USCC BLACK shells


#1

1st, I’m new to this forum and to the IAA but I have been ‘acquiring’ or hoarding old, obsolete and unique ammo for some time now. Shotshells and their boxes have my greatest interest.

I am the 3rd generation to own and use a shooting box made from an old wooden shell case (box) for Black Shells. I know little to nothing about the product except my Grandfather used them prior to WWII in his favorite game sport, dove shooting, with an L.C.Smith. Several of these boxes were made into shooting boxes by hinging, padding and covering the lid, then installing a strap, then distributed amongst his cronnies that he shot with.

I have the box and I have the gun but I do not have any of the shells or boxes (the paper boxes) nor do I recall ever seeing any. I’m not certain if the boxes were 1 piece or 2. The Black Shells by Klinect sounds like something I would like to have, is it still available? Any insight into Black Shells that might have gone into this case would be appreciated.

This is the site I have been looking forward to finding! I have tons of questions but I’ll try to spread them out over a decade or 2.


#2

Can you post a picture of the end of the crate that has the Black Shell information on it? Does it have a brand name on it (Defiance, Romax, Climax, New Rapid, Ajax)? Many of the USC Co shell boxes are still around, and come up for sale fairly regularly on the internet auctions.


#3

Guy, I have been sitting on, carrying or stareing at that dang box for at least 50 years and I never recall seeing that lettering on the end! The box was painted green, probably when it was made into a shooting box, and the lettering was hard to see.

The end has ‘CLIMAX’ at the top, on the left side ‘500/SHOT’, on the right side ‘12/SHELL/2 5/8’ and in the center a large circle with ‘US’ in it.

I took some pics but due to the paint, I doubt you will see much. I’ll try to get them up tomorrow.

Now if you tell me you have a box of shells to go with the case, you’ll have made my year!


#4

Most all the shotshell boxes by USC CO were two piece. The exceptions were issued at the end of their production about 1934-35 and did not use the term the black shells if I recall correctly. The address on the box helps to date the box. If the Lowell, Mass address is used then the box was made before the USC CO contracted with Winchester-Western to make their shells. Post 1926 the boxes use a New York address. Generally the term the Black Shells was an advertised term because most of their shells were black. Shotshell boxes are not hard to come by, check on Wards Auctions to find one. However they are between auctions right now but you can check out various boxes and their prices at which they were sold.


#5

In the lower right corner of the front and back is the following;
UNITED STATES CARTRIDGE CO
FACTORIES
MAURER NJ LOWELL MASS

If this dates it to the 1920’s, I am surprised. I was always told these were put together as shooting boxes in the early to mid 1930’s. I guess they could have hoarded the boxes because they are very well made.

Thanks Gary for your input.


#6

It should not be hard to find a suitable Climax box or two, as they are not uncommon. Keep an eye on Ebay (for an empty box) or www.soldusa.com for possibly a full one.