Intersting German WWII 7.65mm Browning Box-66 Rounds!

A friend sent me this photo of a very interesting DWM box of 7.65mm Browning cartridges. Why the 66 round box???

Any idea who this may have been for??? The “Made in Germany” implies it could have been for export.

How do you know it is WWII?

It has the new (or rather ‘old’) name of ‘Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken AG’ to which the company returned in june, 1936.

It also shows the factory in Berlin-Borsigwalde (Wittenau) which was out of commission after 1945.

So the box was made between june, 1936 and mid to late 1945. The steel casing indeed suggests wartime production.

Was there a training device for larger calibres (like aircraft guns) that took .32 ACP rounds?

It seems that some rounds lack the “Öldicht” waterproofing lacquer at casemouth…

Box is a “Makeshift”, using up a pre-war cartridge box for some sporting ammo, probably a drilling cartridge, which were long.
The cartridges seen are Laquered Steel case, so post-1941 manufacture (if they are part “of the box”).
The DWM logo still appeared on ammo made for non-Wehrmacht users, such as Police, SS, and Export. The use of Steel cases would indicate a German or Axis Customer.
Of course the “Made in Germany” logo could have even been used on “Export” cartridges, before WW II ( very rare for the DWM logo as well, as mentioned,) Or even “Post war” under Allied control, for Police use in occupied Germany…without further details, and the impossibility of linking the cartridges to the box in a timely manner,
leave these questions unanswered, and amybe unanswerable.

A filled, sealed box with an intact label would give a better indication of Dates of productions. (ie, Box made in late 30s, cartridges in 41-45, box maybe filled anytime '41 to late '40s?)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

This is obvious export ammo with the word Germany on the box. Germany does not call itself Germany, their word for their country is Deutschland. When exporting to and Englisk speaking country that has tarrif laws mandating country of origin on all imports, then is when Germany is written on export. As a knife collector I have seen too many to count, the number of Hitler youth knives that a favorite uncle personally took off a dead soldier, and these knives have "MADE IN GERMANY " imprinted on them. So much for family history.

Based on the comments about reusing another box, I tried 7.65B cartridges in a DWM 9x19 box from the 1930s. Eleven fit in the length of the box but it was a bit too snug for six across. I don’t know of any other DWM boxes that are this shape but just slightly wider than a 9x19mm 50 round box. The 9x19mm box is of course a bit too deep.

Unless someone can identify the actual box, I seems to me that this is a purpose made box for 66 rounds.

I don’t know of any DWM marked pistol cartridges in the immediate post war period. The box has a lot in common with my DWM Berlin boxes from prior to WWII.

I have no reason to believe the cartridge pictured are not original. Before about 1940, I only know of Brass case pistol cartridges (except for some experimentals) and There is nothing to indicate the box is post WWII, as Vlim points out.

All the 50 round DWM boxes I have (from Berlin or Karlsruhe) with German or English labels say “MADE IN GERMANY” in English. The DWM boxes printed in Spanish, Dutch or Farsi which were obviously made for export do not have this marking.

I’m sure John M has a much larger collection of DWM boxes than I have and can shed more light on this!

Cheers, Lew

PS: I understand the DWM Berlin plant was essentially destroyed in 1945. It appears Wittenau/Borsigwalde (DWM Berlin) was in the French (Reinickendorf)sector of Berlin. I know DWM Karlsruhe produced ammunition in the 1950s, but it is hard to believe that DWM Berlin produced anything in the 1940s when you consider the situation in Berlin leading into the Airlift in 1949. The allies were just concerned with keeping the city alive for most of the late 40s. I’d have to see some pretty hard evidence that DWM Berlin produced ANYTHING in the late 1940s. In fact, I don’t recall any production in that plant post-WWII but have not researched that. Does anyone know of the DWM Berlin plant producing anything after WWII. I suspect most of the plant wound up in the great rubble mountain in Berlin.

