U.S.C.Co. 9 mm Luger box

Came upon this 2-piece box with the Lowell MA address & thought it might be early. No headstamp on the drawing and the cartridge is not properly drawn, case is too long, it seems. The sides & ends note a full metal jacket
Just thought i’d share.
Lots stamps on the bottom read:
28 T
“U” or “J” 12


Very nice box. All the USCCo 9mm Luger boxes I’ve documented have the identical top label. There are three variations and they old have to do with the side label and the date code markings. They are shown below. I think the oldest is at the top and the latest is at the bottom, but that is just a guess.


The top one with the crosshatch side labels is probably like yours, because my two like this both have codes stamped on the back. One has:
81 U
M 1
R 8

The other has simply 5.1 but there are what appear to be other faded markings.

What I believe to be the latest box style is the sealed one on the bottom with the writing above and below the blue banner. Note there is a punch code in the blue banner which is the date code.

The one in the middle has the crosshatch background of the top box but the writing of the bottom box. This box shows no evidence of either a code stamped on the bottom or a punch code.

All five of my boxes (2 like the top, 2 like the bottom and one like the middle) have an end marked “H.P.B.” which apparently means HP bullet. Three have HP loads, one box is sealed by the one in the middle is open but has a couple of FMJ bullet cartridges??? These of course may not be original.

Pete, Please confirm that your box has a side like the top one in this post, and a photo of the end would be useful as well as what kind of bullet load is enclosed.

I wish I knew more about these, but as far as I know, nobody knows how to translate either the stamped box code or the punch code.

Any more information would be appreciated.

Does anyone have a box marked FMJ or FMP or MP or some such on the end.



If you look on the second line of white print on your USCCo boxes, in the blue banner on the sides, you will see that the type of bullet is spelled out. You seem to have missed that in your comments. All three of my boxes are for hollow pointes, and say “Hollow Point Bullet,” the explanation for your question about “H.P.B.” on the end labels. You should look at the side label to see if your box with FMJ bullets says that is what it contains, in that line in the blue banner.

Pete - can you go into a little more detail about your comment that the cases in your box do not seem to be the proper length. I find it very hard to get a consistent, accurate case-length measurement from load cartridges, but mine vary for quite a spread on both sides of 19 mm (high and low). I did not bother to look up the normal spread, and mine might fit into that - I just don’t remember what the spread is and do not have that info on my desk at the moment.

Howdy Lew & John
The box is empty. I was talking about the cartridge illustration on the box top. By actual measurement the drawing has a case length of .835" / about 21mm & the cartridge on top has a U.S.C.Co headstamp & when laid over the illustration is very close to the same diameter.

Lew the three boxes you show, to be sure, they all have the Lowell address? Somehow the bottom two look like the later New York product to me, but I could well be wrong.

All five of my boxes have the same Lowell address as your’s. I have never seen a USCCO box with any other address. The cartridge drawing is also identical on all five boxes and identical to the one on your box.

Thanks for the photo’s, This is the first FMJ box I have documented.

Your box is what I think of as the Early box style. Very nice!

I did notice the side markings, but didn’t mention them since I had illustrated them. Probably should have. The FMJ rounds are in the middle box in my previous post.

Is there a FMJ box like Pete’s out there that needs a good home???

Does anyone have a 9mm box with the New York address???

Does someone know how to read the codes???


Lew - if you read your email again, I think you will see that it would indicate you were not sure of the meaning of HPB on the end flap (“apparently” indicates some doubt or possibility for other explanations), as does the fact that you mentioned the FMJ cartridges in one of your HP boxes “MAY not be original.” I would say “are certainly not original” to the box, myself.

Words can confuse - I know, because I confuse people all the time with my poor writing.

Sorry I didn’t understand the intent of your comments.

Pete - Why would you make any assumptions about the date of production of ammunition, or about any cartridge measurement in such a picture, from an artist’s conception of the cartridge drawn as box art on the top label? The picture is obviously decorative in nature only, as the bullet shape is not right at all, either, and the case is shown with no headstamp. I would have to check my collection to see if the lack of a case cannelure in the picture could be correct. I remember most of my USCCo 9 mm as having a cannelure, but I certainly can’t say from memory that they all do not have this feature.

Lew again - I am going to look at all my USCCo boxes for the address - I mean to say every caliber. While my 9 mm box collection is pitiful, when I take the box collection as a whole - every caliber - I have a lot of USCCo boxes I think.
I will try to do it later today.

O.K. I made a cursory examination of my box collection and found six boxes with the “New York, N.Y.” address on the top label. One box each in .25 Auto, .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Colt Automatic, .45 Colt Automatic and 7.65 mm Luger. In all instances, I have used the original names used by USCCo for these cartridges at the time of manufacture, rather than the current SAAMI-Spec. designation.

One general observation, only the 7.65 mm Luger box, which is for a caliber that was probably the slowest selling caliber among those I have listed, has an older style lift-top box with the side and end labels have the white-line cross hatching. All the other boxes are end-tab consturction, with a pull-out inner box. So, for the major part, the New York address seems to have come along right at the end of the use of lift-top boxes.

