German 9mmK/BL/P08 boxes from 1917-who is "Pi" code


The box label below indicates the case was made by “S” for Spandau, but who is the “Pi” who apparently loaded the cartridge in June 1917? If this is not the code for the loader, what does the “Pi” stand for?



9 browning short

Lew, how about Pieper in Belgium?

They were supplier of pistol parts to the German rifle factory in Erfurt (P08 parts) and did not hesitate to offer their services during German occupation.

Unlike FN who bluntly refused to take part in any German war effort after they were occupied.


On a document dated 18 November 1926, “Pi” is identified as a “Zeichen” (marking) for Hirtenberg. It was used on a 7.9 x 57 headstamp, but I don’t know if this relates at all to use of this abbreviation in 1917, on 9 mm Kurz ammunition.

This is the same document that identified the abbreviation (or code) “Pu” as being a product of Burgsmüller, Kreiensen, and “Pö” as a product of Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbrietzen, something we already knew from the bunter style and breaking dates between the “Pö” headstamp and the “P25” headstamp on 7.9 x 57 mm ammunition.

Again, I don’t know if this information applies as early as WWI. Most sources shou the starting date about 1926, the year-date of the document in question.

Very nice box. I have not seen it in 9 mm Kurz that I can remember. A very, very similar box exists also in 9 mm Browning Long. Of course, Hirtenberg A.-G. or Austria made both the “Kurz” and the “Lang” 9 mm cartridges, so “Pi” representing Hirtenberg is not impossible, I guess.


Don’t think it was something outside Germany.

Here is a 9mm P08 label with cases from H. Don’t think they shipped all the stuff to Austria.

It could be a state artillery depot who was loading cartridges from components.
And it is not an uncommon loading factory, but until now we don’t know who is hiding behind WW1 Pi.


Actually, Pieper had ties with Austria, so it does make sense.


Dutch, Great box. I have never seen it before in 9mmP!!! What is the full headstamp? I agree with you that it seems strange that components would have been shipped from other places to load by whoever Pi is. Clearly by 1918 they had their own ability to make both cases and bullets. It also seems strange that a code like “Pi” would have been used by one facility and then only 8 or 9 years later the code would have been assigned to a different facility by the same authority!

Here is a picture of another 9mm Kurz box, but from 1918. This photo is from Rolf Foerster, but the box belongs to a friend. Note the base and the bullet on this one are made by Pi.



9 browning short

If the box from Rolf’s friend has any cartridges with it, perhaps the headstamp of them would solve the mystery, since “Pi” is the loading factory and the case and bullet maker?


Another option is a factory in Pionki, Poland.


Just got a reply from the owner of the box that shows the cases as made by “Pi”.

[quote]the box are open on bottom.
included mixes headstamps ( H 5 18 ) to ( H 8 18 ) [/quote]

H on 9mm Para is attributed to RMS in Dusseldorf, and the 9mmP box illustrated above indicates that the cases were from “H”. I wonder if the attribution of the “Pi” code to Hirtenberg is correct, regardless when it was made. It could easily been the result of an error since both companies apparently use dthe “H” headstamp during the same period.




Lew - I think you mean “RMS Dusseldorf,” not “RWS.” “H” represent Rheinische Metallwaaren-
und Maschinenfabrik Düsseldorf-Derendorf (spelling contemporary to manufacture of “H” headstamp ammunition). They also had a factory at Sömmerda, where they also made some ammunition as well as the Dreyse self-loading pistol and various other armaments, I would suppose from their factory history, which I have. All in German so can’t read much of it, and my edition ends at 1914.

The 9 mm Browning Long that is found in a similar box is also “H” headstamp, and probably the 9 mm Kurz as well. Regarding the 9 mm Kurz box, it would be interesting, if there is a specimen, to measure the rim diameter and see if the ammunition is truly 9 mm Kurz, or rather what we know today as the rebated-rim cartridge “9 mm Nickl.” Even though the cartridges 9 mm Nickl from RM Düsseldorf are not rare, I have not seen a box label anyone associated with that particular cartridge. I am not saying no one has, but merely that I haven’t.


For completeness here is the 9mm BL box by Pi. John Moss should pick this up at SLICS.