WW2 German military .380 or .32 ACP (9mm/7.65mm) boxes

Asking for someone else:

“As I understand it, the Walther PP and PPK pistols used by german military and government officials during WWII were largely private purchase sidearms. Does anyone know what form the ammunition for these weapons came in - packaging, firm of manufacture, military or civilian labeling, etc.
Pictures would be great, but I have consulted numerous books and articles on the wartime manufacture of Walther handguns and have only seen pictures of the standard military 9mm parabellum rounds issued for the P38, Lugar, and MP40.
Can anyone help?
Many thanks”"

The Walther PPK and PP Model pistols used by Police and Military were largely NOT individual purchase, I believe. Many of these pistols are knonw with military and police proof marks. The ones used by para-miitary organizations were often private purchase by individuals and in some cases, by the organizations themselves. For the most part, the ammunition used with them, even by the military, was commercially marked and commercially packaged. Even the steel-cased Geco cartridges are from commercial-style boxes and with standard commercial headstamps. FN, run under the stewardship of DWM, was an exception, in that they made dated military and police cartridges for the German authorities regularly during the war, often in steel cases, both with FN headstamp and DWM headstamp.

The true military boxes are much scarcer than the cartridges, and material in .32 caliber (7.65m/m Bronwing) is much more common than .380 (9mm Kurz) which for some reason, the Germans were not in love with. That is evidenced not only by the considerably fewer caliber 9mm Kurz Walther and other small pistols made during that era, compared to 7.65mm, but also by the German’s mandate of conversion of production of pistols like the CZ 24/27 series and the Hungarian Femaru, along with the Browning M1922, to 7.65 Browning from 9mm Kurz. Even after they became officially occupiers of Northern Italy, the 9mm Corto caliber Beretta production all but ceased in favor of 7.65mm.

There were some dated headstamps for police, and at least two military 7.65mm headstamps during WWII, “aux” code and “dou.” code. The latter is rarer than the former in 7.65mm, although the dou. code also appears on steel-cased 9mm Kurz (the “dou.” 7.65 is in a brass case) and they are fairly common even today. There were also Geco cartridges with “X” headstamp for use mainly in the Czech P27 mit schalldampfer (the silenced version of that pistol).

There were also a couple of military headstamps in WWI, and military style boxes from at least two makers, one of which was “DWM” using the “DM” intiials on the box, as they cntinued to do so, for whatever reason, on military boxes and some headstamps thru WWI, even though they had gone to DWM commercially years before that war.

If there is interest, I could scan the very few German military boxes I have in these calibers, along with the pure military headstamps. To scan the commercial boxes would not prove much, since they are common and they are in large enough number that it would be a rather daunting task. The same for the headstamps.

Bear in mind, that basically any headstamp in these calibers from all of the countries that made that ammo - Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc. could undoubtedly be found in pistols carried by German military, especially during WWII. The same goes for the pistols themsleves.

Here are a few box labels


Willem - thanks for posting those. Great labels. I have only the “Belgien Polizeimodell” label out of all of those. I do have two similar ones from WWI, though.

Here’s a French example, for police or possibly military use.

Thanks Dutch and Guy!
Dutch, what headstamp was in the 7.65 box?


Hi Sam,

The head stamp from the cartridges in the

Nice! Thanks Dutch!


I think that the steel-case ammunition was probably for sale to police or military agencies, and perhaps commercially as well. It is certainly war-time production, but I doubt it was exclusively military. I don’t really know that, but despite common impressions, many individuals in 3rd Reich Germany could own pistols and purchase ammunition for them - I am sure under permit conditions and regulations. Throughout the 1930s, there are examples of dated .32 and .380 cartridges, which would have been either domestic military, police or para-military contracts, or foreign contracts, and during the war, we have the well known “aux” and “dou.” headstamps on 7.65mm with the dou. also appearing on steel-cased 9mm Kurz (.380 auto) cartridges. The 7.65s are in brass cases.

Regarding the 6.35m/m, I just don’t know. I am sure some undercover police probably carried .25 auto, and perhaps women agents, but I don’t have documentation for that. I have heard that only (officers) Doctors, Dentists and Vetinarians were allowed the 6.35mm pistol for uniform wear, in the Wehrmacht. I don’t know about in paramilitary organizations. You virtually never see a picture of a German officer of any branch wearing one, although I have a Beretta 1939 .25 auto pistol that came to me as a vet purchase, in a German-style flap holster with spare magazine pouch on the face of the holster. It has a wide belt loop that would fit the normal German field-grade (Major and up - am applying an American term with “field grade” for lack of knowledge of any other) officer’s belt. On the lid, at one time, was NAZI version of the Reichsadler, undoubtedly made out of metal as the impression of it is quite clear, although the insignia is missing. That would indicate some para-military guy had this pistol, as I am sure that would not have met Wehrmacht uniform regulations. The pistol was probably acquired, perhaps even purchased, in Italy by some sort of German official. The holster is very German, however - not at all Itlaian in Characteristics. Unfortunately, unlike many pistols we bought from Vets at the store, there were no original cartridges with it when we acquired it. My boss kept the gun and eventually gave it to me as a gift when he broke up his auto pistol collection.

This is an interesting subject, but one with very little documentation other than box labels, many of which are military or para-military in box type but with commercial headstamps, and a subject with more exceptions to the rule than the rule itself.

If the original question was about only German ammo, I have no box labels to add except perhaps one WWI box from Rheinisch Metallwaren S