Reading German box labels


I just bought a collection of German 7.9 boxes, and is trying to make a list of the different boxes. But some are hard to read, especially when using gothic letters. Do anyone here know of a good site where I can find examples of different labels, and typical words used on these boxes? I’m also interested in trying to find the meaning of different codes used on these boxes.


Google “Fraktur” to find comparisons between ordinary (Antiqua) and “gothic” type letters.


Make a Picture from the Label and we try to help you.



Thanks for the help. Here’s the first box I have a few questions for:

What is the word in the lower left corner? And does the case code mean that this box contain different lot numbers? There are 12 different lot numbers in this box, but all are from 1937. Since there are no lot number on the patronhulsen field, I guess that means different lots are used?

And what does the powder codes mean? NZ, Gew, Bl and P?

Here is a picture of the whole collection, by the way. Will take some time to go through all:


looks like some good stuff in that collection 5@ B Patrone ! Nice.


And an SmKH as well. Nice collection. -Ger


The word in the lower left corner is “Satz” which, as many short words do in most languages, means many things in German. Here it refers, I believe, to the trace compound in the bullet. The word is doubly hard to decipher because the “t” and “z” at the end are combined as a ligature, thus resembling a single complex letter. Jack


Ok, here it goes. The expert will come along shortly and correct my mistakes as I do not speak German.

Nz. = Nitrocellulose (Nitrozellulose)
Gew. = Rifle (Gewehr)
BI.P. = Flake Powder (Blättchenpulver)
(2-2 0,45) = powder dimensions (2mm x 2mm x 0.45mm)

Lower left corner is abbreviation for Leuchtsätze or sätze for short = Tracer composition.

Yes, the P. * L. 37 = Polte 1937. It does not specify a lot, therefore it could be a mixture of lot numbers.

Dutch or JPeelen will correct me shortly. It is the middle of the night for them at the moment or they would have answered better than I can.


Edit; Added “Nitrozellulose”


Thanks. It was a too good collection to pass. Thanks for the help with the label.


Joe and Jack, you are translating it very well.

The only thing I can add is the maker from the primer 88 (SKD).
That is; Selve, Kronbiegel-Dornheim AG, Sömmerda
Lot 146, sub lot h from 1938.




Well… I have a good teacher.

Nz. = Nitrocellulose (Don’t know the German word)
What is the German word?



You won’t believe it: "Nitrozellulose"
The word in the top right is “Lspur” (for Leuchtspur = Tracer) using the long form of the S.

Other labels are organized the same way. Instead of clear text manufacturers “P”, “Rdf.”, “SKD” you will mostly find the coded versions (aux, rdf, eem in this example).


Thank you, I had suspected that, but could not confirm.



Are there any list concerning rarer headstamp for german ammunition?


Take the lists around and all not in there is rare! :)


Whats the bright yellow label? never seen that.


You only find it on Rdf/rdf (Westfaelische-Anhaltische Sprengstoff AG, Werk Reinsdorf) boxes with yellow S.m.K. L’spur. It seems they thought to not mention the tracer color and just make the label yellow at first, but soon thereafter added the tracer color on the label.

Edit; Here is another picture showing different years.