German Geco ammo-Romanian 50rd boxes and 24rd box

With the discussion on the 66 round DWM 7.65B box, I thought perhaps there would be some insights on the box pictured below.

This box contains 24 Geco sintered iron loads.


The pencil marks on the paper are below the wax seal and are probably original to the packing. As best I can make out they are:

27 3? ("?" means I can’t make out the letter)
9.11.48. II

The packing is three rows of 8 in cardboard dividers. I have only taken one round out of the box, but the packing looks like an inside cardboard box, with two long paper dividers, and then small loose cardboard rectangles between each cartridge. These dividers bear no resemblance to the dividers in any box I am familiar with.

The interior box is wrapped in a brown paper with faint lines in it that is similar to that used on some Finnish 25 round repack of German ammo. The outer paper wrap is a light tan paper that is wax sealed on the outside.

Anyone have any ideas on this box???



Maybe this ammo is a relic of Lapland War?

Lew - Just some random thoughts. I would think that the 9.11.48 is a date (November 9, 1948) but since it is handwritten, it may not be original to the packaging. At least in this box, German or Finnish, the quantity makes some sense - 3 magazines full for the P-08 or P-38 (or many other 9 mm pistols as well).

However, since the Germans at that time generally only issued one spare magazine, and the Finnish holsters I have seen carried one spare magazine, one could say it is still an odd amount.
There was some reissue of the Navy and Artillery Lugers including their full rigs, but it was pretty limited, I think.

If the numbers are a date, a clue to what country repacked it might be to find who issued two spare magazines with a pistol - Sweden and the P-40 Lahti come to mind. Unlike the Finnish holsters, the Swedish holsters, for the most part, held two spare magazines. Of course if it is known that this is a Finnish repack, that detective work is unnecessary.

Like the 66-round DWM 7.65 Browning box, this is really interesting packaging. And, of course, the quantity of the box may have nothing to do with the weapons or numbers of magazines issued for any given weapon.

John, I know that the Suomi MPs used both a 32 round stick mag and a 71 rd drum. I have been told that there was both a smaller drum (40 round I think)and a smaller stick mag. I wonder if the stick was a 24 round mag?

The pencil date on the box appears, even under a glass, to be under the wax sealing on the outside of the packet, In fact, under a glass the writing is a bit more extensive than in my original post. It seems to read:

27 3T ƒK
9.11.48. II

This is a very rough representation of letters that are hard to read. In addition the last letter in “27 3T” is partially wrapped to the top of the packet and most the the following letters on the same line are also wrapped to the top of the packet. The fact that these letters wrap around the corner of the packet indicate that they were written on the paper before it was wrapped around the packet.

Also note the sealed end of the packet which has a pull string.

The was seal and the pencil marked paper could have been added later to an original Geco packing.

It is clear that Geco was selling ammunition to Romania (and perhaps) others in 1944. The two boxes illustrated below are clear proof. Both were obtained full.

The first containes Brass case cartridges headstamped C M C 9L. The loads have black casemouth seals, and nonmagnetic GM bullets!!! Note that the label is dated 1944. The blue box visible below the label is clearly a Geco box. in fact the second photo below shows the side of this box and the side of a Geco box that contained pre-1946 Geco headstamped commercial ammunition.

The second box has a Romanian label but a Geco end label. The cartridges in the box are lacquered steel case loads with GM color mE bullets. The headstamp is dnh St+ 6 44, only four lots earlier than the box at the top of this thread. Clearly Geco was actively making ammunition for other than the German Army very late in the war. Perhaps the 24 round box is another example of this commercial activity.

Geco box-end



Any more comments on these boxes???

  • @ Lew: I can translate for you the Romanian words from those labels. Top label: “50 Rounds Parabellum, Caliber 9 m/m Long for the submachine-gun, CMC, 1944”. Bottom lebel: “50 Rounds Parabellum for submachine-gun, Caliber 9mm, bullet with ogive, iron core and steel cartridge case” —> NOTE: 1) The Romanians called during WW2 and in 1950s the 9mm Parabellum cartridge (9x19) like this: “9mm Lung”. The 9mm Kurz / short / .380 cartridge was called by the Romanians during WW2 like this: “9mm Scurt”. The 9X19 round was used by the Romanian made 9mm Orita M1941 SMGs (later modified in 1948) and the .380 round was used by the 9mm Beretta M1934 pistols imported by Romania from Italy. During WW2 the Romanian army also used some imported Italian made 9mm Beretta Mod.38A SMGs. The 9mm Steyr round was also used during WW2 by the Romanian army for the old 9mm Steyr M1912 pistol which had been imported from Austria before 1914. 2) The “CMC” mark stands for “Copsa-Mica Cugir”, the main military-industrial complex which manufactured small arms and ammo for them. Liviu 10/12/09

Liviu, I had thought that the CMC headstamped ammo was made by “Copsa-Mica Cugir” and was surprised to see it made by Geco and as late as 1944. When I found the second box it was sealed and wrapped in clear paper. I had the partial translation before I picked up the box in Europe, and I could just see a full box of CMC headstamped steel case cartridges. Well, I was half right!!!

Many thanks for the translation!



  • Since Romania did fight together with Germany, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Hungary, etc., against the Allies until August 23rd 1944, it isn’t unusual to find German made ammo delivered to the Romanian Army. Starting with August 24th 1944 and until the end of WW2, the Romanian troops did fight the Wehrmacht liberating Romania, Hungary and part of Czechoslovakia, and of course that no ammunition was received anymore from Germany. Liviu 10/13/09