WW2 Cal .45 ACP Repack Evansville Ordnance Plant (Chrysler)

This may be “old news” to some but for others it might be “new news”. I had the good fortune today at show to observe the opening of a 600 round M5 can of repacked .45 ACP ball ammo, sealed for 71 years. Ended up with the emptied M5 can and a 50 round carton. Headstamp is " E C 4 3 " or Evansville Ordnance Plant (Chrysler). Evansville, Indiana, 1943 production. Steel cartridge case. This ammunition was repacked at Evansville Ordnance Plant in 1944 as noted on both the can and carton. The designation “T2AAF” is the ammunition identification code for 1200 rounds Cal .45 in cartons, contained in two M5 cans, packed in a wood box/crate.

M5 can:

50 round carton:

Cartridge and headstamp after being sealed in the can for 71 years:
IMG_1206_zpssb2vqzqb

Brian

You Missed one important Detail, the “S” in the Lot number. That makes (?) these Packets of ammo originate at the Sunbeam (Electrical Domestic Goods) Plant which was an
"Annexe" to the Chrysler Plant; whether the cases were Made (drawn) or Filled at the Sunbeam Plant is unclear, or whether the EC plant simply used added shells made by ECS, I don’t know.

OR DOES IT MEAN “STEEL” Case??? ( last minute thought? Mind Lightning strike?)

Also, the reason for Repacking is also unclear…Maybe originally they were initially Packed in Wooden Cases, and subsequently for ?Waterproofing? etc, repacked into Steel Single-Use "spam"cans, is the most likely reason; especially for ammo directed to the Pacific…

I see in lists of US Headstamps, that EC and ECS are described, but I have yet to see an example of ECS cases on the Web. Also, “EC” was originally assigned to Eau Claire (Wisconsin) maker of .30 Cal; this was soon changed to “EW” by 1942-3…I have some examples used to make M1909 Blanks.

Some of that .45 EC43 ammo did end up in Australia (US troops) and Full,neat (unrusted) packets can still be found in Collections.

Nice find…to bad it had to be “parted out”…for the “Greater good of the Greater number” of Collectors.

Doc AV

Hi Doc AV,

The “S” in the lot # does indeed indicate steel cartridge cases and the headstamp for cartridge cases manufactured by the Evansville Ordnance Plant, Sunbeam Division is " E C S" over the last 2 digits of the year.

Brian

(Edited to correct name to Sunbeam Division)

I see in lists of US Headstamps, that EC and ECS are described, but I have yet to see an example of ECS cases on the Web.
Doc AV

Doc
Below are the EC & ECs headstamps on my small collection. Other than the HS, all are the same (and all came out of the same partial, repacked, box). As you can see, there is quite a variety in lettering types, even in such a small sample.

E C 4 2 Med letters, med spacing
E C 4 2 Large letters, med spacing
E C 4 2 Large letters, narrow spacing
E C S 43 Medium letters, 90deg (E @ 9, C @ 12, S @ 3, date @ 6)
E C 43 Small letters, narrow spaceing
E C 43 Med letters, med spacing
E C 43 Small letters, wide spaceing
E C 43 Large letters, wide spacing
E C 43 Small letters, wide spacing

Representative Cal .45 M1911 headstamp for the Evansville Ordnance Plant, Sunbeam Division :

IMG_1252_zpstz8s0hha

Brian

(Edited to correct name to Sunbeam Division)

If you’ll get a copy of the booklet, “Bullets By The Billions” published by Chrysler Corp, you’ll see all of this described. (EC invented the “Span Can”).

And, a lot of it has been discussed on the Forum previously.

Ray

Neat can & box Brian.

Some other lots repacked by EC are;
dated 6-44 lot -S-25120
dated 7-44 lot S-S-25033,and lot S-24803XG.
dated 8-44 lot -24725XC (no sign of an “S” here with the lot number but after the “REPACKED E.C.”. However it almost seems to have a rubber stamped “S” before the printed “8-44”. This box is now empty but once had EC 42 headstamped steel-cased product.

On another maker / arsenal Twin Cities, some of their 1954 production of steel cased .45 M1911 is marked “LOT TW S” in black print with the number “18118” rubber stamped after it.

One of the better known photographs from Bullets By The Billion.

Got .45 ammo?

Ray

2labjlt

The EC 42 rounds found there way out here during WW2. Since Footscray were not setup for the .45 and drill rounds were needed, they converted a number of the EC to drill as shown.

E C 42 Drill_zpsaskyns8x E C 42 Headstamp_zpsc1pxxtf8

Cheers

John

Ray,

You are quite right the Evansville production of Cal .45 cartridges has been covered in a number of earlier threads here on the forum and thanks for the picture from Bullets By The Billions, it appears the crates in the picture contain 1800 rounds in cartons. A rough guess there are 800 to 1000 crates (stacked 5 high?) in the picture, that’s around 1.5 million rounds or more.

