Brass suppliers for Polish Cartridges


On Polish headstamps often the brass supplier is stated. I have a list with some unknown abbreviations. Anyone who knows what they stand for?

B: ?
D: ?
DZ: Dziedzice-Walcownia Metali
E: ?
Fr: Fabryka Wyborow Platerowanych
Hr: ?
K: ?
N: Norblin
NW: ?
W: ?


Following is from a Polish-language book - “Polska amunicja strzelecka 1919-2004.” I do not read Polish, so some of the information in the names below might not be part of the actual name, but rather information relating to it. I simply don’t know since I can’t read the language.

B - Fabryka Amunicji, Armatur i Odlewnia Metali "Babbit"
D - Schweizerische Metallwerke Dornach, Switzerland
DZ - Walcownie Metali Sp. Akc. Dziedzice
E - Enzesfelder Metallwarenfabrik, Enzesfeld, Austria
Fr, F - Fabryka Wyrob

  • Some French headstamps also show the brass supplier for their shell cases. — From what I know there were 3 Polish brass suppliers for Polish-made pre-1939 ammo: 1] “D” or “DZ” for “Dziedzice”; 2] “N” for “Norblin”; 3] “F” or “Fr” for “Fraget”. It looks like the “Fr” headstamp mark can be seen only on the Polish ammo manufactured in 1938. The markings “E”, “B”, “NW” show some brass suppliers from outside Poland. Sometimes the letter “D” stands for “Dornach” [a brass supplier from Switzerland]. — I have 2 fired brass 37X257R Polish made shell cases both manufactured in 1939 and both have the letter “D” showing as the Polish brass supplier “Dziedzice”. Some other 37X257R Polish brass casings made before 1939 may show as the brass supplier the letter “N” for “Norblin” [from Warsaw, the capital of Poland]. Liviu 02/07/07


John and Liviu,
thanks for the quick response!


The very comprehensive book from Poland on their ammunition does not show the “D” code as used by any other supplier than Schweizerische Metallwerke Dornach, of Switzerland. The facility at Dziedzice (that is a city, not a company), Walcownie Metali Sp,. Akc. used the letters DZ either as “DZ” or “Dz”. What is the source for other identifications of the letter “D” on ammunition as case metal supplier?

  • I got the information [letter “D” as the Polish brass supplier “Dziedzice” which is a company and a town name] from 2 different guys from Poland who collect ammo. Liviu 02/07/07


I would have to trust the book on this one. It has an impressive Bibliography and it is my understanding that the author, Gregorz Franczyk is one of the top authorities on Polish ammunition. Regarding Dziedzice, the company there is named Walconie Metali Sp. AKS. I have not seen the town’s name as part of the company name in any scholarly literature, including the book in question and Dr. Philippe Regenstreif’s book on Polish ammunition.

  • I will trust the info I have from those 2 different Polish sources. Books many times print mistakes. Liviu 02/07/07


Does anyone know the form in which this metal was supplied, sheet , disk ingot ?


Yes, of course its true that books sometimes have mistakes. However, anecdotal information often has mistakes, and most of the collec tors in Poland probably had input into Franczyk’s heavily researched and very fine book. Sorry, I will still stick with a book that has over a hundred bibliographical references compared to second-hand information from a couple of collectors. Also, very few companies have only the name of the town they are located in.

Differences of opinion are what make this Forum so interesting, so there is no lack of respect intended here.

For the direct message I received from CSAEOD, Phil Regenstrief’s book is "Munitions Polonaises D’Armes L


Where is it available ?


I would think that the only source for this book is Dr. Regenstreif.

