Strange 9mm P08 load by Geco

This is an Image that RolfFoerster posted on another Thread. Rather than pirate a thread that was already long and compolex, I dedided to repost this photo here. The original thread is:

At first glance the box looks like a normal military box, with the possible exception of the use of “RWS” as the primer supplier instead of the military code for the the company (P151).

The most interesting is the cartridge with a nickle plated, shiny silver, bullet and the red cms & primier which is seldom, perhaps never seen on other military ammunition, and the Sinoxid primer with the “O” impression which, according to other threads, was only used on commercial ammunition.

This single lot of Geco ammunition is the only one I know of with this combination of bullet, primer and pa/cms.


If anyone knows of a similar example of this combination of commercial characteristics on a cartridge in any caliber, but with a military headstramp, please provide that information, along with a box photo if available.

I could speculate on reasons this distinctive (or fancy) cartridge was produced for the military, but it would only be speculation.

Opinions welcome!!!


The P.405 * 1 40 headstamp is also found with the same commercial style “Oeldicht” (oil proof) red seals and “O” primer, but with a GMCS bullet. Really nothing distinctive about the cartridge other than it is a militarily-coded headstamp. It is in the very common form for commercial Geco/RWS ammunition of the period, although boxed and coded in the military fashion.

The CNCS bullets as pictured show up in other codes from other factories in the early WWII time period, although not with the red seals which were pretty much a hallmark of the Geco/RWS production, and appear on many, many calibers of their commercial pistol ammunition from that era.

My thought would also be merely speculation, but for what it is worth, it is possibly a product of a shortfall in military components at the factory. The years 1939 and 1940 are the beginning of the War and I assume, a continuation of the huge buildup of the German Armed forces. I admit readily, though, that explanation would explain the CNCS bullet and those found in a similar time-frame in with P28, ak (brass case) and other military-headstamped rounds, but would NOT explain the use of the commercial red oil-proofing lacquer at primer and case-mouth. It could be nothing more than the use of a commercial loading line where it was easy to change the headstamp bunter, but not worth the trouble to eliminate the red commercial oil-proofing seals. Pure idle speculation on my part. Who knows the “why” of all the anomalies that appear regarding that tumultuous period in history?

Of course, if anyone has the real, documented story behind this, like Lew I would love to see the answer here.

John Moss

It may not show up well on this photo, but the bullet does not appear to be CNCS, it has a bright, and very shiny jacket that looks nickle plated. When I get home I will provide an image of this round next to a CNCS round.


Does anyone have German WWII era cartridges with nickle plated bullets and military headstamps???


I realize I wasn’t clear with the post above and perhaps I can clear up what I am looking for here.

What is unusual about the P405 cartridge in the top post is that the label indicates it is a normal German Army load, yet it is very different from a normal load. It has a commercial “Sinoxid” primer, a red cms and prime (commercial “Oeldicht” sealing), and a nickel plated bullet. This is not a cupro-nickel (CN) coated steel bullet, but the bullet jacket is clearly nickel plated like most of the Ex rounds from this period. I have the same nickel plated bullet, primer and seal on a P405 * 3 39 headstamped load and identical rounds headstamped RWS 9M/M and just 9M/M. I have a partial box of the P405 * 1 40 load pictured above, but mine are in a commercial 50 round box indicating they were intended for a non-government organization. The date code indicates this box was packed in 1941.

There clearly was some reason that this ammunition was produced with a military headstamp and box label, but a decidedly non-military bullet and primer, if for no other reason than the nickel plated bullets must have added expense to the particular lot of ammunition.

I believe there are other examples of nickel plated bullets (not CN or CNCS bullets) in other calibers with German headstamp codes. I seem to remember a steel case 9mmK with a dou headstamp and a nickel plated bullet. I am interested to see if there is a pattern of manufacturers, or dates where ammunition with some or all of these characteristics was made. If a box is available, that may tell more of the story.

These nickel plated bullet, Sinoxid, Oeldicht cartridges were made for some specific reason for both the German Army and for non-Army organizations. The added expense must have been justified for some reason.

Again, Opinions welcome.


I have a single specimen nickel plated Stamp is (CH 42 2)
I also have some P405 P in 38 and 39 if of interest.

Are there holes in the nickel plated ch 42 2??? Interesting round! I have not recorded it before! is the primer fired???


