Older 9mm Styer boxes

The first 2 photos are of ammo which has come with my gun some time ago. The 3rd photo is off internet and appears to be a box of a different design. Which design is older? And what are approximate dates? Also, note an interesting part of the label which reads “Patente in allen Kulturstaaten”.

The ‘Kulturstaaten’ expression is from around the first world war and is really more propaganda than anything else.
Nice boxes.

IIRC “Kulturstaaten” loosely translated as civilised states.
This ammo accompanied the M1911 Steyrs imported into Canada from Chile>

I have a couple of boxes of DWM 9mm Steyr (2-piece) with label (blue) information which is mainly in German and Spanish. Would these likely have also come from Chile? I have always thought that.

Correct about Chilean Styer-Hahn 1911/1912 pistols. May we see these boxes in part German, part Spanish?

The ‘Kulturstaaten’ expression on the second box may well be “from around the first world war” but RWS evidently first used the “SINOXID” primer for military use in 1926. The term “SINOXID” does not appear on RWS packets until 1928 (or in RWS catalogs until 1931). The Sinoxid label was used extensively by both RWS and Geco after the time.

The third packet is therefore either earlier than 1928 or much more recent (somewhere after 1950) when the Sinoxid term was not used so much.

WBD - I am a bit confused. You refer to “the third packet” in context with a discussion of RWS. However, there is no third packet. There are two different views of the first box, and then a second, green 50-round box from Geco, showing the top only. The second box is marked
SINOXID on one end flap and on one side. That does not show in the picture, but I have the same box.

There is an RWS equivalent to the Geco green 50-rounder, but it is yellow, and where the green box says “Gustav Genschow & Co” the RWS Box says “Marca Avion.” All of the rest of the box label on all sides is in German, and identical to that on the green Geco box. The headstamp of the ammo for the Geco box is simply Geco 9mmSt. and has the copper-cup Sinoxid “O” primer.
The ammo for the yellow box is headstamped 19 R.W.S. 35 9mm St. and also has the “O” primer. Since the two boxes are the same style, and Geco probably made the ammo in both boxes, regardless of the headstamp, thru an agreement that RWS would make rifle ammo and Geco would make pistol ammo, this dates both boxes to c. 1935.

I suspect the box for ammo on chargers shown is also from that era. All of the boxes, by the way, have the “Patente in allen Kulturstaaten” marking. It is not especially “from around the WWI era.” I don’t know if it was used that early or not, but it was most positively used much later than that.

Edited for spelling and typos only

Sorry John - I obviously refer to the third photo.

Thanks for the extra details. Knowing that the second box had a “SINOXID” label would have made dating this much easier.

In this box are cartridges with a SB head stamp of Feb. 1917.


I finally got around to digging out my tri-lingual DWM 9mm Steyr boxes as mentioned above:

The boxes themselves are two-piece, half-cover, and the box cardboard is a light blue. Note Spanish, German, and English (Made in Germany) legends. HS is DWM K 577 K with copper-colored flat primer. Bullet looks to be gilding metal jacketed, is attracted by a magnet, so is probably coated steel.

I have always thought these had probably been made for Chile. Any ideas as to date?

These DWM rounds were probably made for Chile also, and from the cartridges and boxes, I would guess they date from the 1930s. Some of this was imported from Chile about the time they sold the guns here in the USA (and perhaps other places). It is not impossible that the DWM ammo could have been made for other Spanish-Speaking countries as well, but aside from the Chaco War, where they used a little bit of anything, I think the only major use of the Steyr pistol and cartridge in the Americas was with Chile.

As they used non-corrosive priming AND the two-piece box, I had also assumed a likely date in the 1930s. I have also wondered why the legend “Made in Germany” (in English) was on the label? I would not have expected that unless there was an intent to export to an English-speaking country. Otherwise why not “Hecho en Alemania?”

I have asked other collectors of many things other than cartridges why so many products, including ones sent to non-English countries, were marked “Made in Germany” (and “Made in (other countries)” as well in English. The general reply was that since the U.S. was, ever since “country of origin” was generally required to be on export goods, a major market for said products. Rather than have many, many different stamps, many companies simply chose to stamp “Made in …” in English regardless of where it was going. This was not 100% true, of course. For example, I have a box of ammo from Germany, (I forget caliber and company as am writing this off the top of my head) that has an Asian Ideograph paste on sticker and is marked also “Deutsche Fabrikat” or something like that, in German. The main point is that country of origin markings are often found in English or products sent to non-English speaking countries. Of course, this was probably even more so after WWII, when English became, pretty much, the “de facto” international language of commerce.

Dennis, Dutch & Vlad,

I suspect some of the photos you picture have a code on the back or bottom or inside the end flap or under the cartridge tray or someplace. This is the box loading code. I hae seen NX, NC, NL and UX. The cartridges in the NX marked box were dated 1941. Most of my Geco & RWS boxes do not a code that I can find. These codes are generally used to indicate the load date of the box.

A very well respected bit of research by another Forum Member indicates that RWS codes from 1906 to the 1950s had the format N56P where N represented the year (1918 or 1943), P was a code for the month and “56” was a code for the day. My pistol boxes do not match this code although some occur on RWS boxes, but RWS pistol ammunition was actually made by GECO during this time so I may be looking at a GECO codes.

I have a photo of a box (either Geco or RWS) with the code, U99O which is close to the RWS code on rifle ammunition buts not the same. since 99 is not a valid date code for the RWS rifle codes.

Appreciate any help putting these codes together.


Regardless, information on the codes on these boxes will increase what we know of the codes.



Lew, the code stamped on the bottoms of my two DWM boxes pictured is 195 WT.