At SLICS earlier this year I had a display of some, to me, strange Winchester 7.63 Mauser boxes. All had the typical style orange & green label used on pistol ammo in the 1920s and early 1930s, This label was first approved for use on 7.63mm Mauser in July 1920 based.
One box was pretty normal and was marked:
What was surprising was that the date on the packing date on the box was March 1937 which seems very late for this box style. On 9mm Luger ammunition, Winchester had gone to the blue, one-piece box in the early 1930s
The second box was even more interesting. In 1938 Winchester became a division of Western. This box label was clearly printed after this date since it was marked:
The packing date on the box is 12 Dec 1941, which load cards indicate was the last production of this caliber in New Haven CT. Another box with these markings has a date code indicating it was packed in May 1948. The code has an “A” prefix indicatng that it was produced by Western in East Alton IL.
The third box is the strangest of the lot and I found it truly amazing.
Winchester became a division of Olin in 1944. The packing code on this box is marked A1072 indicating it was loaded at Western on 2 October 1957. John Moss has a similar box with a date code indicating it was loaded on 7 Oct 1957.
It is difficult to understand how producing a 1920s, look-alike boxes in the early 1940s to late 1950s, fit the Olin business objectives. Clearly, on the 1941, 1948 and 1957 boxes, the labels were printed long after the orange style was otherwise dropped by Winchester. I can find no ads for such a box in any of my Winchester catalogs or Jobber Lists. Perhaps by the early 1940s, the owners of Mauser pistols were primarily collectors and they favored the early style boxes, but that is only a guess. Other guesses are welcome.
I am posting this story because I just noticed one of these 1957 boxes on Gun Broker. The significance of the box is not described in the ad. It is an interesting enough box that I didn’t want a Forum member to miss it. The date code is A1077 and since it is made only 5 days after my box, I will not bid on it. The box is at https://www.gunbroker.com/item/784469498