Vintage DWM 9mm Box - 20rds 480C on 10rd clips

I have a DWM box about which I’d like to get more information. It’s made by DWM at Berlin-Borsigwalde, headstamp 480c. What makes it interesting is that it’s packaged 20rds to the box, comprised of 2-10rd stripper clips.

It says it’s for ‘Selbstladepistole’ (automatic pistol) and the only one I can think of with 10rd clips is the Prussian contract C96 ‘Broomhandle’.

I’m wondering :

1.) Is my assessment right, of it being made specifically for the 9mm C96?

2.) if so, why would an exclusively military pistol be supplied with what looks like commercial 9mm ammunition?

3.) What is the manufacture date of this box?

4.) Are there other such boxes out there? Or is this a rare find?

Thanks in advance for any help. I’m a collector of DWM (and foreign military or pre-1920 US/Foreign commercial) pistol calibers, mainly boxes. This one is hard to find information on!

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I don’t think this box was exclusively made for the so called red nine C96. That gun was a military contractgun between 1916 and 1918 so I would expect military ammunition boxes and no commercial ones. But let’s wait for the specialists. I know there were made reworks of the red nine with shorter barrels after the Treaty of Versailles.

Congratulations! I have seen this box before in other collections, but have never found one for my collection. Great find.

What is the headstamp on the cartridges. I assume it is “DWM B 480C B”. If so then this is “commercial” ammunition from the late 1930s, or as commercial as 9mm P08 could be during that time. Probably made for officers of the military or any of the other organizations in Germany at the time who often carried their own private purchase weapons. The box is typically commercial.

Is there a code stamped on the bottom or back of the box? It might be something like 304AG or something similar.

Thanks for sharing.


I agree with Lew that these cartridges, with a commercial headstamp of B DWM B 480C, and in commercial-style packaging, likely date from the second half of the 1930s. There are a couple of clues to this. One is the box-end marking "Erosionssicher. (next line illegible in the photo here due to some sort of tape obscuring it) und rostfrei (visible portions: “Safe from erosion and rust free.” Another is the form of the name. Beginning in 1922, DWM changed its name to Berlin-Karlsruher Industrie-Werke A.-G. Then, in 1933 it was changed again to "Berlin-Karsruher Industrie-Werke AG, vormals Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken. In June of 1936, the name was changed back to just “Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken AG,” the designation on your box. Since the ammunition is non-corrosive, your box would almost have to date after 1936.

It would be good to see a picture of the headstamp on the cartridges from this box. To date, I have never seen a Berlin-Borsigwalde 9mm 480C cartridge with the old style serif letters, that were changed, I believe, in the latter half of the 1920s.

Regarding usage, following WWI many Mauser “Red Nines” (as well as other 7.63 mm variants) were converted to a fixed-sight, 3-9" barrel (barrels 4" or longer, I believe, were prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles’ provisions, hence the 3 and 5/8" and the 3 and 3/4" so-called Models 1920 and 1923 commercial Lugers, most all reworks from earlier military pistols). Some of the broomhandle Mauser conversions were dated, with the only reported date of 1920. Many of them had unit markings in various places on the pistols. These, seemingly invariably, were police markings, and were deciphered with the help of the German collector Reinhard Kornmayer. These markings were at least partially described in “Waffenverwaltungsvorschrift: Vorshrift für die Polizei Preussens, published in Berlin, in 1932. An explanation can be found on Page 104, Chapter 9, “Model 1896 Postwar Reworks,” in the book The Broomhandle Pistol, 1896 to 1936,” by Erickson & Pate.

Regarding these Red-Nine reworks, while done c.1920 primarily for Police, there is no reason that they would not still have been in some use in the late 1930s. Between that, the commercial style box marked as containing non-corrosive ammunition, the Mauser 10-shot stripper clips, and the style of the label, my opinion is that your box was made primarily for the Police, and not for the military other than, perhaps, the Waffen-SS who were known to use some Mauser C’96 types, mostly though the 1932 Schnellfeuer version in 7.63 mm. Of course, some German Officers of the Wehrmacht were known to have carried the broomhandle Mauser in various forms, probably privately purchased by them, so these same box types could have been offered for sale to “qualified” purchasers as well. Likely, there is no way to either positively or negatively prove that at this point.

Other sources used here:

“System Mauser,” by Breathed and Schroeder, pages 128 & 129
“Handbuch der Pistolen- und Revolver- Patronen,” by Erlmeier & Brandt, pages 254 & 255

John Moss

Hi Lew,

Thanks! I think it’s a neat box. It’s sealed but a corner was loose enough to peek in and see ‘DWM BB 480C’. No serifs. Primer had black sealant around the rim. Stripper clips were steel, couldn’t see markings.

No production codes to be found.

Does that help?



Thanks for your detailed reply, very informative. As I mentioned in my reply to Lew, you guys were right in guessing B DMW B 480C sans serif. Couldn’t get a picture without breaking more of the seal than had been already.

So… Mid 1930s, likely for Police. Later than I thought, but you all have been a tremendous help!


Glad to help. Actually, the date is probably 1936-1939 or even 1940. I seriously doubt DWM-B used that headstamp after 1940 and more likely after 1939.

When you find a duplicate of this box, let me know! I will wait with baited breath!


I think the obscured word is “quecksilber” so the complete phrase was nonerosive, nonmercuric, and noncorrosive. Jack


I sent you an email. Perhaps we could work something out.