Headstamp on WRA M2 Ball Ammunition


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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