Lew - actually, considering the number of auto pistol cartridge boxes I have, I have very few DWM. While they are not in the majority by any means, I have early and later boxes, depending on caliber, marked “Made in Germany” or “Germany” both rubber-stamped and as part of the printed label.

I have no DWM box for pistol ammunition that I could reasonably guess was post-WWII. In fact, I would positively say that I have none. The only post-War use of “DWM” on handgun ammunition of which I am aware was as part of a DWM-Speer joint venture, after the Dutch (NWM as I recall) acquired the DWM name, and appears on .38 and .357 magnum ammo, and perhaps others. Out of my field!

I would guess that while the 66-round box could be either either pre-WWII with the wrong ammo in it (steel case), or post-WWII repacking of surplus ammunition, from the label content it is more likely war-time, but for what reason 66-round boxes were used, I have no idea.

Whether or not the Berlin-Borsigwalde factory was producing anything at all after WWII, it would have been under Russian control.

If the ammunition was repacked in the west, the “Berlin-Borsigwalde” could have been used on the label as simply proper identification of the factory that made the ammunition, even if repacked by DWM Karlsruhe or some other facility (and done with the permission of DWM).

The normal box for this ammunition is a red, black and white box holding 25-rounds. I have two different printings of the ones stamped “Lackiert” above the black stripe on the top label
that has the “Kal. 7.65mm.” caliber identification. It is interesting to note that even though both of these boxes are stamped “Lakiert” proving the original contents are steel-case WWII production, and contain that ammunition headstamped “B DWM B 479A” that both printings of the box include in the original printing the country of origin, “Made in Germany” printed in English, just below the caliber marking. The remainder of all print on the rest of both boxes is in German. Why obvious war-time boxes were printed with this, when so many pre-war DWM boxes were not, is anyone’s guess.

It might be of interest to explore DWM lot numbers. My boxes are lots 12i43 and 18g42 respectively. The box “18g42” has been inked out and replaced with “7W44” however. I don’t recall if that 66-round box number had a lot number on it or not.

Regarding the use of a rifle-caliber box and letting the quantity fall to whatever it would hold, that cannot be ruled out, of course. I can only state that most, if not all, of the DWM rifle boxes I have seen have not been lift-top boxes, but rather opened at the end. This is simply a report on my own recollections, and has little significance, I believe, since by and large, sporting German rifle ammunition has been out of my field of interest with little attenditon paid to it when I come across it. I do not pretend to be expert in all ammunition matters, and in fact, am probably not expert in any.

I cannot add any more to the discussion of this box.

John, Good points. I looked up Wittenau/Borsigwalde and Reinickendorf in Wikipedia and on Google map. Both Wittenau and Borsigwalde are in the west part of the Reinickendorf district. The Reinickendorf district was one of the two in the French sector of Berlin. Having said that I understand there was not much left of the factory. I was also told that the headquarters was totally destroyed.

I have a difficult time understanding why anyone would put the DWM-B address on ammunition repacked after the war. I have not heard any example of this. Has anyone else seen DWM-B labels or headstamps used after WWII.

Beyond the Speer-DWM rounds that were associated with NWM and not the German DWM factories, the only other DWM headstamped post war headstamp was by DAG and used for issue to the factory guards. It was a unique headstamp and not common with any pre-1946 DWM production.





Lew - good and interesting information. I had not looked up the location of the Berlin-Borsigwalde area, and had thought that it was in the Eastern Zone completely (East Berlin). With airlift potential, commercial as well as military, that means the Soviets would not have controlled activity there. A moot poiint, probably, since I don’t think there was any such activity in reality. Was just exploring possibilities.

I agree that it is highly unlikely that the Berlin-Borsigwalde application would have been used post-war. If I were repacking that ammunition, I would have used it because that would be the proper identification of the contents, but I know that businesses don’t usually think that way.

