72 Rnd. 9x19 Box?

Link to an interesting discussion on VN-era US 9mm ammo. It includes a pic of a 72 round box, something I have never seen before.
usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ … ball-ammo/

Years ago, this was a pretty common box found at gun shows and cartridge shows. I have a variant of the box as well, different only in the contents and the fact that there is no lot number on the box. The contents were Remington commercial SP HP loads using a core-lokt style bullet not exactly like any other I found before or since, although differences are minor. Lew Curtis seemed to know the story on these boxes with the SN HP ammo and no lot number. They were evidently made for a government LE agency, but I forget if it was the FBI, the CIA or who. The headstamp on the SN HP ammo was a Remington commercial one, undated, but probably pretty contemporary to the 1968 ammunition from lots 5000 and 5001.

You don’t see the boxes around anymore. I tried to find one for a friend at two or three Chicago/St. Louis shows, and never did find one, although he found one at a local show himself, finally. I actually bought the one with no lot number, without realizing it had no lot number, for my friend. It was wrapped in cellophane, and when I got it home and took that wrap off, I was initially disappointed in the contents, thinking it was just some stuff someone threw in the box. That got me to looking closely, and I realized it did not have a lot number. As I recall, Lew ID’d it for me.

I had a professor at UMaine who was in the CIA, and who was in the embassy during Tet. He said that when the shooting broke out he immediately assembled his Swedish K gun in 9mm, and so I would assume it was CIA and other government agents in Vietnam using this box since 2 x 36rd mags would be 72.

Are the dimensions on that box the same as the typical .45 auto box from that era, and is it just a 45 box that also conveniently happens to fit 72rds of 9mm?

Matt - the box is identical dimensionally and in design to the standard U.S. military 50-round .45 box. I am not sure I understand the second part of your question, as it seems redundant. The box is the same as a .45 box, but it is not simply an over-labeled .45 box. Both the one with lot number 5001 on it and the one with no lot number are original printings of the label. I am sure they were used simply to avoid having a different size box made. If it tells you anything (it soesn’t tell me a thing), the box has the alphanumberic code “M19E” printed inside. It is the only marking other than the top label.

That is what I meant John, that it looked like it might just be an unprinted .45 box (dimensionally) and that they just printed the 9mm information on it as they probably already had these cardboard blanks in the production line. So if 72rds fits nicely in the box, it is possibly a lucky coincidence that this might also be the exact number of 2 Swedish K-mags worth of cartridges. I can’t tell exactly from the photo if there is any dead space in the box though.

Specifications for this 72 round package states that it was designed for the S&W Model 76, Walther MPK and MPL submachine guns, and the S&W Model 39 pistol (in that order). Also, as already said in the other forum, ordnance specifications further states that it “may be fired” in the S&W Model 39, 59 and Mk 22 Mod 0 pistols, plus the Mk 24 Mod 0 (= Model 76) and M10 (Ingram) submachine guns. Given that information it can be concluded that it was certainly a US Naval Special Warfare Command contract and all of those weapons were in the SEALs inventory during the war.

The M19E is the manufacture date 19th of some month (E) in the last half of 1968 (M). Remington’s system is semi-annual based: L is the first half of the year, M is the second. And repeats every 11 years: 1946, 1957, 1968. Sometime around the move from Bridgeport, CT, to Lonoke, AR, however, the system lost a year. Instead of the next L/M year being 1979, its actually 1978, then 1989, 2000, 2011.

John, I don’t think I was the source of the info on your box with no lot number. All I have is one round from the box, and a photo of the box and no notes that I can find.

It is interesting that my box is lot number 5000.

Here are the photos of the cartridges we are discussing. The cartridge on the right is the round from my box. The cartridge on the left is the round from your box with no lot number. The zig-zag jacket edge is interesting and first showed up as I remember reputed to be a new Secret Service load. That jacket is different from this one, but the early rounds with this bullet style were reputed to be government contracts. Beyond that I have no information.

The one in the middle has an RA headstamp like the one on the right, and came out of an old collection. I threw it in for opinions on it. Kinda looks to me like a stuffed bullet, perhaps from a 357Mag. Can anyone identify the bullet???


Lew, the bullet in the middle looks like the rounded profile variation of the 150 gr. Metal Piercing offered by Western in their .38 Special Super-X Metal Piercing load. I guess this would be one of those evidently dubious rounds that everybody keeps in their collections just in case.

I wouldn’t even keep it in my collection. You can see this bullet was loaded in another case at one time, as the crimp has seriously indented the bullet jacket. I would weigh the round, and if the bullet comes out approximately 150, I would scrap this thing. JMHO.

Lew - I was sure it was you that gave me the info on this cartridge. I don’t recall even asking anyone else about it. Well, at any rate, I am sure it was for a non-military Federal Government Agency. Which one? Who knows? It is the only box of these I have ever seen.