Geco, of course, is very well known all over the world, not just in Europe. Thank you for explaining how you
determined the bullet jackets were CN-plated brass jackets. Yes, you are of course right, brass and copper jackets are very different in original color. However, sometimes on older ammo, the brass darkents and it becomes harder to tell the difference. Oddly, the opposite is true as well. So older rounds not in mint condition have the brass change the tone of the color slightly to a point where it looks even MORE like brass.
There were somewhere around 15 years where Geco used that symbol-code for the date. Of course, commercial ammunition is not usually dated for sales reasons, and when it is, it is often coded some-how. People who are simply gun owners but not well versed on the subject have an odd idea about the logevity of quality ammunition, and won’t buy old stock if they know it is old. I have met customers who thought that if ammo was over 6 months old, it probably was untrustworhty, and if several years old, that it might “blow up their guns.” Of course, most of us here have probably fired ammunition as old as 40 and 50 years, or even more, that performed perfectly in every respect.
The story of fake Geco rounds is entirely true. Hungary produced some ammunition with “Geco” headstamp and
Geco’s date code as well, in caliber 9 mm Parabellum. They also made a box of Geco’s pattern, but the cardboard was of thinner, poorer quality than any Geco box, and some of the terminology on the box was unusual for German ammunition. I have this box and a cartridge in my own collection. This happend during the Communist rule of Hungary. Staff officials at Geco denied any knowledge of the ammunition, and it was felt that they were probably telly the truth. I was told that they were quite upset with it when they found out about the ammunition.
There was also some 7.65 mm Browning ammunition made to resemble Geco. It was made by Hirtenberg and sole in sterile boxes in South Africa during the world-wide embargo on that country years ago. The headstamp was “* GeO * 7.65” (The “GeO” is just as I have typed it here). At quick glance, the mind wants to tell the yes that they have seen “Geco,” even though it is not a true copy of the Geco name. It was certainly made to deceive, however.
The box for the ammunition for RSA proved an excellent example of why it is good to get the entire box, and not have friends tear of just the label to make them easier to mail. I ask a friend in RSA not to tear labels off, but rather to send the whole empy box. He couldn’t see any reason for it and I told him that sometimes box construction was unique to certain manufacturers. He sent me the absolute sterile “GeO” box with the challenge to identify the manufacturer. He picked the wrong box. It ias an exact miniature of a 9 mm Para box in my collection. labeled from Hirtenberger, and of a box design that no other manufacturer used! Before that, the “GeO” headstamp was “unknown.”