It cannot be a pre-war packaging if the contents are correct for the box. Of course, the box could have contained brass-cased ammunition, and someone finding it empty simply assumed that it was the more common steel-cased stuff and tried to fill the box up as they found rounds. That would explain one round that appears to have no neck seal.

Of course, all of this is nothing but conjecture. Unless someone finds documentation on these boxes, they will remain unidentified, expecially since the normal boxes for this ammunition are so well-known. I think the only thing that can be said with confidence about them is that they were war-time boxes. The “Made in Germany” appellation, in English,does not impact that, as can be seen from my own standard boxes for this ammunition. Interesting discussion though.

I had forgotten completely about the DWM plant guard 9 mm ammo. I have one of those rounds myself, of course. Great box. Wish it was mine!


The DWM factory in Berlin-Borsigwalde / Wittenau survived the war pretty much intact. The truth is that from 1930 onwards, most of the buildings were abandoned by DWM and subletted to other subsidiaries of the Quandt group, amongst them the Durener Metallwerke (aluminum production), Mauser (K98 production) and some others.

In 1945, the workshops were united under a temporary umbrella called ‘Vereinigte Werkstatten Wittenau’ (United Workshops Wittenau) or VWW under control of a former DWM site manager. VWW started repairing vehicles and railroad equipment during the great cleanup of the Berlin area following the war. Around 1953, control was given back to the pre-1945 owners and the Berlin-Borsigwalde plant was renamed DWM, only the name represented ‘Deutsche Waggon- und Maschinenfabriken’, which better suited the branch they were in: Railroad equipment, road cars, buses and machinery.

In 1948, as part of the demilitarization of the occupied zones, a couple of buildings, mainly where Mauser had their workshops, were destroyed.

The entire Berlin site is now listed (protected) and houses, amongst others, the Berlin State archive, a distribution center for a large chain of supply stores and a number of smaller companies. I visited it a couple of years ago, doing some research on surviving DWM records (very few).

Vlim, Learn something every day!!! Many thanks.

But now I am confused. The German headstamp codes P131, asb and rfo are all shown as the DWM Berlin-Borsigwalde plant and there was production of 9x19mm with these headstamps into 1945. They must have had an ammunition plant operating there during most of that time (though it could have been relocated in 1944 when the rfo code was introduced (one theory put forward). I also have correspondence from VDM to DWM Berlin in 1942-43.

I was told that DWM Berlin was destroyed and the original DWM case and bullet lists that were recopied into the lists we have today were undoubtedly destroyed at that time along with most of the DWM records. Clearly that info is wrong. Makes one wonder if the DWM case list from before 1906 is still around somewhere!!!

Does anyone know about the specifics of the plant that used the P131, asb and rfo codes?

Cheers, Lew


I also have some wartime DWM and Mauser correspondence, as well as a couple of copies from the Berlin State Archive on DWM. These are a couple of lease contracts (Mauser and Dürener Metallwerke) and an order from the French Authorities on the destruction of several buildings on the site. Also the service contract on the OTIS elevator on the property, but that’s of less importance. :)

There is also a travel request for the RLM, about a DWM employee traveling between Berlin and Paris during the war and a worker’s ID for one of the company shops for DWM Posen (the Poznan - Poland heavy equipment factory that was managed by DWM during the war).

It is quite possible that, as the war progressed, DWM set up a couple of production lines for different odds and ends in Berlin. After all, the business was there, and it was pretty good for a number of years.

The people of the Berlin State Archive told me that all the material they had on DWM was given back to them by the Russian government. Preciously little.

There is a good chance that quite some DWM and Mauser archive material can be found in British military archives. The Brits took quite a lot of material with them, I have the packing lists from Mauser in Oberndorf, they are quite extensive.

But one also has to consider that in the mid of 1945 paper was a commodity that was in short supply and quite useable for more practicle uses than archiving. I expect that many archives simply ended up as fuel and ‘wiping material’.