Galef 9mm Box from 1920s


I recently obtained a copy of a page from the 1924 Galef catalog illustrated below from This is a web site with some excellent Luger/Borchardt material and some great photos of cartridge boxes. Worth a visit. The author of the site was kind enough to share the following page with me.

I have seen/had Galef boxes in 38 S&W, but have never seen one in autopistol calibers, and sure not in 9mmP. The same basic offer and box illustrations occur in Galef catalogs from 1920, 1924 and 1925. The 1920 catalog does not mention box size, the 1924 illustrated mentions 9m/m in 16 round boxes indicating it is probably German WWI surplus. The 1925 catalog no longer mentions how 9m/m is packed but mentions that .30 Mauser is in 20 round boxes, 25, 32 and 380 is in 25 round boxes and all else is in 50 round boxes.

German military production of 9mm P only began in late 1924, except for a small batch for the police in 1920/21. There is also evidence that there was production of 9mmP during this period, probably for export, using such names as 9mm Revolver and 9mm Colt ( see

I would love to see what Galef was selling as 9mmP during this period. Frankly I suspect that the box illustrated in the catalog with what appears to be 9mmP is probably just an artists creation and didn’t exist, but it never hurts to ask!

Has anyone seen a Galef box in 9mmP or any other autopistol caliber?

Any help is appreciated.



In my opinion, the boxes shown in the advertisement are from the firm of Deutsche Werke A.-G., Berlin. Looking at the picture, unfortunately even with a magnifying glass none of the print is legible. However, I remember seeing or having a cartridge box with the distinctive “Vertical Grain” drawn into this picture, and with a side label of the shape of the bottom part of the label shown on both of the open boxes in the Galef Broadsheet advertisement that you pictured.

I searched my box collection and found that I have a box for 380 Auto ammo like this. I will scan the top and the side label of my box and have Joe post it on this thread.

There is no mention of Galef on thsse labels, but when you see it, you will know that it has to be the same make of ammunition. Even the timing fits.

John Moss


Box for .380 A.C.P. (9mm Kurz) ammunition made by Deutsche Werk Actiengesellschaft (D.W.A.), Berlin, Germany, in the early 1920s. This box has no reference to Galef on it, but it appears to be the same style of box as appears in the Galef 1924 advertisement.

John Moss


Lew et al. I find I have this same box for .32 Auto (7.65mm Browning) as well, but again, with no Galef markings. Of course, these boxes may never have had Galef over-labels on them. Hard to tell until we see one in these calibers.

John Moss


John, The side label looks the right shape, but the top label in the Galef catalog shows a cartridge drawing at the top of the label, not a pistol. Could have been a Galef overlabel or ???

I have never seen these style boxes in 9mmP. Has anyone else seen one?


Well, the main thing about showing the box was to positively identify that at least the .25, .32 and .380 ammunition mentioned in the 1924 Galef Boradsheet was manufactured by Deutsche Werk Aktiengesellschaft (D.W.A.) of Berlin. No one else used exactly this pattern of box nor had the eight-sided end labels, or at least I have not seen any. there are other “wood grain” cardboard boxes, but not of this pattern. For IDing the make of the ammunition, the difference in top labels between the box photo shown and the artist’s rendition in the ad, is not important.

It is natural that the Ortgies pistol be shown on the box top, as while initially made by Heinrich Ortigies firm, "Ortgies & Co., Erfurt, Germany, the D.W.A. took over production in 1920 as the “Deutsche Werke Aktiengesellschaft, Werk Erfurt.”