Back in early January, Vlad described some plastic storage trays that he was using and gave a link to the distributor. I contacted them and they were kind enough to send me samples.
The trays are made from .015" thick flexible plastic. In a bakery they use the same type of stuff for a 4-pack of muffins. I like the Double-Double Chocolate Chip warmed in an oven . . . Sorry, I got sidetracked. They are one piece, hinged at one end. Since they are used to transport blood samples I assume they are inert.
There are two sizes. 8" x 9" and 10" x 10". When closed they are approx 3/4" thick. The small one has two rows of 12 rounded trays and the large one has two rows of 14 rounded trays. The individual trays are a little over 1/2" wide, 4" long in the big box and 3 1/2" long in the small box. The width of the trays is the limiting factor. Cartridges such as the belted magnums, 45-70, etc are the biggest that they will accomodate.
Some bad features - the top simply folds down over the bottom and does not lock in any way. If you fumble or even drop a box, the cartridges will spill out. I suppose you could tape or staple the lid shut but then you offset one of the nice features which is having quick access to individual cartridges. Because of the hinge on one end, they do not lie perfectly flat when closed. The back end is a little thicker than the front. Not much, just maybe 1/8" or so. That makes it hard to stack more than 4 or 5 together.
Because of the fixed size of the trays they are not very well adapted to short cartridges such as handgun or small rim-fires. You could put 3 or 4 in a single tray but then they would rattle around against each other. They would be perfect for 30-06 size cartridges, but then, who collects stuff like that?
They are not cheap. A case (150) of small ones runs $110 and the large $198. They have a minimum order of $175 so a case of small ones would actually cost you $175. I don’t know if they would split orders or ship less than the minimum. Blood testing is a big business and they make and ship thousands of these things and I can’t say if they would special order for the likes of us. The guy I talked to said he had several inquiries from cartridge collectors and seemed to be very receptive to the idea of using them for storing cartridges.
I tried to photograph them for you, but you know what, photographing a clear piece of plastic is not easy. It’s like trying to take a picture of the air (except in Phoenix or LA). But, here’s a photo of a small one with 7.62x51 cartridges and a large one with 30-06 and 45-70s.
Anybody with any questions can e-mail me. And no, I’m not a distributor or making any money off of this. Just so you know.