Cal .30 LR T104 E1 BOX


Cartridge boxes are a lot like girls. Some of them just turn you on for some reason. This is one of my all time favorite Cal .30 LR boxes. I don’t know why. There are prettier ones with lots of lipstick, and the plain and simple ones built for rugged use. I’m sure the image has been posted here before but it’s always good for another look.

This T104 E1 uses an older Cal .30 box leaving a large empty space for the cartridges to rattle around in. They will often be found with the top of the box caved in, tearing the label and otherwise destroying its value. Taking a peek under the lid of this box you can see that the empty space has been filled with strips of corrugated cardboard, a simple answer to a problem, so unlike the military mind.


Nice looking box, Ray, even though “she” is too young for you, I think. Why so much detailed info on the “girl”, primer lot, powder lot? If you look at US military boxes, they mostly state just one lot, of loading, I assume. Usually no such details. Or is it not military?


Hey Vlad - I was still a young man in 1950 so she’s grown along with me. And yes, she is strictly US Military.

All of that information is what makes many of the old boxes so appealing to me. I recently posted a photo of the first T291 National Match box that had a lot of information on it, but it was short lived for a simpler box label. I think the first one looked better.

Speaking of boxes, on those with two sided labels, do you know that many shooters think the information is on the back of the box while many collectors think it’s on the front.

What do you guys think?


correct, the front is three times (almost) the same (these are from 1956), it’s the back that’s interesting



What is sub-lot? Why not just devide the original lot into 2 and give them different lot numbers?



In olden days, when Match ammunition was ordered, the number of rounds (lot) to be produced was specified. A lot can be only a few rounds, say 20,000 for a specific purpose or competition, or as many as a million or more. Each cartridge in a lot is manufactured to the same specifications. During manufacture, constant testing is done to insure quality. Some lots may be tested several times a day. (It would not be good if a million rounds were produced without testing only to find out that something went wrong after the first 50,000.) Records are kept and the finished lot can be divided into sub-lots based on accuracy. For example, sub-lot A may be boxed for slow fire, sub-lot B packed in clips for rapid fire, and sub-lot C packed in cartons and clips for practice.

Bullets to be used in Match ammunition may be graded on a curve and divided into groups based on their accuracy and intended use.

Up until 1967 or so, certain lots underwent extra attention to detail and testing, using only the best bullets available, and even having special powder charging plates set aside for them. That lot was designated for the National Trophy Matches at Camp Perry. A special headstamp was used and the boxes were specially marked.

That was then. As the quality of components became more consistent, the lots were produced to a certain accuracy standard and not didvided into sub-lots. Certain groups that did not test well could be set aside for practice and you’ll often see boxes marked as such. Production of National Match ammunition stopped in 1996. Most shooters now use handloads, commercial ammunition, or the Long Range sniper/match/tactical rounds made at Lake City.

Whew. I’ll bet that’s more than you wanted to know. I could have written an entire article on this.



Ray and Rene,

Great boxes! Thanks for sharing the pics.


Thanks for asking about the use of Sub Lots. Ray’s explanation went beyond what I had thought they were about. Again, I fail to know because I assume!