Recently picked up a few boxes of vintage .45 Auto. Two of them were vintage United States Cartridge company - duller orange color, red border around the top, Lowell, MA address.
On the top, it says:
50 Cal. .45
Central Fire Cartridges
Colt’s Automatic Pistol
Full Metal Jacket Bullet
United States Cartridge Company
Lowell, Mass., U. S. A.
The side label says:
50 Cal. .45 C. F.
200 Grain Bullet
Full Metal Jacket
I have a Colt 1905 Auto (date of mfgr 1908) and am pretty familiar with the design and development of the 45 ACP round, including starting out with 200 grain projectiles and them moving to a 230 grain projectile for the Model 1907 and eventually settling on the final form by August 1911 for the M1911 Government.
I would like a box to display with my 1905, so my question is… was this made specifically for the 1905? There are a few ways to answer the question. 1.) Is there a way to properly date the box by its packaging and design? 2.) Is there a cut-off date for all manufacturers (or at least USC) when they 100% switched from 200gr to 230gr? 3.) Did they continue to make 200gr Cal .45 ammo after Frankford Arsenal switched to 230?
I got two of these boxes in a lot of 4 other vintage boxes. This one is still sealed; the other box (identical to this) has an ink stamp on the top label that says ‘230gr’. Also, I have a Winchester box dated 6-14 (praise be to Winchester for simply putting the date on the boxes…) that says “adapted for use in Colt 1911 Government”. Is it a stretch to think that this USC box was made close to the transition between bullet weights? Or that, if it were made post 1910/11, that it would say something like “For/Adapted For M1911” or something similar, instead of ‘For Colt’s Automatic Pistol’?
The reason I am asking is that I insist on having a box of period ammo that was made specifically for the M1905. In my research, I discovered that Colt was working closely with Union Metallic and Winchester in the development of the original 200grain .45 loading - but it makes no mention of USC.
What are your thoughts?