Inherited Collection; New Collector

Hi, I’m Nichole. I recently inherited a collection of various boxes of ammunition and loose cartridges. I am hoping that posting pictures on this site will assist me in being able to categorize and familiarize myself with this extensive collection I now own. I will be posting as many pictures I can at a time. I appreciate all the help that I receive!!

Howdy & welcome Nichole

Did you have a question?

There are a lot of very knowledgeable folk who use this site and they also have large collections and libraries to draw information from.

Often just a description of the headstamp* and details such as case & bullet materials (try a magnet to your round) plus the rounds measurements will work to provide you with the answers you seek.

Boxes usually need to have the front or top photographed to provide the needed information. Although in this case yours pretty much work.

The home page has a link at the top titled REFERENCE* & it may be of help acquainting you knowing the correct terminology to voice your questions & provide the information need for obtaining a correct answer.

The box you have, and the cartridge for it, is a standard WWII-era 7.65 Browning caliber box from Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken A.-G. It could be from one of two factories - Karsruhe or Berlin-Borsigwalde. That will be marked on anohther side of the box. The headstamp on the ammo from the Karsruhe Factory is K DWM K 479A and from Berlin-Borsigwalde, B DWM B 479A.

Your box is probably overstamped on the top “Lackiert” which just means “lacquered” since the cases are the wartime expedient lacquered-steel, rather than brass. The box probably dates from mid-WWII.

These are common boxes and cartridges - I have five variations of this box in my own collection, and there are probably more, since while I have a decent box collection, it is certainly not “world class” by any means. Regardless, it is a nice and interesting box for the collector, and I would be happy to even have just one. “Common” does not always equate to “uninteresting.”

A tip on sending in photographs to the IAA Forum. Firstly, they are always of interest to someone on the Forum, no matter if common, scarce or rare, and therefore, are always welcome. For helping us help you, normally it is the top of the box, though, that gives the most information. That should always be included in my opinion. However, if you have a question relating directly to wording or design features from some other side, there is nothing wrong with showing that as well.

Thank you for sharing the picture with us. I had fun checking my own collection to be sure I got things write. Us old guys shouldn’t go by memory, especially me! I think it is safe to say that we all look forward to future submissions from you, and that we will help as our own knowledge allows.

Welcome, big time, to the forum & IAA Nichole!


Thank you so much for your help. I’m sure that you can imagine that right now this entire collection feels like it’s in total chaos. I am working on gathering like cartridges and I have a countless number to sort through and identify. While most of them are not in boxes, I have several still in sealed boxes. Would it just be beneficial to post pictures of the label in this instance? Also, thank you for all the welcomes! I was referred to this site and it’s already helping!

Welcome as well

“Chaos” is not an uncommon cartridge collection descriptor. Some of us are veteran collectors and certain aspects of our collections or inventory control can be described a “chaos”. Don’t be discouraged.

You found the world’s conglomerate of international ammunition experts.

You might cluster some similar size/look/construction cartridges and snap a general photo or two of the groups. The experts on the forum can give you some general directions, i.e., if you have piles of common “shooting” stock or some fine collectibles (or a mix thereof). If you have the later, be ready for e-mails offering to purchase!

It might save you considerable time if you have a mass of “commons” that aren’t worth your time to precisely sort.

Another avenue would be to seek an IAA member in your general vicinity that might help you with the identification burden you face. You could “PM” (e-mail) any of the IAA Board members who might help direct you.

Don’t be discouraged; as soon as you think you have them ID’d and sorted…more info will likely change your mind.

Welcome again

Paris–Let me add my “Welcome” to the others. I would add that as for questions, do not think that ANY question is too simple or “Dumb”. Even the simplest question will be answered with curtsey, usually with more detail than you had even hoped for. We were all beginners at one time. Several people have already suggested “pictures” of, especially, boxes as being, in general better than just descriptions. What might seem to you as an insignificant detail of a box or cartridge might be just what is needed for a complete answer. Also, especially for boxes, a scan, if you have a scanner, is usually much better than a photograph. Scans tend to be clearer and to show finer detail and avoids the usual parallax problems associated with photographs unless a copy stand and strict attention to focus is used.

As for the collection being in chaos, so is mine. I have been collecting cartridges since 1958 and I have NEVER quite caught up on organizing things. Just as I think I am getting a handle on the “Chaos” I decide I really want the collection arranged differently. Or, as in my case, I just moved to a new city about a month ago. Any order I had before the move is completely messed up now.

I’ve had trouble deciphering what the lid of this tin says. Again, thank you for all the welcomes and I appreciate the help!!

The basic arrangement on German labels is:
First: Cartridge type (Patr./Patronen)
Second: Manufacturer’s lot. Early example: P69 1.L.38. (P.69 is actually listed as a gentleman named Hübener. This was a civilian employee of the Wehrmacht and served as a cover for Hirtenberger in Austria or Solothurn in Switzerland) P154 was a Polte factory at Grüneberg, for example. 1.L.38 is lot (Lieferung) 1 of 1938.
Later two and three letter codes were used: “1942 cdo 7” is 7th lot of 1942 by cdo = Theodor Bergmann KG, factory at Velten. (specialist for tracer and incendiares)

Then follows a line usually in bold print with propellant type, manufacturer and lot

Next: Patrh (Patronenhülse) shows the case lot and manufacturer (usually the same as seen on the headstamp)
Gesch shows bullet lot and manufacturer (Geschoss)
Zdh shows primer type (88, 30, 30/40, 43), manufacturer and lot (Zündhütchen). 88 is corrosive, the others not (Sinoxid).

Unlike American use, a black bullet tip means tracer (L’Spur), not armour piercing. Bullet type is shown by primer annulus: green: heavy lead cored bulle (s.S.); red: armour piercing (SmK); blue: unhardened steel core (SmE) to save lead. A blue stripe across the label means steel cases (St.)

I hope this can give you a rough idea. This is a field with countless exceptions and special cases. If at all possible, go to a collector’s meeting where you meet people who can explain the labels in detail. Not everything you are told will be correct, but if you talk to a number of people, you will in the end have a good idea about the cartridges you have.
And, of course, go through the archive of this forum. It is a trove of priceless information.