Montgomery Ward Red Head

Discovered a number of unopened wood shot shell crates. Some Peters Victor target loads 12, 20 ga. and this crate of Montgomery Ward Red Head 20 ga. hunting loads. I am guessing they are 50’s vintage? Most are unopened but there are a couple opened and they are 1 piece boxes. I am assuming the Red Heads are also 1 piece boxes. Not even any rust on the nails. I hate to open the crate. Who loaded this ammo for MW? Thanks

Hi David
according to Iverson either Sportsman Cartridge Co, or American Cartridge Co., both from Kansas City MO. for early hulls & [most likely in my mind] Federal Cartridge Co. for these.

I would also think 1-piece boxes, but 2-piece boxes are known.

Neat crate!.

Thanks for the info. I suspected that Federal might have had something to do with production from this time period.

This was definitely from Federal and the loading code on the one end indicates 1946 production…

Doc Dave,
Thank you for the date code translation and the Federal verification. Is there an explanation of the date code somewhere in print that I can access?

I’d also think Federal to be the most likely source, as they had a long history of making house-branded ammo for many U. S. retail chains. What a prize to find unopened case lots. I think MW used the “Red Head” branding for many different outdoor products back in the days when MW existed and sold such things. I had a shotgun at one time with a Red Head rubber recoil pad, and I also remember having a Red Head gun cleaning kit. Back when I was growing up, the local MW store in Southern Ohio had a very respectable sporting goods section and carried lots of guns and ammo (but I do not remember any handguns). They even sold military surplus rifles back in the late 1950s, and I bought several there.

By the way - I have several newer boxes of MW shotshells, from the 1960s, I think. They are labeled “Wards Hawthorne Reliance.”