Early French 9x19mm box


I was lucky enough to obtain the box below at the ECRA meeting. It was empty. Would appreciate knowing the headstamp for the rounds in the box.

Note the pre-WWII powder.

Thanks for the help!



Is the powder prewar? I understood the “0g.40” to indicate .4 gram of propellant, or about 6 grains. Jack


Hi Lew,

it could be this one:



Note the pre-WWII powder.

Thanks for the help!


Tbis powder was in use till the 80’s


Thanks for sorting me out on the powder!



The “Og.40” is the weight of the Powder, NOT the Year Lot…, Many European countries use the Indicator (Grams, mm, Cm. etc ) after the Whole Integer, with the decimal after the Indicator…such as Portugal has used " 7mm.7" for our British Friend, .303; and the Dutch have on occasion, used 6mm.5…The French also used the split indicator as Far back as the 1890s, with Daudeteau ammo ( “6mm.5”) sometimes with a / between the mm and the 5, instead of a Period. ( 6mm/5).

Also, 0,4 Grammes is correct Load for a 9mm cartridge. And this practice follows normal French Labelling Practice, of indicating Charge Mass for the Cartridge. The Powder may be a “pre-war” Type, but it was loaded (and presumably made) in 1949.

Doc AV



If we compare my civil box (n° 8872) and my military box (n° 9181), box of Lev (n° 10138) and later but contain less typical French military information of boxes so the company name of the making. I thus think that it is about a civil manufacturing or for the administration. Of more the high number of the lot (> 2000) seems to me very too important even in wartime (Indochina), as well as the lot of powder 11 Z (?) of the powder mill of Sevran-Livry !

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Many thanks to all for the help. This Forum is great!!!

Pierrejean, thanks particularly for the photos. I recognized that this was not a commercial box. I do not have a 25 round military box like the one you illustrate, but I have a 21 round military box from 1947 (ATS steel case) and it has the complete data on the label like your SFM yellow military box illustrated above. My guess was that it must be for the police or some other government agency, but I have no idea who it is for, or what type of headstamp it may have had.

Thanks also for pointing out the lot number and label number (10,138) in the lower rigth corner of the label. Based on the letter style and address, I suspect that your commercial label is pre-WWII. Is this correct? The address on my 1949 label above and commercial labels in my collection is “50 Rue Ampere” while your commercial label address is “30 Rue Notre Dame de Victoires”. In addition, the label number on my SFM commercial labels are “R 9074” and on my Gevelot labels (all with the post war address) are “9225”. This implies to me that the Gevelot labels are post 1949. I don’t know what the “R” prefix on the SFM labels means.

I checked some other French military boxes and the powder charge varies from 0.30g to 0.38g for ball cartridges. This charge seems a bit high at 0.40g but that may be just a function of the particular lot of powder. The lot number (2003) looks like it is part of a special set or block of lot numbers for a particular customer. I have seen similar things in guns and other items. I suspect that “2003” is actually lot 3 for whoever ordered the ammunition.

Now if we only knew who this box was for an what the headstamp was.