Headstamp on WRA M2 Ball Ammunition


#1

I have a sealed can of 240 cartridges, cal. 30 Ball M2, in cartons, Lot WRA 23140. I believe this ammo is headstamped 1945, but I can’t find any information to verify this. I don’t want to open the can, as I think it is very collectible. Can anyone tell me the year of manufacture and where information like this can be referenced? Occasionally I come across M2 Ball and .45 ball in sealed boxes that are represented as being from WW2. I would like to be able to cross-reference the Lot# to find the year of manufacture, but don’t know where to look.
Thanks for your help.


#2

Not directly answering your question, but here is an official U.S. Army listing of the dates when non-corrosive primers were introduced by maker and type of ammo.

Most dates are circa 1950-53, but at least you can tell if the unopened can or box is from before or after those dates by seeing if your lot number is higher or lower.

http://www.cartridgecollectors.org/30-06intro/ammo-nctable.htm

Hackley, Woodin and Scranton Volume 2 sometimes lists lot numbers. This is an ESSENTIAL reference for anyone who collects U.S. military small arms ammo.


#3

Hi WW2Ammo,

I have been collecting lot numbers and dates for some time. It is still far from complete because gathering
the info is a lot of work (eg going through all 30-06 auctions on gunbroker and see if there are complete
boxes offered where you can see lot numbers and dates).
I can confirm following lot numbers:
WRA 22784 is from 1943
WRA 23165 is from 1945

So your cartridges were produced somewhere in between.
1945 is a pretty good guess if I look at my (crrent) lowest lot number for that year.

cheers
René

PS pls feel free to contact me if you need or have any lot number info


#4

I have an opended can of that lot. The headstamp is indeed WRA 45.


#5

Thanks for the information. I’m a first time user of this site and I think you guys are very knowledgeable and helpful.