Polizei NW

Pictures of a 16 round thick hard plastic box with label Polizei NW.
Headstamp is GECO 7.65. Red primer and CMS, cn fmj.
I believe these are for the North Rhine Westphalia Police - Deutschland.65%20Br)a 65%20Br)

Bob - you are correct. This particular box, the only one I have seen marked for a specific police agency, was for Nordrhein Westfälen Politzie (North Rhine Westphalia Police). I have the same box. There is also one with a blank “banner” like that enclosing the NW marking on the one pictured, that holds 16 rounds, but has a deep, extra “pocket” at one end, the reason for which I don’t know? Extra rounds? Fired cases? I have that one, as well as the NW-marked box, in my collection.

I also have two near-identical plastic boxes for 9 x 19 mm cartidges. One with a blank banner on the top also holds 16 rounds, like the 7.65 mm browning boxes. Obviously two magazines worth of cartridges for any eight-shot pistols used by the Bundespolitzei.

The second 9 x 19 box is marked “GECO” in the banner on the lid, and holds twenty-six rounds. I would have to assume that this quantity is to fill two 13-shot magazines for the FN-Browning Hockleistung Pistole (High Power), many of which were used early on after WWII, beginning in around 1954/55 when the German Police were allowed to rearm. Many of these pistols, complete with German Holsters for them, of a post-war pattern, not the same as those issued in WWII, were sold on the US Surplus market, I believe by Interarms. I don’t recall exactly when that was, but I know that our store sold a fairly good number of them.

I suspect that these boxes were used to put the rounds in when the pistols were turned in after each patrol shift. The Russians did the same thing, but they used a two-row, 16-shot tray for the Makarov, made first out of wood, and then with an improved form made out of plastic, of various colors (doubt the colors had any significance). I can’t speak for the West German Police, but that of the DDR and Russia also had an exchange card - the police officer handed in his card and it was put in the empty slot where the pistol went in the security-container rack. When the pistol and ammo were turned in after shift, the card was returned to the officer.

I suspect the original boxes for the ammo were not used, because the cartridges would outlast the cardboard boxes, and the original boxes did not hold the correct number of rounds for issue anyway.

These plastic storage boxes are interesting and not seen often. I don’t know of the use of a box similar by any other country, although the Russian trays are along the same idea. Does anyone else have any knowledge of this system of control for police daily issue of pistols and their ammo?

John Moss

The Polizei of Nordrhein-Westfalen was indeed equipped with FN High Power pistols, at least the uniformed officers. These were replaced by Walther PPK in the late sixties, if I remember correctly.
It looks as if the Walther PP was also in use (perhaps for plain-clothes use when the FN was standard), because the PPK magazine holds only 7 rounds 7.65 mm Browning, not eight.

I had these plastic boxes in 7,65mm and 9mm Para, coming from Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia. LP Hessen means Landes Polizei Hessen / Hesse State Police!


I’m sure Police of the other German States used boxes like these!

Looking at the boxes you may see a step in each pocket. This simply prevents a fired case from falling down into the pocket.


Rolf - thanks for posting! I have not seen the box from Hessen before. I am assuming these boxes were retained within the Police facility out of which the Police Officer worked. Is that correct, or were officers in permanent possession of their pistols and ammunition (as long as they were serving as Policemen, I mean)?

If they turned their pistols in after each shift, was a transfer card (receipt) system used, as it was in the DDR and in the USSR?

John Moss

Sorry, John, no information right now. It will take some time and some more phone calls to get solid information.


John, looks like every Policeman, -woman can take their weapon(s) and ammo home……… and being honest, it’s a good feeling sleeping with your gun under your pillow.

Rolf - thanks for the information. Leaves a question of why the plastic boxes were made, though, since if retained 24 hours a day by the police officer, he would have little need to empty has magazines every day and put the cartridges back into the boxes. The only reason I can see for these boxes would be for a highly repetitive use, that is, taking the rounds in and out every day, which would wear out the normal cardboard cartridge boxes pretty quickly, I would think.

Any other ideas on why they were made would be welcome.

Thanks again for the information, Rolf.

John M.

I have the Polizei NW box in 9x19 holding 26 rounds. This must be pretty new. I picked it up last year and had not heard of it before.I have the 26 round GECO, and I think I have the plain one but cannot put my hands on it just now.

Rolf, your LP Hassen is also new to me.

Thanks for the post.


Hello Bob,

I am a bit surprised to read that “NW” on the box. Usually, Nordrhein-Westphalen is abbreviated as NRW. But since on Rolf’s box you can read Hessen, NW for Nordrhein-Westphalen seems to be valid.

