Date on .50 Cal Box


Bought a waxed box of 60 .50 AP rounds. I was wondering if anyone can tease the date from the info on the box. I’d rather not open it to check the headstamps.

60 rd. Cal. 50 Linked
linked AP M2
TW L 92463

No other marks on the box.



1992? but I don’t know if TW was in operation at that date.


The use of “L” in the lot number indicates the number is for the “linked” lot, which may contain all one type ammunition, or a mix such as 4 ball-1 tracer, etc. Internal records at the linking activity would record the actual ammunition lot numbers for the ball and tracer rounds, but they would not normally be marked on the container.
The “L” lot numbers were a separate series from the “ammunition lot numbers” so you will need to find a container of linked ammo to compare headstamp dates.


1944 repack. HS should be " L C 4 ". They used the 1943 bunter as it was still good and just ground the number 3 off it. Bunters last for 10’s of thousands of rounds and are very pricy to make. Originally lot number 19152, repacked as lot number 92463. Packed in wood crates painted brown with yellow stenciling of silhouette of four linked rounds plus the words “ FOR TRAINING USE IN CONTINENTAL U.S. ONLY” in white letters. This ammo was repacked in the late 50’s this way and It was given to Greeks in the late 70’s most likely. It was sold by the Greeks to a broker and brought back into the US in 1999.

I am also aware of another repack lot number 92334 with the same HS.

Also, it is mostly all duds as the primers have gone bad.



"Primers gone bad"
Could you explain?


Primers are mostly dead.
Two major factors contribute to this. One is when the ammunition is manufactured, if the humidity in the room where the cartridge is assembled is high, it is not a good thing as the priming mixture in the primer can be hydroscopic and degrade prematurely in time from such. The second major problem is storage. Primers and also powder do not like high heat and especially rapid temperature change. They go bad at almost the same rate, but primers usually go first. What I mean by this is to say if the ammo is stored at 90°F - maybe 140°F during the day and it goes down at least say 30°F at night. This day after day rapid change is not good. It is similar to a metal spring, you can load a magazine up with cartridges and leave it for 100 years and you will not degrade the spring, but you compress and decompress it constantly say a few hundred - a thousand times depending on quality in one hour and it will degrade. Don’t believe me, ty it. Automobile springs, same thing, except it takes thousands of compressions and decompressions… Some primers live longer under the same circumstances because of composition and also the quality of chemical compounds can be a factor. I have gained this information from engineers at powder manufactures and primer manufactures. Also my personal friend haak48 on this forum. He is an exotic ammunition manufacture with extreme long time knowledge.