Eley Box Date Codes


In issue 449 of the IAA Journal we published various tables which provided a key to the date codes found on Eley and Kynoch boxes, including centerfire rifle and pistol.

For Centerfire Rifle & Pistol, the Eley codes between 1900 and 1920 were based on the “MERCHANTOS” keyword: “M” = 1, “E” = 2, “R” = 3 etc. to give day and month. The year was also represented by a letter but based on “D” = 1900 up to “X” = 1920 (omitting “Y”). So a specific date code such as “MAMMR” translates to 16-11-1914 or Nov 16, 1914.

Kynoch codes for the period were based on keywords KYNOIDCARTGS for the month with “K” = January through “S” = December. For the year, the keyword KYNOCHPRIMAX was used with “K” = 1917 through “P” for 1923. One or two normal digits represented the year. Eg: 27-N-N = 27 March 1913. (The Kynoch coding system changed in 1923.)


Eley boxes with codes from the early 1900s (up to at least 1915) follow the published Eley date codes. HOWEVER, Eley boxes with codes around 1920 use a KYNOCH date code - I found several in various calibers including 300/295 and .380 rev., as well as .450 CF.

To some degree it makes sense as Kynoch was absorbing Eley manufacturing :-

1918 - Kynoch and Eley form Explosives Trades Ltd
1920 - Company renamed Nobel Industries
1924 - Eley equipment transferred to Witton, Birmingham
1926 - Nobels and others form ICI

I do not know what codes were used from 1915 to 1919 or from 1921 to 1926 on ELEY boxes. So can those of you who have Eley boxes in centerfire calibers with an Eley Brothers, London address please check the codes and let me know if you have any codes that equate to between 1915-1919 and 1921-1926 in EITHER the published Eley code or the Kynoch code.

Only within those dates please. Thanks everyone.