Post deleted due to inaccuracy
This list is not quite right - here is my most up to date list and as you can see there are still a few unknown/unconfirmed codes:
After WW1, DWM introduced codes on the hs of their sporting calibres to identify the year they were produced. These were two small capital letter DATE codes at 11 and 1o’clock on each side of the “DWM” on the hs. The first known use of such codes was in 1925 when “V V” was used (this is confirmed from a factory drawing dated 28 July 1925). The letters start with VV and go down the alphabet and were used between WW1-WW2. It is unusual that “ZZ,YY,XX and WW” were not apparently used although if you take these backwards, “Z Z” would represent 1921 which was about the time that DWM commenced ammunition production after WW1 (believed to have been in 1920). Confirmed codes are as follows:
V V = 1925 Start of Transitional cases (meaning cases using both case
U U = 1926 numbers and calibres)
T T = 1927
S S = 1928
R R = 1929
Q Q = 1930
P P = 1931
O O = 1932
N N = 1933
M M = 1934
L L = 1935 First non case-numbered cases
K K = 1936
J J = 1937 (confirmed as 1937)
H H = 1938 (used in post WW2 IWK pkts)
G G = 1939 ?? Last known case numbered cases
Post WW2 IWK DATE codes (generally at 3 and 9 o’clock)
F F = 1959 ?
E E = 1960 ?
D D = 1961 ?
C C = 1962 ?
B B = 1963 ?
Karlsruher (K) Factory /// s’Hertogenbosch (H) Factory (NWM)
K B = 1963 H B = 1963
K A = 1964 H A = 1964
K Z = 1965 H Z = 1965
K Y = 1966 H Y = 1966*
K X = 1967 H X = 1967
K W = 1968 H W = 1968*
K V = 1969 H V = 1969
K U = 1970 H U = 1970
K T = 1971 H T = 1971*
K S = 1972 H S = 1972*
- = Not known to exist
Other unusual DWM/ IWK codes that may be post WW2 codes
L O (confirmed) = ?
L M (unconfirmed)
(sometimes stated to be Lübeck factory with O = 1932 year code but this is before the Lübeck factory was established in 1935)
N 0 = ? (confirmed) " - is it oh or nought ?
N 1 = ?
Note the following are WW1-WW2 factory codes used at 3 and 9 o’clock:
K K = Karlsruher
B B = Berlin
L L= Lübeck (1935-1941)
I am following the DWM code threads, trying to decipher the code on a 6.5x54 Mauser with headstamp DWM KK 457A. Some reference “KK” as indicating a 1936 date of manufacture; others suggest “KK” refers to the plant, Karlsruhe. Some guidance on this issue would be appreciated.
Also, what does “457A” tell us about this cartridge?
Red River - It all depends on exactly how and where on the headstamp the “K K” is. If it is very close to the “DWM” marking and in smaller letters, it would likely be a date code. If the letters are the same basic size as the other headstamp entries, and located pretty precisely at the 9:00 o’clock and 3:00 o’clock positions on the cartridge head, then they stand for “Karlsruhe,” as shown along with “BB” (Berlin Borsigwalde) and LL (Lübeck), the other two DWM small-arms cartridge factories in Germany at the time.
At least, that has been my own observation at the time.
Sorry, I don’t have information handy at the moment, on DWM 457A.
Thanks, John. It’s the latter configuration of “KK,” 9:00 o’clock and 3:00 o’clock, with the characters the same size as “DWM.” If anyone has any thoughts on “457A,” I would be glad to hear from them also.
Definitely Factory codes = Karlsruhe for this <=1925 undated hs format.
A similar hs with a dot (ie “457A.” ) is also known.
6.5x54 Mauser (not Mannlicher-Schönauer)
As John Moss discussed earlier, the KK in the 3 and 9 positions indicate Karlsruhe on the headstamp below. The uu on each side of the DWM is the year code.
457A is the designation of the case type and is listed in the DWM casedrawings/list that will soon be available on the IAA members section.