FAKE 7.63 Mauser Box

I just got this box today. I have grave doubts about the label, but I have never seen a 7.63 Mauser box of this size and shape before, and I have no idea what’s inside. For $5 it was worth the gamble. Is anyone familiar with this box and knows what’s inside? Is it “locally” made from some other packaging?

Did you try a blacklight on the label to see if it has polymers in it? That would give a clue to its age. All the original old military packets have paper that does not fluoresce (trick shown to me D. Kuchta).

I haven’t seen or used a blacklight since my “experimental” high school and college years. That “flying chicken” stamp does not look too original to me.

The eagle makes kinda no sense without the WaA number.

Jonny: My doubts are as grave as yours. If the contents are worth five bucks you did OK. Jack

As a 7.63 Mauser/7.62 Tokarev box collector, I’m actually more interested in the legitimacy of the box. It would be great to find a box with those markings, but that label does look bogus.

I agree with all. The print format is fine, as it seems the German spelling is as well. However, the Reichsadler
used on the box is not correct, in my opinion. It would be interesting to know what’s in it. According to the box label, “Hs.”, it should have cartridges headstamped "RM S " with month and year, from WWI, since Hs. was a mark for Rheinisch Metalwaaren Soemmerda. That is not a very common headstamp, and probably one cartridge is worth the five bucks paid for the whole box, or more, if that is really what’s in there.

John, does that box look like any you’ve seen before? The shape and quantity (40) are unfamiliar to me. It’s either very rare, or something cut and glued together by the same guy who made the label.

DK, Thanks for the tip on the black light. New info to me!

jonny, Based on DKs post, I just ordered a blacklight compact little flashlight for $20.

This is going in my “Go-To-Shows” bag. I think it will be a valuable tool. I have about a dozen labels I want to try it on.

They also offer screw-in black light bulbs for $9.

I agree that the label looks pretty shaky, but still worth the $5. Still, you gotta open it to check the hst. If it really is an RMS headstamp, then I would think harder about it being original.

Still, I think it has some great problems with this box:

  • As I read it the powder is lot 1 of 1935. which means that the cartridges would be loaded after that date. That is pretty late for use of the “Hs” code. I don’t have any “RMS” headstamped cartridges or “Hs” marked boxes dated from after WWI. Maybe somebody has some in a caliber other than 9x19mm.
  • There is no indication of a primer identification on the label. I cannot recall ever seeing a German Army style label with all the other component identifications, without the primer identification. The fact that it is missing could indicate that the information was copied from another box that had the bottom righthand corner missing.
  • I checked 8 WWI “Hs” boxes in my collection and all have the day of the month stamped on a printed label which only contained the month and year. None had the date printed with the month and year like your label.
  • I checked 5 boxes (all Polte) and one DWM (from 1935). All from 1925-1935 (i.e.) before your box could have been loaded. All had the load identified in the format “P28.7.L.35” and not in the WWI style like your box. I can’t imagine an Army style label after 1935 using the WWI format more than 10 years after a new format had been introduced.
  • By 1925 the date and lot of case and bullet manufacture had been added to the Polte boxes, and to all Army boxes I checked between 1925 & 1935.
  • The box measures about 5.5" x 6.25" on my screen or a L/H ratio of ~1.14. Not an obvious shape for a German 40 round box. European boxes of this era that I have had/seen are 10rds wide so a 10x4 round box would have a L/H ratio of ~1.6!!! Hard to fugure out how they may have packed the rounds in your box.
  • Is that masking tape in your photo I see holding the box together under the label and box fold? Possible because Masking tape was invented by Richard Drew and 3M in the US in 1925. Would it have found it’s way into a box made in Germany in the late 1930s? It was intended for Masking, not for binding.
  • Finally, the eagle stamp looks very wrong!

Now a guess! A gun collector had a nice Pre-WWII C96 he wanted to display and he wanted a box of ammo to go with it. He found a box of 7.62x25T with about 35 rounds (should be about the right shape) and the ratio should be roughly 1.2 -1.3 based on some of my 9mm boxes. He went on the internet and found a label from WWI (with a corner missing) and “created” a box of ammo for his gun. When other collectors laughed at him, he passed it on or gave it away and you found it.

Having said all this, I have been wrong many times before. Regardless, thanks for the intellectual challange on a Sunday morning.


Jon, I am betting that after all is said and done, you’ll open the box. And, yes, $5 is great, you went to a good show.


I went through my box collection and found nothing identical in construction to your 4-round Mauser box.
There is an early lift-top 40-round Australian 9 mm box, but it probably would not be tall enough for 7.63 Mauser, and there are differences in construction as well.

By the way, I don’t think I have ever seen a Mauser box with “C-96” printed on it. Just a side thought.

OK, couldn’t resist. I carefully opened the box from the side and…it’s a total fake. Probably was made by a guy with a C96 who wanted a “matching” box. Very clever construction, but not real. The box was filled with mixed Czech and 11 63 Chinese Tokarev rounds. About $3-4.00 worth of shooting ammo, maybe a bit more. I will keep the box in my collection as a FAKE example.
Thanks for all the info.

This is why I open boxes. Aside from finding fakes, sometimes one finds a totally unexpected and new headstamp.

Well, I won’t beat a dead horse. I know I am a minority of about ONE when it comes to my opinions of full, sealed boxes.

It is still worth $5 for the information value. Just think of that Maynard I’ve bought for $2 and you’ll feel better.

[quote=“JohnMoss”]This is why I open boxes. Aside from finding fakes, sometimes one finds a totally unexpected and new headstamp.

Well, I won’t beat a dead horse. I know I am a minority of about ONE when it comes to my opinions of full, sealed boxes.[/quote]


You’re not alone. I also open sealed boxes to determine exactly what’s inside. I go one further. I do not hesitate to pull a bullet, even if I have only one specemin. I’ve found a lot of things inside that you’d never guess when looking at a cartridge from the outside.

Bullets can be reseated, although the factory crimp may sometimes be changed. But, I’d much rather know what’s inside than trying to preserve the crimp. Of course, I always try to get two specemins if at all possible.

And boxes can be re-sealed if you open them carefully.

Record everything! There is nothing worse than opening a box, finding something unusual, then re-sealing the box but forgetting to look for such small things as primer seal color.


While talking about fake labels, there are a couple other points that are normally obvious when looking at fake labels.

Under close magnification with good light, it is very easy to distinguish dot matrix inkjet, or laser printers from a printing press.

You can also look at the paper itself. The polymers in modern office paper not only light up with a black light. They also have a very smooth appearance compared to the paper on older labels. The fibers are mixed with clay and polymers and almost look like sheetrock. If you look at a pre-WWII label, the paper has lots of distinct fibers that are easily visible. Just spend a few minutes comparing, and you’ll be able to spot it from a mile away for life.

Ray & John, Make that three!

Ray’s advise is good. I have the only known example (as far as I know) of the German sintered core 9mm P08 round. I pulled the bullet and photographed it and carefully replaced it. Then a couple of years later I pulled it again cause I had forgotten to weigh it!!!


Well, obviously I make it 4!

I wish I could have this much fun, for every $5 I spend!

To my untrained eye, the way the ink has bled into the label fibers does not look like the quality I would expect from a German product. Compared to the WWI and WWII 7,9 and 9x19 box labels I have looked at over the years, this one looks positively amaturish.