Regarding the “dou.” code 9 mm Kurz with nickel bullet, no mystery there. For what was likely a small production item, the Czechs simply used the .9 mm Kurz bullet they had been making all along for their own CZ vz. 24 pistol which was standard in the Czech Army before the German occupation. They, and the German accepting authorities, likely had no problem with this at all. There would be no reason why the bullet “had to be” of the GM or GMCS variety. The undated “dou 7.65” (my only “dou” round that omits the period from after the code letters) 7.65 x 17 mm Browning cartridge also has a CNCS FMJ RN bullet. Typical of Sellier & Bellot!

I think you are on the right track in looking at when these rounds were made and the huge military buildup that continued into those years in the Third Reich. I agree that the use of color seals on coded-case ammunition, along with commercial Sinoxid primers, is not explained by that. Perhaps they were loaded for external use (outside of the borders of Gross Deutschland) of police. Criminal Police and other groups like the Gestopo were active beyond the borders of Germany into the occupied countries.

Since you mentioned many of the nickel-bullet 9 mms casually as an example, I am not sure what you need from your request if any of us have coded-headstamp military rounds with nickel-plated bullets. I will list mine, even though it is a bit redundant to your comments

P14A 40 12 *
P14A * 52 40
P.405 * 1 40 (Red seals and “O” primer)
ak * 21 41
ch 41
ch 2 41
ch 41 3 (these “ch” rounds are the only ones with CN, rather than CNCS, bullets)
ak St* 8 45 (red mouth seal. I think we both agree these are Czech post-war loadings using left over primer cases.)
ch St+ 1 42 (like the brass-case ch rounds, non-magnetic bullet)
dou. St + 26 42

In your comments about the P.405 cartridge your statement “This is not a cupro-nickel (CN) coated steel bullet, but the bullet jacket is clearly nickel plated …” I don’t follow this. The bullet on these rounds, lot 1 of 1940, are definitely what we call in our non-technical way, CNCS. That is, they are nickel-plated over a steel jacket. That contradicts your statement that the bullets are not a cupro-nickel (CN) coated steel bullet, but the jacket is clearly nickel-plated. Isn’t “plating” the same thing as “clad” within the parameters of this simple way to describe a projectile?

Regard Sheryl’s “nickel” round, could he be he is simply speaking of the projectile, and not a completely nickeled cartridge like some Exerzierpatronen. I am anxious for his reply to find out. Like you, I have never seen a “ch”-code nickeled dummy round.

John Moss


I believe clad and plated are two different applications when applying to bullets…
Clad in this respect is a mechanical bonding of two metals, where plating is a chemical reaction which deposits a coating.

The round I have I think is precisely the same you have and
list the bullet looks more like it is chromed the case is brass


I realize that. However, few of us have the means or knowledge, including me, to tell the difference, and have not the equipment to tell the difference. That is one of the reasons abbreviations like “CNCS” or “GMCS” and the like were established. They give a good and simple, albeit it non-technical, way to describe a cartridge. Sometimes it is difficult to separate nickel plating even from chrome plating, although the first should have a yellowish tinge and the latter a “cold” white appearance. The same is true with various case finishes, such as copper-wash or copper-plated steel cases. That is easier to tell, I think, than the bullets, because of the extractor groove, but to be honest, right now I can’t even think which one is generally left plain because of being cut AFTER the copper coating has been applied.

Another case is telling a magnetic-steel bullet jacket from a gilding-metal jacket covering a steel core. There is a way to tell the difference there if you have a very weak magnet and apply just the corner of it to the very tip of the bullet, but even that does not work all the time.

I do appreciate you bringing up the difference, however, especially with the very simple (I live by the “KISS” principle, being the least scientific person I know) explanation of the difference between clad and plated. It is the most succinct explanation I have ever been given, and the easiest for a tech dummy like me to understand. Thank you! :-)


First, sorry I spelled your name wrong, with one “r”. You didn’t mention it, but I try hard to get people’s names right. Thank you also for clarifying the information on your “ch” code 9 mm round. I thought that might be the case.

John Moss


Please do not ever worry about such things as spelling I do plenty and I know it and so do others
I just do not want to mess around with things after because my computer skills are not up to par
I just read over these things and forget about it and I am sure that others often think as I do good
for them no leg broken.

Perhaps the simplest explanation is that it seemed that in Germany, by using this civilian stamp, the Treaty of Versailles was not violated? Just like by training glider and sport flyers?

Since 1936 the versaille treaty was worth nothing, and since that date, the secrets for yearcodes where given up, because the treaty was officially NOT obeyed anymore…
and the ammo in question is from 1940…anyway later as 1936…