DocAv and the SS ammo

While researching the web I came upon a most unpleasant exchange about the 7.9 SS ammo . Ignorance can be so unpleasant. That aside, DocAV ( not a part of the unpleasantness) makes the following statements:

" DocAV

Senior Member Join Date:Jan 1970
Location:Brisbane, Australia
Try looking for Needles in Haystacks…without a Magnet.

The “SS” 7,9mm ammo you are refering to is “SS-TV” headstamped, usually 1938 or so, made by RWS or a related company, for the SS. Most of it was used up on the Russian front in 1941-43 ( although some was “used” in concentration camps and Ghetto massacres.) Battlefield digs in Ukraine etc. have shown up a whole host of nominally “SS” issued ammo with covert or “commercial” headstamps. "

Is there any support for RWS or any identified maker for the SS TV 1938 shells ?

Dear CSAEOD and others,

I am still searching for any connection of “SS-TV” type ammo and RWS and other German Ammo mnakers.

BY the 1930s,most of the original Commercial Ammo makers ( RWS, DWM,Dynamit Nobel, etc) despite using seemingly independant Trade marks, were effectively controlled financially by Banks or Holding Companies,( and they in turn by the Nazi Hierarchy) just as had occurred before WW I (The DWM Cartel).

Since the major “Exporters” and Commercial makers of Ammo in Nazi Germany comprised the Trading Names of RWS and some others, it would be a safe assumption to say that RWS may have been the supplier of ammo with the Runic SS-TV headstamp.

It has already been established that much of the SCW ammo with coded headstamps was produced by specific Plants within the RWS-DWM-DN area, ( I don’t remember the specifics), and given that up to 1942-43, all NON-Wehrmacht supplies had to be acquired “Commercially”…this applied to the Private purchases of the Various Ministries other than the Military, as well as the “Party Organisations”, such as the SA ( up to 1934) and the SS ( up to 1942-3).

As I had already stated, the SS units going into the Barabrossa Campaign in 1941, were supplied not out of Wehrmacht reserves, but by direct acquisition from “Commercial” Manufacturers as Well as stocks acquired by Capture ( Austria,Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia) and by continued manufacture in those countries by Factories either directly or otherwise controlled by the Nazi party machine…eg, The GustloffWerke in Austria (Formally HirtenbergerPatronenfabrik) and the Successors to the S&B factory in Vlasim (Bohemia). It is known that Hermann Goering had a large controlling share of Factories in Austria,( under the “HermannGoering Werke”) hence most Luftwaffe supplies came from there, whilst the SS had interests in Polish factories, and also S&B. Note that a wide variety of Luftwaffe-issue Rifles etc came from reworked captured Polish and annexed Austrian inventory, and that Czech rifles were directed to Waffen-SS units as not sufficent Kar98k were available even for the Wehrmacht (in fact some Army Engineers Units in Barabrossa were fully armed with Vz24s and G.24(t);

This wide spread of “Party” involvement is seen by the wide range of Captured and “Commercial” mark 7,9 ammo found on the Eastern Front diggings, in areas known historically for either Full-unit presence of Waffen-SS, or widespread “Anti-Partizan” activity, again carried out by SS-Polizei and Einsatz-Gruppen.

The initial reports of Ukraine diggings and the shells recovered show this wide range of headstamps, mostly “Commercial” or Captured ammo, but also the specific “RWS-E” (Export) ammo, and the “SS” Runic types.

As far as I am concerned, that is the state of things…If somebody wants to review some hundreds of Tons of archives ( a lot in “Fraktur” script) held in the BundesArchiv --Koblenz etc, for details of Ammo acquisition before and during WW II by the SS, the detail surely is there…a heck of a lot of other info relating to ammo production was found on just perfunctory examination in the 30-40 years that the US held those archives before returning them to Germany in the late 1980s.

I based my assumptions on what was already known about Ammo supply in the Nazi system (Wehrmacht and others) and the existing Factories and their intertwining relationships (Financial and Political).

