Winchester .38 S&W blanks (box question)


Is the number “7 C7 20” a lot number? If not, what’s the meaning?



It looks like the lot number to me. If you can’t find a rubber stamp elsewhere on or in the box, it is most likely the lot number.


My guess is it that the code is 20July1947, but the C in it makes no sense. The Winchester codes before 1957 were all numbers, except for the A prefix on those made by Western. Typically the format is ## ##, but this one has an extra letter. The truth is that Winchester codes repeat every 10 years so this could be 1937 or 1927 or 19?7, pick one. It takes a study of the box labels to really know what the date is. This one says Olin like the one I posted at Question on unusual Winchester-Western Box

Still just a guess on my part!





You say that “this one says Olin like the one you posted.” NO, it doesn’t. The one you posted says Olin-Mathieson. For purposes of dating, that is an entirely different thing. The “Olin Industriess” marking should be from about December 1944 to about August 1954. The “Olin-Mathieson” marking on your Sten Gun box is from August 1954 to 1962.

I have no opinion on the date of the .38 S&W Blanks box beyond that, because I can’t read these codes with any certainly, due to irregularities.

John Moss


For what it’s worth I notice this lot code has the same style format that the Win/WW/ Olin box Vlim posted in Lew’s red 9 para box question. Also showing an extra “C”


John…on what do you base your dating of “Division of Olin Industries, Inc” to Dec of '44…?..Other sources say 1946…but if you have gotten this even closer, great. Also, my info says “Olin, Inc.” appeared in '69 and you say '62…I’d like to be as correct as possible, so enlighten if you can, please…



My list is fromn George Kass, who has done more research on company histories (ammunition companies primarily, but his library of company-published histories for many other industries is staggering). George is not perfect, none of us are. If there is better documentation showing the dates of the various corporate name changes, and anyone has it, I hope they will print it on this Forum in an easy to read and understand format. Until then, I will go with what George says, but with an open mind. Often information is found AFTER one has done research on a specific item. No one knows tha better than I. I have never written a major article that was not revixed several times as further or later research, before publication, turned up new documented facts.

Perhaps more important though than dates, especially within one or two year periods, is the order in which the names were used. That is really what gives us a perspective on when something might have been produced. That’s why it is important to get the name right, for the era or how it really appears on a box, etc., when referring to it.

John Moss


JOURNAL #397, pages 26-27 has OLIN, DATES OF HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE that came directly from Olin Corp. It’s what i have always used.



Ray - That’s an interesting list. Some issues are clouded on it - for example, Olin bought Winchester in December1931, but they don’t show Winchester becoming a division of Western Cartridge Company until 1938. Just one example that makes it difficult to relate it to box labels.

It would be great if one of the Winchester collectors in our group would take this list and tie it into the various changes of corporate designation as they appear on the boxes. The list is certainly far more complete than the one I am using, although mine was given strictly as a list of the name changes in relation to when they appeared on boxes, not when the events of the name change necessarily took place, although they are similar in a couple of instances.

We sure have a long way to go on dating boxes - that’s for sure.

John Moss


Ray…Could you please give date for issue 397…as I have mine filed by date…so I can find the article…then we can all commiserate a bit more on this and hopefully, shed more light…Also…I see you discovered a new wildcat today…Ole #19 !!!




It’s Sep/Oct 1997.