DWM Box Codes

Some of you know I have been chasing this topic for over a decade and made almost no progress. Below is a question I sent to the ECRA Cartridge Researcher quite some time ago. No breakthroughs resulted, but it does lay out some of the aspects the issue. The basic problem is that we don’t have specific dates to relate to box codes.

Question on DWM Codes.pdf (175.0 KB)

Recently, based on something a friend sent me, I realized that there may be a way to group the box codes by production year or something close to the production year. I had not thought about it before because it involved DWM hunting cartridges, something I know almost nothing about. From 1925 to 1939 the cases of these rounds had a date code identifying when they were made which began with VV for 1925 and ends with GG in 1939.

Fortunately I had some information from another friend that provided a starting point. He had provided over 25 examples of boxes in various calibers and the associated box load code. When I arranged the case date codes by year and entered the box codes, I got the following:

code Year Box Codes
GG 1939 WE213 WE973 WU104
HH 1938
JJ 1937 071ALV WU496 WU230
KK 1936 WE082 WU083 WU270
LL 1935 WT994 WU456
MM 1934 290AR
NN 1933 034AEV
OO 1932 390ARV WU711
PP 1931 129ALV
QQ 1930
RR 1929 395P 995P WU916
SS 1928 783S
TT 1927
UU 1926 395P
VV 1925 V974

This helped some since the ###Ltr codes like 395P sorted to the years before 1930. The other two code formats ###A Ltr Ltr or W Ltr### were mixed after 1930. The fact that there are were two DWM ammunition companies during this period, Karlsruher and Berlin may explain the two formats, or perhaps not.In addition, the Lubeck factory was established in 1935. Most commercial style DWM boxes I have encountered specifically identify the factory as Berlin Borsigwalde or Karlsruher. Unfortunately the source of the table above does not identify the factory on the box.

What is needed is a lot more information on these boxes with dated headstamps.

If you have a box with a dated DWM headstamp, please provide the following information:
Caliber, Headstamp including the date code, Box code, Factory identified on the box, is box marked NICORRO? Yes or No, any other comments you would like. For example:
9,3x74R JDWMJ/9,3x74R/474A/ 071ALV BD No Plus a comment

Factories are probably one of the following based on box label:
KD1 = Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken Karlsruhe-pre 1923
BK = Berlin-Karlsruher Industrie-Werk A-G, Karlsruhe-1922 to June 1936
BD = Berlin-Karlsruher Industrie-Werk A-G, Karlsruhe vormals DWM-June, 1933 to June 1936
KD2 = Deutsche Waffen-und Munjitionsfabriken A-G Werk Karlsruhe i, Baden-post June 1936
DB = Berlin Borsigwalde
DL = Lubeck
NF = No Factory Shown
All help will be greatly appreciated. Sorting out the relationship on these boxes of dated hunting cartridges will not solve all the questions on DWM ammunition from this period, but it will perhaps give us the starting point to solve the rest of the riddle sometime in the future.


Lew, the approach you mention I looked at about 5 years ago and found it hard to establish a discernible relationship. I have info on about the same number of packets as you mention above, maybe more… but one thing that made it difficult is that the pkt code is a packing date and the HS code is a case manufacturing date.

I know of quite a few examples of 1930’s dated cases that are packed in IWK (ie post-WW2) boxes. Other slow moving products may be packed many years after their manufacture.

Another thing is that there are a number of code formats (maybe four or more as you can see above). Are these different factories ? The vast majority of DWM sporting rifle manufacture was at Karlsruhe, a little at Lübeck and I can’t say that I have seen any in boxes from Berlin.

Anyway, it is a noble project and I will provide what info I can (it will take awhile) but I remain sceptical of the results…

Good Luck

Excellent points! I agree, Like in dated military headstamps, they only identify the date the case was made. There is a well known case with a 9mmP08 Polte headstamped brass from 1937 with a black mE bullet. Problem is the mE bullet wasn’t developed yet in 1937. Eventually, a box showed up and the cases were loaded by emp in 1943!!!

This problem is why a large number of datapoints are needed. The only thing you can be sure of is that the cartridges were not loaded earlier than the date on the casehead. An example in the data above it that boxes marked 395P are recorded with both 1926 and 1929 dated cases. This tells me that that loading with date identified by 395P used both 1926 and 1929 cases, but could not have occured before 1929!

I thought the WU###/WT###/WE### codes may be Berlin sincde I hve a number of the ###ALtrLtr codes in 9x19 with this style code and in Karlsruher boxes, but what may be the only commercial hunting box with a dated case and marked box has a WU code and the box is marked Karlsruher.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks for your reply!


Lew, don’t think I am starting to collect hunting ammo. -:)
It is only because they have a CWS case.

I am not sure if they were loaded during or after WW2.

Dutch, I always suspected you were a closet collector about something! Now the truth is out.

Actually that is a great help. This type code #####/HA is known from a dated case from 1936, so this is definately post war. As far as I know a different code was used post war. From1951 to 1972 the code was a set of six numbers with no letters.
Many thanks, I only have about 8 examples of this type code,


I have been trying to correlate all the data I have on these DWM codes and I have decided to organize it by the format of the codes. As it turns out there are 9 different code formats. At this point I don’t know how accurate this is, but it is a starting point.

