Who produced these 9mm?



I just picked up this box of 9mm, I have an idea that they are Czech, but not sure at all. Any information is appreciated.

Thanks in advance


I will assume that єti cartridges are equipped in the Czech Republic during the German occupation


It is impossible to tell without the original German label
who loaded these cartridges. Sellier and Bellot made
the cases (code “ak”) as their 2nd lot of 1942, and they
also relabeled the box. There is a good chance they loaded
the rounds as well, but it would take an originally-labeled box
with all normal label information, and for the same lot 2 of brass-cased
cartridges, to confirm this. Even then, it would not be impossible that
they were loaded by someone else, simply unlikely.

John Moss


What does that “SD” or “SB” sticker tell us? I never saw this before.


It’s first time I see this kind of label, it seems to me that this is the original label for this box. The box looks like a typical German 9mm box.It looks like SB to me, and it will also make sence if the producer is Sellier and Bellot.


It is not impossible, I suppose, that these labels are, in some
instances, the original ones. However, my red and blue SB
label had another label over it, and perhaps, at one time, another
label that is gone, that was under it. My black print on blue version
of the same label appears to be the only label. This could mean,
however, that the ammo was repacked because of damaged or
completely ruined original boxes. Considering German packaging
requirements, I cannot picture the label shown on the forum, on
1942-dated cases, being the original one, unless these cases were
held in reserve for some reason when made, and then the ammunition
loaded by S&B, and boxed and labeled, after the war. There are
Czech 9 mm loads with Czech bullets and non-German-Standard
neck seals (red and green, as I recall) that are loaded in war-time
cases, but these are usually very late-dated steel cases.

Unless documents are found (or perhaps already known by someone
who has not responded to this thread) explaining the use of the labeling,
everything said about it is conjecture only, including my own comments.

John Moss


The star instead of “St” in the headstamp in my view clearly indicates production not destined for any German customer.
The pale blue color of the SB label shown can be encountered in postwar S&B boxes also.
Looks like some wartime export contract to me, although the use of Wehrmacht code “ak” would be against the rules in this case.

An alternate explanation, in view of the star, could be postwar production for export, that was deliberately made up to give the impression of wartime production.


I have found quite a few of these boxes over the years. I have a number of variations:
-White with red letters
-Blue with red letters
-White with black letters
-Blue with black letters
All contain ak headstamp brass case ammunition (so the star is approprate) from mixed lots, mostly 1941 and the rest early lots of 1942. The boxes with red letters contained loads with lead core bullets. The boxes with black letters contained mE loads with black bullets. The ammunition is clearly NOT for the German Army which had rigid rules on box labels. I see no reason to believe this ammunition isn’t made by S&B since it is identical to contemporary German Army boxed ammo.

I doubt that it is contract ammo for another country since the Czech area was occupied, whereas Slovakia and the dou factory were not “occupied” and did sell contract ammunition. Still it is not impossible that this could be a foreign contract since I believe SB did make contract 7.9mm ammo early in the war.

These date from before the SS had approved access to German Army ammunition. It could be this production was for the SS. It could also be that it is for almost any other non-Army organization like the police.

All of my boxes with this style label look like they were original labels. One of them has a light blue, post war overlabel identifying the ammo as “9mm Parabellum” and from Czechoslovakia.

Interesting boxes that use to be relatively common but I seldom see them anymore.



Lew, you are correct about SB and 7.9 ammunition. They did
make 7.9 x 57 rounds with the standard German headstamp
style, but “SB” as the factory Designator, instead of “ak.” These
were primarily (perhaps exclusively) for Sweden and appear on a
Swedish ammunition chart that I have. There was also a “Z” headstamp
along the same lines, just as it also appears on 9 mm Para likely also
made for Sweden. They also produced 7.9 x 57 with the standard Czech
military style headstamps, likely for whatever activities in Czechslovakia
were still allowed to be armed after the occupation by Germany. Dutch
would know more about this than do I.

I do not subscribe to the theory that these were some sort of post-war
clandestine production with spurious headstamps made for export. It is
possible, I suppose, that they were repackaged after the war for no other
reason than to be rid of the German occupation labeling for Czech ammo,
although to me that is remote. Just like my own belief that they may be
repacks, it is all just conjecture anyway, unless documentation for this type
of labeling is found.

John Moss


First of all I have never seen this kind of label.

The Swedish contract was for 45 Million 7,9 Mauser rounds.
With a letter from WA Stab 1c, from Feb. 27 1943 this order was stopped.
The Germans needed the ammunition.

The already made cases were not destroyed but used for ammo for the German army.
The difference is the bullet Nickel plated for export, Tombak for the Germans.
You can also recognise this German ammunition on the box label.

Case Z (dou.)

dou 43-1 SmE (Z) Für MG


Dutch, Thanks for the added information. I knew that you
would know. I thought I had heard that some of this ammunition
was not delivered to Sweden, but wasn’t sure, and never even
thought about the two bullet-jacket material types.



John, I agree with you. It makes little sense to me that they are postwar clandestine production.

Since we lack definitive documentation, and my experience is that even “definitive” documentation is often wrong, we are only left with logic. In this case, I believe Occam’s razor applies (among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected ).

I feel confident that this ammo was made on the dates indicated and provided to a German agency other than the German Army.

The supporting logic is:

  1. The ammo is identical to SB ammunition loaded in the same time frame as this ammo.
    2, The ammo ford not have a German Army label so it was not made for the German Army
  2. At this time, Germany needed the ammo it produced and was not exporting to countries outside Germany.

It would be nice to see an SS record or some other record that documented an organization received S&B P08 ammo during late '41 to early '42, but I don’t expect we ever will. I did look it up to make sure it was real and it is a problem-solving principle attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian


PS: In the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that I learned of Occam’s razor from a science fiction story I read when I was about 11 years old. I was always impressed with it, but I think this is the first time I have ever used it! I did look it up to make sure it was real and it is a problem-solving principle attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian


Lew, you are in good comapny.
R. V. Jones, a most important figure in British Scientific Intelligence during WW2 wrote that using Ockham’s razor rarely let him down (Most Secret War; U.S. title The Wizard War). From 1330 until his death Ockham lived in Munich, where a street is named after him.


Perhaps this is a cartridge making an impression it was made during WW2



Dutch, there is a similar round using the Romanian Pa headstamp.
I had both, but don’t remember much about them except that despite
The “PS” and “PA” headstamps, and a different look to the markings,
the two cartridges were so identical that there is simply no way they
were not made in the same factory on the same machinery.

These came out of Viet Nam, and the headstamps are very likely

John Moss


JP, Thanks for the information. I know of R.V. Jones. In the early 1990s, I had the pleasure of meeting him at Sunday Drinks at the Gordon Highlander Regimental Mess in Aberdeen. The Regiment was in Germany at the time but 20 or so old Gordons and a few guests still showed up on a Sunday. We were visiting an old RAF friend who after retiring joined the Terrortial Army unit (like the Reserves) of the Gordons. When he found out I was USAF, Jones latched onto me and spent the next two hour over G&Ts telling me stories and asking questions. But, never once did he mention Occams razor.

Thanks for telling me!