German WWII 9mm ammo tin & Dutch ammo tins

Why is it made out of metal?

sksvlad, Interesting container. I wonder if it is really an ammo tin. The “Graphit” on the top translates to Graphite-no relevance I can see to the 9mm ammo. German Army required considerable detail on cartridge labels and no evidence of a label on this tin. Tin looks a bit deep for 9mm P08 so they would rattle around-not typical of other German ammo packs I have seen.

Suspect it is something else and someone put ammo in it.

Could be wrong and would like to hear others thoughts.

Nice item regardless and interesting markings.



Because the cartridges don’t belong to the box. :)

Found in my dictionary; black lead, graphite, plumbago.


So, what you are saying is that it is a German Army box of graphite and someone else just put ammo inside? Just curious, what did they do with graphite, a lubricant?

I would say almost 100% it was a lubricant…graphite is an awesome lubricant, my Grandfather had a squeeze bottle full of it, which I now have, great for locks, etc…

German machine gunners had small containers of flowers of sulfur in their gunner kits, they mixed it with oil to make a lube for the MG’s, the graphite was probably used in a similiar way…

The only round tins of which I am aware that were ever used for packing 9mm Para ammo were used by RWS-GECO, probably on a demanded specification, in the 1930s for ammunition for the Dutch Navy. I have samples of those tins for 24 rounds and for 48 rounds.

The tin pictured is a graphite grease tin someone just found, after it was empty, to be a handly thing to put ammo in. Maybe a vet bringing back a handful of 9mm ammo from the war as a souvenir.

John Moss

John do you mean these…

I am certain this is an unofficial repacking for convenience and probably not even while in military service.

I recently handled a large quantity of “shooter” ammo for an estate. There were probably 25 different cans with odd lots of military, commercial or reloads or just bullets. These included tobacco, candy, cracker, and other types of cans with press or screw tops. Very handy for sorting and storing ammo, but totally unrelated to original packing or military policy.

The “Graphit” can was undoubtedly a container for graphite grease, and could have been used for just about anything, from weapons to machinery, sewage pumps, aircraft wheels, automobiles or trucks, machine shops, etc.

At one time in the Navy, we checked the types of grease or lubricants required aboard a destroyer, and came up with about 45 different types. Thus there were probably a lot of grease containers in Germany, either military or for commercial use.

Its a tin for graphite powder. It was supplied with tool kits for artillery pieces. The extreme cold in Russia forbade the use of oil and grease. The breeches froze and couldnt be opened or closed. The hole lockwork was desactivated. The only dry lubricant then was graphite powder.
So all guns where degreased and the oil was removed and graphite where used.
Its a military tin but not for 9mm ctg…
Often in a lack of graphite powder a pencil will do and was used often.

Gyrojet - Yes, those are the ones I mean. I don’t have that selection - didn’t even know a couple of those existed. My 48 round cans are both the same label, but the cans (two) are differently constructed. I only have one of the 24-round tins. Have never seen one with the printed “49 rounds” or the pre-1937 one. But then, I have about the poorest pre-WWII Dutch box collection (any auto pistol caliber) of anyone I know who collects auto pistol boxes in a serious way.

John Moss

It could be worse, I have none :)

Great Tins!!! Like John, I have not even seen most of the ones you show. I have a 24 round No 1 tin and a 48 round No 1 tin, both dated 1937. I have never seen a No 3 tin, and never seen tins in either 49rd or 28rd. Wonderful stuff. The book Dutch Lugers shows only one of these boxes, but also shows a square tin box which I have never seen.

What is the difference between the No 1 and No 3 cartridges???

Great items.



The No1 and No3 pistol .-)

The number 3 Pistol should be the Sauer Model 30, for issuance to Navy Officers for their own self-protection aboard ships, probably as a result of a muntiny aboard a Dutch ship, the Cruiser "De Zeven ProvinciëN IN 1933, when the officers’ pistols were all stored in the ship’s armory and not quickly accesible for them. I assume that despite the use of the 9 mm Browning Short in other Dutch services, that this pistol was in 7.65 mm Browning-caliber.

Reference: “The Dutch Luger,” by Martens and de Vries, page 96

John Moss

The No 2 Pistol looks like a 1910 Browning so what was the No 1 a Bergmann ??

The Nr. 1 was the good old Luger pistol :)

It was adopted as the M1911 by the Dutch KNIL and as the ‘Nr. 1’ by the Dutch Navy.

OK! OK! I have vague memories boiling up out of the decaying gray matter of seeing N0 3 boxes in a display at a Dutch ECRA meeting long ago and being told they were not 9mmP (08).

The pistol illustrated is not an FN 1910, but the second Dutch contract for the M1922 in 9mmK. The M25 No 1 pistol was in 7.65mm Browning. As far as I can find in Vanderlinden these pistols were never issued to the Dutch Navy or used in the Far East.

Cate in his book on the Sauer pistols has a good deal of information on the Automatisch Pistool No 3 including photos from the original Dutch manuals. The pistol is clearly in 7.65mm Browning. so this explains gyrojets No 3 boxes!

Thanks to all for clearing this up for me.



The problem is - as always - who used what.

There is the army, the navy, the airforce and the dutch KNIL - the dutch indies troops.
They had different weaponry, ammo and equipment.

The worst part is that they had the same equipment, under different names, as well :)

This is the 1945-55 post-war navy list:
You can see that the nr. designation was re-used per calibre. So we have a pistol nr. 1 in 7.65, a pistol nr.1 in 9mm and even a pistol nr.1 in .45ACP.


Pistool t./k.s.o. van 4,2mm (Parabellum)

Pistool van 7.65mm no.1, s-aut (Sauer) automatisch pistool no.3
Pistool van 7.65mm no.2, s-aut (Colt) Colt Automatic .32

Pistool van 9mm no.1, s-aut (Parabellum) Automatisch Pistool no.1
Pistool van 9mm no.3, s-aut (Radom Vis) Radom Vis model 1935
Pistool van 9mm no.4, s-aut (Walther) P-38
Pistool van 9mm no.5, s-aut (Browning) FN Pistolet de 9 mm
Pistool van 9mm no.6, s-aut (Browning) Browning High Power

Pistool van 11,4mm no.1, s-aut (Colt) .45 M1911 en M1911A1

In 1922 a variant of the gun FN 1910, Model 1922 or Model 1910/22 appeared,
There were 2 models of the FN, Nr1 = 7.65 mm and Nr 2 = 9 mm.
In 1925 a large order of 9 mm was made and the older models were converted to 9 mm.
In the Netherlands it is named FN M25, named after the Dutch army contract from 1925 with FN Fabrique Nationale in Herstal in Belgium.
Not all FN M25 Models ordered by the Dutch in their 1925 contract were delivered before World War II began.