I am trying to sort out the dates for the various box styles used by Geco on 9mm P08 “commercial” ammunition before and during WWII. There are three basic styles I am working on though I know there were other styles used, particularly a Blue box with a cartridge drawing on the front and others that I have only hints of because they are under other labels.
The three I am working on now are shown below. Most of these have a code stamped on the back or inside the end flap. Usually it is a two letter code but sometimes it includes both letters (sometimes upper and lower case mixed) and numbers.
Most of my boxes are empty so I am also very interested in the headstamps inside these boxes. Although all look commercial, some have military headstamps. One in my collection has brass case rounds headstamped dnh * 2 (&3) dated both 41 and 42. These military headstamps are a great help in dating the boxes.
This is, I believe the earliest style box. The end is marked Sinoxid so it dates no earlier than 1928. It is a 2-piece box and the box itself is covered with a very fine crosshatch design which looks almost like cloth. This style box dates from the 1920s or early 1930s I believe. The cartridges in the box are headstamped “Geco. 9m/m”
This is the most common box and I have examples with a significant range of date codes (which I don’t yet understand). This is the box mentioned above with the dnh 1941 & 1942 military headstamps. Both the cms and primer are a dark red lacquer. My guess is this box dates back to the early 1930s but apparently was still being used in 1942. The blue box with the cartridge drawing mentioned above were used in the late 1930s so the 1940s use of this box is strange.
I know “oeldicht” means “oil tight” or oil proof. I assume this means all these cartridges had lacquered case mouth seals and primers. Does anyone know when this term was first used on Geco/RWS cartridges??
This is a strange box label, and the ones I know of are all empty so I have no idea what the headstamp is. One of these boxes is stamped “St” on the back so apparently contained steel case ammunition, possibly the “Geco 9mm” or “Geco 9m/m” copper-washed Steel case rounds. The steel case would date this box from the very late 1930s or later. Another possibility is that this is actually a product of RWS when they began producing 9mm P08 again before WWII.
[b]Again, any information on these boxes, the codes inside the endflap or on the back, and/or the cartridges in them would be greatly appreciated.
Similar boxes in other pistol calibers would also help my research.[/b]
Many thanks for your assistance.