Geco (dnh) P08mE load with DWMK (faa) case-1944


#1

I recently picked up a normal looking 16 rd box, lot 49 of 1944. The interesting thing about it is that the headstamp headstamp is “faa St+ 8 44” indicating it was made by DWM Karlsruhe!!! The bullet is 1944 dnh production and the primer was made in 1943 by eem. Boxes marked lot 52 and 58 of 1944 also contain rounds with the same faa headstamp as lot 49.

In addition dnh lot 86 contains faa headstamped cases from lot 12 off 1944, but the label indicates the cases were faa lot 11.

Further, I know of two faa headstamped SE loads from 1944 (lot 7 in my collection and lot 6 documented). Both have black case-mouth seals which are common on Geco (dnh) P08SE cartridges but are only encountered on these two faa headstamped rounds. Unfortunately, i don’t have a box for either of these cartridges.

These four boxes are the only ones I have for faa headstamped P08 ammunition I have from 1944. All my faa loaded boxes are from 1943 or earlier! Based on this small sample, it would appear that DWM Karlsruhe stopped loading P08 ammunition about the end of 1943, but continued to made cases which were shipped to Geco for loading.

I do have Geco (dnh) headstamped cases from 1944 with headstamps 1 to 10. I have a number of boxes with lot numbers through 93 of 1944.

Does anyone know why this curious arrangement existed in 1944???

Was DWM bombed and the P08 loading facility destroyed, but the case facility survived, or was the loading facility converted to another caliber???

Information or theories are welcome.

Cheers,
Lew


#2

According to BIOS report 295, DWM Grötzingen (small arms ammunition facility in Karlsruhe subburb) in early 1945 was relocated to Nördlingen. Maybe, your (late?) 1944 lot was impacted by the dismantling of the production line for the imminent relocation?


#3

Facilities were indeed moves from the Karlsruhe region to locations deeper in Germany. Lübeck is one of them.

It seems they felt that Karlsruhe was too close to the border and thus extra vulnerable.

Mauser had similar issues and they tried to move their operations to the east also.


#4

That makes sense and could also explains why faa made 19 case lots in 1943, 12 in 1944. But there is 1 case lot in 1945 unless the suk code isn’t really DWM Karlsruhe after all. There is no evidence that the Karlsruhe P08 production moved to Lubeck.

Since, if the books are correct and suk is DWM, K and case lots are about the same size, then faa case lot 12 may have been produced in December since the suk case was produced in 1945, they were likely still producing P08 in Dec 1944. That would make case lot 8 (from the photo above) likely Aug 1944 production.

What we need is photos on boxes of faa headstamped rounds from lots 9-11 in 1944 to see where they were actually loaded!!!

Help from anyone out there would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Lew


#5

Lew, a small correction.

In my tiny 9mm collection, I have the “faa” lot 13 from 1944
Lot 14 is also known.

DSC_0001


#6

Great info! That is why we have the Forum!

In this case it helps an old man in the grip of senility! I forgot to look under my single flash-hole faa rounds. I have lot 13 with both mE and SE bullets and lot 14 in SE. I have the box for the lot 14 case and the loader is suk in 1945. The lot is not readable!!!

Thanks.,
Lew


#7

Lew, I don’t know the reason, but it seems that “dnh” loaded “faa” cases only as a temporary solution, because you can find later lots going back to “dnh” cases. For example, as you mention, dnh lot 52 of 1944 was also loaded using faa lot 8 of 1944, but dnh lot 57 of 1944 uses dnh lot 6 of 1944. Also, there are later examples like dnh lot 5 of 1945 loaded using dnh lot 10 of 1944.

Regards,

Fede


#8

I think these boxes can give us some help

Rolf


#9

Thanks Rolf!!! I knew you would have a lot to add.

It appears that DWM K was probably loading P08 ammunition almost until the city was occupied. The entire state of Baden-Württemberg was occupied by April 45, but I couldn’t find in a quick search when Karlsruhe was actually occupied.

It also appears that their case production was greater than their loading capability or their requirements so they were providing cases to Geco. Since both were seperate private companies and basic competitors for military contracts/delivery orders it is interesting to speculate how this arrangement came about! I’d bet someone in Speer’s organization ordered it, but the interesting question is why!

Fede, Looking at boxes turns up lots of cases where components years old were suddenly loaded. I have a box of Polte brass cases dated 1938 that were loaded by emp in 1943 with emp bullets. The speculation is that some components may have been stored as backup stock in case of shortages, and then after a few years released to production.

The German boxes tell some interesting stories and Rolf has the best collection of these boxes in existence.

Cheers,
Lew