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.