Question on German 9mm Navy box ca 1910

Just received the following photos from Rolf Foerster. The top box contains rounds dated May 1912, the remaining boxes are all dated from various months in 1914. Note the second box, dated May 1914, still uses the designation “C/04” so this must have been in use from at least 1911 until mid-1914. It is also interesting that on this box the “C” has been crossed out so the May date was in a transation period from the old designation to the new.

Dutch’s bottom box also has the “C” marked out and is dated 9 May so it probably dates from just a few days later than Rolf’s in 1914.

Anymore of these Navy boxes out there?


The earliest Reichs-Marine manual from 1906 also describe the pistol as the Selbstladepistole 1904. The Torpedodivitionen 1909 manual describe it as the Pistole 04. The Reichs-Marine 1913 revised edition change the designation to Pistole 1904. Both the 1909 and 1913 manuals includes a description of the nickeled Exerzierpatrone.

Could it be this one?

Dutch, that’s a very nice dummy and in great condition. Maybe there is an Exerzierpatrone 04 box hidding somewhere but the cartridges inside would be the same as the Pistole 08 dummies.

Navy 1909 manual (Die Exerzierpatrone ist vernickelt):

Army 1909 manual:

Dutch, There is no evidence that the Navy ever obtained ammunition from anyone but DWM. As far as we can tell from the boxes, Ingolstadt was an Army facilility and only provided 9mm ammunition to the Army. There are however DWM dummies similar to the one you picture headstamped DWM K 480C K, DWM K 5 12 and DWM K 3 13. In all three specimens, like your photo, the bullet looks CN color, not the bright shiny nickel like the case.

There is a dummy headstamped DWM K 10 14 that does have a nickel bullet. My German isn’t good enough to tell if the material Fede quotes would differentiate between the Navy and Army blanks, but it looks like the Army blank should have a nickel jacket. Still, almost all the German military headstamp dummy rounds with truncated bullets have the slightly yellowish CN color bullet jackets. This even includes one headstamped R.M. * S *. I would expect Army dummies to be more common than Navy dummies (talking about cartridges here). Perhaps someone can translate the material Fede provided for those of us who are language impared.

Dutch-Yours is a nice dummy. Here is the box label . Too bad it isn’t complete. As far as I know this dummy only occues in two dates, July 1912 like yours, and April 1911. Does anyone know of another date?

Ingolstadt ball loads are also nice items. I only know of the following:

Truncated bullets: 4 11, 7 12, 3 13 and 7 13
RN bullet: 8 14 which is quite early for a military RN load.




In the Navy manual is mention the dummy crtg is nickel plated.

In the Army manual is mention that the dummy crtg on the outside is nickel plated
and that the bullet is soldered to the case.
The primer is a blank.


Has 8 10 dated rounds

Pete, great box! Check the one I posted before, it has the same powder lot and date and same primer date, but it was loaded 5 days later than yours.

Here is mine.

Uploaded with

Lew, one more (cartridges headstamped DWM K 2 12):

Another one:

Great stuff everyone!

When the thread slows down I will add a recap of the know range of boxes, dates, powder designations etc.

This is great data.


Very interesting thread. Thanks.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread and to those who sent me emails because of this thread. I now have photos of 21 different German Navy box labels. Here are some things I deduce from the specimens I have photos of. The original Navy purchase of ammunition appears to have been commercial headstamp ammunition with the DWM K 480C K headstamp with serifs packed in a 16 round box that simply refers to the Autopistol 1904. This ammunition likely dates from 1906 through 1908 and perhaps into 1909 before DWM introduced their military headstamp in early 1909.

The earliest military style German Navy box was introduced in 1909 or 1910 and introduced the three panel layout with the cartridge designation on the far left, the powder identification in the middle panel and the load date and date of primer production and the loading location, Grotsingen in the far right panel. The only documented example of this label is in the unusual label in the original post of this thread. Since then I have had reported a similar box, but with loading data and marked with a 1909 date. I have not received a photo so this box has not been confirmed, but is reported by a knowledgable collector, but from memory. These early boxes are distinguished by their use of the Old German script.

By August 1910 the third box style label was introduced. In the left panel the ammunition was identified as “16 9mm Patr. f. Pistole C/04”. The middle panel identifies the powder by both lot and date. the 1910 powder was identified as No 1657.10, the 1911 as No1804.11 and the 1912 as 1901.12. No 1913 boxes have been reported. The right panel provided the load date in the format Day.Month.Year, each as two digit numbers. The primer was identified by both month and year (examples: 6.10 and 7.11).

This box format was used through May 1914, but on these boxes had the “C/” marked out in black pen. The remander of the box followed the earlier style and the powder was No 2253.14.

Between May and June 1914 the boc format changed. In the left panel the designation of the cartridge became “16 Patr. f. Patrone 04” with the “C/” deleted. The center panel stayed the same but the powder was identified as No2369 with no year in the designation. The right panel dropped the month in the primer identification so now it only provided the year. Although this style was only used for a few months with the latest box being dated 19 Nov 1914. It appears that by the end of 1914 the German Navy stopped buying ammunition in 16 round boxes. The information in thread
on the forum indicates that the U-Boat containers switched form 50 16 round boxes to 14 50 round boxes. There is no evidence that DWM ever packed 9mm para (commercial or military) in 25 round boxes through WWII. There is also no evidence of a German Navy marked 50 round box.

The German Navy was totally seperate from the Army and there is no evidence to suggest that the Navy procured 9mm Para ammunition from the Army. It would be resonable to conclude that through WWI they continued to procure their ammunition from DWM. This is particularly true since there is some evidence early that the army had concerns with the quality of Spandau 9mm ammunition relative to DWM ammunition. Based on this, I suspect that the German Navy probably purchased DWM ammunition in commercial 50 round boxes. This ammunition may have had military or commercial headstamps.

Any information on DWM WWI military headstamps in 50 boxes would be greatly appreciated. The only examples I know of this are in boxes marked in Dutch and provided to the Dutch by DWM. It is likely that this ammunition would still retain the truncated bullet, just as do the Dutch contract loads from 1917.

Like most things in this hobby, some answers result in twice as many questions. What ammo did the German Navy buy for their ships-apparently in 50 round boxes? What 9mm ammunition was issued to Navy personnel involved in ground combat on the western front? Were they using Army ammunition are were they still supplied by the Navy? Wish I had a time machine to enable some solid answers.

Thanks again to all who contributed, and any further contributions/corrections, posted her or by email would be greatly appreciated.



Found this on the internet. I don’t think its German Navy though.


Steve, This is the typical Army box label in use before and during WWI. In this case the Hs indicates the headstamp was probably RM S 6 18. Hard to tell which month the cases were produced, but probably from May or June 1918. The ammunition was produced by a German Army contractor, Rheinisch Metallwaren u. Maschinenfabrik, Sommerda. This company produced cases through November 1918.

Lovely condition. Wish it was in my collection!



A friend who is a Very serious student of German Arms and ammunition sent me the following bit of information about the relationship between the Army and the Navy during WWI.

This makes me wonder again what 9mm ammo the Navy purchased after 1914. and the hints from the U-Boat containers in the previous thread that were marked 800 rounds (50 16 round boxes) and later 700 rounds which you can’t do with 16 round boxes but works well for 14 50 round boxes).

Any ideas appreciated.



Something which might shed some light on the question of ammunition procurement after 1914 is the matter of naval purchase of Gew.98 rifles. In the first years after this arm’s adoption the German navy procured its rifles directly from DWM, with naval proof and acceptance marks. I don’t know the final date of such naval-specific long arms, but it certainly had ended not later than 1914, probably earlier. Jack