John Moss and I have speculated for some time that pistol ammo marked RWS and Geco from before WWII was all made by a single company. Except for the headstamp code the rounds were identical down to the style of lettering on the headstamp. The boxes were also very similar. It made no sense that two independent factories were making items so similar. An example below.
I asked some questions in the “Cartridge Researcher” the monthly publication of the European Cartridge Research Association, an excellent organization for collectors and researchers. I just received the following answer in CR #540.
[quote]From Jürgen Ahlborn (Germany)
540-3 To Lewis Curtis (USA) 538-8: Relations between RWS and Geco between the wars
In 1927 a contract was made between RWS and Gustav Genschow & Co (Geco). The content of this agreement was as follows: The pistol cartridges and shotshells of both companies would be manufactured in the Durlach plant of Genschow and the rimfire-, revolver-, and Flobert-cartridges, the primers, cases and air gun pellets of both would be manufactured in the RWS plants in Nuremberg and Stadeln. The shotshell cases of RWS were still manufactured in Nuremberg. This contract applied from 1929 onwards. In 1931 RWS became a part of the Dynamit Nobel Co. but nothing changed: RWS was purely a sales organization for RWS products. The production of military ammunition was not a part of the 1927 agreement. The headstamp “RWS-Geco” is not a product of the transitional period; it was used by the RWS plant in Danzig. I am preparing a report about this subsidiary factory of RWS.[/quote]
So now the specimens in my collection make a lot more sense. These are all products of Geco. Great info.
Many thanks to Jürgen Ahlborn and the ECRA.