Winchester .30-40 Krag Box


Here is what I consider an interesting Winchester box…………
Note that the front label date is 11-19……The cartridges within have a tinned 220 gr FMJ bullet with impressed W and an oval tinned primer, indicating manufacture about 1920, many years before the advent of STAYNLESS priming.
So, my idea is that Winchester pulled a ten year old box off the shelf, over-stamped it with the STAYNLESS nomenclature, and marketed it about 1930, assuming the purchaser would not care or know the difference.
With the 220 gr FMJ bullet, this may have been an unpopular loading, even in 1920, therefore never made it to market at the time. The STAYNLESS over-stamps appear on other “slow selling” calibers of the day………6mm USN and 30-03 come to mind.




Another interesting box. So, does that mean the primers were probably corrosive? If so, the shooter would have gotten a nice surprise if if he didn’t clean his rifle soon after shooting.



I agree with Ray on this but feel even more strongly about it. I can imagine someone in the commercial chain between the cartridge factory and the retail buyer maybe overstamping this, but it doesn’t seem like something WRA would have done. Jack


I have looked at the punched out dots on the labels in Giles/Shuey’s Winchester Cartridge Boxes book, and those dots on my pre-lot number Winchester primer boxes. The one pictured here is doubled. Right to left is one dot, three vertical dots, one dot, two vertical dots, two dots (one at 12 o’clock, one at 4 'oclock). They must mean something, could be a date. I haven’t figured it out. Anybody have or heard any anecdotal stories about these dots?


The dots represent a loading date and were punched before the label was applied to the box by a Cummins Cryptographic Machine. I am not aware that anyone has ever dechipered the dots.



Ray…….Yes, my best guess is that the primers in the cartridges within the box are corrosive.
Jack………No intent here to “accuse” Winchester, but the possibility mentioned above could have happened. If you own a copy of “Winchester Cartridge Boxes” by Giles and Shuey, have a peek, there are many examples such as this shown within. Other labeling was also added at a later date to some Winchester labels, like NON-MERCURIC, a “K” code, and U.S.A. Patent Pending, these usually being printed on rather than ink-stamped.
That said, another possibility should be noted………this box was not sealed when I obtained it. It is possible that the original 20 STAYNLESS cartridges were removed and the box was refilled with the cartridges now therein, all of which are identical in every respect, including patina.
The box, of course is completely original and the first and only example I have seen in .30-40 Krag, therefore it will reside in the collection regardless of the contents……….