Tax stamps on ammo


What time period are these, 70’s? Does any state or country still do this?


well Tennesee obviously did them. What does the stamp tell you? is 8010 October 80 or is that too obvious?


I would say that box from Federal, as well as the price, are from the last ten years of so. It is not an old box as ammo goes. I have a box with a Tennessee tax stamp on it too, but forget off hand what it is, which will make it hard to find. If I find it and the tax stamp is different, I will picture it. If the same I won’t bother, as no point to it.

Someone on this Forum (d’Artagnan???) ios expert on these manufacturer’s lot numbers and can probably pin down the date of the Federal box closer, if he reads this.

Maybe some Tennessee collector, if anyone knows one, could tell us if these tax stamps are still required.

John Moss


This, from the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency:

[color=#0000FF]State law requires that all persons, firms, and corporations engaged in the business of buying, selling, distributing, storing, receiving, having in possession or using shotgun shells or metallic cartridges, shall pay a special privilege tax in addition to all other taxes in an amount or equal to 10 cents per individual container on all center-fire ammunition, all shotgun shells, and rim-fire ammunition. For more information about Ammunition Tax Stamps and how to obtain them, please contact the TWRA Revenue Office at 1-800-648-8798.[/color]


Rick - great info man. Looks like those tax stamps are still current. I have never seen one on ammo from any other state, I think over the years, though, I have seen them on other “luxury” items, aside I men from the Federal Tax stamps on liquor and tabacco items.

John Moss


That senseless tax law from Tennessee is the kind of thing that lowers revenue to the state over time, since people will tend towards buying out of state to avoid the tax based on principle, especially those near the border (most people in Tennessee are near the border in a long skinny state), and also buying online from auction resellers on Gunbroker where there are better deals anyway, and no tax, or sales tax.



Won’t argue your points, but will note that TN has no income tax. The tax stamps fund wildlife and habitat restoration and preservation. Lived and worked in that lovely state for a number of years. Enjoyed the no income tax part. They are a very well run state, financially. Wish the Feds and others were so fiscally responsible.


Slick - I have heard that about Tennessee. If a dime a box on ammo makes income tax go away, then God love them for it. I would probably cross the border into Tennessee to buy my ammo, if I lived nearby, just to support it.

Nevada has no State Income Tax and their legislature meets every other year for six months, I believe it is. Leaves them less time to pass stupid laws. In that case, it would be nice if California’s legislature met every five years for ten minutes, but here, they would use that whole ten minutes to pass anti-gun laws. In actuality, the legislature is a full-time job in California, and rewarded with obscene salaries and benefits, along with all the graft they can pocket, for a job that kindergarten children could do better, considering the mental abilities of our State Representatives.

If they had an ammo tax stamp in this state (they aren’t issuing a stamp, but I think they did pass some taxes on ammo, or tried to - been so many new laws I have forgotten), it would be $100 per box, not ten cents.

John Moss


In practical terms would 10c on a box of ammo cover the cost of running the scheme? Probably created a job or two but the revenue would just about cover the costs. Just a self serving paper chase with no purpose.


From the ABOUT US section on the TWRA site:

[color=#0000BF]Directed by a 13-member commission of private citizens appointed by the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the speaker of the senate, the TWRA is unique among state agencies. Unlike most departments, which are supported by tax revenues, the TWRA is funded largely through the monies generated by licenses and permits purchased by hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Yet the Agency plays a major, though often unseen, role in the life of every Tennessean. [/color]

Agreed, the tax stamps are not the sole source of income, but every little bit helps. And Vince, I think you might be underestimating the volume of shells sold. I recall many times when there were 15-20 cases of shotgun shells expended during the run up to and opening day of dove season. Sporting goods stores would have full semi trailers in front of the stores, filled with shotgun shells for sale to dove hunters. Ain’t no small thing, at least in these parts.


