S&W Ammunition?

S&W bought an ammo maker in Ohio around 1972, so they could supply their own ammunition, but did not produce for very long. They sold it off around 1977-1978.
I re-found this partial plastic clam-shell package, marketed as ‘Hunter Pocket Pack’ or somewhat like that, as did Reminton with 10 round cardboard boxes of rifle ammo. There is a bunch of stuff embossed into the back of the plastic pack, but only legal, and advertising braggadocio.
It has a $1.10 price tag!
Does anyone remember the name of the ammo company, or who they sold it to?

I believe they bought ALCAN.

I think S&W, in partnership with Fiocchi bought Alcan(in Alton IL) in about 1972 and made ammunition with both S&W-F and Alcan headstamps. At some point Fiocchi dropped out and it became just S&W. In 1980 or so they moved out of Alton and/or went out of business. I think they moved out of Alton before going out of business but i don’t remember the details off the top of my head, Others will have it at their finger tips.

Lew

Our friend John Guenther wrote an excellent article on Smith & Wesson-Fiocchi and Smith & Wesson ammunition, centering on the 9 mm Parabellum/Luger cartridge. I don’t know where it was published, since my copy was received directly from John, so I will try to supply the information in a shorter form here. This is not my original work in any way, shape or form. It is a summary of John Guenther’s fine research:

Smith and Wesson and Fiocchi acquired Alcan Co. Inc. in February 1970, as equal partners under the name "Smith & Wesson-Fiocchi, Inc.

S&W-Fiocchi continued the Alcan product line of shotshells and components under both the Alcan & S&W-F brands, but only the S&W-F brand reached production.

In November 1972, Bangor-Punta purchase the Fiocchi interest and the company became S&W Ammunition Company, Inc. In November 1974, Shotshell production was suspended and in January 1975, production at the Alton, Illinois facility ended. Production was moved to Rock Creek, Ohio.

Original plans included a complete line of ammunition, but production at the time of the article was .38 Special, .357 Magnum and 9 mm Para., with various rifle calibers made in Canada by IVI and packaged in 10 round containers.

The first 9 mm Loaded for production was in March of 1971, using Olin-made cases.

Additional cases were purchased from C.I.L. Canada, and from Amron, Inc., during late 1971 and 1972. There were to slightly different headstamps on 9 mm from Amron.

After becoming S&W Ammunition Company, cases were purchase from Olin and Federal. Most Olin and Federal cases were loaded in 1973 and early 1974. After 1974, all cases were purchased from I.V.I (Industries Valcartier Inc.) in Canada.

Some pre-production rounds were loaded in nickel-plated cases, evidently indicating an experimental loading.

I have shortened the article somewhat due to my own time constraints. Perhaps John Guenther can tell us where this article was published?

Hope this helps.

John Moss

John Gunther’s article on S&W was published in The International Cartridge Collector, Vol. 271-272, July-August, 1978, pp 23-25

Brian

Thanks John and BD. This was the article I was trying to remember but didn’t know where I had filed it-if you can call my notes a file.

Lew

BD - Why did I know that it would be you or Fede that answered the question of where the article was printed? Thank you my friend.

Just in passing, I will note that there is an excellent selection of S&W headstamps, very well photographed, in “Witt’s End,” by Otto Witt, a much-missed friend and mentor to me and many others, appearing in the IAA Journal Issue 455, May/Jun 2007, page 59 (inside back cover). There are 46 headstamps picture, comprising all calibers, I believe, that S&W made.

John M.

1 Like

Thanks, all.

Here is the headstamp on the S&W .30-30 [appologies for low quality]:

That was a indeed good article by Mr. Guenther. I had not noticed it before Mssrs. Moss and Green pointed us to it. Thank you both.

I was a little surprised to learn that all of the S&W branded ammunition was made between 1972-80. I used to see lots of those familiar blue and white boxes on gun show tables but never realized that all had been produced during less than a decade of production.

Regards,
Charlie

I HAD a couple dozen of those blue and white boxes of various calibers, but sold them off years ago when I had to dump some money into my car… or was it a Dog vet bill… maybe both!

