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Did Military shooters ever seal and mark their boxes of ammo, by chance?

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Did Military shooters ever seal and mark their boxes of ammo, by chance? Empty Did Military shooters ever seal and mark their boxes of ammo, by chance?

Post by RJaquith Sun Apr 16, 2023 1:57 pm

I have some loaded .38 wadcutter that I will be putting up on commercial row, but don't want to misrepresent it. I don't recall where I acquired it, but I have an ammo can with about 750 Winchester wadcutter - I'm thinking it was at a gun show from a former military shooter, but can't recall. 2 (100) boxes are the military-type packaging that I have seen in the past (smaller cardboard, cardboard inserts), brass W-W double cannelure cases, and I'm pretty confident it is as-issued. The remainder of the can (650) is in commercial packaging ("Western"), in boxes which have been opened (roughly), and then resealed with scotch tape and initials. The cases are W-W nickel double cannelure. These really do have the appearance of genuine factory ammo - after reloading close to 100K wadcutter rounds myself over the years, I can usually see signs of any reloading/remanufacturing. Both the cannelures on these are sharp and deep, and the primers uniform, with no signs of resizing or varied crimps. They seem identical to the other factory rounds I have elsewhere, including the bullet shape. (this shape is slightly different in appearance than newer "Winchester" headstamped rounds I have, but consistent with the military packaging, and some old yellow box I have. I don't ever recall hearing of pistol team members reloading their own .38 wad for matches.

Neither of the boxes has a zip code in the address, which should indicate mfgr. before July of 1963?

Is it possible/likely that a shooter inspected and sealed his boxes?
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Last edited by RJaquith on Sun Apr 16, 2023 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by fc60 Sun Apr 16, 2023 2:05 pm

Greetings,

Your ammo is just like the stuff I gleaned from GrandPa's Army shooting days.

Normally, the boxes are sealed in a case with no tape.

GrandPa did put tape and some comments of boxes that shot rather well in a particular gun.

For authenticity, look at the cases...

Are the cannelures sharp?

Is the roll crimp uniform among all cartridges?

Often, the manufacturer put sealant on the primers. Is the primer sealant intact with no evidence of reloading?

Look closely at the cartridge near the rim. Reloaded ammo will usually show a step/ring near the head from the sizing die.

The samples in your photos "look like the real deal".

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by RJaquith Sun Apr 16, 2023 2:13 pm

The sealant appears to me to be undisturbed, and the cannelures are as sharp as any I've ever seen on factory ammo. Nickel cases are a little different than the brass I'm used to. I can't ever remember buying reloaded ammo at any gun show, since I did my own.

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Post by Wobbley Mon Apr 17, 2023 12:17 am

Thence”White” Western commercial boxes were standard from about 1970 or so.  Winchester used Yellow boxes prior to that.  The Military style boxes were usually from contract ammunition.  The cardboard insert and divider system was normal for 38 ammo, less so for 45.  The commercial box has a foam insert and those were standard in the 1970s.  The “military” packaged ammo is very likely of similar vintage as the cases are headstamped “W-W” which happened up in the late 1960s.    Prior to that cases for “Western” ammo were loaded in “WESTERN” headstamped brass and Winchester ammo was loaded in “WIN” cases… 

As for their originality, they don’t look like reloads from what I see, but the picture doesn’t show the whole round.  The “Western Super Match” back then was some of the best 38 Special ammo ever loaded..
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Post by bruce martindale Mon Apr 17, 2023 8:28 am

I'll bet the guy was looking for specific lot numbers or matching existing lots together...looks factory to me from what I see.

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Post by RJaquith Mon Apr 17, 2023 9:34 am

Thanks for all the inputs.

Now that you said that, I had to go back and check every box in the ammo can. Turns out that there were 450 of the same lot with the nickle case; the bottom layer of 4 boxes was a different lot number, still appearing factory, with a brass case; and of course, the 2 boxes of what I would call contract ammo were from a 3rd lot (these were not tape resealed). Still, all appears to be factory new. Maybe it's just me, but what I would call the "rough" opening of the boxes would seem to indicate that maybe this ammo was issued to someone, rather than purchased with personal funds (who might tend to take more care with it?)(or maybe that's just me....).

Maybe leftover from several lots left over from larger batches left after a season's shooting? That plus the presence of the 2 "contract" boxes, would make sense. The tape resealing with initials is a bit different, though.

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Post by Allgoodhits Mon Apr 17, 2023 7:53 pm

RJaquith wrote:Thanks for all the inputs.

Now that you said that, I had to go back and check every box in the ammo can. Turns out that there were 450 of the same lot with the nickle case; the bottom layer of 4 boxes was a different lot number, still appearing factory, with a brass case; and of course, the 2 boxes of what I would call contract ammo were from a 3rd lot (these were not tape resealed). Still, all appears to be factory new. Maybe it's just me, but what I would call the "rough" opening of the boxes would seem to indicate that maybe this ammo was issued to someone, rather than purchased with personal funds (who might tend to take more care with it?)(or maybe that's just me....).

Maybe leftover from several lots left over from larger batches left after a season's shooting? That plus the presence of the 2 "contract" boxes, would make sense. The tape resealing with initials is a bit different, though.
Randy,

Did you get my email, in reply to yours?

Martin
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Post by Eindecker Sat Jun 03, 2023 11:19 pm

the only mentioning i have seen of ANYTHIGN like is is in viewing an article on original pre 1920 production frankford arsenal 45acp ball.  on or inside the box, were the directions for the shooter to collect every fired cartridge, put back into the box, write their name on the box, and send it back...

the assumption was either,, 


frankford arsenal would reload that box of 20 brass, and send it to the shooter name on the box. 

or that when the arsenal/armoury got the box of fired cases they could inspect and identify problems in the gun via bad brass damage.

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Post by Jack H Sun Jun 04, 2023 2:22 am

I had a lot of white box 38 and 22 back in the early 70s.  My coach had connections to get ammo for our club, being retired LTC.  Had a lot of 45 brown box too, but did not shoot 45 much.  Mostly shot a HS made like a pretend FP and OMM38.
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Post by bruce martindale Sun Jun 04, 2023 7:39 pm

Eindecker wrote:the only mentioning i have seen of ANYTHIGN like is is in viewing an article on original pre 1920 production frankford arsenal 45acp ball.  on or inside the box, were the directions for the shooter to collect every fired cartridge, put back into the box, write their name on the box, and send it back...

the assumption was either,, 


frankford arsenal would reload that box of 20 brass, and send it to the shooter name on the box. 

or that when the arsenal/armoury got the box of fired cases they could inspect and identify problems in the gun via bad brass damage.
Or to assure that it was used as required and not stolen pr sold…?

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Post by Eindecker Sun Jun 18, 2023 12:47 am

bruce martindale wrote:
Eindecker wrote:the only mentioning i have seen of ANYTHIGN like is is in viewing an article on original pre 1920 production frankford arsenal 45acp ball.  on or inside the box, were the directions for the shooter to collect every fired cartridge, put back into the box, write their name on the box, and send it back...

the assumption was either,, 


frankford arsenal would reload that box of 20 brass, and send it to the shooter name on the box. 

or that when the arsenal/armoury got the box of fired cases they could inspect and identify problems in the gun via bad brass damage.
Or to assure that it was used as required and not stolen pr sold…?

THe article that i saw online that showed actual boxes of the ammunition,, they opened the boxes to do a velocity test on pre ww1 45acp ammo...

The box itself said "pick up all fired cases and put them back into this box and send back with name on it"

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