I just got back from a gun show and I’m to tired to go into details here because I’d have to go thru some of my stuff to do a proper job! (Met a fellow member there too)

I know that South Carolina used to have stamps but you don’t see them on new stuff. “Why?” will require research. I’ll try to post the various stamps I have tomorrow. I bought a box today, 1950’s Western, with Tennessee stamp on it. I consider tax stamps on boxes an extra bonus!


I think that I have a box with the TN tax stamp from 1994 or '95.


Here are some pics of SC’s stamps, which vary in shape and amount, apparently depending on product value.

They seem to have stopped useing these by the 1970’s or so but I’m looking into it further.

I have a number of boxes with Tenn. stamps, the latest a Bismuth box so that had to be after 1992, I believe.
But this one, on an older .22 box, is listed on a website for sale, for $15.

Does that fact enhance the value of the box? Granted, perhaps not for an additional $15 perhaps but should it be considered in valueing the box?


Some would think that these stamps, much like dealer’s retail prices on labels, or worse,
hand-written on the box, actually devalue the box. I, for one, am neutral on it. The presence
of the stamp would not cause me to reject a box, even if pasted over an important piece of
information, and I do not remove them. I am actually happy to have a couple of boxes with them, but short of collecting “tax-stamped boxes” as a side line, I am just as happy that only a
few of my boxes are altered in this way.

Just my take on it. This is one of those subjects where no one is right or wrong about liking them in the collection or not liking them. As to commercial value with or without the stamp, I have no clue and don’t care. I assume some would feel it enhnaces the value and others would think it degrades it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

John Moss


Here’s what I believe is a Spanish import tax stamp for 1,50 pesetas on a box of Geco .38 ACP.

Obviously, not much care was given to getting the it on straight or right side up. The box is interesting, as it has the Astra address of Unceta y Cia - Guernica. I assume the cartridges were made on contract for Astra by Geco.


Since I recently acquired a 1976 printed Federal 30-06 box with lot number 1 A-6215 (215th day of 1976, August 3rd, 1976), I’m pretty sure that the Federal 380 Auto box lot number 14B-8010 is from the 10th day of 1978 (January 10th, 1978).


While rummaging through some stuff looking for something else, I ran across this box. I didn’t know I had anything with a tax stamp on it.

So, with the exception of a couple of US Military boxes, everyone has seen my entire shotgun shell collection!!


Nice start Phil! Interesting label on the bottom of the box, MADE IN BRAZIL. Wonder if that is just the tin or the shells too? Nice of them to put the stamp on the underside too. Most I have seen are right on the top because for awhile in SC they used little handheld label guns and it would have been easier to stamp the tops I guess.


Shotmeister–The “Made in Brazil” would be for the Shot Shells. Until recently, Remington had controlling interest in CBC of Brazil. I think Federal now owns CBC.


Ron - I’m sorry, but your information about ownership of CBC is not correct. CBC began in 1926, founded by the Matarazzo familia as Fábrica Nacional de Cartuchoes e Munições, and located in Sao Paulo.

From 1936 to 1979, the Company was controlled by Remington Arms Company, USA, and ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) of the United Kingdom. It was during this era that the name of the company was changed to Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos. Remington has not had anything to do with the company since 1979, now 32 years past. To my knowledge, Federal (ATK) does not either. However, CBC owns MAGTECH Ammunition Company, which IS located in Minnesota.

In 1979, CBC became entirely Brazilian-owned, with the ARBI Group owning 70% and IMBEL - Indústria de Material Bélico de Brasil (War Material Industry of Brazil in English) 30 %.

Today, it is CBC that has become the owner of other companies, controlling Sellier & Bellot of the Czech Republic as well as MEN (Metallwerk Elisenhütte GmbH of Nassau/Lahn, Germany.

This history is taken directly from their own recently publish material (catalogs, website, etc.). I have slightly oversimplified it to reduce posting time. Left out material is not terribly important to the overall view of CBC and its ownership.