During 1970 or 1971, before S&W-Fiocchi introduced “S&W” brand ammunition, they also made “Alcan” brand center fire pistol cartridges, but I have only seen boxes in .38 Special. Does anyone have pictures of boxes in other calibers?

Another interesting part of the story is that in 1974 S&W Ammunition Co. purchased the assets of Hi-Precision Company, a rifle bullet manufacturer located in Orange City, Iowa. This was the factory making the bullets loaded at the S&W ammunition plant in Rock Creek, Ohio.

Any idea what happened to the machinery after they stopped making ammo?

Fede,

I have an Alcan 9 mm Para box with the back-label address being Smith & Wesson - Fiocchi, Inc., Alton, Illinois 62002. I got it empty, but feel fairly confident that the ammunition was headstamped S&W- F, as I know of no one that has ever seen an “Alcan” headstamped 9 mm Para cartridge.

Oddly, the print of the caliber information on the end label is more reminiscent of a Remington Box than anything else. The load in this box was 100 Grain Full Metal Case, and the product code for 9 mm Luger was A9MC1. I just can’t make photos right now and get them into the computer, as that process changed the last time (a year or so ago) I had trouble with the computer, and when I have had repair guys out, I forget to ask them how to put a picture off a chip into the computer. Right now, when I try it is often unsuccessful totally, and other times they do not go into the place in the computer, My Pictures, that I want them in. Many times, if I enter a group of pictures, a few go into one place, others elsewhere, and some I can find at all. One of the things I have to get resolved. Also, I much prefer scans of boxes, but my scanner has been dead for over a year. I will probably get one soon, because now my printer is BER as well - oops, BER is an Army short-word for “Beyond economical repair.”

I am sure others have it, but this is the only Alcan pistol cartridge box I have seen, and the only pistol caliber I have seen. I knew there were .38 Special boxes too, but don’t know about any other calibers.

John Moss

Jack, I don’t know what happened to the machinery; all I know is that Federal purchased the rights to manufacture the Nyclad bullet and that was the end of the story.

@JohnMoss

John, thanks a lot for this information much appreciated. I just checked Lew’s guide and he shows this Alcan box in page SW1. Headstamp is S&W 9 mm (SW1B).

Saludos,

Fede

I asked Google if S&W was still in the ammo business and I landed upon your discussion. I have 68 rounds of S&W 38 Special +P ammo in two boxes that I purchased around 1975 that has been in storage. The box indicates S&W Ammunition Company, Alton, IL. Being a novice on this topic, I was wondering if it had any enhanced value, or should I just use it for target practice?

I tried pasting a photo in a couple of ways. I don’t think the first one worked.
The second on is a link to the photo on my Google drive.

Thanks for your input.

Bob Long

Must have missed adding to this, They also made primers & shot shells.
Shells address on the box(s) side & the cropped photo has the primers address in Ohio!

DSCN4465

alcan plastic 45 colt

couple variations to add to Curtis’s 45 Colt box with white box also showing the Seminary Rd. address & some Alcan/ S&W primers.

I was poking around the junk bin at the local gun shop and found a .30-06 Smith & Wesson spent case. I can add pics of it here if it’s of interest to anyone. Unfortunately it’s just the case, no bullet.

Lot of history here. i still remember when S&W with Fiocchi bought Alcan Alton IL. Originally they were going to produce S&W-F and Alcan Ammo (Never made any Alcan that I know of) Fiocchi later either dropped out or? Hadstamp changed to S&W. They moved at some point to Rock Creek Ohio and after couple,of years, closed! The clear plastic 10 round packages were rifle,only as I recall. 243 Win 308 30-06 and m,aye 270? maybe others. They also made plastic shotgun shells (ALCAN had been a shotshell only place) In 9x19mm there were a number of loads. from 90, 100 115 and 124(?) grain FMJ JHP and 115 gr Nyclad HP that later shows up in other manufacturers (Federal comes to mind)/ boxes were primarily Blue with white black lettering although some are white with blue lettering as pictured above. shotshells were all blue plastic in various gauges. (Don JoHann would know more than I do!) I have a box of 9mm marked ALCAN but contents are S&W-F headstamp! Sorry no pics!