Tracers in danish use: 7,62x63 crate


The tracer cartridges shown in the earlier thread came in this sealed container:

I’m fairly familiar with ammo crates and boxes used from the sixties and onwards, but this looks unfamiliar and therefore question one for the experts: Is this a british standard army ammunition crate or maybe a standard Kynoch crate? It looks like WW2 to me to be honest…
Here’s one side:

And the other side:

If all this has been posted on before, I’m sorry to be so exited about it, but it’s fairly new to me :-)


I was asked to provide a better scan of the box label, the printed cardboard inlay that gave the exact contents of the crate.



The Crate is similar in general construction (dovetailing, screw on Plywood Lid, woven rope handles, handle retainers, etc) but made to fit a Canister of packets, rather than Browning Belted ammo ( holds two 250 round tins)…It is a Kynock export pattern crate for foreign buyers. Ammo supplied to British Gov’t contracts was packed according to Royal Army Packaging rules ( Steel Chests, inner combat tins.liners, etc).

The Danes have over-stamped the crate (embossed wood) and then added labels over the original Kynoch labels…Kynoch may have added some of the Labels themselves (in Danish). The Danes bought large quantities of ammo from Britain in the early 1950s, so the Kynoch production was running full bore on .30/06 ( also for a lot of Commonwealth countries with US type Armour.)

Nice to have a full crate…

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Thanks Doc for the additional info. I have a few more crates to show but need better light for photography. I’ll return to the subject.


How were soldiers supposed to open this battle pack in the field, in the trenches? Did they just break the wood or did they use a special tool, i.e. screwdriver?


This Kynoch Crate is NOT a Battlepack, since it is ALL Tracer cartridges. These were for rear area use, for breaking up the packets and assembling Belts of .30 cal for MG use ( 1 trace, 4 ball).
Correct Kynoch “Battle Pack” .30 cal (Belted at Factory) comes in individual .30 cal tins ( rip-top) of 1 BMG belt ( 250) with their own carry handles, packed Two tins to a (smaller) wood box for Transport, and then opened and issued to the usual Armoured Vehicle User as “Combat ready” Tins. ( From several Nigerian delivery cases I have )

Even the US used this system, of Larger Crates of Cartoned (20 round) Ammo, of the “Special” Type (Tracer, AP, Incendiary or API) for assembly " at the rear" by AFV Crews…I did it often enough whilst in Armoured Corps…we had .30 M1919A4 Mounted on our M113A1s ( either alone in Pairs, or one on one with a .50BMG)…we usually loaded Four AP (Black) with One Trace (Red)…the AP was SL 43 and 44, the Trace was FN 59 and 61; the Canvas belts were heavily re-used, or were metal link SL 44 ( we broke up Pre-belted Ammo to insert the Tracer).

" Battle packs" of ready assembled ammo are mostly a WW II Phenomenon; In WW I, nearly all MG ammo was Loaded by the troops from Packets, either in the front lines, or close by to the rear. Wooden crates with Tinplate or Zinc sheet liners were used, Only the Germans had a Steel “Combat Can” with Offset Handles for easy carry of Two tins (500 rounds) per Hand, making a soldier’s load up to 1,000 rounds a Possibility ( MG crew). But the belts were “loaded” up with a Belt-filling Machine back at the Rear Echelon stock point, or at the Battalion HQ behind the immediate front lines.

Items like the Folding-top Vickers Gun Can, although developed before WW I, were a “Keep ammo clean” device for use with the Gun, not as a “Battle pack”…they were refilled with Belts as required; with the introduction of AFVs in 1916, they were found to be essential for use in the Tight spaces of these new vehilces ( and similarly in Aircraft).

Only in WWII did the “disposable” light can or tin come into use ( either resealable (US, German and Soviet) or “Open once and throw away” Most other users…including the British, who had a Light Plywood-lined can which had a replaceable Lid, for use after the Tin Soldered top was ripped off. Others (Bulgaria, Soviets, etc) had a “Span Can” or “Sardine can” with a rip tab Opening system ( soldered Joint) with packets of Clipped ammo ( Infantry) or Loose (LMG or MG) in lots of 250…These cans were fitted with a leather carry handle and definitely “Throw-away”…These cans also came in Wooden screw down Lid Boxes (Opened at the rear)…The British Ply-Liners came in an easily-opened pressed Steel Chest, which was re-usable, but if it was Lost, was of no consequence.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Further to DocAvs’ excellent post above, during WW1 British Vickers gunners were issued with sixteen empty belts per gun, to refill by hand as required. In 1916 all-steel Vickers belts were introduced to service. These were issued at the rate of four metal belts per gun. Each gun retained twelve web belts, to make up its total allowance of sixteen belts, and all web belts surplus to this number were to be returned to base.

Each gun also got issued with six 25-round metal belts complete with end tags. These belts were to be broken up as required for spares to repair the standard 250 round belts. They could also be used with the gun in an emergency.

Wooden boxes were issued to each gun to keep their filled belts in, these were supplemented with new design steel boxes in 1916. Throughout the war it remained one of the tasks of the MG crews to fill their own belts, no factory filled belts being issued.



Doc, what happens if a crate contains bandaliers filled with ball ammo in chargers? Does one call them “battle packs”? If yes, how were they open in the trenches? Or were they open in the back lines and given to soldiers going to the front line?


For ease of distribution, crates of bandoleers were (WW I) opened in the rear areas, and the bandoleers placed in sand-bags, two were tied together, and slung over a soldier’s neck or shoulders…
“Porters” regularly went up the line delivering all sorts of items (Canned rations, bread, ammo, small equipment, grenades, bombs etc,) packed in sand bags for “easy carry”. Also, relieving troops also carried extra stores into the line in sandbags, which were then used to repair, extend their entrenchments.
Only when there was sufficent time ( a “lull” before a “big stunt”) were crates of items carried up to the line…more difficult, as the bulkier crates sometimes required Two men to manhandle through the Mud etc…Duckboards were not always available, nor safe to walk on.

In other Fronts (Italian, Greek, Palestine) Mules and Pack animals were routinely used, with Civilian( Mostly Women) Porters doing the carriage in the rocky areas. ( one or two 75s at a time, a bag of grenades, 500 or 1000 rounds of rifle ammo, etc)

The Germans, with their pragmatic approach to the changes in War , soon had both 250 and 500 round Resealable Steel ammo tins for both their MG crews(priority) and then other ammo users, and they were not “disposable” by any means.
Their Patronenkasten 88 ( folded & Stapled heavy rough cardboard (“pasteboard”) with its cotton strap lock which doubled as a handle strap, was ideal for “Battle use” with both Clipped ammo and loose pack ammo…it didn’t handle water very well, but otherwise was a handy pack for carriage by one man into the Line, and furnished Two men with sufficient ammo ( 10 x15 round packets each) for resupply at normal ToE
BY 1916, cloth bandoleers were in use by all sides, usually just a stitched strap of cotton or other cloth over 10 clips in five pouches, or three clips in five pouches, or similar arrangements (Turk bandos have 70 rounds, 7 pockets, with two clips each, and follow the German Usage of WW I).

Waterproofing required that these bandos be packed in a moistureproof sealed tin ( thin metal, like tinplate, or Zinc alloy, etc) which could easily be “ripped open” with a ring-pul or can opener or blade. This “Liner” was then packed in a crate, with quick release latches.

Hope this added info widens the knowledge in this field.

Doc AV


Thanks, Doc. Sorry for misspelling of “bandolier” which is also spelt “bandoleer”. I thought it came from “banda” or “banditos”.