Lot Numbers, by caliber:

.25 Auto - totally illegible
.32 Auto - totally illegible. Only a hint that there ever was a lot number on it
380 Auto- 55 3
.38 Auto - 73 27
.45 Auto - 84 16
7.65 Para- Whio knows - perforerated circles on side label that, in orientation, is below the top label.

The 7.65 mm Luger box label, on the top, between the lines “Oilproof” and “Non-Mercuric” has “.30 CAL.” written on two lines, I guess for those not familiar with the Metric System. In all calibers the basic headstamp is “U.S.C.Co.” and the caliber. All of the calibers have nickel-cup primers, and FMJ RN bullets. The bullet jackets on the .25 and .32 rounds are tinned, while the other calibers are GM. The .380 box was found empty, so that is not included in the cartridge discussion here.

All of the cartridge drawings on the top label are distorted; that is, they are drawn out of proportion, in one way or another. The .380, .38 Auto and .45 Auto boxes show a cannelure on the case, which for the two calibers for which there are cartridge specimens, is correct. The .25 Auto box and the 7.65 mm Luger box correctly show no case cannelure in the drawing. The .32 Auto box shows no case cannelure, but the cartridges are cannelured.

All of the boxes are of the general style shown on this thread, orange with the blue oval on the top label, and the long blue banners on the sides.

John, Sorry I was rushing, like now and wasn’t clear.

Sooooo! Now I need to look for USCCO boxes with the New York label. Strange that have found 5, four in the last couple of years, and all are Hollow Point and all have the Lowell address.

Thanks for the info, clearly 9mm USCCO New York boxes should exist.


I though it was early because of the poor illustration which is wrong and had no headstamp. Figuring PERHAPS the artist doing the label had not talked with the production line or seen US 9mm production cartridges. So not knowing but in a general way how they looked & needing to get the labels printed in time with the finished product for the boxes, went with an approximation or “rendering” based on little first hand knowledge.
Yes it is decorative in nature but other companies & earlier production of those companies have shown accurate drawings on their boxes. Sometimes with a headstamp not known to exist, but still accurate drawings.

However I see you note this quality of art work is typical of US production during this time. It was the first time I’d noticed it on any of the US production boxes.

I don’t know for sure that the NY address is found on these boxes, but like you, I sure think they should. However if you or John doesn’t have one…

I started to write something new on this subject but decided to add on instead!

First, I want to revisit the original box label photos.

I now have six of these boxes and the only USCCO 9mm box label I have documented is:

I have never seen or heard of a 9mm Luger box with the New York label

USCCO business address apparently moved to New York in 1927, probably early 1927. The manufacture of ammunmition moved to Winchester, New Haven in 1926. Winchester introduced Non-Mercuric primers not earlier than the mid-1930s. This 30 Luger box was clearly made in the mid to late 1930s. I don’t know of any 9mm Luger USCCO boxes made this late. The Winchester style punch-code on the box indicates it was loaded in 1935.

The 9mm Luger cartridges in my collection differ mainly in the markings on the side of the boxes as illustrated early in this post and reproduced below.

The three styles will be referred to from top to bottom as “early”, “mid”, and “late”

The early style must date from 1919 since the 9mm Luger cartridge first appeared as far as I know on a 1919 supplement to the 1917 catalog although they produced 9mm Glisenti with the Maxim headstamp for Italy during 1918. The cartridge in two of these boxes were:

  • CN truncated HP bullets with a Glisenti type ogive,
  • Unmarked copper primer,
  • A smooth knurl around the case
  • The bullet is unmarked, .


2 Y
Z 14

S1 U
H 8

The mid style box is identical to the early style box, but has “SELF CLEANING MADE IN U.S.A.” and “WILL NOT RUST OF PIT THE BORE” on the side. No cartridge in box.:
There appears to be no date code on this box.

The late style box differs from the mid style by not having the white crosshatch on the side and ends of the box. It also has the Winchester punch code. One specimen is dated 1929 and another 1934.
The cartridge is:

  • Tinned truncated HP bullet with a distinctive Winchester ogive,
  • unmarked nickel primers with a purple seal,
  • A smooth knurl around the case
  • The bullet is marked with “S”., .

These are the only three box styles I know of in 9mm Luger. If you have any of the three, please post or send me the data, along with the box code and a description of the cartridge.

Based on my limited knowledge of USCCO boxes there seem to be a variety of box styles, besides the New York boxes, that don’t appear on 9mm Luger. An example is the 32 box below.
Note that instead of white coresshatrch the sides have red & white lines. The code on he back of his box is:

47 H
V S0

This is an earlier style on a .45SCP box, but with the same style pre-Winchester box code.

Any help appreciated


A Forum member contacted me. He has a “Late Style Box” with a punch code dated 1929.

I have updated the original post at the top.

Other inputs greatly appreciated