1958 FA Match


This box has a 4 digit black number cut out off the box’s bottom. What is this number and why would anyone cut it out? All the ammo inside is in virgin condition.


Sometimes when ammunition is acquired from the military at a match, or whatever, by “midnight requisition” the party with it removes the lot number thinking that makes the ammunition harder to identify. Kind of silly, in my opinion, especially from a box made only for the military, or government agency use.


John, I am a bit confused. The lot number is printed on the front face of the box (FA 37), the number removed has 4 digits, I have a 1959 box intact. So the number removed is not a lot number, or is it?


Well, now I am not sure. I don’t have any of these boxes to look at. The actual machine run lot number (I say that for want of other words) is usually stamped on a box, not printed on it, although I have seen examples of printed lot numbers. I don’t know if this match ammo was assigned one general lot number for all runs of that year’s match ammo, of all the match ammo for one year was run all at one time, or if there was a lot number for the year’s run, and then stamped lot numbers for each individual machine run of ammo. I guess I should have left this one to one of the 7.62 NATO guys.

I can say that what is usually cut out, or scribbled out, of printing on military ammo boxes, (seems to me especially prevalent with ammo sold at gun shows) is the lot number. I have, regretably, some damned good empty boxes in my collection where this has been done. Some were mailed to me for my collection, but many others I have found on the various ranges I shoot at.

I have to say now, though, that regarding your box, I don’t know. I didn’t notice the lot number printed on the box, as I was intent on looking for the cut-out portion, to see the exact location, in your picture, but it doesn’t seem to be there. Won’t do me any good now anyway, since I don’t have a definitive answer for you.


I hope this helps. Top-1959, bottom-1958 cut out.


I don’t know for sure but I think the number printed on the box is a ‘serial number’ of the boxed lot. They would record how many boxes of Lot FA 37 there were in this case the box with the number is the ‘3121st’ box as part of this lot of ammo.

just a thought.


U.S. .30-06 National Match ammo from the 1930s (and 40s?) were issued in M1917 wooden crates with an individual “box number” assigned to each crate. In the 1950s after the switch to the .30 cal and .50 cal ammo cans instead of the heavy wooden crates, each ammo can was asigned an individual number (or maybe one number for all the cans within the wirebound crate that held two .50 cal cans or four .30 cal cans). My guess is that this is more for accountability purposes and to ensure that competitors could be checked to ensure that they were using the ammo issued to them, not some super accurate handloads smuggled in.
I do not know if individual cardboard cartons within the wooden crates or ammo cans were numbered as shown in the photos above to match the number of the crate/can they were shipped in, but I suspect this may be the case. Or, they may be a sequential number for each cardboard carton, as suggested above.
Whatever the practice was for .30-06 probably was continued in 7.62 NM ammo at least during this period, but that is just my guess.