Replacement sample powder tank MK.I T.A.C.U.Co. 1945 423038

A stop at an ordinary looking local garage sale produced a surprising outcome. What is it?

I found the following written by JohnS in a different forum:
The Mark I designation indicates it was made for the Navy. In a tradition dating from the earliest days of smokeless powder for the big guns, the Navy felt it was necessary to have samples of the powder exposed to the same heat, humidity, and motion as the powder loaded in the cartridges. These would be checked periodically to make sure the powder was not deteriorating in potentially dangerous ways. Therefore they had powder sample tanks in many of the magazines on ships, especially larger ships like cruisers or battleships that still used bag type charges instead of brass cases. As far as I know, there is no collector interest whatever in these, and value is probably in the $20 or less range, if you can find anyone interested. There are also large powder tanks (about 10-25 gallon size) that were used to store powder in magazines at ammo loading facilities. There were copper and I think had wooden outer surfaces. A bunch of these are on the market now, also at low prices, and useful as scrap metal, or perhaps to polish up for the wife to plant flowers in. Unfortunately, not everything that is old, or military, has a lot of collector interest or value. John Spangler

Super Cool! Super Interesting! Very cool find!

Really good explanation by, John, also. Hope they don’t get scraped.


I agree with APFSDS- SCRAP???

I have a second job (part time) working with an auction company and all you have to do is mention that an auction item is form WW2 and the buyers go nuts!!!


Hi sksvlad! Im new on the forum so if I’m violating a policy Im sorry!

Are you selling these containers? I am a river Kayaker and Im always looking for new ways to keep my stuff dry. Let me know and we can go from there. Thanks! Ty

I’d suggest not falling out of your kayak would be less expensive :)

Seriously - there are smaller, lighter commercial products that are designed for your requirements.

Thanks for jogging my memory, I have not touched these in years- and sorry, not for sale, at least not yet, they still have stuff in them…

I can add that it was manufactured by The Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company in New Kensington, PA. It is the same company that made 20 mm cartridge cases headstamped just “T.A.C.U.”.



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I have a couple of them in my collection.

Although I must admit, I would hate to see them scrapped. It should make mine more valuable in another 100 years or so - since there won’t be quite so many.

Looks like you have both the Mark I [no modification] and Mark I Mod 1.
If there are other mark/mod versions you will probably want to get them all!
It’s what collectors do.

There are purpose made watertight containers for water sports that are much better then these containers, are lighter, and MUCH less expensive.
Check out Pelican- my personal go to, and Plano- who makes all sorts of cases/boxes for the fishing and hunting industries.