Surely some other researchers on the “Commercial records” (ie, the Financial relationships, stock holdings, Bank control, etc) of the various “Brands” could shed some light on “who owned what, and controlled which suppliers”.

The entire area of German ordnance production history 1933-45 needs to be researched thoroughly, and it may take more than one lifetime to do it. The titbits we find through our collecting, digging up battlefields, and reading packet labels sheds only a fire-fly glimmer of light on the dark morass which was the Nazi period in Germany.

Any more “tidbits” out there? Like a packet label for “SS-TV” 7,9 ammo?
( Ukraine ammo depots?)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

Very interesting and thank you. I think that what you say is the reasonable answer under current information protocols. I have not seen the details of this lot in the Ukraine but would like to. Can you refer me to a site? Many of you folks are posted on several sites which I don’t .If I did I would get NOTHING done. This particular thread on a site which looks to be mostly about Wehrmacht awards demostrates the problem with bringing new information into a universe of collectors who have little or no real information about the subject. The interesting arguments made to support that Jon Cohen’s cartridge was FAKE is an excellent example of this.

The is no question about the authenticity of this ammunition in circles with real information but ignorance loves to promulgate with pride.

Bill Woodin told me many years ago " the more I know about cartridges the more questions I have. I would like to meet an expert. I have thousands of questions". I was much younger then and an expert. Now I know how true this was. After 60+ years in ammo study and collecting I have more questions than answers.

I have been able to answer 2 of Bill’s questions which gives me a fraction of 1% success.

There is a new German book out about the 7.9s. I don’t buy books any more because I own thousands already which I want to get rid of. Does anyone know what the new German book says about the SS ammo ?

This ammo is seldom found in Italy too. They are rare but some cases with the SS headstamp were found here and there along the Gustav and Gothic lines.

There was a SS command in my town during WWII but all the 8 x 57 cases that can be found as relics here have standard headstamps.

I agree that this ammo was primarly used in Russia

The link I have seen to the SS TV ammo and my reasearch ( had in a dwm box…but box was partially opened so not 100%) points it to DWM not to RWS. There are DWM SS TV rounds and TV SS 1938 which also according to book by Windisch, Micke and Kellner have it as DWM made as well for the waffen SS 1938/1939 only.

The DWM headstamps make it easy for us. The others do not. Some questions; 1) why make headstamps with and without DWM at the same time ? The owners of DWM were firm Nazis and certainly not trying to hide their work. 2) What do DWM specialists says about the manufacturing characteristics of the ammo without the DWM headstamps?, 3) Was there more than speculation in any "information"about this ammo in any book? To my knowledge the answer is no. To my knowledge the only “information” which we have is based upon looking at the specimens. A few years back it was thought that the few “ball” rounds with the TV only hs were blanks which had been faked and that only blanks were marked that way. This was the accepted statement for many years. This was disproved by the discovery of a belt of ball ammo with that hs in Eastern Europe. No boxes . no cases , no paperwork. 1 SS marked 5 round clip known and the various types of cartridges. That is all we really know until more comes to light.

The DWM SS rounds are all marked on the headstamp “DWM”. The anonymous headstamp, to my knowledge, has not been positively identified, but the German Group ECRA that is studying the 7.9 headstamp, I believe, has some indication who made it. Dutch would be the one to tell us. I have it somewhere in my notes on German 7.9, but since that is one full filing cabinet drawer, I have no time at the present to research it. It is almost certainly NOT DWM, however.

I could not even find any mention of the SS headstamps in the new book on 7.9 by Windisch et al. Granted, the book deals with Wermacht ammunition and the SS was not part of the Wermacht, but many headstamps of rounds not made for the Wermacht are in the book, such as Spanish Civil War, etc.

It may be in one of the two more or less current German headstamp books from Germany, but if it is, I cannot find it. Unfortunately, they are not the easiest books in my library to locate any single piece of information. Everyone seems to be ignoring these SS rounds in their research for these new books.

