German WW1 and earlier ammunition, how rare is it?

I’m looking to add some Imperial German ammunition to some displays in my collection. Specifically boxed 9mm for a luger and loose 8mm for a Gewehr 98. Am I overly ambitious to think I can get these without paying a fortune?

No, in my view you are not overly ambitious. Both were made in large numbers during WW1 and many still exist in the U.S. Typical run of the mill boxes/cartridges should be no problem. “8 mm” for the rifle cartridge was only used by Kaiserliche Marine; the army called it “7.9 mm” from 1888 through 1945.
Side note: looking up Werner Forssmann in Wikipedia might interest you.

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Good information. The blue box 9mm for the luger seems to be the more elusive of the two for me lately. And I’m very familiar with the history of Dr. Forssmann, his contribution to cardiac health was absolutely nuts and brave at the same time.

The cost of a WWI 9mm P08 box depends to a great degree on the condition and the manufacturer. 1917 and 1918 ammunition by the manfacturers like Spanday, DWK, RMS and Geco (GeD) are least expensive. I see them more often at the European meetings than in he US. A reasonable box would be about 50 euros or so. A nice box may go twice that or more. They use to be more common in the US but most of the ones I have seen here turned up in Germany.

Good Luck,

Lew, you must be referring to empty boxes for that price?

Some empty and some full. Empty boxes are some cheaper. Most boxes I have seen most being well over half, are partially full or full (though not necessarily with the correct cartridges). I did say 50 or more for a common box in reasonable shape. I recently paid well over 150 euros for some MW boxes in reasonable plus shape.

Perhaps my definition of "Reasonable shape is different from yours! A box with the center of the label missing but most information there and in very readable condition to be “reasonable condition”

I am talking about the selling price, not the asking price. I have seen on a US auction a 1917 RWS box in excellent shape offered with a starting bid of $1000. There were no bids. At the last German meeting I saw a number of relatively common WWI boxes that were in nice condition offered for 200 euros each. The same boxes had been at a number of previous shows and obviously had not sold.

Ultimately, the price depends on how badly you want it. A very subjective subject.