GECO 7,65mm BOX

Good Morning

I found this box of 7.65 mm made by GECO, who can help me to understand the date of manufacture?

What is the meaning of the letter “L” and “V” on the base of the cartridge?
And the code on the box?

Thanks !


Headstamp year date codes explained here: Geco 7,65x17SR (32 AUTO) questions

So 1970?

Yes, the backward “L” and the “V” would indicate 1970. You
might be interested to know that the same cartridge in all respects
also exists with that date in uncoded form on the headstamp:
7 GECO 0 7.65

As I recall, “70” is the only date that is found both coded and uncoded
on these 7.65 mm Browning headstamps.

John Moss

Thanks guys!
This ammunition were use by police or military in Germany ?? Or is only a civilian ammunition ??

Anything commercial could have been used by police in many
countries. I simply don’t know about post-war Germany. I know
the code-dated cartridges were sold commercially. The one anomaly
with the “70” date in plain-to-read digits may have been for police, since
I have two specimens, one with normal bullet, and one with a different
bullet shape reported to me, when I got it years ago. to be a “police

John Moss

Thanks Jhon!


I recently received a 7,65 Mauser HSc that was modified for police trials in Germany. Proof date is 1969, slight construction changes compared to ordinary 7,65 HSc’s. According to a former manager the tests took place in 1970. I wonder if Geco was used as the ammo supplier for these tests.

If anyone has more info on these police tests ca. 1969 - 1970 I would be interested in hearing about it.

to answer you question about military use:
Bundeswehr used the Walther PPK, designated as 7.65 mm Pistole P21, as a personal weapon of pilots, plain-clothes military police etc.
But it had its own military boxes, called DM2, and the headstamp showed 7,65 x 17 and a military lot number (like XX-66-2). Alas, the documentation does not list the actual manufaturers.
The original cartridge model DM11 had a Berdan primer, DM11A1 a Boxer primer.


From the scarcity of the military (or para-military) headstamps on post-
war German 7.65 x 17 mm cartridges, and the length of time that the
PP and PPK Models were in general issue, is it possible that not all
of the ammunition procured by police was of the headstamp style you
mention? I seems that if that were the only ammo procured, that there
would be many more known headstamps, and specimens available, than
there seems to be. I have collected the 7.65 x 17 mm cartridge seriously
for all my cartridge-collecting life, with over 1,000 specimens in my collection,
(I don’t save dates - there must be some other variation on the cartridge for
me to keep it). I have only four with the headstamp style you describe, one
of which is a fired case:

7.65 x 17 DNG-71-1
7.65 x 17 DAG-79-1
7.65 x 17 DAG-80-1
7.65 x 17 DAG-81-1 (Fired case)

Note that for all four years the lot number is “1.” I have seen no other lot
numbers, which, of course, does NOT indicate they don’t exist. The headstamp
7 Geco 0 7.65 predates my earliest one by a year. AS I recall, the German police
and the Bundeswehr were allowed to rearms c.1954/55, and while I understand that
they used many older weapons, both German and Foreign, I would think there was
still a need for 7.65 x 17 ammunition, yet we see no military type headstamps (at
least of which I am aware, before about 1970, in this caliber. Again, it is possible
they exist, I suppose. One would think they would be occasionally seen. The same
for years after 1981. You would also think there would be more lot numbers in the
years that are seen.

Does anyone know the actual date spread for the headstamps that include the case
length (7.65 x 17) and a lot number as well as the date? Pictures of headstamps
would be appreciated. Pictures of the military/police special boxes for these would
be appreciated as well. I have a couple of plastic boxes for police daily storage, but
they seem to be reusable and not likely to be the boxes in which the ammunition was
delivered from the factory.

John Moss

the information I cited is from the 2 Bundeswehr ammunition data sheets [Munitionsmerkblatt] (dated Dec 1971 and Sep 1979) I know of, regarding this ammunition. The lot example XX-66-2 (actually it says AB-66-2) is from the older ammunition data sheet, the newer uses AB-79-1 as example.
My intention was to say that, according to the documentation I know, Bundeswehr did not use commercial “Geco” headstamps but “7.65 x 17”. From the headstamps you observed it looks like it is probable that commercial headstamps were used before 1971.
I could not find documentation regarding the adoption date of the Walther PPK (P21).

I don’t know the exact date of the adoption of the Walther pistols into
the post-WWII German military and police establishments, but I can
say that in 1972, when I was visiting in Germany, the uniformed civil
police officers, what used to be called, I think, the "ordnung Politzei,"
were carrying Walther PP Models. My impression was that in the
police establishment, the PPK was more for what we call "plain clothes"
officers (detectives, etc.).

Based only on what I have found for my own collection, and not any official
documentation, admittedly, I felt that the 7 Geco 0 7.65 headstamp was
likely an early form of a military or police headstamp. Since that was the
only non-coded date I had seen on Geco (DAG, DNG) 7.65 Browning
ammunition, the conclusion I drew, in theory, was that prior to 1970, normal
commercial ammo was used. If anyone has an earlier dated one, especially
in the headstamps using the DNG or DAG manufacturer’s mark and the 7.65 x 17
caliber-designation, please let us know.