In the previous answer, the term “others” is applied to SS headstamps without the "DWM marking. I am only aware of one headstamp that has the SS runes on it, that is not marked “DWM” Can anyone supply the headstamps of the “others.”

In reading over the previously mentioned post I note that one fellow mentioned that Finland bought millions of rounds of ammunition from Germany in 1941 and that most of it was the SS variety. Has anyone else ever heard of this ?

John Look at Page 2-7 in the German 7.9 book, That is where they have the DWM and the one that simply says tv 1938 ss.
As I stated above I had a box of the unheadstamped ones in a DWM box, but the box was partially opened before I got it, so not concrete by any means but I would like to know how somone got the other cartridges in without the other side being opened…A mystery for these indeed.

A few months ago I was sent an e-mail full of various ammunition and head-stamp pics. I forgot who sent it to me but it had this picture (attached). I know very little about this type of ammunition but think this may be the same round being discussed? I save almost every ammunition picture I get for my photo reference collection so I saved this one.


PS: Are these available to collectors in the US?


This SS stamped ammo is not a military round, and had nothing to do with military ammunition. Just like ammo ordered by police or customs. It is mentioned, but no big story.
If you ordered these day’s a few million rounds as a gunsmith ore a store, you also get also your name printed on them.


It is a picture how the round was found. There were only a few found with this head stamp in a MG belt in the ground. Until a few years ago we thought this head stamp only exist as a blank 33. (no primer crimps) We think (no proof) it was made by RWS. The 38 rounds, both by DWM


Thanks so much, Dutch! I was wondering what was attached to the shell, Thanks for ID’ing them as links. :-)



This SS stamped ammo is not a military round, and had nothing to do with military ammunition. Just like ammo ordered by police or customs. It is mentioned, but no big story.
If you ordered these day’s a few million rounds as a gunsmith ore a store, you also get also your name printed on them.


It is a picture how the round was found. There were only a few found with this head stamp in a MG belt in the ground. Until a few years ago we thought this head stamp only exist as a blank 33. (no primer crimps) We think (no proof) it was made by RWS. The 38 rounds, both by DWM


Interesting take on ammunition widely used by SS MILITARY as well as POLICE UNITS.

Does it matter if a bullet which kills a soldier was bought by one government department or another ?

Both the Wehrmacht and the SS were OFFICIAL armed departments of the Nazi government.

In the US we have many armies as well as armed police; Federal, State , County , Local.

We have never had the heavily armed police like Nazi Germany had. My Nazi Police arms handbook of the time even has TANKS !

Let us split some hairs and say a Nazi police TANK was not a military vehicle.

I think this “Military-Police” Dichotomy and argument (Mostly by Americans and some Anglos) is a result of the wide differance of “how things are” when one compares the US (and the British Empire) with (Broadly) European nations…(.incl. Russia and Far East)

The Majority of Anglo/Westminster/US type regimes have a discrete “separation of Powers” between the Military and the Civil Police, which dates from the early 19th century and before.
The Euro Nations have a “Code Napoleon” system, where the “Police” Forces were a branch of the Armed Forces ( although depending from an “Interior Ministry” or similar.) Even the word “Gendarme” (French) comes from the medieval term for “Men-at-arms” which in time of war meant a soldier, and in times of peace, a Peace-Keeper and Enforcer of the Law of the Land.
IN Britain, the “Police Force” developed as an adjunct to the Magistrates…and have always been a Civil Force…the same, with variations, developed in the US. But in Europe, starting from France, under Napoleon, with his unified Civil and Penal Codes ( and spread to all the European nations which had been affected by the Napoleonic Empire,) the System was “Militarised” in both Structure and Composition.
Whilst as I said previously, depending on countries…the control of these “Forces” was under Ministries such as The Interior , or Justice, etc, The origin and structure was “Military” ( and still is, as in Italy, the Carabinieri are part of Defence, even though they are a fully National Police force ( but also “Miltiary Police”); The Former “NKVD” ( the Milicija or “Blue caps” of the USSR,) were the “Secret Police”/State Police/Operators of the Gulags,/ and the primary Intelligence Service…The Initials refer to the Peoples Commitee for Internal Security, and the Later KGB ( Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Besopasnosti) is the “Committee for State Security” all run on military lines, with Military equipment…

