Cal 30 MATCH


#1

In 1957 Frankford Arsenal resumed manufacture of the Cal 30 Match cartridge. The cartridge was designated the T291 and was loaded with an “M1 Type” bullet (without cannelure) at 2640 fps. The cartridges were tested for accuracy and divided into three sub-lots. The most accurate sub-lot was designated for 600 yards and greater, the second sub-lot for short range and rapid fire, and the third sub-lot for practice and instruction. Cartridges were boxed in a 20 round buff cardboard box with a red, white, and blue paper label. The label provided spaces for information such as bullet, propellant, primer, lot, and sub-lot.

This long-winded summary brings me to my question. Does anyone have, or has anyone seen one of these first boxes? I have a 1957 box but it has an over-label that indicates only the basic information of T number, Lot, Bullet and velocity. My boxes for 1958 and later years have this same label format but it is part of the original label and not an over-label.

I’d like to get one of the first boxes, or at least see a photo of one. Can anyone help? Following is a photo of my 1957 box and also a photo of a 100 count box of the “M1 Type” bullets.

Ray


#2

Hi Ray,

my 1957 box is the same as yours. It is also overlabelled.
For 1958, I have three versions:

  1. 1957 box with date on front overlabelled and back overlabelled.
    the first label on the back label also has the sub-lot info
  2. 1958 box with printed label T291
  3. 1958 box with printed label M72

sorry, no help on the earlier box

cheers
Ren


#3

Rene

Thanks. I looked at the photos of your boxes and was about to contact you to ask what was on the back side of some of them. But, you beat me to it.

I’m wondering if the original label format was ever used for the T291.? The earler boxes of International Match used the sub-lot designations (you have a couple of them) but there doesn’t appear to be any for the straight National Match ammo. Maybe the sub-lot sorting was limited to International and Palma?

It also appears that Lake City did not use the sub-lot sorting. Or, they used a system different than what FA used. The FA methods were more a test of barrels than ammunition and maybe someone realized there was little merit to it and the decision was made to abandon it.

What do you think? Maybe HWS III got into this.

Do you have any boxes of the bullets such as the one I pictured?

Ray


#4

Hi Ray,

If I have time this week, I will make new scans of front & back of my
early boxes and send them to you, so you will be able to see the
(sometimes) small differences.
I have never seen any T291 boxes with “complete” label but being on the
wrong side of the ocean for this caliber that doesn’t mean much.
Of the earlier boxes I have the 1953 & 1956 with sublot and there is a
picture of a 1954 box in Marcello’s Volume II.
My Lake City boxes (from 1961 onwards) are all the same and that is w/o Sublot)

I don’t have any boxes of bullets, only of (un)primed cases.
And if anybody has an empty Lake Ciry Match box, I am missing
following years: 1964, 65, 66 & 1967

Were there any boxes after 1968 ?

cheers
Ren


#5

Thanks again Rene.

It’s my understanding that '66 was the last year of production for the M72. The National Matches of '67 were dominated by the M14 and 7.62x51 cartridge and very few shooters requested M72 ammuntion. There was sufficient ammunition left for both the '67 and '68 National Matches so remaining stocks of '66 were re-packaged for those two years. I have two sealed boxes of LC 67 so I suppose the time has come to open one to see what the headstamp is.

What headstamp does your box of LC 68 have? As far as I know, LC 68 should be the last date for boxes of M72.

But, as we both know it is often surprising what we find in the boxes.

It’s too bad that the weekend is nap time for Chris P. I was hoping he would chime in on this. It appears as though you and I are now the 30-06 experts. ;) ;) Also, his book has a headstamp drawing of an LC 57 MATCH that I have been meaning to ask him about.

Ray


#6

Hi Ray,

a bit more info on the old boxes:
My 1957 box with overglued 1958 - T291 label has LOT number FA32
My 1958 box with printed label T291 has LOT number FA35
My 1958 box with printed M72 had LOT number FA44

That narrows down the lot numbers a bit when FA changed from relabelling
to T291 and then to M72. Maybe some other collectors have boxes of
LOT numbers in between.
Unfortunately my 1968 box is empty, but I do have a specimen with
headstamp LC 67 MATCH in my collection.

Regarding the earliest one from LC, I guess you mean this one:

Unfortunately it is a reused case and is now a blank, but the HS is interesting anyway.
Will send pictures per mail tomorrow.

cheers
Ren


#7

Rene

I have a 1958 box of T291 with Lot number FA 41 A and a headstamp of FA 58 MATCH. I guess that narrows it down a little more. I’ve read that the M72 designation was assigned on January 9, 1958 but obviously the box labels were changed sometime later in the year.

Do you think that MATCH LC 57 may have originally been a Palma or International cartridge? Of course that’s pure speculation on my part since I’ve never seen a MATCH LC cartridge of any kind made before 1961. Did you notice that the LC headstamp is the opposite of FA headstamps, in that the word MATCH is on the top?

I wonder where all the '06 collectors are? It’s obvious that they’re not on the Forum. It looks like everybody collects 7.62x51. And 9mm pistol.

Ray