Previously, I have posted on Geco ammunition made for Romania.
A long time ago at the ECCC meeting in Spa Belgium I bought the box shown below:
It was sealed and I thought it would be full of CMC headstamped steel case cartridges (which reportedly exist though I have never seen one, or even a photo). When I opened it I was seriously disappointed to find it was filled with normal Geco steel case military rounds headstamped “dnh St+ 6 44”. The cartridges were loaded with GM color mE bullets. The translation of the label is:
“50 Rounds Parabellum for submachine-gun, Caliber 9mm, bullet with ogive, iron core and steel cartridge case”. Two of the rounds in this sealed box had some corrosion on the base but other than this the rounds were in excellent condition.
It is actually a very interesting box. It must have been produced no later than 23 Aug 1944 which is the date when the Romanians changed sides from the Germans to the Allies.
Since then I have documented two more of these boxes, one just recently.
The second box that turned up was more interesting. it contained:
1 - "dnh St+ 3 44 "
2 - "dnh St+ 4 44 "
12 - "dnh St+ 5 44 "
6 - "dnh St+ 6 44 "
1 - "dnh St+ 7 44 "
All the rounds in both boxes were identical, except for the lot number, and in excellent condition. Although this wasn’t a sealed box, it seems highly improbable that anyone would have this set of headstamps available to fill the box. This implied, to me, that Geco was likely using up existing stocks of cases. Not a surprise and there are other examples of this. I would have thought this box was earlier than the original box and the mixed lots were because Geco was using up the left-overs from previous lots, however the lot 7 round implied this box was later than the original box!
Subsequently, another box surfaced. It was not sealed and the contents of this box really raised some real questions.
The box contained 20 rounds headstamped "dnh St+ 6 44 " which is what I expected to see, but it also contained a "dnh St+ 6 44 " with a BLACK mE bullet instead of the GM me bullets in the first two boxes. Geco loaded cases “6 44” with both black mE bullets and GM me bullets and both used all Geco components (except primers).They apparently changed from black to GM bullets in lots 5 and 6 cases. It therefore makes sense that a black mE bullet load could show up in this box for Romania.
The box also contained:
15 - "dnf St+ 8 44 " with black mE bullets I have only documented four dnf (RWS) case lots loaded with black mE bullets, 7-43, 7-44, 8-44 & 9-44. I have the box for case lot 8, and it indicates the bullets were supplied by dnh (Geco).
4 - "faa St+ 7 44 " with GM mE bullets Although the headstamp is from DWM K, I have two military boxes with these cartridges and the labels indicated they were loaded by dnh as load lots 52 and 58 using faa (DWMK) cases.
6 - "dou. St+ 12 44 " with GM mE bullets There is no apparent connection between dou and dnh.
All the three loads above had light to medium corrosion as would be expected if they were wet at some point,
The most obvious conclusion is that someone just stuck these non-dnh loads in the box to refill it. Given that all these "extra’ rounds are complementary to the rounds that are obviously original to the box, it seems likely that the replacement was done at the field level during WWII. This is what I suspect happened.
However The fact that the faa cases were also loaded by dnh, it is possible they were packed in this box originally.
There is an obvious question that if dnf was loading using dnh bullets, did dnh load using dnf cases??? If this is true for the case lot 8 then it is possible that these were also original.
The argument against this possibility is the corrosion on the dnf and faa cases but not on the dnh cases—unless the dnh case treatment was better!
The dou loads must have been added after manufacturer, supporting the argument that the faa and dnf cases were also added later.
Opinions are welcome. Please let me know what you think!
If you have one of these boxes, please let me know it’s contents.
This is clearly not of earth shaking importance, but it keeps me busy at home in the current situation. Maybe it will distract you for a little while also!
Cheers and take care,