Winchester N° 3W, when did they make this box?


I have a couple of boxes of these primers.

They have no date code that I can see.
How can I know when they made them?


The date in the lower right hand corner, 7-21, is the date that the label design was accepted for use. The 3W primer was still listed in the 1928 catalog. Staynless priming was in place by 1928, but I don’t know if it included primers for reloading. The best I can do is tell you that the box was made after 7-21. I have only a few catalogs and references for Winchester ammo. I am sure that someone else will chime in soon. Cheers!


Thanks for yuor answer!
Do you know what “1971” (onthe other corner) means?



The 1971 on the left of the label is the file code for that particular label. According to Giles and Shuey (100 Years of Winchester Cartridge Boxes), these numbers started at 1 and went up, and represent ‘the Company’s file regarding a specific label covering a specific loading in a specific caliber’. The file code did not change, but as revisions were made to to the label, the date code was changed to reflect when the revised label was accepted.


After I submited the above response, I got to wondering what the lowest label file code was in my box collection. It is 9 with a date code of 3-20, and is on a box of .22 WRF Lesmok ‘cartridges’.

Does anyone know what caliber the file code # 1 was assigned to?