Pete,

Here is a picture of a Twin Cities carton, steel cartridge case, LOT TW S 18523, headstamp " T W 5 6 ".

John,

Thanks for the information and pictures of the EC 42 round converted to a drill cartridge.

Brian

Brian, thanks for posting this, these cartridges are always interesting, no matter how common they may be.

I prepared this list of lot and marking variations observed in Evansville steel cased .45 Ball M1911 cartridge cartons and cans. Any additions and corrections are most welcome.

In correlative order according to lot number:

1st type
Suffix: S
Steel Case Ammunition (rubber stamped)
Lot number example: E. C. 24594S

2nd type
Suffix: S
Steel Case Ammunition (printed)
Lot number example: E. C. 24684S

3rd type
Prefix: S
Suffix: XC
Lot number example: E. C. S24721XC

4th type
Prefix: S
Suffix: XC
Steel Case Ammunition (printed)
Lot number example: E. C. S24783XC

5th type
Suffix: XC
Steel Case Ammunition (printed)
Lot number example: E. C. 24847XC

6th type
Prefix: _S
Lot number example: E. C. _S25012

7th type
Prefix: S-S
Lot number example: E. C. S-S25031

8th type
Prefix: S_S
Lot number example: E. C. S_S25059

9th type
Prefix: -S
Lot number example: E. C. -S25060

10th type:
Prefix: S-S-
Lot number example: E. C. S-S-25274

Repacks in correlative order according to date:

1st type (can)
Prefix: -S-
Lot number example: E.C.-S-25080

2nd type (carton)
Prefix: S-S-
Lot number example: E. C. S-S-25071

2nd type (can)
Prefix: -S-
Lot number example: ECS-S-25071

3rd type (can)
Suffix: XC
Lot number example: ECS-24745XC

4th type (carton)
Prefix: -
Suffix: XC
Lot number example: E. C. -24762XC

5th type (can)
Suffix: XC
Lot number example: EC-24824XC

6th type (carton)
Prefix: -
Suffix: S
Lot number example: E. C. -24562S

7th type (carton)
Prefix: S-
Suffix: XC
Lot number example: E. C. S-24793XC

Notes:

  • A “S” suffix or prefix indicates a steel case.
  • A “XC” suffix indicates a steel case and a steel bullet jacket.
  • A “S-S” prefix indicates a steel case made at the Sunbeam Division.
  • The manufacturing symbol “ECS” was only observed in can markings.

Regards,

Fede

Brian, interesting to note that between 1954 and 1956 (523-118 = 405) perhaps 405 lots of this steel case were made.
1953 was the earliest date for the steel case by TW & 1956 the last, with 8 different recorded* headstamp variations within that date range.
I’ve no idea how many were produced in a single lot, perhaps 100,000 or more?

Several years ago Dick Rainbolt was visiting me & obtained some steel TW dates for Doc. Fredrickson (the Federal historian) as Federal was the operator of TW & had produced the rounds. So I’m thinking they must be a (very) little uncommon?

*Fuller, Mahalik, Daubner, & Goforth .45 ACP checklist.

Fede,

Your comment “- The manufacturing symbol “ECS” was only observed in can markings.” I am a little confused on? I have 4 different ECS headstamps spanning two years in .45ACP.

Pictures below of what a sealed can looks like. You can see the metal strip that is pre partial separated from the inside in the picture. The military spam cans had this typical setup of a metal tab slipped through the slot in a T handle spam type opener and you roll off the thin strip of metal. This is very commun surplus. A couple of years ago it was being sold by Sportsman’s Guide for very reasonable pricing.

Picture of the few Evansville boxes I have.

Joe

Joe, thanks a lot for sharing pictures of your boxes. I will revise my list to see if something needs to be modified.

Regarding my comment about “ECS”, you are right, but what I meant to say that it was not used in cartons, only cans.

Regards,

Fede

Here is a nice article published on October 9, 1942 with some details of the early .45 caliber steel case development by the Sunbeam Electric Manufacturing Company.

54646556_zpsmo9xbwpl

Joe, thanks again for you help, one of your boxes is new to me. It is variation of those repacked in 8-44 with no prefix and S suffix. I edited my previous post for clarity.

Brian

That photo probably shows one day’s production (on a slow day).

Ray

I don’t collect 45 ACP. I’ve shot a few thousand in my day, doing my part to make the few remaining cartridges more rare. ;-)

Here’s my question for the experts:

The conventional thinking is that Sunbeam did not manufacture ammunition, only the cases. So, how can that be reconciled with the “S S” lot numbers such as posted by Fede? Did Sunbeam, by chance, pack ammunition made by Evansville and give the cartons their own lot numbers?

Ray

Thanks Fede,

Just for reference, here are some TW boxes with steel cased rounds.

Joe