Unique? USC Co .38 short rimfire box

I picked up a USC Co .38 short rimfire box today and found that the inner tray had printing on it for B.T. Babbitt’s ‘1776’ soap powder. I suspect that this is the original tray, as produced by the box-maker for USC Co using previously printed but unused cardboard, and is not a later replacement. It was made from a box that had never been previously folded, and dates from the same general time period as the ammunition. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone else has seen a similar USC Co box tray made from previously printed material?

Sorry Guy,what is the blue stuff between the cartridges?

Hi Pivi,

that’s no blue stuff, but that are the (oxidised) bullets from the cartridges
which are put in the box with the rim down


Rene is correct. Lead oxidation is something I have more than my fair share of here in humid Florida.

OOOpppss! : )


I can’t say that I’ve seen boxes made from “non-cartridge” material but I have seen boxes made by taking a box from another cartridge, turning it inside out, and making another box. It was usually done by a factory who needed to box up an experimental or prototype cartridge. On the outside, the box appeared to be plain tan or brown with a stick-on label but on the inside it had all the printing from the original cartridge.

Does this make sense to anyone but me???


I have seen this done with Frankford Arsenal .45 ACP boxes for experimental loadings.

The fact that this inner box tray was made from material that had no other fold lines on it is the reason I think it was reused for the USC box by the company that made the boxes for both companies (USC CO and Babbit).

It is also interesting that this box is of the one piece style with end flaps, oth the style other cartridge companies began using in the mid to late 1930s. The cartridges have the raised US in a depression headstamp. Two questions come to mind - about when did USC CO stop using two piece boxes and when did they stop change to the impressed headstamps?

JMHO…One piece boxes came along in the mid twenties, Guy…