Western Super Match Mark III .22 LR Cartridges


I just acquired a couple of boxes of Western brand Super Match Mark III .22 Long Rifle rounds. This is basically a yellow box with mostly red and blue print on it, a picture of a cartridge on one side and on the other side in the same size square “Superior Accuracy, Special Match Bullet and Lubricant,” on three lines of print. It has the white half circle at one of the finger cuts for opening the box end on one end of the top with the “Warning, Keep out of Reach of Children” admonition. I mention that just as a way to date it if someone remembers when they starting adding that to a box.

Question: Should I shoot it at the range in my 52 Winchester, like I originally planned, or is it better I put them on my dupe shelf so they get preserved? My gut feeling tells me this ammo, which was common years ago when I still occasionally fire my small-bore match rifle, is probably very common, but I caught hell one time from a fellow collector for shooting up some .22 for which I had the same feeling, and evidently was wrong.

I don’t need a value quote - don’t even want one. Just an opinion if the need to be preserved for collecting, or I can shoot them.

John Moss


That box dates from 1962 until the early 1970s. Some time in 1969, the company name changed from Winchester-Western Division Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation to Winchester-Western Division Olin Corporation, which should allow you to pin the date down a little closer. While this style box is not overly rare, I would set it aside or pass it on to a beginning collector who doesn’t have one like it.


Guy - I have two of them. I will retain them both for new collectors, and pass them on as a gift to them. They cost me nothing. I got a couple of boxes of slightly newer, and more common .22 shorts with them, and I will have some fun with my Winchester Model 90 gallery gun with those. I ran out of ammo some time ago for it, and never go around to buying any more.

John Moss


To be honest, I would say that was shooting ammo. Maybe keep the empty box if it eases your conscience


My consicience doesn’t need easing - the ammunition was given to me from the estate of my next door neighbor, who passed some months ago. We were friends. They just found it in the house. If some local new collector (too expensive to ship, regardless of who pays the shipping) would like it, I will pass it on and if not, I will just shoot it up. I will keep it awhile though, as I vlaue Guy’s advice.

John Moss


with .22 ammo a unique situation occours. The boxes are more interesting than the ammo unless it is something really unusual. Shoot the ammo, the best way possible to honour and remember your friend, he will be with you when you fire it off, but keep the box for posterity.

As secretary of a once big club in north london I have had the sad job of clearing out more than a few lockers after members passed away. Some of them dear and close friends. Where possible I always fired off their ammo myself as a tribute. With British laws we cannot hand it back to the family and the other alternative was handing it over to the police.



Vince. Thank you for your thoughts.

John Moss


I suppose I do tend to hold onto more boxes of ammo and other stuff than a saner person (read non-collector) would - that may be partly to blame for a shortage of storage space in my home. Fortunately, in this country, there are currently more options for disposing of a full box of 40 to 50 year old ammo than shooting it or giving it to the police. That may partly explain my reluctance to shoot up the older boxes of .22s that I pick up now and then. Another consideration is that newer and probably more reliable .22 ammo is readily available and cheap. They aren’t making these boxes of Winchester Super Match Mark III .22 LR any more, and as they are getting shot up, full boxes will only get scarcer.


Guy - I agree and as i said originally, on your advice, I will hold mine. My friend Mike would have been fine with me giving it to some other collector.