Packet Date Codes - General Info


In a topic recently discussed (see posting.php?mode=reply&f=8&t=11954), a secondary question was rasied as to why companies put date codes on packets rather than just using the actual dates. John Moss gave an explanation and today I came across something that supports this. It is in an old European Cartridge Collectors Club Bulletin, Number 12, December 1965. The 2-page article was written by Mr HEDIGER of Switzerland and he discusses the Swiss Factories. I do not have a scanner, so will type the relevant part here as it is actually presented in the 1965 article.

Small-bore Rimfire cartridges
This ammunition is made exclusively in the Federal Ammunition Factory
in Thun. The other factories are not equiped for the job.
The Hst does not give any datas and consist only of the Swiss Cross
The ma nufacturing dates are given only on the box IN CODE-until ap-
pox. 1 yea r ago-Due to the fact that this code was fairly easy broken
by the shooters who then insist on certain lots, a new system was intro
duced recently. Every box bears a number which gives no hint as to the
manufacturing date of lot.”

If anyone would like a copy of the article, send me an email. I picked up Volume 1, 1965 - 1969 of the ECCC official Buletin at an auction and am slowly progressing through it. It is a real treasure.

Ian B.

The reasons for the use of ammunition codes have varied over the years and from country to country. Intelligence examination of packaging sometimes renders unexpected results. During the Viet Nam war a published photograph of ammunition packaging captured and returned to Aberdeen Proving Grounds for study was seen by NVA intelligence and resulted in adverse military action. After that event was understood, photographs of captured ammunition packaging released by the govt. for publication were altered to remove their intel. value.