Unusual Post WW2 Canadian Ammo Can: What model is it?

I saw this Canadian ammo can on JoeSalter.ca. I’ve never seen anything like it. It doesn’t look like either British or American cans from the Post WW2 period (1945-1950). I’d like to know if it was a late-war or postwar design.

Each can holds 20 x 64-round ammo cartons (1280 rounds). It was made by Defense Industries and packed in November 19, 1948 [19/11/48B] November 19, 1943 - Lot B [19/11/43B]. The British-style Contract Number on the lower edge of the label is H.2050.DI . I think the light blue cross either indicates that it’s Ball ammo, pistol ammo, or maybe both (there’s a wooden Danish surplus ammo crate with a similar blue cross on it).

I’d also like to know how it was packed. Was it a replacement for the British plywood-and-tin H.51 ammo satchels for use with the metal H.50 ammo chest? Was it packed in plywood crates like the American M1 and M19 ammo cans?

Hi Sidney,

You can see the box where it was packed here: Canadian-Danish 2460 round case-9mm

Correct date is 1943.



Thanks Fede. Maybe they’re from the same crate.

I was posting this to find out the designation for the metal can. I’ve never seen anything like this. I thought the Canadians would use either British or American packing materials. Was this standard British or a Canadian innovation?

PS: This is really interesting. I thought the wooden crate took those plywood H.51 satchels.

I have a similar case, it was filled with W I AP ctgs. ( belted)
Don’t remember maker.
It was basically a water resistant can ( rubber washer in groove of lid); it could hold 9mm ( 32 or 64crd packets) or 32 rd .303 packs
Don’t know about 48 rd flat packs for .303 ( Bren or RAF use);
And of course Belted Ammo.
I will have to find mine ( no carrying straps…filched to make webbing modifications way back when?).
Doc AV

W I AP = I recognize AP (“Armor-Piercing”) and I assume I is “Incendiary”, but what is W?
Also, how many rounds per belt?

W British ( Empire) code for Armour-piercing…derived from
Wolframite ( Tungsten ore), I :
Mark I ( Roman numeral 1)
Code used after 1927; up to 26, the code VII W was used.
Doc AV

DocAV, the W Mk. I does not have a core containing wolframite. The meaning of “W” is not documented.



My booboo;
could W mean Woolwich ( where AP was developed in WWI?
S was used for Sparklets Tracer, and B for Buckingham Incendiary.
Later, Special types were organised with letter designations with less reliance of place locations.
Just my historical musings…sometimes a blind squirrel gets an acorn…Dogs always get Truffles ( use smell).

Doc AV

Any references I can recall referred to the Sparklet’s Tracer as VII S.P.K. which was the designation on the earliest drawings from which our first tracers were made.

I believe the first British AP was designated VIIS (possibly because of the steel insert??)
Next was the VIIP (Kynoch design based upon one by G.Roth)
Followed by VIIF (According to Temple this could signify French, the design being based on a French one by Kings Norton).
The VIIF with slight modifications became the VIIW.

Temple covers this in his No.1 book on the British .303 Cartridge.

The first distinguishing mark for 303 Tracer was ‘T’ and used trace composition ‘SPK’ . The subsequent use of ‘G’ for tracer comes from ‘…Tracer SPG…’

Whilst the letter T was the first letter code used to distinguish a tracer loading, the first .303 tracer was identified but having a second VII (inverted) added to a standard Mk VII case. Source: Temple (book No. 3).