What had occurred in Germany, well before Hitler, was that the Landes (individual states) had their own Police Forces( equipped more or less like the Armed Forces of the Various Components of the Initial Reich
of 1871); The Prussian State, being the Foremost in the Federated Empire, virtually was the “German Army” along with the Bavarian Army, and units from the Lesser principalities…

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they already had a Napoleonic Police structure in existence…they just imposed the SS and its various special offices (SD–Security Service with various sub groups, such as Kripo ( Criminal Police), The Railway Police and of Course, the SS Prime “hitmen”-- the Gestapo ( Geheime Staats Polizei…Secret State Police)…a national unit with far-reaching powers over everyone…including the Armed Forces…

But even with such far reaching Powers, the Wehrmacht (Armed Forces) still stood apart from all these “para-military units” both in Law and in Fact. Hence the “separate procurement systems” regarding Small Arms and Ammunition…There was also an element of “Civil Gun Control” also dating from Pre-Napoleonic times as well…Arms belonging to the Armed Forces were prohibited to “Ordinary Civilians”…and mere possession of Military property was a statutory Offence of Strict Liability…if one ( non Military) possessed Current Gov’t property, that person was ipso-facto, guilty of an offence…no further proof required.

That led to Non-Miltiary organisations such as Police, etc, which were “local” entities, to have to procure supplies thru normal commercial channels…often from the same suppliers as the Military, but with different “markings”.
Slighly different rules applied in Britain, where say, Lee Enfield Rifles were made exclusively by the RSAF Enfield for the British Gov’t )(War Office) whilst BSA and LSA made the same Patterns for both the British Gov’t (under Contract) and for “The Trade”…these latter having to be Civily “proofed” before entering Commerce. Likewise the trade did acquire Military-issue arms, but only after they had been “>S<” ( Sold out of Service ) and passed proof again at the Civil Proof Houses.

SO, the SS ( armed Guard of the Party…specifically AH) went to war in 1939 with a hodgepodge of Weaponry acquired from Life-expired WW I rifles, Privately acquired “Standard Modell” and other Kar98k clones, and of course, Small arms “liberated” from Austria and Czechoslovakia in 38-39…and the big lot from Poland in 1939.

SO when they went into Barbrossa in June 1941, the Waffen SS had a wide variety of weaponry which fired 7,9mm sS Patrone, which also was acquired from "Commercial "sources, whether off the shelf, or specific manufacture, or (after 1938) by controlling production in Non-German factories acquired by annexation.

All this differentaition ceased when Albert Speer became Riechs Munitions Minister.( 1942)…he unified supply so the the by-then substantial “SS” combat units could access Wehrmacht supplies with one supply chain.

Just shows that when one is reasearching Cartridges in a miltary context, one must have a handle on the Political, Industrial and Commercial History of the times as well…to explain why and wherefore things happened the way they did.

If one tries to apply say…American ideas of the separation of Police and Army to the European situation, one will always get things wrong.

Not to say that American Police Forces are not as well armed as some smaller countries’ Armies…Look at the number of armoured vehicles, Combat Helos, and even ( full auto) small arms that some Major US PDs have…are they expecting a full-on War in their Jurisdictions? ( the Mexicans do, …as have the Brazilian Police lately… But they are “Code” countries…

I think we have done this topic to death, well and gone…like others have mentioned…Ignorance, Pig-headedness and Bad Assumption are the Enemy of rational discussion and argument.

Onwards Scientific Dialogue… Historia Scientiaque Armorum Nos Liberabit.

