I am looking for the cartons that hold 10 .50cal rounds that usually come in 350 round wooden boxes. All i can find is the 10 round cartons for Dummy rounds. Any one seen or have these cartons boxes for Ball, AP, incendiary etc. Any pictures or reference to these cartons.
May be of interest:
The boxes don’t hold up very well, they weren’t intended to, only temporary packaging till the ammo arrived in theatre where the boxes were to be easily broken to facilitage mass linking of ammo in the mixture preferred by the field user. Consequently, most of the boxes are either deteriorating or long ago trashed.
You still see one or two for sale occassionally, usually for a lot of money due to their scarcity. The caliber wasn’t intended for boxed storage as the weapon was a belt fed MG as opposed to a rifle.
Dummy is about the only thing commonly encountered. Some Ball and AP, with API and tracer being more rare, followed by APIT, Incend, etc. in scarcity. 10 years ago, you could go to a major cartridge show here in the US and find one of most each type (albeit some very expensive). Now, you’d be lucky to find a box or two that wasn’t dummy.
Just another example of how what people think is common one day becomes scarce. A typical problem in our sport/hobby.
Keith, I have a couple of these . Do you want to try to take the top label off and see what is underneath ?
This is not WW-II but might be of in terest anyway. It is not clear on the scan but the lot number is 305-86. Headstamp is T Z 86.
I wasn’t sure how rare these boxes are. Would the Ball, AP etc boxes/cartons be marked up in a similar fashion to the dummy rounds or like the 20 round 30-06 cartons with the colour coding. Would the colour coding stripe be diagonal on these cartons as the wooden boxes were marked up for .50cal ammo. Any good books that show collections of cartons and .50cal related packing. How rare are the metal tins that hold 35 cartons seen a lot in use during WW2 and also used to house 265 rounds linked.
The linked box has the original paper ordnance seal, data cards and cardboard inserts all complete with wing nut screws but no metal tin.
Oh, heavens, no. Don’t destroy the original packaging, put the extra one up for auction or something, should be a $100 item or so.
The catridge details are:
Standard M2 Ball, except for powder charge. FA 52 Headstamp, Copper cased, nickel percussion boxer primer, red sealant, 3-stab crimp, M/V 1746 fps.
Note that by 1952, M33 Ball was in production and M2 wasn’t. For this experiment, though, they used older M2 Ball projos. Normal M/V for .50 BMG ammo is around 2910 fps.
Since the ammo looks like typical FA 52 vintage ball, its real value is in the packaging, so preserve that as much as possible. Such history is slowly slipping through our fingers.
The regular .50 WW2 packaging was virtually identical to your Dummy box, except for the colored stripes running vertically on the label, similar to 30-06 labeling. As you noted on your dummy box, the only thing holding the lid down was that flimsy label running up the back of the box, over the lid, and down the front. The box will pop open simply by picking it up and squeezing it slightly with your finger tips. This was to facilitate mass linking efforts in theatre. Time couldn’t be lost in ripping open boxes. 1950’s vintage boxed .50 ammo was a bit more sturdy, but only slightly. Lid was glued down and a perforation around the circumference of the box would open it with a bit of a two handed squeeze/twist.
As rare as the boxed packaging is, the bulk packaging, still sealed with contents, is even more rare. (The exception being dummy rounds, of course.)
I wonder if the U.S military ever found any WW2 .50cal rounds in cartons when there was a shortage of .50cal ammo for Iraq. I know they unearth a fair number of linked WW2 .50cal rounds in original boxes.
As for reference books has anyone have or ever seen the 'History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition Volume 2 by Hackley, Frank and Woodin, William and Scranton, Eugeane. 1940-1945 ISBN 0-88227-007-9.
I have been told that this book contains Carton and packing information.
It’s pretty much the only standard for published info on the US .50 cal. It’s still available. They even re-wrote Vol 1, which has a lot of .50 ammo info too, but most of the box info is in Vol 2.
50m2hb Is this a rare book to find and do you think it’s worth getting.
Vol 2 is very much worth getting, more US .50 info than any other book published. It’s also still available, not rare. Vol 1 has been updated & reprinted. See the want ads section of any IAA journal.
Thanks for the information, I will order the book when it becomes available. If you see any cartons on your travels can your take a picture and post it on the forum.
CSAEOD looking at your excellent website what title would cartridge boxes/ cartons and packing come under.
When was this shortage of .50 cal ammo in Iraq? Was this recent or a few years ago? As a side note, when I was in Kuwait during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, we were issued WWII vintage .50 cal API-APIT ammo that had been re-linked for the M-85 machinegun used in our M-60-A1s. I recall one of the headstamps being “DM 4”. During my entire 6 years of active duty, I only once saw recent production .50 cal ammunition, and that was M-33 ball and M-?? tracer. All of the other stuff was WWII vintage API-APIT, both linked for the M-2 or re-linked for the M-85. We shot a ton of this stuff and never had any problems with it, considering the age and all.
In the UK try here for the books:
I got both volumes and other ammo books from them and have found their service very good.
[quote=“AKMS”]When was this shortage of .50 cal ammo in Iraq? Was this recent or a few years ago? As a side note, when I was in Kuwait during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, we were issued WWII vintage .50 cal API-APIT ammo that had been re-linked for the M-85 machinegun used in our M-60-A1s. I recall one of the headstamps being “DM 4”. During my entire 6 years of active duty, I only once saw recent production .50 cal ammunition, and that was M-33 ball and M-?? tracer. All of the other stuff was WWII vintage API-APIT, both linked for the M-2 or re-linked for the M-85. We shot a ton of this stuff and never had any problems with it, considering the age and all.
There apparently was a shortage but taken up with surplus from vintage stock until the manufacturer’s caught up with themselves.
Did any of you guy’s bring back any of these WW2 vintage cases?
And what happened to the original vintage packing before they were re-linked?
No, we were not allowed to bring back anything! Even a discarded Iraqi helmet might have “intelligence value” and thus was off limits. Pretty sad state of affairs… I also did not honestly care to bring back any of this stuff, as it was pretty common ammo. Heck, I probably had some already in the collection back home. All of this “re-pack” ammo we used came in ammo cans and the lot numbers indicated to me that this was done at some arsenal sometime in the past. It was not something we did or was even done in-theater. This ammo was probably sitting on an MPS ship for 20 years before we got it.