Color Codes on Egyptian Boxes

I was recently going through my Egyptian 9mmP boxes and began wondering why the various color codes in the stripes across the box labels. From the top they are Gray, Pink, Purple and Red. There is no apparent meaning that I can see. All appear to be ordinary ball loadings. They may have just varied over time but that isn’t clear from the limited samples I have.

Would appreciate any ideas or information on these labels.

The boxes themselves vary from gray to brown to blue to pink to greenish-blue. Again no apparent meaning and I assume it is simply the color of cardboard used, perhaps the lowest cost available at the time. Still it looks like the color stripes are chosen for some reason.

Do these stripes mean anything on other calibers???


Egyptian rifle calibers have colored stripes to denote different loadings, often using Soviet color codes. I have never seen any Egyptian production of special loads in pistol calibers, and I don’t think the color differences you have shown have any particular significance.
But hey…I could be wrong.

For Egyptian 7.62 x 54mmR I have the following information:
Tracer - Green Tip, Orange and Green stripe on boxes.
Ball - No Tip Color, Blue or Beige stripe (generally) on packaging.
Armor-Piercing Incendiary - Black over Red Tip, with the same colors on boxes.
Armor-Piercing Incendiary Tracer - Purple over Red Tip, with the same colors on boxes.


Lew, I saw boxes of 7.62x39 where the centre blue bar of the color stripe ranged from almost invisible blue to dark blue.
Seeing your pink-purple-orange on the box I tend to believe that this could be meant to be one and the same color.
I can not speak for 7.62x54R as I have never seen such boxes but now I got the impression (and wild thought) that the color is indicating the calibre. This of course will not explain your grey marking unless it is a pre or post color code marking (or maybe a different 9mm caliber??? Maybe you can check to exclude 9x17?). Could you look up the years on your boxes?

Just my thoughts.

Someone else with other Egyptian made boxes to check the colors there?

EOd, I agreed with you and thought I was just seeing poor quality control of color. Then I found the gray stripe box and thought I’d as a question. It all may be the code for ball ammunition with the Gray code being an earlier code.


Lew, as the special loads in 7.62x39 have bars with colored end pieces (according to the regarding tip color) indicating the bullet type the centre section of the bar shall be the caliber.
As your 9x19 are ball there is no end piece color and the color of the bar might indicate the CALIBER not the load.
Here an example from the web showing a 7.62x54R tracer box:
Notice the colored ends of the bar which do indicate tracer (green) and my assumption is that the orange stands for “7.62x54R” and your purple (without colored end pieces = ball) indicates then 9x19.
Hence my question if you could confirm that the grey one you have indeed is a 9x19 and no other 9mm caliber.

What are the dates on your boxes?

Talking about Egyptian 9mm boxes some years ago I picked up three boxes of this ammo. One box was of the buff color another was a light pink and the third was a light blue. Any significance to the three different colored boxes. All have the typical white paper labels on them.

EOD, My Iraq 9mmP boxes have this type of diagonal line on them, one blue and a later one black. Have never seen a diagonal line on an Egyptian box, but have never seen anything but ball boxes. There are Egyptian Blanks, Dummies and Shot loads, as well as a load with a black bullet tip (perhaps a proof). Perhaps these boxes have different color tips. The box dates pictured are

Gray Stripe '68
Red Stripe '69
Purple Stripe '70
Pink Stripe '78

I will have to check my other boxes to see if these stripe colors group by date.


4 boxes I have, notice the bottom two have the same label & stripe color but different color box material. The 2nd from the top seems to be the same as the two on the bottom(?) but has an orange vs pink stripe & a brown box.
Good luck with this Lew.

Pete (and Lew), with the quality level of printing I have seen come out of most Mideast sources, I would call your 4 box stripes just different shades of the same color. If that signifies ball, so be it, as like Lew, I have never seen box labels for Egyptian 9mm special loads.