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Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

Article about: Enjoy this interesting WW2 US 50cal. Wooden ammo Box...BILL

  1. #11
    Kletimostaph
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    Quote by Nige H View Post
    These boxes were produced in huge quantities during WWII as they were used to rearm aircraft (among other things) here in the U.K. if you watch original colour combat of the 8 th USAAF in Britain you can see these boxes being used.

    Nige.
    Thank you very much for that useful information !

    I do have one question, though. Most of the boxes I have here are nailed together. I have found a few that are finger jointed. Based on my experience, that would make those few just a little older than WWII. Possibly during/post WWI? I may be wrong. Could someone clarify?

  2. #12
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    Hi
    when you say finger jointed do you mean the panels of the boxes have dovetail jointed corners, if so yes I believe that the earlier style .30-06 cal boxes made for the M1917A1 water cooled Browning machine gun, have these style corners, so possibly yes the earlier .50 Cal ones were made the same way, or it could be just a simple cases that different company made the boxes in a different way.


    Nige.
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  3. #13
    Kletimostaph
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    Thank you Nige. Actually there is a difference between "finger jointed" and "dovetail jointed", but the difference is just a slight variance (my line of business you need to know these things). I believe the boxes are in fact made by the same company though. I could be wrong in that the ordnance company did not make the boxes, but an outside (box maker) company made the boxes for the ordnance company.
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  4. #14
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    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    looking at the pictures once again the boxes made with the Finger joint corners have the .50 Cal rounds " in cartons" , the other boxes state "linked" I. E meaning belts of ammo in metal disintegrating links as used in armour vehicles and aircraft etc as opposed to being packed loose inside cardboard cartoons within the box, so again guessing here it could be the extra weight of the carton pack ammo, or the fact that a box containing a 240 round belt of ammo would used or at least removed from the box in one go, and then the box discarded, unlike loose pack ammo were the box could be stored and possibly replenished and therefore used for a much longer period, and thus made to a stronger specification.

    Nige.
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  5. #15
    Kletimostaph
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    That makes perfect sense. I can see now why the difference in design. So, this possibly means that they are the same era, just made for a different specifications.

    I would +REP ya if I knew where the button was (or do I have that option?). You have been a big help in my research of these boxes!

    One more question. Out of the many boxes I have there, I have noticed that not all the boxes are "dated". There are a few here that are dated with 52 being the repack year of 1952 and some are dated 43 (1943). I came to the conclusion that the dated boxes were on the outside of a pallet. Would I be correct in assuming this?

  6. #16

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    Quote by Kletimostaph View Post
    I would +REP ya if I knew where the button was (or do I have that option?). You have been a big help in my research of these boxes!
    That is nice that you appreciate the help. Thank you from me and thanks to my old friend Nige too.

    If you wish to add some reputation points, it is easy.

    Look at the persons detals to the left of their post. There is a grey coloured icon, which shows a "tick " and a "cross"seen at the bottom left. Click on that.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #17
    Kletimostaph
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    That is nice that you appreciate the help. Thank you from me and thanks to my old friend Nige too.

    If you wish to add some reputation points, it is easy.

    Look at the persons detals to the left of their post. There is a grey coloured icon, which shows a "tick " and a "cross"seen at the bottom left. Click on that.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Thank you much for that help

  8. #18
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    Quote by Kletimostaph View Post
    One more question. Out of the many boxes I have there, I have noticed that not all the boxes are "dated". There are a few here that are dated with 52 being the repack year of 1952 and some are dated 43 (1943). I came to the conclusion that the dated boxes were on the outside of a pallet. Would I be correct in assuming this?
    Possibly, again this was quite a common practice with all military equipment which has been in long term storage, whether it be vehicle parts, combat web gear, or ammo. In most cases items that have been in storage for long periods are inspected regularly to see if they are still serviceable. Obviously with ammunitions this is especially important as it has a shelf life of about 10-15 years after which it is classed as unserviceable for ether training or combat use, the British army practice is to place the rounds in large armoured storage bins and then set the whole lot alight. So yes if the rounds were stored in the original batches then I could see that they would only check and test fire one or two rounds from each lot just to make sure they still fired O.K. as having talked to people in the past about ammo apparently its the cartridge cases Boxer primer , that deteriorates over time and can thus cause ether a Hang fire or a dud round, the first of which could be quite dangerous with a .50 Cal machine if the round failed to go off while in the breech however then denoted while being extracted and ejected. Finally having looked at your pictures I've noticed a lot of the boxes state, the contents are factory second's due to a defective tracer in the tale of the Bullet, which is why they are marked for training use only, and also more than likely why these boxes stayed in the U.S.A. and survived for the last 60 + years, instead of joining the brothers in Europe or other theatres of combat.

    Nige
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  9. #19
    Kletimostaph
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    That is some interesting information. I can see now why some of the boxes are made that way then. Nailed boxes for long term use and the finger jointed are made to use and throw away.

    I noticed that you mention them being marked for training use. I have a few boxes that are marked in that manner, however, I would assume that these that are marked for training use may have been on the outside of the pallet when marked. Yes, it would stand to reason why the boxes lasted so long. I imagine that if they had seen combat, they may not have ever came to my possession.

    This is all coming together very nice. I am learning more than I ever thought I would. You guys here are very helpful. Thank you for all your insight.

  10. #20
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting US WW2 50cal. Box

    Quote by Kletimostaph View Post
    That is some interesting information. I can see now why some of the boxes are made that way then. Nailed boxes for long term use and the finger jointed are made to use and throw away.

    I noticed that you mention them being marked for training use. I have a few boxes that are marked in that manner, however, I would assume that these that are marked for training use may have been on the outside of the pallet when marked. Yes, it would stand to reason why the boxes lasted so long. I imagine that if they had seen combat, they may not have ever came to my possession.

    This is all coming together very nice. I am learning more than I ever thought I would. You guys here are very helpful. Thank you for all your insight.
    Hi Kletimostaph,
    Actually it should be the other way around. Back in the 60's I worked summers for a wooden box maker and made boxes and crates and pallets for shipping. The majority were nailed and made to be used once and tossed or reused for as long as they lasted. The more expensive boxes and crates were finger jointed and glued. Later in the 70's I got a summer job making fancy wooden boxes for store displays and gift/presentation purposes. They were all finger jointed.
    I have some pictures of the stamped wing nuts mentioned earlier. I will post them when I find them. Also some of those .50 cal boxes had stamped metal straps that extended across the top cover along the short width possibly to separate the crates when stacked.
    Kind Regards,
    Bill

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