  • I do respect and I admire Monsieur Dr. Phil Regenstreif’s work but even he could make a mistake, like he did about a WW2 Romanian maker’s mark. The mistake was later corrected because new information was obtained. It’s not a problem because all of us are making mistakes. In most of the situations there is not enough information or a foreign language acts like a barrier. Sometimes new information is not accepted or treated with suspicion. It has happened with my article named “The 23X118 Cartridge Case” that was printed on page 52-53 of the IAA Journal #451 [Sep/Oct 2006]. Twice I spoke with some IAA members who simply are very skeptical and inclined to disbelieve the true existance of that Russian made 23X118 rimess brass case which I do have in my collection. Sometimes we think we know so much but in reality we know so little. Liviu 02/07/07

  • The history of the “Walcownia Metali ‘Dziedzice’ S.A.” company is well presented here on this web-site at ----> and I quote from it: <<>> (end of quote) As I posted above, I have 2 fired 37X257R brass shell cases of Polish manufacture made in 1939. Both items have the letter “D” marked on the case head showing the brass supplier which had to be “Dziedzice” from Poland. As we all know, WW2 officially started on September 3rd 1939 by Germany attacking Poland. I’m 100% sure that the Polish war industry in early 1939 [when my both 37X257R shell cases were made] did want to use brass directly from “Dziedzice” [Poland] instead to import it from Switzerland. Liviu 02/08/07

  • My quote from the web-site mentioned above was not posted but it is: “In the first half-year of 1939 the highest production of aluminum alloys, copper, brasses, new silver and zinc products was reached i.e. 458 tonne per month.” Since “Dziedzice” produced brass, I assume it was used by the Polish armament industry by September 1939. Liviu 02/08/07


Liviu - while the quote from the website contains some good information, and I am glad it is posted here, it does not in anyway verify that Walconie Metali Sp. AKC. located in the town of Dziedzice, was represented by the letter “D” on cartridge headstamps. You say it “must have been” but no documentation is provided. Further, I cannot see any reason why, if they had a normal commerce in case-metal supply going with the Swiss firm at Dornach, why they would necessarily shut that off in EARLY 1939. The invasion of Poland in September 1939 was based on incidents falsified by the Germans to give an excuse for the surprise invasion of Poland. Of course, everyone at the time with any brains knew it was going to happen, but no one was sure of the timing. Earlier in 1939, again, I see no reason why Poland would not continue commerce with regular sources, especially the Neutral Switzerland, who continued to supply war materiel, albeit primarily to the Germans, to belligerents during the war. It is obvious that the firm at Dziedzice could not, in 1939, supply all the needs of the Polish ammunition industry in early 1939, as virtually all 1939 7.9 x 57mm Mauser cartridges produced in that year at Panstwowa Fabryka Amunicji, Skarzysko, show Norblin as the case metal supplier on the headstamp.

Well, it is an interesting and informative argument; one that is not going to be solved here. The Polish book on their ammunition still remains the best documentation on the subject that we have. Hopefully, someday, original Polish documents confirming or denying their use of various letters and symbols on headstamps will be found and end the argument, either way.

  • John, unfortunately I don’t have that book in Polish and I only know a few words in that language. I will try to e-mail you how I got the information about the letter “D” as “Dziedzice”, the Polish brass supplier. Perhaps somebody from Poland could solve this mystery for us. In my opinion the Polish armament industry could use brass from their own country in early 1939 than to import it from Switzerland. I’ll try to find more about this interesting subject. Liviu 02/08/07


Liviu - that would be great. Thank you. It IS an interesting subject. One day, I would like to find someone in Poland who can tell me, in English, what the intentional breaks in the segment lines on Polish 7.9 Mauser headstamps signify. Another stumper. Might be in the Polish book, but I couldn’t see anything I could recognize as pertaining to it. I don’t read a word of Polish, but I have still found this book incredibly useful. A total beginner might not, but I think you would. with your knowledge of ammo, you find a lot of information with enough “clues” to tell you what that particular information is all about. It is well illustrated, too.


According to Jarek Cieminski and Grzegorz Franczyk, who are the best known experts in PL, Dziedzice headstamps exclusively are “Dz” or “DZ” and “D” is Schweizerische Metallwerke, Dornach, Swiss.

I’ve got to admit I don’t understand. What is incomprehensible in Polish headstamps?

  • Thanks, this is great info. I this situation I see that my source of information from Poland was not accurate. I’m glad to know the reality. Liviu 02/08/07