As most of you know, I have been working recently on sorting out box codes for various manufacturers on what I had hopefully called the "IAA Forum Box Date Code Project". I posted my initial efforts on gigconceptsinc.com/IAA-Forum-Box-Research.html,
but got almost no input so have let the project go for a while and only worked it in the background. I had pretty good information from the IAA Journal for Kynoch and Dominion, and some information from d'Artagnan on the Forum for Olin, but the Olin material d'Artagnan didn't project back accurately. Recently I have been working to see what I could sort out the the results are below.
D'Artagnan's provided the following based on his comparison of boxes and their purchase dates:
He has determined that Winchester ammo lot numbers on the boxes have included the manufacture date encoded within. The date is contained in a LL## group, where L is a letter and # a number, making up or included in the lot number impressed into the box tab. Numbers preceding the LL## probably equate to the production line. The First letter is the Year Code and the second letter is the Month Code. The month codes run A-N skipping I and J.
The following are some examples from Olin boxes:
30UA61 = Date code of UA61 = 16 January 2003 (9mm Luger)
022VK30 = Date code of VK30 = 03 September 2004 (9mm Luger)
71WM40 = Date code of WM40 = 04 November 2005 (380 Auto)
He also sorted out the years 2000 - 2009:
I started with a few data points I could add. I had the box shown on Thread https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/unusual-western-9mm-box/6840/1 which was dated many years ago by an expert as 1935. I also had PGU-19/P box with cartridges dated 82 and a code of 16TG80(8Jul82) so I knew that T=1982. That meant that the character set used for the year was 20 characters long since T='82 and '02. That meant that 6 of the characters had been dropped. The work by d'Artagnan identified two of these as Z and A.
My next step was to list all the letters in the left column (except A & Z) and enter next to each the dates I had on headstamped loads and those which d'Artagnan had confirmed (center column). Then I added a column on the matrix of all the year codes I had on boxes-even though the headstamps were undated so I couldn't precisely date the box. With this information I added the possible dates in the far right column. The result is below.
Three things come out of this data:
1. Between C & K there are two ltrs skipped
2. Between N & R there are two ltrs skipped
3. P must be 1999 since only one letter can be used between N & R and P is confirmed to exist so it must be 1999
So there is where the research by d'Artagnan and I stands.
What is needed now is for people to check their Winchester and Western boxes to see which of the year codes D, E, G, H, I, J actually exist on boxes.
The boxes using these codes could date from any of the following period;
Winchester or Western boxes: 1970-1974, 1990-1994
Western Boxes: 1930-1934, 1950-1954 (perhaps 1910-1914 but my early boxes lack codes)
Please check your Winchester and Western Boxes in these periods and let me know which of the year codes exist.
The boxes should have two letters together followed by two numbers. The year code is the first letter in the two letter group. Ignore other single letters in the code. There may be other stuff on the box flap but that is probably just identifying the production line or whatever.
A code of EB 61 would be an "E" year code and of interest. So would any of the following codes; A3EK11 (year code is E), 58DB42 (year code is D), F8GG51 (year code is G), 9HF21C (year code H).
I suspect one of the missing letters is I since it is easily confused with 1 so perhaps just a few of the missing codes will narrow down the story. If there is a code for a round with a dated headstamp, than it will make it a lot simpler. Since the month codes d'Artagnan sorted out from his studies skip I and J these may also be the codes skipped in the year codes but we can't be sure with the info available.
If you have boxes with any of the relevant codes, please let me know. Please provide the entire code and a description or picture of the box label and if available the headstamp (typed out is OK).
I have my latest guess at the date list, assuming that I and J are skipped as they are in the month codes, posted on my website at gigconceptsinc.com/IAA-Forum-Box-Research.html
Please post your info or send it to me by email.