Italian 9M38 rounds for the Colonial Police

I recently acquired two Fiocchi 9M38 boxes marked for the Colonial Police. The 50 round box contained loose cartridges, and the 20 round contained two 10 round stripper clips of cartridges.

Both contained the following insert.


Below is the marking on the back of the 20 round box. The 50 round box has the same marking but the number is “202’”. A blowup of this symbol is also shown below. I don’t know the meaning of this symbol.


Both boxes contained rounds dated 1939 with a green cms and primer:

Ctgs from 20 round box:

Ctgs from 50 rd box:

Does anyone know of these boxes from a date other than 1939?

Can anyone explain the symbol on the back of these boxes?


Union of Military Retailers.
The Polizia Coloniali was not under the Ministry of War, but under the Ministry for the Colonies, so its acquisitions were considered “commercial”
The practice of Private Purchase by Officers was also practised in Italy. Most Italian Cities with Troops stationed had quite large “Armed Services Retailers” which supplied tailored uniforms, badges of rank, sidearms and ammunition etc.
The marking serves to distinguish the ammo from purely military issue, and therefore authorized for commercial sale to appropriate persons and organizations (not for general civilian sale)
The PC were armed with Beretta M18/30 and MAB 35, the precursor the MAB38 ofWWII.
The MAB35 was effectively tested in Libya, and the improvements suggested made the MAB38A.

Doc AV

we had discussed that here:

and Fede explained an other context for the UVM Stamp…
Quote Fede: "DocAV, I’m afraid that this information is not correct, as this marking has nothing to do with “Military items”. Its correct meaning is “Ufficio Vendita "Munizioni”


Hi Lew,

Peter is correct, UVM stand for “Ufficio Vendita Munizioni” and has nothing to do with the sale of military items. It was one of several sale consortiums created in Italy in the 20’s and 30’s in order to avoid financial crisis, establish fair prices, saving strategic metals, etc. It consisted of two companies: Giulio Fiocchi and Léon Beaux.

I don’t know the meaning of the letters below UVM, but there are several different.



Thanks! I had seen the symbol before, but could not remember where. Turns out it is on one of my other Italian boxes!!!


Lew I have this box with headstamp 1943 it’s a other box Not Polizia .

My Italian isn’t good, but do I translate the warning as “Lubricate the cartridge before use” ??
If I’m right, then how and why?

Their Breda machinegun had an oiler that lubricated cartridges to facilitate feeding, however I don’t know of any 9mm firearms that required lubricated cartridges. History has shown it’s always a bad design idea.

Thank you for that information. I agree that oil and cartridges don’t mix in real world situations.

Fede & Peter,

I am pretty confident that the UVM circle G stamp on the back has nothing to do with the Colonial Police. Checking my collection I have the identical 50 round box (with 1938 dated ammo), and two identical 20 round boxes (but with 1940 and 1941 dated ammo), and none of these have the stamp on the back. About 10 or 12 of these boxes recently came out of a British storage location in the UK and I suspect they have been there since WWII or even before Italy entered the war on 10 July 1940.

I suspect these were markings on exported cartridges, rather than non-military sales.


As always something interesting and informative Lew. The Gren primer and meck seal was sometyhing O(Ive seen, but didnt know it was for something other than tropical use!

The early GFL 9M38 rounds apparently all have it, but it was apparently dropped in 1942, but the green primer seal (not a green primer) was retained into 1943.