Is this 7.62x51 in Garand clips?
If so, why?
After adoption of the 7.62 x 51mm M14 rifle by the U.S. Army in 1959, the U.S. Navy decided to convert a large number of M1 Garand rifles from .30-06 to 7.62 x 51 NATO, at first using chamber inserts which proved problematic, and later with new barrels specifically made in 7.62 x 51. Those with the inserts were designated RIfle Mark 2 Mod 0, and those with new barrels Mark 2 Mod 1.
These rifles used standard 8 round M1 Garand clips, and ammunition was supplied in 8 round clips, six clips per bandoleer and 9 bandoleers in a .50 cal ammo can as shown in the photo. Two cans per wire bound crate.
Around 1970 the Mark 2 Mod 0 and Mod 1 rifles were replaced in navy service by the M14 rifle.
Eventually some of this 7.62 NATO ammo in 8 round clips reached whe shooter/collector market, but it is not common.
Thanks John, great info!
Here is one of the bandoleers from that lot (cartridges removed). Bandoleer is dated October 1965.