U.S. Ammunition Can Side Opening


I just acquired a U.S. military ammunition can of the general .50 Caliber size. This one is for "600 Cartridge 7.62 MM NATO (Symbol of an oval with breaks in the line at 12, 3, 6 and 9 O’Clock) M82, CARTONS LOT LC 12757.

The can opens from the side, not from the end, and the lid is removable, have four lociking pins to hold the lid on and form the hinge. On the side opposite of the markings (the side that the lid opens on) along the bottom in large letters pressed into the metal is “AMM BOX CAL. .50” perhaps with some smallers marked after it, but I cannot read them. On one end is “AWH” above U (Ordnance Bomb) S. On the other end is a wired handle. In yellow paint, the same basic color as the markings for the 600 rounds of 7.62, is “FOR CONUS USE ONLY.” I don’t recall ever seeing this marking on an ammo can, although between the Army and selling these things for 36 years in a gun shop, I amy have and have just forgotten. I am assuming that the marking restricts the ammo to use in the Continental United States (CONUS), not the ammo can.
Am I right?

John Moss


It sounds like the typical WW2 era .50 cal ammo can. Those were basically phased out by the 1960s in favor of the end opening cans.

I suspect that this was a repack of ammo for shipment to fill an order for an odd number of rounds, or where the original can (probably the end opening type) got damaged.

Ordnance activities would (most likely) use (or reuse) whatever they had on hand and not order brand new cans for such local repacking needs.

An unusual oddity for the obsessive collector of 7.62 ammo. (NATO Dave might like it!)


The “Symbol of an oval with breaks in the line at 12, 3, 6 and 9 O’Clock” is the NATO symbol for blank ammunition. More usually this is a circle rather than an oval. M82 is the US designation for 7.62x51mm blanks. I’ve not come across something like this before, but JohnS’ idea is reasonable. Perhaps someone can confirm the meaning of “FOR CONUS ONLY” and does this apply to the M82 ammunition or the original contents?


Are you implying that I’m obsessive about 7.62x51mm? If so, you’re probably right!


I think “FOR CONUS ONLY” means for CONtinental Unites States use only.


DGFM - I know that CONUS means “Coninental United States,” but the question is, doe it refer to the can, because of its style of oepning, or does it refer to the ammunition, because it is blank ammunition? I suspect the latter, but just wondered if anyone was positive.

John Moss