Question on unusual Winchester-Western Box


I have the following empty box.

The box code A37 27 is in the Winchester pre '58 format (all numbers) but the “A” indicates it was made by Western. The code indicates it was made on 27 March 1947 or perhaps 1957.

The box is interesting because of the Olin at this early date and the fact that it references both the Winchester and Western Divisions.

Does anyone know what the headstamp was on the cartridges that came in this box???



Winchester .38 S&W blanks (box question)

Lew - I am confused. In the thread on the famous WESTERN box, you say that “A” in the lot number stands for Winchester New Haven. In this thread you say the “A” stands for Western?
Can you illucidate on that a little?

Given the choices, this box would date from 1957. The “Olin-Matieson Chemical Corporation” appellation was used from August 1954 until 1962.

Great box. I have never seen or heard of it. Interesting date - too late for Korean War. When was the Suez Crisis (Lord, I am ashamed to ask that question - I have forgotten everything!)?

John Moss



The A with a Winchester format code/Winchester Label means the ammo was made by Western.

The A with a Western format code or a Western Label means the ammo was made by Winchester.

Winchester dropped their all numberic code in 1957 and after that point used the Western box code.

Olin owned both companies earlier than 1954, but I don’t know the dates. I seem to remember they were both Olin owned during WWII. I have A prefix Winchester boxes (Western made ammo) in Blue Winchester boxes which date back to the early 1930s.


Lew - I am being technical. Olin first started appearing on cartridge box in 1944, but the name was “Division of Olin Industries, Inc.” and not "Division of Oline-Mathieson Chemical Corporation. After 1962, it became simply “Division of Olin Corporation.” Three different names on these boxes over the years. I don’t remember exactly when Olin took over but it may have been much earlier with them just not putting their name on the cartridge boxes. I didn’t check my gun books, which generally have much better information on things like this than do the cartridge books about the same companies.

O.K. I see the “A” meaning now. Always an “A” but reverse the manufacturer from what the label says. Wonder why they do that crap?

John Moss


O.K. I see the “A” meaning now. Always an “A” but reverse the manufacturer from what the label says. Wonder why they do that crap?
John Moss[/quote]

John, you have been a cartridge collector too long to have to ask that one. Yes I understand VENTING.


Guys…Here are the dates I have…Western was always owned by Franklin W. Olin…starting ???..1908 or so…Western Cartridge Co. acquired Winchester Repeating Arms Co. in 1931. No changes to Winchester boxes at this time. About 1939 or so, Division of Western Cartridge Co. appears on Winchester boxes. After WW2, 1946, we see Division of Olin Industries, Inc on Winchester and Western boxes. In 1954, this is changed to Division of Olin-Mathieson Chemical Corp. In 1969, we see Division of Olin, Inc. Please correct if I am wrong…
Lew…could you please post more about how you are dechipering these later Winchester codes ? Did I miss an article on this in the Journal ?