I started out trying to prove/disprove that the two ammo producers, in the same city, were connected. Heck of a coincidence if they’re not. There are similarities and differences. We do, for a change, have descriptions of what information is contained in their lot numbers.
Black Hills Ammo:
loading machine operator
person who loaded the ammo
I have remarkably few lot numbers to compare, only 13 Black Hills and 8 Ultramax. Nonetheless, knowing what’s contained in them is a huge advantage.
- Black Hills ammo uses 10-digit lot numbers, the first two are the loading machine number:
09 and 32 are 9mm Luger
33 and 34 are 45 Auto
03 was 38 Special
16 was match-grade 308 Winchester
28 was 260 Remington
The next two digits are the loading machine operator: 02 through 25 observed.
The third pair of digits are the inspector: 10 through 21 observed.
The last four digits are the day and year: first three are either the Julian date or possibly a one-up number assigned to the production day, and the last digit is the last digit of the year: days 002-290 observed, year 6 observed for both 2006 and 1996. The lot number in 1996 appears to have the same format of those in the 2000’s. There’s no difference between red box (new manufacture) and blue box (remanufactured) lot numbers. All observed boxes have printing month/year.
3323102906 = 45 Auto loading machine 33, operator 23, inspector 10, 290th day of 2006 (blue box)
3310181273 = 45 Auto loading machine 33, operator 10, inspector 18, 127th day of 2003 (red box)
0903140203 = 9mm Luger loading machine 09, operator 03, inspector 14, 020th day of 2003 (red box)
0925220027 = 9mm Luger loading machine 09, operator 25, inspector 22, 002nd day of 2007 (blue box)
0320131366 = 38 Special loading machine 03, operator 20, inspector 13, 136th day of 1996.
- Ultramax uses 11-digit lot numbers, the first two are the last two digits of the year: 04 (2004) through 09 (2009) observed.
The next three digits are probably the Julian date 010 through 337 observed. I say probably because 7 of the dates on my boxes are odd numbers, which is alot considering I’ve only one even date.
The last six digits I haven’t figured out yet. Fortunately Ultramax’s web site says there are six more elements of information in their lot numbers and, not coincidently, there are six more digits, one per element.
07037152102 = 037th day of 2007, contained a 9mm styrofoam tray
04337071111 = 337th day of 2004, a 45 Colt Cowboy box
09105771408 = 105th day of 2009, a 40 S&W box
Some Ultramax boxes have printing dates.