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Interesting Find: Older Ammo Boxes

I have been known to help out with the work parties at the range. It gives my wife a few hours to herself and it is a great way for me to give something to the range community, meet the new members just coming into the club, and enjoy the company of other shooters for a few hours.

During an outing earlier this year we worked outside clearing leaves from the drainage channels before moving inside to clean the indoor range.  While sorting the garbage/recyclables Paul found two older ammunition boxes someone had discarded. I found them interesting and asked if I could photograph them. He handed them to me.

I know many of you are asking yourself, “what’s so interesting about an empty ammunition box?” Nothing really, it isn’t the box that’s interesting for me. The interesting part is the history that the box represents.

For example, acquisition of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company by the Western Cartridge Company happened 22 Dec 1931. However, they didn’t begin operating  as the Winchester – Western Division of Olin Industries until 1944. Since the the back of the box says “Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation” and that merger didn’t occur until 1954 the ammunition that came in these boxes must have been manufactured between 1954 and 1980. That is when the New Haven plant was sold to the employees and became U.S. Repeating Arms.

They are 50 round boxes for Western Super Match .45 Automatic  cartridges.

The front of the box has the Western and super-match bullseye X logos the words “Center Fire Cartridges” and a warning to keep out of reach of children.

The short sides of the box are the same and show the super-match bullseye X logo with three lines of text. From a quick Googling I saw where someone suggested that the red 45AWCP in the upper right corner of the short side might be the catalog number for the load.

The long sides of the box are the same and show the company’s logo and three lines of text.

The back of the box has a drawing of the cartridge, the Wester and Olin logos and some text. It reads:

These Western [logo] cartridges with 185 grains Full Metal Case clean cutting bullets are especially designed to give the highest degree of accuracy in match competition. Non-corrosive priming and smokeless powder. Adapted to all standard arms chambered for this cartridge. We warrant the exercise of reasonable care in the manufacture of these cartridges, but make no other warranty, expressed or implied.

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