John Moss

As a reaction to Nazi times, where police was centrally organized, after WW2 German police was thoroughly decentralized. Depending on the state (and the previous zone of occupation), police was organized on a state, county or even city basis. For example, Munich had its own city police, organized, uniformed and equipped totally independent from any other Bavarian police organization.
Regarding small arms, apart from “most used 7.65 mm pistols” no general statement is possible.
In my childhood, uniformed police of North-Rhine-Westfalia (former British zone of occupation, state-wide police organization) carried 9 mm FN Hi-Power pistols. These were replaced by Walther PPK around 1970.
A standardized, state based organization of German police, recogizable by the same green uniform used by all German police forces only began in 1975.


Interesting stuff, as usual. Thank you. I knew that early on, some
police carried the FN GP 9 mm pistol, as well as some Astra 600s
from the second delivery to the Wehrmacht, which failed since the
allies were at the reception point before the Spanish delivery unit got
there, and the pistols were taken back to Astra. They were later used to fill a
contract, along with new production, and delivered to the Bundesrepublik.
We know this from the fact that these pistolswere later sold as surplus, with
many of them coming to the United States. I had the German contract FN and
all three phases of the Astra 600 (including the ones delivered to the Wehrmacht,
which of course bore markings of the Heereswaffenamt. We sold many of them
in our store. I am sure there were other pistols as well. I recall seeing
a Smith and Wesson Victory Model with the markings of a German
State, as well as one marked for the Austrian Police. I did not collect
them, so I did not note the exact markings. Wish I had.

I do recall, since I was a holster freak, that a police officer I saw in Munich
was carrying the longer barrel Walther PP, the model recognizable from the
holster and also the base of the magazine, seen as he walked by. I am
surprised that many carryed the PPK since its only advantage is a little bit
more ease of concealment, with the disadvantage of slightly less velocity due
to its shorter barrel, and less accuracy in shooting (no difference in inherent
accuracy, due to its shorter sight radius. I guess all were 7.65 mm as I know
that the 9 mm kurz was never as popular in Germany as the 7.65 x 17 mm.

I had not realized how much autonomy local German Police had at that time,
important to the ammunition subject, since it probably meant there was no
real central unit for procurement of police pistol ammunition at the time. Would
you say that is correct.

Of course, in the US, it is almost impossible to collect “police pistol ammunition"
in any meaningful way. Local police procure it from whatever source is convenient,
and for big departments, offers the best value, and in some very small communities,
they just purchase ammunition at the local gun marts. In cases where the departments
have no mandatory requirement for the pistol carried, and only some guidelines as to
the caliber (as time goes on, these becoming fewer and fewer), some officers buy their
own ammo if the choose to carry, say, a .45 instead of an issue .40 or 9mm, or the
reverse. Some who limit themselves to military and police loads in their collections,
save only LE ammunition; that is, ammunition designated by the manufacturer as
"Law Enforcement” or “Law Enforcement Only.” These terms usually are only a matter
of policy, and possession of calibers and types otherwise legal in one’s State is not
an offense under the law, even if in boxes marked Law Enforcement Only.

John Moss

hello i found the same casings while metal detecting. the text wrights: geco 7.65 4 1 or L not sure about the last letter or number any help? found the at a ww2 german shooting range deep in the ground and they are red at the back

Kokosnoot - a headstamp picture would be helpful. I have been collecting 7.65 x 17 m Browning cartridges for over 50 years, and have about a large collection of them. I have only seen a headstamp similar to what is described on a 7.65 mm dummy round.

Also, measurements or at least a picture of the cartridge case profiles would be helpful, as from the description, it could be a 7.65 mm Parabellum casing, or even something else. I am pretty confident, however, that it is a 7.65 mm Browning cartridge.

Edited for clarification and to remove an erroneous statement made due to an initial non-recognition of what the headstamp shown could be.

John Moss

At least the Dutch Gemeentepolitie (Local police) has used these ammo in their FN Browning 1922 or FN Browning 1910/22 pistols.

Jaco - are you speaking of the precise headstamp written out by Kokosnoot? Or, are you speaking simply of the Dutch Police using the 7.65 mm Browning cartridge? Actually, many police agencies have used or are still using pistols of that caliber for one purpose or another. When I was in Paris in 1972, I noted several Gendarmes carrying the FN M1922 pistol, at least one an obvious German-Occupation-produce one with wooden grips on it. The regular police, even then, were carrying much more equipment on their belts, and 9 mm Para-caliber pistols.

The question here is what is that actual headstamp? There is a Geco 7.65 mm Browning round with headstamp, beginning at the 9 o’clock position on the head, “I Geco 4 7.65” (the first entry is the capitol form of the letter “i” with serifs, which I can not seem to reproduce here; it is not the number 1). I have only seen this headstamp on a chromed or perhaps nickeled dummy round with flutes in the case sides. If it exists in a ball round, and I believe it likely does, I would like to confirm the fact, preferably with a photo of one.

This headstamp is only found on 7.65 rounds that are Post-WWII manufacture, so I cannot explain finding one, if we are talking about the headstamp I have shown, “deep in the ground” on a WW2 German Shooting Range.

I am revising my initial answer thru “edit” as I did not immediately recognize this headstamp as it was shown originally on this thread. My comment about “nothing like the headstamp shown was totally erroneous.”

John Moss

John, I was speaking about the original posting, the photo with Geco headstampcode for 1970. As police-officer I have carried that FN model 1910/22 caliber 7.65 from 1977 until 1980, when the Walther P5 ( 9 x 19mm) arrived. And, at least at our police-station, for the FN we used the ammunition in those boxes and those type of headstamps as shown at the start of this threat by Frasche in aug.'17
Excuse for the misunderstanding.