Is it ammo box?

Yestarday one my friend presented me this steel box.
It looks US military, but only one headstamp on the short side wall is:

THH (or THN or TNN)

50 BMG cartridge is fits well in it. Is it ammo transport box or only one of numerous military boxes made during WWII?
And who was the manufacturer of this box?

Thanks for any info

That looks like it could be what I call a feed box for an M2 Browning, .50 Cal that would be mounted on something, like an APC, tank, truck or such. I would also venture that it is locally made, perhaps behind the front lines at a field depot from whatever they could find to weld together. Service members can be very creative in making whatever is needed to fill a need, such as the hedge busters made for tanks used behind the Normandy beaches, France, 1944. Mind you, this is speculation on my part but I’ve seen photo’s of similar things.

Looks much more like the tin liner that is inside the wooden transport crate. It would have had a tear off soldered lid.


Well into the early 1940s, a lot of US-made ammo was still being delivered from the Factories in Tin-Lined Wooden Boxes (either in Card packets or already Linked.)
“Combat Cans” – the Ubiquitous M1 and M1A1 Cans of .30 cal and the similar .50 cal cans only became widespread by the end of 1942, eliminating Wood crates for many applications, especially in Rifle ammo and .50 cal for Ground use; .50cal for Air-use was still delivered packeted to a certain extent, and of course Linked for the USAAF.

The rip-top cans were emptied at the Airfield, and the Linked ammo transferred direct to the Aircraft ( with special types (Tracer etc) added from Carton Packs.) Later, when Linked ammo was supplied in the Steel Hinged cans, the belts were already “Made up” in a pre-determined sequence…but local Aircraft Armourers still made their own “variations” as requested by Aircrew.

Due to the “expendability” of such lightweight tinplate cans, they are a “rare” item these days…as are the original Dovetailed Wood Boxes, with Screw down lids and Rope handles.
One still sees this Type of Case in Wartime Pistol ammo ( one came up some time ago, .45ACP), but by and large, they all went either to Firewood, toolboxes, or scrap.

And they were not a “Field expedient”, as mentioned above, but “Factory made”. The seemingly rough soldering was probably due to the manufacturer being a “Tin shop” (Roofing, Plumbing, etc) rather than a “sheetmetal” fabricator, with more modern seaming equipment.

The Overlap of the Usage would see Tin Liners still in use in 1943-44, and I don’t know the early introduction date of the .50 Steel can (M?).

Definitely the “soldered top–sardine can rip-off handle” type can.

Also, Treshkin, the Fact that you have it , in your locality, ( Russia) would make it part of the US Lend Lease Ammunition shipments to the Soviet Union. I don’t know how much .50 cal ammo was sent to the USSR, ( Aircraft were part of L-L) but .45 ACP certainly was, as was .30 cal (for Browning MGs in US Tanks supplied…Southern Front.)
Nearly all US L-L Ammo shipments were Wood Crated (with Tin Liners).
At least early on the War (1940 to 43).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Under L-L, the USSR received several thousand P-39 fighters. Since that aircraft had two .50 cal machineguns as part of its standard armament, presumably ammo for them would have also been supplied in large quantities?

.50 cal. cases and cartridges still common finds in Russia and here, in Ukraine, because Red Army used a lot of MG .50 cal. mounted on different armoured vehicles and tanks. Of course, USA L-L aircrafts also had this caliber MG’s

Treshkin: Speaking of American airplanes, the Soviet air force used the Bell P-39 Airacobra in considerable numbers; its armament, in most subtypes, included 4 .30 caliber MGs. Are cartridges or cartridge cases in this caliber found in western Russia? Jack

As I know, Aircobra Р-39N and Р-39Q was armed with 12,7-mm Mg’s…

Here is a list of some types of Airplanes which USSR got by L-L:
Bell P-39 Aircobra – 4 952 pcs
Hawker Hurricane – 2952 pcs
Bell P-63 Kingcobra – 2 421 pcs
Curtiss P-40 – 2134 pcs
Supermarine Spitfire – 1338
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt – 195 pcs
Nort American P-51 Mustang – 10
Douglas A-20 Boston – 2 7771
North American B-25 Mitchell – 861 pcs

As I know .50 BMG cartridges found in western Russia too, and even near Moscow.

But mainly cases and cartridges cal. 50 found at the places of ground Battles in Ukraine.

Also Russian NAvy used Browning M2 -

I wonder where they were stored after WW II…some Navy Yard on the Black Sea, etc? That is one fine Double WC .50 Browning set up.

They may still be there???

Wishful Thinking,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics Film Ordnance Services
Brisbane Australia.

I am sure that USSR NAVY Browning’s was annihilated long time ago:)

A collector and dealer I know here in the UK told me he was offered a Spitfire in a crate in Russia. This was on a trip he made there a few years after the collapse of the USSR. He said that he didn’t take the offer as he had no way of getting it back to the UK.