Weatherby .270 Magnum boxes

I bought nine boxes of Weatherby .270 magnum cartridges at our local Tallahassee gun show today. I believe all date from 1963 or shortly thereafter, as they have the ‘Keep out of the reach of children’ warning that was required in 1962, but none has the postal zip code for the company address which came into use in 1963. There are four variations in the group, which I have included in the picture below. There are two different box fronts, either a tiger in a red circular border or a bear in a target. The backs of the bear boxes differ in layout from the others, and indicate on the lower left that the brass was made in Sweden. The backs of the others match, except that they are marked also on the lower left ‘Made in Sweden’, ‘Made in Western Germany’, or they are not marked. Is it possible that Weatherby was having these cartridges make in Sweden and Germany at the same time, or that the two box front variations would have been used at the around the same time? Is it safe to assume that the boxes that are not marked with the country of origin were made in the United States?

Guy–The law requiring the marking of country of origin for all goods imported into the US went into effect, I believe, about 1890. By the same rules, if an item made in the US is to be exported, it must say “Made in the USA”. So, any box of Ammo with no country of origin label was made in the US (In the case of Weatherby, I think they were made by Speer) and were not for export. The box you have with"Brass made in Sweden" and “?? in the United States” was loaded in the US for export (Most likely to Africa).

Is there any physical difference in the rounds in the different boxes, if so could we see a sample of each? Thanks Vic

Here is a cartridges from each box, arranged in the order of the boxes in the other picture with the one from the top box on the left. The most apparent differences are the bullets, the red (German) and green primer sealant, the ‘RWS’ on the primer from the German-made case, and the larger lettering in the German headstamp.

Weatherby The Man . The Gun. The Legend . by Grits Grisham (ISBN 0-944438-02-4)

.300 H&H brass mostly direct from Winchester -fireformed in customers rifle and re loaded

Spear cases April 1950

FN quote July 1952 -no production

Norma spring 1953 contract to manufacture cases and load ammunition

1963 contract changed to RWS by Weatherby’s new German partners.

Weatherby .224 caliber rifles on shelves six months before RWS
ammunition arrives.

Contract for cases and loaded ammunition given back to Norma.

I have a few old Weatherby Norma .240 empty boxes for free if anyone one needs them.

I wrote a complete one page answer and it disappeared when the board timed out.


Very interesting!

So, if I have understood the preceding correctly, since the .224 Weatherby rifle was introduced in 1963, it would appear that RWS probably made Weatherby ammunition for a year or so before production was switched back to Norma.

The Weatherby boxes using brass made by Speer say Made by Speer on the back, in the same place as those shown for W. Germany & Sweden.

So who might have made the cases in the unmarked box, or might it have slipped through the printing process unmarked?

[quote]Ron Merchant wrote:
The box you have with"Brass made in Sweden" and “?? in the United States” was loaded in the US for export (Most likely to Africa).[/quote]

The box marked “Made in the United States of America” that you suggest may have been intended for export to Africa is the one with a bear on the front. Seems the tiger would have been more appropriate.

Does anyone have a feel for how common the ‘Bear’ boxes are?

Guy==There are no tigers or bears in Africa!!! It always makes me laugh when in a movie, especially one of the Tarzan type movies, they show a tiger and a lion fighting. It could not happen. Tigers are from India and South East Asia and lions are from Africa, so, except in a zoo or some movie makers dreams, never the two shall meet.

Ron - Actually, there are lions in India I believe. I saw something on one of the nature channels on TV some time ago about them. They are smaller than their African cousins, and with longer legs in relation to their body size. So, a lion and a tiger could be found fighting in India. I guess the Indian Lion species is pretty rare, though. I know that I had never heard of such a thing, and while not a trained wildlife specialist, I have always had a love for animals and have read a lot about them. Never read a thing about India having Lions. That’s why I believe an accurate remembrance of that nature study on TV has stuck with me. The big cats are awesome.

Maybe Jason could verify this information as to whether I am remembering the show correctly or not, but I think I am.

At any rate, I agree totally with you about the movies, supposedly in Africa, that show tigers and lions fighting. They often show other species native only to the “Africa” found on the Hollywood back lots of the times. Fortunately, the movies have gotten somewhat more accurate about such things in recent years, but not much!

John–You win. Here is a nice web site about the Asiatic Lion. I was not aware of this sub-species. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. There are only about 350 of them left in the wild and only in the Gir PA in India. The Tiger is no longer found in the entire Indian state of Gujarat where the worlds last few critically endangered Asiatic Lion survive in the Gir forest. So even in India, Lions and Tigers do not mix.

So, I guess it would be best to say there are no Tigers in Africa to fight Lions in Africa.

I felt pretty certain that there were no bears in Africa, but wasn’t so sure about the tigers. Now that we have that settled, is there a Weatherby box collector that could shed some light on the bear box that differs so much from the tiger box, yet appears to be from the same period based on the presence of the child warning and the lack of a zip code in the company address. Considering the problems Roy Weatherby had getting loaded ammunition to fill his boxes in the early to mid 1960s, the lack of a zip code may not be indicative that these boxes were made prior to 1964, at which time zip codes would be expected to start showing up. He may have had large quantities made up in each caliber in 1962 after the child care warning was required, and then used them over an extended number of years as his loaded cartridges trickled in.


Nothing to win. If I didn’t watch the animal channel on TV (to my fault, 99% of my reading for the last thrity years, simply due to time, has been on guns and ammunition), and you told me there were lions in India, I would have asking what kind of a drink you were sippin’. Just thought I’d throw it in. I guess animals aren’t an ammo topic, although it is darned hard to study ammunition in all its facets, especiall in this case, sporting rifle, without getting involved in some information about the animals that populate the earth. I’m not a hunter at all (don’t jump me guys - I have nothing against hunting. anyone who eats meat and does is a hypocrite - it just isn’t my sport), but much sporting ammo has been developed with the taking of certain classes of animals, or even one species, in mind. To me, it goes kind of hand in hand.

Personally, I think your original statement that you won’t see tigers and lions fighting each other in the wild still holds, precisely because of what you pointed about about “roaming” territory and the small number left of both lions and tigers in India.

This might help : … +weatherby


Hey Ray - where’s the picture?
I saved it at that time .

Man. Do you expect me to remember all the way back to january? ;) ;)

It’s back.