Experimental 30-06 box


I recently added this box to my collection. The label speaks more or less for itself.
The lot numbers indicate that this box can be dated around 1930 - 1933.
Anybody around who has a similar box or does anybody know any variations of this box.
Can somebody nail down the date more precisely ?



Here’s the label on another similar box.


Neat boxes, thanks. Tracers are in 1:4 ratio. Does anyone know how they came up with this? Why not 1:5 or 1:6? What happens to the visual fire line when the ratio is increased? Is there a big visual difference between 1:4 and 1:5?


Confused; is it the ‘carton’ that experimental, or the contents?



Read in my copy of the GUNS of the ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945, by GF Wallace some details of the Brit’s experience and decision making on the 1-4 vs 1-5 vs random tracer placement. Early on, their belt loading machines were not set up to place specific rounds at specific points in the belt, resulting in the potential for 25 tracers or some such, in a row. Tinkering and new machines advanced the process of placement and they settled in a 1-4 or 1-5 ratio. Not much more science to it than that. It’s what the machine was designed for and specified to do. Simpler than trying to make a setup that would allow adjustable ratios.
Another topic of note was the finding that aerial weapons, guns in particular, did not make it much past the 1000 round mark before it or the plane, mostly the plane, was shot down. That detail allowed them to lighten up on the engineering of the guns, making them cheaper, and removed the general 10000 round life called for in the specs.



Ay-ay, Sir, shall find the book (at least try). Long live RAF!!!


This is a similar box with a Re ???PACKED AT Benicia Arsenal 4-41


I believe that the U.S. Navy was still using .30 caliber aircraft machine guns after the Army went to all .50 BMGs.

Could the Benecia repack box be intended for Navy use?

The Navy continued to use .30 M1 Ball after the Army switched to the M2 Ball.

I do not know how much sharing there was of small arms ammunition between U.S. Army and U.S. Navy prior to WW2.



thank you very much, some very interesting boxes for a few reasons.

  1. Both boxes don’t have the marking “Experimental Carton”, so does that mean that they were “official” usage ?
    Also from the lot numbers, I dated my box around 1930 - 1933. Both others are WWII date. Seems a bit long:
    a 10-year experiment for a box.

  2. Pete, I think your box should read: Repacked at Benicia Arsenal. Till now I have only (seen) this box:

I have never seen any Tracer or AP boxes with Repacked at Benicia Arsenal
Does anybody have such a box ??

My repacked box is from 1936, yours from 1941.
Does anybody know during which period FA had ammo repacked at Benicia ?



Until I see another with the “RE” in front of “PACKED”, I’ll continue to put the in ? marks, however my best guess agrees with you.


Benecia Arsenal is not far from where I live. I have been up there several times, the first time to pick up a .45 M1911 pistol I purchased through the NRA some 50 years ago. Something some people don’t know is that they used to have Camels at that post. The military tried camels down in the southwest during the late 1800s. I guess the project didn’t fare out well. I don’t know why they ended up at a post practically on San Francisco Bay - certainly not a normal camel environment. Today, the old Camel Stables are the Post museum. No real military activity there anymore that I am aware of. Just a side-light on Benecia I thought might interest some.

John Moss