Unknown steel case Autopistol ctg-hst: G * * *


Could you post a photo of the entire “G * * *” 9 mm Browning Long cartridge. I would like to have it for my files. Also, I would like to know if the bullet is GM, GMCS, CN or CNCS? One day, I may post an update to my IAA article on this caliber. I have other “new” (not really so new now) information since I wrote the article some years ago.

Thank you.

John M.

This box isn’t mine. Is it any rare?

When John Moss writes he is surprised about this headstamp on a 9 mm Browning long you can bet its rare.

The reason is Gustloff took away Hirtenberger from its owner Mandl after the German occupation of Austria in 1938. Pistols in 9 mm Browning long (few Belgian, mostly used in Sweden) were more or less non-extistent in the German zone of influence. So it is a big surprise that Gustloff produced them anew (documented by the new headstamp), not just using up existing stocks (Hirtenberger headstamp).

Sounds to me as if they could have been produced for Sweden, like the 7.9x57 (and probably the 9mm P08) with “Z” headstamps were produced in the former Czechoslovakia for Sweden. This is reinforced by the box shown above apparently turned up in Scandinavia.

Possible that the steel case that Bill has was a second production lot later in the war when Gustloff Hirtenberger was making steel case ammunition and brass was pretty scarce. Although it is not apparent in my poor photo, I noticed a thinness of the rim on Bill’s round which would be consistent with it being made from a 9mm BL case which, as I remember, has a relatively thin rim. Just an idea. Others would know better than I!


Peelen - my research indicated to me that the four-star headstamp virtually always found in the Gustloff boxes was one from their stewardship of the company at Hirtenberg. The Austrian headstamp that predated it was H l * l * l * l. Perhaps someone on your side of the Atlantic could confirm that if they have any earlier style box, when it still was a Mandl company, with the four-star headstamped ammunition in it. I was never able to find any such confirmation.

Lew - the rim thickness on a 9 mm Browning Long cartridge is approximately the same as that of most 9 mm Parabellum rounds, as well as many other auto pistol calibers. It is not apprecialy thinner, if at all.

Although not officially adopted by Belgium, the Model 1903 FN-Browning pistol was in some use in that country, as well as Russia and Estonia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Ottoman Emire (Turkey) There was also the Le Français pistol of the same caliber, in France, and two Webley versions in England and South Africa. It was used in South America as well, by Paraguay and El Salvador. It would appear that the first production of this caliber by Gustloff Werke Hirtenberg was likely for one, or both, of the South American countries, as boxes with German-language labels are actually over-labels on boxes originally using the Spanish Language, and not the reverse. I think the German-language version shows up in many places, not just Sweden. It is possible that the Gustloff ammunition was sent to Sweden, but in truth, Norma was making this caliber in Sweden, and Ammunitionsfabriken Marieberg, at Stockholm, made this caliber off and on between 1910 and 1942. This makes me wonder why Sweden would need any ammunition of this caliber. Ammunition from Norma with the 027 code was made as late as 1973, although in cases dated “72” and a Finnish box for ammunition of 027 manufacture shows a lot number dating from 1982, even though once again, the cartridge cases are dated “72.”

I suspect that the Gustloff rounds in the German labeled boxes, still showing the headstamp * * * * may have simply been made for the various pistols captured by the German military forces during the course of the war. I could be wrong, of course, since I was never able to find any documentation concerning where they went. Regardless, since over-labeled, they seemed to be nothing more than a cleanup of the rounds originally made for one the the Spanish-speaking countries. Of course in WWI, Germany had enough need for the 9 mm Browning Long cartridge that they produced it, in military-style 16 round boxes, at Rheinische Metallwaaren- und Maschinenfabrik, Düsseldorf in the months of May thru October 1918.

Just my view on this. Very little real documentation on this subject.

John Moss

I post this question admitting I haven’t read through the entire thread carefully. Any idea who made the 7.9 m/m round with the characteristic G and the date 37? Shouldn’t be Hirtenberger, as the Germans hadn’t arrived in Vienna in 1937. I did google “37” and got no hit. Jack

Balkslakk - the Gustlov Werke Hirtenberg 9 mm Browning Long box you show is certainly uncommon. I don’t know if it is what one would call rare - I have one in my own collection and I have very few boxes I would call rare - but it is a very nice item. If you can find out the headstamp on those rounds, which is probably * * * * I would appreciate it. The "G * * * headstamp earlier reported earlier as a 9 mm Long may be an error. There is reason to believe that the picture shown is of a 7.65 Browning round, based on the diameter of the primer in relation to the head of the case.

Jack, The 7,9 Mauser “G” is not the year but a test number.
The lacquered case was introduced in 1939.


Dutch: Thanks for the explanation of the “37” marked Gustloff case. That thing had bothered me for a long time. Jack

John Moss. My stating of the G 9mm Browning long was an error. I just dug it out to be sure and to send you a picture. I had it recorded incorrectly. It is in fact a 7.65 Browning. my 9mm is all stars. On y list I had the headstamps reversed.

Curtis - Thank you. I had not initially noticed the primer size, as I was excited, I guess, by the prospect of the “G” headstamp on a 9 mm BL round. The older I get, it seems, the more I am like a little kid in a candy shop when it comes to learning about new stuff in my collecting field.
At least, for once, I was right on my guess that it was a 7.65 mm Browning.

Thanks for the correction.

John M.

Bill Woodin sent me this email:


Found an old note that says that headstamp was used on 7.65 auto, 9 Kurz and 9 Br. Long. I only have the 7.65.


Lew - anything is possible. At this point though, I can’t seen any reason why, in light of the * * * * headstamp on all Gustloff Werk 9 mm Browning Long seen to date, why there would be a “G” headstamp on that caliber. Guess it comes down to I’ll believe it when I see it.

John M.

John, I am just passing on information that Bill W passed to me on this topic. I am not asking anyone to believe anything! Everyone has the right to make their own judgements!

Good catch spotting the primer size.


Lew - No disrespect intended to either Bill W., or to you. You know my feelings for both of you.

Just in a hurry a lot right now, with everything going on, so perhaps a little too direct to the point in things I answer in a hurry. Sorry for that.