German 9mm blue box

I got some old German Pistolenpatronen 08 boxes in a few days ago, and wonder about the blue paper. What is the reason for blue coloured boxes, and when or why did they change to the later grey/brown paper?

The one lable has evidence of beeing a re-pack from ww1.


These are WW1 boxes
btw, very nice box labels!!


These boxes are probably from WWI or slightly later. It is not clear when the blue box with the steel corners went out of manufacture. Boxes were reused by the Germans and I have found as many as four labels pasted on top of each other. This is most common in the 1920s and 1930s.

The labels and the cartridges in these boxes are not from WWI. The top photo has cartridges loaded by Polte in 1932 with cases and bullets also made by Polte in 1932. The second photo shows Polte made components (case & bullet) from 1928, also loaded in 1928. There is no evidence that Polte ever made 9mm P08 ammunition during WWI.

Excellent items that any collector would bde proud of!


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Thank you for your answers gentlemen.
The praktice of reusing of boxes must have been widespread, also among the different factories.

Here is one from RWS 1933. Sorry about the lable!



Bunker - a great box. First time I ever saw the box for this rare headstamp. It took me 40 years of 9 mm collecting to finally get one of the cartridges “N * 1 33” in 9 mm.

Thanks for ;posting. A shame some of the info is missing, but it is one helluva lot better than nothing!

John Moss

This is an extremely interesting box as John says above. Within the last year I posted in the European bulletin asking about a box for these rounds.

The label has a German Army format, but it uses the code “N” and on the box clearly states these were RWS loads, but in 1933 all RWS autopistol ammunition was loaded by Geco. The load has the typical Geco look. Since 1924 post German military production was done by Polte and used the P code. This was because only Polte was authorized by the Allied Control Commission to produce 9mm P08 ammunition. During 1924, other German factories were producing restricted ammunition, in the case of P08 ammunition it was the Cassel Arsenal using a Pu code, one of a number of secret codes to identify factories outside Polte, but with the cover story that these codes identified various lines or buildings inside Polte producing the ammunition. Within a few years as more facilities produced ammunition other codes were added which were number codes with a P prefix like P405 for Geco. These P Codes were used into 1939.

Since this box, nor the cartridges use the P Codes, their were clearly not intended for the German Army. The date, 1933 is interesting. it is the year Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and withdrew from the restrictions imposed after WWI but there was a two year wait before the withdrawl could take in effect. This ammunition was likely a way for Hitler and the Nazi party to thumb their nose at the Allies. Since this ammo was not intended for the Army, and is clearly military ammunition, it seems highly probable that it was for some element of the Nazi organization, probably the elite SS which was not receiving equipment or ammunition at that time. In fact, Hitler had difficulty in forcing the German Army to supply arms and ammunition to the SS. There is not a great deal of information on this subject available, at least in English.

If others have information on this subject, please post it or send me a PM or email. There is some evidence that the Nazi units didn’t all begin receiving Army ammunition until sometime in 1943, though the SS combat units engaged in active combat, particularly in Russia, were receiving Army ammunition from much earlier.

Bunker, This is an excellent box and historically important. My deep thanks for posting it.


I appreciate the info, thank you.
There is a ring/cirkle on the primer i dont see to often. Is it just from the production process, or something else?

The ring indicates a non-corrosive primer using the mix commercially known as Sinoxid and introdced in 1930.