Unusual marking on H^N 1944 Box

This is a very ordinary British WWII H^N 1944 box, but I don’t recall seeing one before with this style stamp!

It appears to be:
"HN/ 6 2"

It could be a date code but it is new to me. Any ideas??? Does it appear on other calibers???



Lew if you rotate the box and zoom in a little it looks like HN 16 2 4? so just a date and manufacturer stamp but not sure of the 1940’s date I cant tell the last digit in the stamp. I have this kind of stamp on a lot of british .303 packages and boxes.

all the best

Lew - not sure if you are just referring to “HN” boxes, or all British 9 mm Boxes. I have a very poor collection of British Military 9 mm boxes - virtually none from WWII, but in the ones I do have, the separately stamped factory initial and date are the norm. Every one of my boxes has it. Again, I cannot address WWII boxes, or just Hirwan boxes. I did not picture one box I have that might be older than these and of Hirwan manufacture, because the printed part of the label is anonymous, and while you can clear see purple smears from a rubber stamp, the mark is totally illegible.

See photo above.

John Moss

1 Like

Thanks to both of you.

John, I have seen the date stamps on post war boxes, and I should have mentioned that. I have never seen such a stamp on Hirwan boxes and not on boxes this early—at least not in the boxes in my collection.

After your answers, I went digging through boxes waiting for me to log into my collection. After your replies, I wasn’t surprised to find two with similar stamps (HN31-12-43 AX & HN2 / 4 45 K), .

Again, I’ve discovered that one of the better places to look for interesting items are the boxes of stuff I haven’t logged in yet scattered around my room!!! The problem is my lack of organization, or decaying memory or both!

The help is appreciated.


Not sure if this is helpfull but I have found this image in my files.

Source: internet.


EOD, Thanks, very similar to mine! I wonder why some boxes have these stamps and some don’t. I have seven of these of these WWII 48 round boxes in my “logged in” collection and none have this stamp. Interestingly though, two of them have 20 round labels overstamped 48 and one has a 10 round label overstamped 48. Appears they were using up old labels on the early 48 round boxes.

Note the 10 round box is a 20 round box with a wooden spacer. Apparently the reason was that the case for the 20 round boxes was marked 1250 rounds, or so I am told, so one box had to have only 10 rounds. I have never seen the case for the 20 round boxes so can’t confirm this story, but it is the most logical (actually only) explanation I have heard for a 20 round box with a wooden spacer taking up half the volume and a 10 round label.

I do have a metal case for the 48 round boxes and it is labeled 1200 rounds which would be 25 boxes.


The date stamp on the Hirwan box would have been 6 2 ??. Meaning 6th February, whatever the year was.

All Australian 9mm packets have the date hand stamped on them but without the factory code which is printed on the label itself.

Not on any of my H^N boxes, nor B^E boxes.


Do your boxes have the factory identifier printed on the label, and is the date also printed on it?

The H2744 label is a standard one which could be used by any factory, hence the requirement to show which factory packed it and when…

Most of my British WWII boxes have no identification of the factory, year or anything else. Once they are empty, there is no way that I know of to identify them as anything but British! Essentially all my post WWII British boxes do have an ID stamp.

Max, thanks for the info!



While manufacture of SAA in Australia generally followed British practice, it didn’t do so with 9mm packets. As far as I know the factory monogram was almost always printed on the label, and not a seperate stamp.



Even after the mid 60s when they went to cheap and nasty labels, the factory monogram was part of the label.

Thanks John,
I wonder if the Brits didn’t use basically sterile labels for the first years of the war to prevent the Germans from learning where the munitions factories might be. This made sense into 1943, but after that there was significantly less danger of the factories being bombed so they initiated the stamps.

Just a thought,

Very possible Lew, would make sense.
I have practically no information on British 9mm packets so can’t add anything useful.

John was correct in saying the factory monogram was “almost always” included on Australian 9 mm packets. The middle box in the top row of the picture below, some of the Australian 9 mm boxes from my own collection, there is no maker’s mark anywhere on the box. Unfortunately, it is a sealed, full box and I have not figured out how to open it judiciously yet to see the headstamp of the cartridges, but I would guess that they are “M.H.” from the printing font, which is different than that of the “M.F.” boxes. See especially the Figure “9” in the caliber marking.

The dates have obviously been applied, by whatever process, at a later time.

Edited only to correct some typos.

John Moss


Very nice selection of Australian 9mm packets.

I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion the unmarked one contains MH headstamps because of the 9.

MH ceased manufacture of the 9mm in 1944, which as you know is not conclusive that cartridges were not being packed in 1945, however, I would lean towards it being MF production. The following label being the reason. Note the 9 on the packet dated 1943 (Packet of 40 rounds)

NF 1945 Pkt MF 1943 Pkt

John - good point. That, of course, is the problem of theorizing based on a very small sample base. I agree with you now that it is more likely MF manufacture!

Guess I was just hoping, as have never been able to come up with an MH box label for 9 mm.

Thanks for the guidance.