Doc AV

Very nice. Except we are looking at the military and police of the 1930s and 40. US police had no military type weapons at that time. The L.A, police regular force did not even have high powered rifles in the 90s. The N. Hollywood shootout being the best example. In this action heavy armed bank robbers held off the police for hours due to a lack of suitable arms . 2011 police in many areas now have heavy weapons and some have armored cars. These cars do not have heavy weapons mounted in them. NONE of the US police forces TODAY are armed as heavily as Nazi police were in the 40s.

Yes you are righ. :)

Just read this article;

[b]Increasingly US police department are acquiring armored vehicles and military style tans for domestic operations

There are many laws stating the rules and regulations of military equipment. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 states that the use of military for domestic law enforcement is prohibited. Due to this act and civil unrest in the 60s police department nationwide began to we came up with SWAT, special weapons and tactics teams. However, in 1981 Congress passed the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Act, which amended the Posse Comitatus by directing the military to give local, state, and federal law enforcement access to military equipment, research, and training for use.

Today, in local police departments all over the country, the armored tank is making its way into the ranks. In Roanoke, Virginia the police department is using a 20,000-pound bulletproof tank to enhance the department. The cost of one tank is approximately $218,000. Another case in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is the Special Emergency Response Team, sporting a new Lenco BearCat, which is a camouflage colored Humvee-styled tank. The BearCat was purchased around a year and a half ago costing $226,224.

The most common reason for stating the use of the military tanks in law departments is because violence against police officers has increased, and therefore the tank is used as protection of the men and women performing their duties to help serve our communities. However, the Uniform Crime Report, which is a database the FBI uses to track the number of law enforcement killed and assaulted each year, reveals that this statement is false. The UCR states that the number of law enforcement killed or assaulted has actually been decreasing since 2001. On average 50 law enforcement officers have been feloniously killed, and the highest was 70 in 2001.[/b]

If remember well, about 1930 the FBI in Chicago was armed with a tommy gun. Is this gun not used in WW2 by the regular Army?

If it is necessarily to protect police officers lives in your country with an armed vehicle or tank it is OK by me. Don’t forget, some of them give there life for your safety.


Thank you for the clear explanation about the role and armory about the SS before 1941
The Czech. factory’s came under Speers responsibility. All ammo was produces for the Wehrmacht. Now the trick was, they produce ammo in Czech stile. Head stamp (Z) and (SB) from 1939-42 are known. This ammo was not covered by the so called “Abgabebefehl” for arms and ammo from Speer.

The article is nonsense.

No armored car or van in the US has a heavy caliber gun mounted on it. The cars are designed to keep policemen from getting killed by heavily armed criminals. A tank is an OFFENSIVE weapon with a heavy gun mounted on it.

To add to your hair splitting; the Tommy Gun was a commercial weapon sold through the mail NOT a military weapon. It was adopted by the military as well. The Tommy gun and the BAR could both be bought mail order in the USA as commercial products until they were controled due to gangster use.

You are welcome to buy a copy of the Nazi weapons manual for police which I have for sale on my Ebay store and see that the Nazi POLICE were armed with tanks and antitank guns as well as infantry machineguns and all manner of infantry weapons. Tanks with big guns and antitank guns. Police ? Not in this country. Please show me one of the TANKS which your police use OR a tank in use by a US police force.

Good luck !

The internet is full of articles which are nonsense. No police force in the US has a TANK. None !

The internet is a fool’s paradise as well as a usefull tool for research. Don’t miss all the articles about aliens living in the USA and likely in your neighborhood as well, Elvis is alive and the Mafia killed JFK !

Real disagreements are interesting.

Promulgating nonsense is ridiculous.

Quibble on !

The latest thing from the Mexican narco cartels is that they are reported to now be building their own armored assault trucks to use against the Mexican Army, and anyone else that gets in their way. They sure have the funding to do it, and you can bet they will be offensively used.

The Waco final assault incident was an example of getting around Posse Comitatus to use military support and equipment, as it was alleged by DoJ (without proof) that the Branch Davidians were making drugs.

Too True. That was the FEDS not police. SHAMEFULL MARK ON THE USA.