Home page
Close This Window

1930s German Army Ammunition


(ii) Army Ammunition1 - Label definitions

  1. The abbreviations Lief. or ’L’ represent Lieferung (delivery’); thus, 'P.*1.L.32' denotes cartridges were made by Polte-Werke of Magdenburg, and delivered as the first lot of 1932. The P on the head stamp of the subject ammunition stands for Polte-Amaturen- und Maschinenfabrik AG of Magdenburg.2
  2. The later labels are more complex: 'Nz. Stb. P. n/A. (0,8 • 0,8) : Rdf. 2. L. 28.' shows the nitrozelluose Stäbchen-Pulver neuer Art, a ‘new pattern’ nitrocellulose-base propellant, took the form of small rods (Stäbchen) 0.8mm in diameter and 0.8mm long. It was supplied as Lot 2 of 1928 by a supposedly unidentified maker with the code 'Rdf.' – the Rheindorf factory of Dynamit Nobel.
  3. A description of the cartridge case, or Patronenhülse. 'Patrh.' (e) The abbreviation 'Gesch.' For Geschoss or Geschossteile (bullet or bullet components), shows the type, date and maker. Consequently, 'Gesch.: P.30.L.32.' shows a standard lead-core bullet made by Polte-Werke ('P') in 1930, and delivered as lot 32. (f) The primer type, date and manufacturer is revealed by 'Zdh.:..' or Zündhütchen. The primer manufacturer S.K.D. or SKD on the subject ammunition labels is the abbreviation for Selve-Kornbiegel-Dornheim AG, Suhl/Thürengen.3 The 1932 dated military ammunition (shown below)

    was manufactured and packaged in the last year of the German Weimar Republic therefore is technically Reichswehr ammunition and the 1939 pre WW2 dated military ammunition (shown below)

    was manufactured and packaged in the eight year of the Third Reich and is therefore Wehrmacht. Both boxes curiously, have labels affixed over what appears to be the original labels although the headstamps of both the 1932 and 1939 rounds agree with the second labels descriptions. The exception being when lifting a section of the top label of the 1939 box reveals 'Gesch.: P.405.L.36.' shows as standard lead-core bullet made by Dynamit AG (vormals Alfred Nobel und Companie), Durlach bei Karlsruhe, delivered as lot 36. It is possible that the original 1939 label box contents could have had a P.405 head stamp marked. As Polte-Werke was the only military contractor permitted to be active in Germany in 1922-32 under the Treaty of Versailles4 perhaps the second label was affixed, also to the 1932 label to deceive the Allies. Also noted on the 1939 ammo box on the inside surface of the flap is stamped 1936 on the right and on the left an unidentified manufacturers logo in rectangular cartouche. In as much as the 4-digit 1936 date predates the 2-digit 39 label delivery date then the 1936 date and logo could be the box manufacturer or it could represent the lot date.

1The Luger Book by J. Walter, p.120, Copyright © 1986.
2Luger by J. Walter, p.200-201, Copyright © 1977.
3Luger by J. Walter, p.200-201, Copyright © 1977.
4The Luger Book by J. Walter, p.53, Copyright © 1986.