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October 2003

A repacked and re-relabeled Mauser M71 box....

This box of 11mm Mauser Model 1871 cartridges appears to have been made in February of 1887. It was still sealed when I received it, though just barely, as only an inch or so of the seal remained unbroken. When I opened the box, I found it filled with mixed date headstamps from 1878 through 1882, all with a crown at the 12 o'clock position of the headstamp and MÜNCHEN' at 6 o'clock. The label identifies these as M71 cartridges, yet the late date (1887) would lead one to think they should be M71/84. These boxes are quite durable, with the corners and edges reinforced with a gauze-like cloth prior to the blue paper that covers the exterior of the box being put on. Because they were so durable, they were often reused, as this one was, based on the small portions of a second label peeking out from under the outer label along its lower left edge, as well as the mixed headstamp dates. A little time spent over a hot stove, steaming off the labels revealed not only the second label, but also a third, both of which are shown in the picture to the right. The second label is dated July 1881, and was probably also a 'repack' label. The third label, the original label on the box,  is a beauty that is in just about perfect condition, and is dated November 1877. I find these labels with the headstamp illustration showing the crown and 'München' to be most interesting; I don't recall having ever seen one before. I am told that these cartridges were made at the Koenigliche Arsenal in Munich, which made ammunition for the Bavarian government. 

Another multi-label box ....

This is a full box of  .30-03 'remodeled' blanks. As originally produced the Model 1903 blank, which was made using reject and fired .30-03 cases, was 0.1" longer than the .30-06 case. In December of 1909, 13 million rounds of  Model 1903 blanks were converted to Model 1906 blanks by reducing the diameter of  the case mouth a sufficient distance to allow the case to fit the shorter .30-06 chamber. This conversion process was completed without having to unload the cartridges. The altered necks make these an easily recognizable variation for collectors. Once filled with cartridges, this box had a second label applied, the original label being partially visible along both edges of the new label, and just below the word 'Caliber'. The top of the box is stamped in purple ink 'WGD (weighed?) BY F.M. McCLASKEY  Pkd by J.A. DUNN  DEC 20  '09'. 

I'd seen the loose cartridges often, but never the box.....

The cartridge shown here is one of those that, despite not having a headstamp, is very easy to identify. In addition to its characteristic tapered rimmed case and flat nose lead bullet, it usually has numbers identifying the month and year of its production stamped on opposite sides of the bullet. This is of course the 10 mm Soerbaja, used in a revolver that was adopted by the police in the Dutch East Indies. Dates of production of these cartridges are usually in the early 1940s. I had not seen a box of these until I recently found this one. The entire box is covered with a waxy sealant intended to protect the cartridges in a tropical climate. The rather cryptic markings on the label have proven to be a challenge to me. The 'P.S.Nr.3.' probably stands for Scherpe Patroon (or 'live cartridge) Number 3. The 2-41 is the date (February 1941) of production. I have no clue about the '36' in a circle, but a Dutch ECRA member advises the P.W. stands for Pyrotechnische werkplaats, one of the cartridge factories in the Dutch Indies.

A search on the internet turned up this picture which is purported to be the Dutch East Indies police revolver. I assume it is a six shot, as the box holds 12 cartridges.