DWM included along with the working agreement between Geco and RWS. The box in question has nothing to do at all with DWM or any of their factories. Do you have some documentation showing any working agreement or other tie-in by DWM with Geco and RWS, or even the later Dynamit A.-G.?