DWM 7.63 Mauser pistol cartridges


This picture shows two variations of 7.63 Mauser headstamp (DWM K 403 K), one with seriphs and significantly smaller than the other. Is it known when the change was made from one headstamp to the other. Also, did DWM ever produce this cartridge without the case number in the headstamp?

The bullets on these are marked on the base of the lead core with a raised 203.


The second head stamp reflects the logo / style change of DWM in the late 1930s.


While I cannot put a date to the change from serifs to plain letters specifically for the 7.63 mm Mauser Pistol Cartridge, I can say that the general change started in the late 1920s, not in the late 1930s. We can say this definitively because of, if no other reason, the existence of a 1928-dated 9 mm Parabellum with plain letters.

I have never seen a 7.63 mm Mauser cartridge have DWM on the headstamp (not including perhpas, Chinese “rip-off” spurious headstamps) that did not have the “403” cartridge designation. This is odd, becuase in other calibers with DWM as the maker’s designator on the headstamp, there are many examples, In pistol claiber, they exist in 6.35 mm (with just D W M" or “D W M B”, 7.65 mm Browning (I have one DWM 7.65), 9 x 25 mm Mauser, where there are ones dated from the late 1930s, rather than claiber marked in any way, 9mm Steyr, where there is one with 1939 date rather than the case number, and in many, many examples of 9 mm parabellum.

By the way - Lettering sizes and little changes in the various nuances of the letters are legion on DWM pistol cartridges. In 7.63 Mauser and 7.65 Para, for example, I no longer even check them against my collection, as I have more variations than even a collection can really justifiy, some of them are so minor. I can attach zero significance to these differences.

John Moss


Well, it seems that the guys in Karlsruhe were not too fussy about their head stamps representing the actualy company logo.

In the early years, we see the DM headstamps long after the ‘Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik’ had become ‘DWM branch Karlsruhe’. On the other hand, we see DWM branded ammunition when the official company name has been changed to BKIW (Berlin-Karlsruhe Industriewerke or ‘Berkawerke’) in the 1920s. The pistols were also marked with the old script style DWM logo until the end (1930).

The same happens again in the 1960s when the name is changed to IWK (Industriewerke Karlsruhe) and later IWKA (Industriewerke Karlsruhe Augsburg).

Letterheads and other printed material also show a large diversity in styles, so that doesn’t help either.

For completeness sake, this is the DWM name change history (in short) until 1945:

4th of November, 1896: Formation of DWM (Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken AG)

30th of May, 1922: DWM is renamed into BKIW (Berlin-Karlsruher Industriewerke).

29th of June, 1933: The company is named ‘Berlin-Karlsruhe Industriewerke vormals Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken’.

30th of June, 1936: The company is renamed ‘Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken AG’ (DWM)


Thanks vlim & John.