The earlier thread on .50 cal boxes included the quote:-
[i]At Blue Grass, Darryl Brewer, a combat medic in Vietnam, is chief of logistics for the ammunition depot. Recently, he started pulling out .50 cal. crates marked 1945. He opened some up and peered inside.
“Pristine,” Brewer reported. “It’s in lead-sealed cans, like sardines. Just like it was made yesterday.”
The 1945 ammunition was opened and test rounds fired to check for reliability and accuracy, standard testing done for all aging ammunition. “They find anything wrong, they’ll do a suspension,” Brewer said, adding with some pride, “Very seldom you see that in a fiddy-cal.”
Fifty-cal rounds are linked into belts that are fed from steel ammo boxes into the side of the weapon. At Blue Grass, technicians have to replace the World War II links, using a “delinker-linker” machine so old they had to make parts for it before it would work. The relinked rounds are sealed back in ammo boxes, like sardines, and shipped. [/i]
I can understand why some needed to be re-linked into M85 links, which didn’t exist in WW2 but presumable the ammo was already in Browning links. Could it be that it was in the earlier, and inherently weak, M1 or M2 links and needed re-linking in M9 links?