I have organized the box documentation I have based on these 9 code types. Attached is the result in a pdf document with just over 100 codes. I have received a few more that are not entered yet, but the attached is a starting point.

If you have some DWM boxes from the 1920s through 1945 with box load codes printed on them like the one Dutch pictures above, or any of the other style codes stamped on boxes, please send me the information. Just what Dutch sent is perfect with an image of the box, so I can see the factory data if available, the caliber and the code and also the headstamp, either a picture or just a text listing the headstamp.

As I get data, I will periodically update this document and send post it.

If some of you want to look it over and figure out how to bread these codes, welcome to it. You have all the data I do.

I look forward to your inputs.


DWM box & case-26Dec18.pdf (145.2 KB)

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I have added another 15 or 20 box codes to the document, and I have added an additional section with images of the various box styles. I now have 46 different box styles, ignoring caliber, and as you would expect, 19 of them are 9mm or 7.65mm Para. In the next update I will include the box type for each box code shown.

I would greatly appreciate any additional information you can provide, and images of the boxes if possible.

Thanks to those who posted here (Dutch) or sent me the information on seperate emails.

Happy New Years to all of you,


The ammo (6,35 Browning) is not dated, but as it has the BKIW, former DWM inscription, it can be rougly dated in the time frame from 1933-1936.
The boxcode is O17PV
see photos:

Headstamp is the 3-part D W M

sorry, one wrong Geco cartridge in the box, a stuffer from the former owner


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Thanks to everyone who has contributed. The draft study has come a long way. There are well over 100 different DWM box styles pictured and about 200 different codes. Military boxes are not included and quite a few of the non-military boxes do not have codes stamped on them for some reason. I think we have made some progress on the 6.35mm, 7.65mm and 9mmK Browning red & Black (and the red letters printed on a brown background) boxes from about 1940 to 1945. More examples of these codes would be very useful.

It is clear that DwM changed their code format a number of times between the introduction of codes, probably shortly after WWI, and 1945. There are also some code formats that apparently only occur on hunting rifle cartridge boxes.

I have recently received a significant amount of additional information and expect more shortly. I am in the process of making significant changes to the structure of much of the report.

This is a good time to add more box photos and date codes to the study. Your box may be the one that gives us the information we need for a major breakthrough.

In the March time frame I expect to have another pdf to send out. I expect this one will be 50-70 pages, mostly photos with basic data on each. If you have information to add, please post it here or send it to me by email/PM. It will be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to participate in this study and receive a copy of the next version, let me know. Some of you have seen a draft and I will send you the next version automatically.

All help appreciated.


I just joined here and have not figured out how to post pictures yet. I will just describe the 2 boxes I have for your survey.

Both DWM boxes are vom Hofe 5.6 mm Super Express, Nr. 431P. Headstamp: vom Hofe 5.6 38 Super Express. Think the 38 must be the date.

Box codes: one is 59740/HA, other is 096 ALV.

Both made in Karlsruhe.


One box has a possible dealer stamp on the side:
Georg Daurer, Duchsenmacher, Rosenheim.

Hope this helps,


Thanks Kevin,
Check you PM!


Kevin, that “38” you mention I think would be “m/m” and should be one of the DWM examples in the top line in the following image:

The bottom line are all IWK (post WW2 DWM) examples.

Haha, so it is. I was trying to read it from the side.

So if both your headstamps are identical, it would be appreciated if you could tell us which one of these it is ? We can then match it to the boxes with the two date codes you have stated.

If you could send box images to my or Lew’s PM it would also be appreciated.

Many thanks


I sent the images to Lew earlier today. When he has time, maybe he can post them here.

To answer your question, I believe the cartridge matches the top right one in the image Lew posted.


Just figured out how to do pictures here.

The cartridges pictured are from the box on the right. I believe the other box is identical but will check it later.

Thanks very much for this Kevin.

The headstamp you show is the second from right - it has the smaller “v” as in “vom Hofe 5.6mm SUP.EXPR.” . The right one has a “Vom Hofe 5.6mm SUP.EXPR.” hs (bigger “V” but not truly uppercase as well as lettering further out from the center - more like a 6.5x61R bunter).

You say it comes from the box with the 59740/HA code which I believe to be WW2 wartime production. Note that this boxes at first look seem to be identical but on the back the earlier one (c1936-1939 with the 096 ALV code) has “Normale Ladung” whilst the more recent one has “Nennladung” which are seen on other boxes. These translate as “Normal charge” and “Nominal charge” respectively - perhaps our German speaking members can explain if there is a difference in meaning here !

I would definitely like to see the contents (ie Headstamps) of the other box if possible because I’m just starting to make sense of these vom Hofe / Gehmann cartridges and their boxes/HS…

Thanks again

The headstamps are the same on these empties from the other box. Also including a pic of what I think is a dealer stamp on the side of one box.



correct, the little stamp is from the dealer. Their shop was founded in 1848 and still exists today.
This is the link to their website: www.daurer.de

Normale Ladung means standard load.

Nennladung in my opinion was used after the original propellants like, for example Rottweiler R1 or Troisdorfer Nr. 1910, were no longer available. Muzzle velocity was like using 3,5 g R1 (as listed in the ballistic tables), but in reality a different propellant was used.