Taking a gun home as a Police officer: Not sure about that. There are regulations about the storing of the gun. So at least you have to have a proper safe for it. So most of the guys leave their pistol at work and dont take them at home. As far as i know.


For example, the P6 Pistols used by the police were first marked with NW later with NRW.


NRW is indeed the most used abbreviation, particularly in NRW itself. But like the U.S. we have “official” digraphs for abbreviating the 16 German states:

BW - Baden-Württemberg
BY - Bayern
BE - Berlin
BB - Brandenburg
HB - Bremen
HH - Hamburg
HE - Hessen
MV - Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
NI - Niedersachsen
NW - Nordrhein-Westfalen
RP - Rheinland-Pfalz
SL - Saarland
SN - Sachsen
ST - Sachsen-Anhalt
SH - Schleswig-Holstein
TH - Thüringen

The leading H for Bremen and Hamburg indicates Hansestadt (member of the medieval Hanse international trading organization).

Lew - I have had all my plastic boxes for 7.65 mm and 9 mm (NW - 26 rounds) for at least ten years, I would say, perhaps more. So, they are not especially new. That is not to say that they are not still being used in places, simply that they have been for some time now.

buddha - thanks for you comments. In 1972, in the train station of Vervier, waiting for the train to go to Aachen, I was privileged to see the pistol of a older gentleman with the BGS, and it was a P225 SIG-Sauer as well. I referred to that seeing it in his holster while he and a Zolloffizier and a much younger BGS gun were waiting for the train back to Aachen.
He corrected me and told me it was a P6, and then took out the pistol after simply popping the magazine out onto the bench, and showed me the “P6” marking. I asked him to show me the other side, and there it was marked “P225”. He seemed to enjoy that. Super nice guy, and that unexpected little incident was, for me, a highlight of the trip. I was incredulous that he would do that. On the train, when they came by our compartment, I started gathering the passports for my wife, father-in-law and myself, but he looked thru the glass, smiled, and they walked on.

Peelen - thanks for that list of abbreviations. I have two PM Makarovs from the DDR that have added markings of the caliber, 9 x 18 mm, on the slide, and “LSA” for, I am told, “Land Sachsen-Anhalt.” I assume that these markings were added for property-control purposes and for safety in differentiating the caliber, by the BRD after the dissolution of the DDR, during the transition for a WAPA caliber to the standard caliber of the BRD. Is that accurate? Further, is the grammar right on “Land” or should it be “Landes”???

Thanks guys!

John Moss

JPeelen, Thanks for the great data—Very useful.

John, My P225, or rather Kathleen’s since it is the gun she shoots, is also marked P6 NW on the right side just like the one Dutch shows, except mine has an 8xx SN.


I am not an expert in this matter, but I think your assumption is right. GDR police was organized “nationwide” and GDR had abolished the old states on its territory. A new state Sachsen-Anhalt came into being and with it a new police organization. “Land Sachsen-Anhalt” (state of Sachsen-Anhalt) is the correct way of writing. Quite probably the marking LSA was applied before the digraph ST was officially assigned.
Dutch already mentioned the use of NRW as well as NW. Bavarian Police weapons bear ByP. I always wonder why we are considered being systematic.
P225 is the model name for the pistol selected by the marketing department of the manufacturer, who can modify the design at any time. P6 is the name assigned to the particular version tested and certified for procurement contracts. These numbers are administered by the Bundeswehr logistics agency. The new police pistol generation were P5, P6 and P7.

As the NW-Box with 9 Luger/Para is not shown, here again a photo of the 9-Luger BOX, and also again the 7,65 from LP Hessen.

Box LP Hessen (already shown by R.Foerster):

The boxes have the same outer size, except that the drilled holes inside are different, to take the different calibers…


Below are pictures of three of these Police Plastic cartridge boxes that I alluded to in my comments a long time ago, but at the time, was not able to post pictures.

Top: 16-round 9 x 19 mm Box, unmarked
Middle: 26-round 9 x 19 mm Box marked “GECO”
Bottom 16-round 7.65 x 17 mm Box, unmarked. Not the large, deep section at the right end of the box, the use of which I am not at all sure.

Pardon the poor pictures. I adjusted them primarily to clarify the “GECO” marking on the middle 9 mm box. Further, my current scanner has very, very poor depth of field. It is basically only good for copying box labels, documents or other flat objects.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the two unmarked boxes do have the oval outline on the lid that on some boxes contains the various names or designations. It is partially clear in the bottom picture but basically invisible in the top picture.

John Moss

Great boxes and information, thank you all.