Box Date E-K ICI?

Anybody please;
Lossing the will to live this morning, I am trying to find the date of a cartridge box Eley-Kynoch ICI era, Box is Marked with capital letter/numbers, starting with a Large “W” then large space and slightly smaller “P 24 K” in slightly smaller printing, the original “W” does not sit quite in line with rest of the text.
Can’t find my list (as I always forget them) and cant get to the books as they are buried behind Erskine boxes for the moment. Also can’t do a picture as the camera batteries are flat (now on charge).
The box is a plain white card much thinner than standard boxes are and was soldered as one of four inside a tin.



Now I have enough power to download a picture to the PC to upload to here :)

(Just noticed my preview screen is working again too after months of nothing…)

OK, that is the code I am trying to find.

What calibre is the cartridge ? Pistol or rifle? Any label?
You ask a lot from this photo but I cannot help you. Ron.

Box is from a Eley-Kynoch 12 ICI 12 x 3" Gastight cartridge loaded for or by W. Evans. The box is one of four (all identical) which come from a steel tin which was soldered shut, one has to assume for the purpose of keeping the contents dry and sealed from messing hands. Loaded with EC powder and Number 4 shot, powder and shot weights are not stated but would undoubtedly be a standard load.

Packages of soldered tin or lead are generally considered to be for tropical use. The tropical heat generated higher pressures, so these are very probably loaded to a lower pressure, and of course as you note moisture was also a major factor.
When your camera has a full charge it would be nice to see the box front & if it still had one, a label from the tin.
Sorry can’t help with the code, but perhaps the “W” had to do with identifying the load?

Hi Pete,

No labels on anything. As stated the boxes are a thinner than normal white cardboard, printed on three sides, first one with code (which I am interested in), second with Length of case 3", third side with 12 4 EC Gastight (so 12 Bore, 4 shot, EC powder and Gastight Case.
Tin Lid I can just make out the printing of;

12……. 3"………4 (about 2" high letters)

     E C      (about 1 1/2" high Letters)

   Gastight  (about 1 1/2" again)

Tin looks like it was silver (maybe flash nickel) but now has that orange/red rime of old rust colour, I did a few pictures but none came out worth a damn.

Cartridges are 3" Gastights with OSC marked for W. Evans London E4C in the centre (powder and shot size) confirms the tin (as I think I can read it) and what is printed on the boxes.


One other odd thing, the tin shows NO outer damage or dents etc. yet all the boxes have break-through from cartridges (as per the first picture, with date stamp) primarily on just one side and all those sides point one way! Makes me suspect that the tin was stored on it’s side for most of its life. Also you would struggle to get a feeler gauge in between those boxes.

Hi Mike
I’ve not seen a tropical tin for shot shells, but it does make sense they would have had them. Over pressure is over pressure.
Paper boxes with a normal/typical Evans label would be redundant after you opened the tin so I’d guess the rubber stamps were all that was thought that was needed.
Pretty cool

A lot of box dating depends on the style of the box. In this case the box style doesn’t help. On centerfire cartridges the code would be day-month-year like 12IC would be 12 Feb 1928 or 12 Feb 1959. Clearly the shotshell codes are different. If I assume just the month and day are swapped then this would be September 24, 1936 or 1962, but this is only a guess.


Thanks Lew, I am guessing at it being wartime production, just a gut feeling!

Something else just struck me too, the boxes are not stapled together, they are only glued.

Pete, managed to get a better picture of the lid (must have been I was rushing with flat batteries) or just my bad… Picture is clearer than looking at the tin this time round.

Contents inside;


A friend of mine sent me copies of what I could not find, so if it helps others here are the date codes for the packing of boxes as supplied in 1973 for a police investigation. This also explains how to date the cartridge from the pips in the base plug/wad of the case.

So that would date my boxes as, I will let you work that out… ;).

1 Like

Great information about the pips but the months and years are the same as in Hoyem and Fleming books for metallic ammunition. All interesting but does not seem to date your shotshell boxes.

Hi Mike
Great tin

Your thoughts relating to war time packaging. Who / what military used a 3" shell with #4 shot. No one I’m aware of, but… (covering my 6 with a never say never).

How about use aa a hunting load in Africa or India ?
Stapled corners on revolver boxes by Eley as far as I’m aware was only in use for a short time. I’ve not seen it on E-K ICI products which are off the top of my head post ca 1929? Yes pre-War II but also still prime tropical hunting era.

Interesting tin, good on ya.


Lets take the box print, we have “W”……… P 24 K

Using the example above 29K5L = Inspector No. 29 packed the Cartridges on 5th April 1963 as the format.

Assuming W is the inspector on my box and P = September, 24 = 24th, then starting at A = 1926 then K = 1936.

So date is 24th September 1936, is as I understand it.

Nope, I just thought it had a war time feel to it, I didn’t mean is was “War Issue”, would want a broad arrow for that.
Certainly if we use the code as above it puts it mid 30’s so a good time shooting.
I would happily go with the use as India and 3" number 4’s would be prime duck loads :)….