Since Fede started a very interesting set of threads with his “Earliest Geco”, I thought maybe I’d add one. The box below may be the the earliest military produced box of 9mmP ammunition.
The oldest Spandau produced cases are headstamped “S 10 09” from October 1909 and that is the headstamp on the cartridge in this box. The drawing below is dated Nov 1918, and came from the RWS files, but is likely a copy of the original Spandau case drawing since the headstamp is “S 9 09”, the month prior to the earliest known Spandau cases. The load date on the box is August 1910, but the cases are clearly shown as 1909 production so apparently some time passed from the production of the first cases until these cases were actually loaded-though there could be other explanations. Spandau apaprently produced 9mm cases monthly from October 1909 through the end of 1910, though I have not confirmed cases dated from Jan-Mar 1910.
Has anyone seen an earlier dated Spandau box?
In the title, I was careful to say “Military Produced” since DWM began producing 9mm ammunition for trials by the US military as early as 1903 and for the German pistol trials in 1904 (Geoff Sturgess in his great book on the Borchardt and Luger pistols). The earliest dated DWM case is “DWM K 4 09” from Apr 09 (the earliest one in my collection is dated 5 09). I don’t know what the earliest DWM boxes are. I have a DWM Navy box from Oct 1910 and Fede sent me a photo of one from August 1910. Geoff pictures an earlier DWM label for the German Navy that was used before the dated lables. I do not have any DWM boxes for the German Army dated before 1917.
Does anyone have DWM Army box labels dated before 1917? If so please post them!