Western Box Timeframe

Hello, everybody! I have a box of Western 38 S&W cartridges loaded with 145 grain Lubaloy bullets and Nublend powder. The box is a ‘bullseye’ pattern with the little ‘W.C.Co.’ on the back, upper left. The sliding inner tray has metal reinforced corners. Will any of these features help to narrow down a timeframe of manufacture? Thank you!

Olin was issued a patent for “Lubaloy” on Oct 15, 1929. I think Nublend powder precedes that by several years.

I can’t help with the rest.


Is there a set of numbers and letters stamped inside the end flaps. If so this is a code that could date the box. If you find one post it and we will see what can be done.


Here is what I found: ‘79DB62’. The ink is a bit smudged, but I think I got it!

Given the patent date of Lubaloy, 79DB62 should be 26 February 1930 or 1950. If 1930, the then-new non-mercuric, non-errosive, non-corrosive primers should have been the rage. Any mention of priming on the box?

Wasn’t aware of the 1929 patent re Lubaloy, but wasn’t Western featuring use of that alloy in advertising and on boxes several years earlier, perhaps 1923 or '24? Jack (excuse a p.s., but the wikipedia suggests Lubaloy jackets were used by Western first in 1922)

The back label states ‘non-corrosive priming-contains no glass’. That is the first reference to glass in a primer for me!


The Lubaloy patent date came from an Olin 90th anniversary commemorative calendar. It’s possible they were using it before the patent was granted?


The reference to no glass in the primers means late 20’s and 30’s. So if DB62 is what is printed then 26 February 1930.

According to the registration certificate the “Lubaloy” trademark for non-fouling bullets was first used in commerce by Western Cartridge Co. since about January 1, 1921, applied June 6, 1921 and registered March 7, 1922.

Ground or powdered glass was an ingredient found in many of the old primers. It acted as an abrasive to make the active ingredients more sensitive to the hammer blow.


Great info! Thank you all for your responses. Cheers!