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The ammo was packed at Lake City Arsenal, September 1966. This M19A1 box represents another style of marking with letters aligned to the left. A recent M19A1 loaded with 7.62mm NATO Ammunition at Lake City Arsenal. The two small dimples on either side of the opener end of the lid on the M19A1 (or early M2A1) boxes held the lid partly open with cartridges ready for use while the side skirts kept out rain and dust. It measures 15-1/4 X 12 X 14-1/2, has 4 clamps (one on each side), two handles and a rubber gasket. Boxes of similar design but of different sizes were used for other types of ammunition. Known as hermetically sealed ammunition can. This one is for .30 caliber ammunition in 8 round M-1 Rifle clips (192 rounds) and is from the Twin Cities Arsenal. This one appears to be an M-20 but the can is not marked.Note the use of symbols as well as letters and numbers. It would appear that the opener clamp would interfere with feeding but it does not seem to be a problem. It measures 6 3/16" X 8 9/16" X 5 3/4".30 Cal Carbine .30 Carbine 10 rd clips/bandoleers .30 Cal rifle M2 .30 Cal rifle 5 rd clips/bandoleers .30 Cal rifle 8 rd clips/bandoleers .30 Cal M2 linked .30 Cal M2 in cartons .45 Cal pistol in cartons .50 Cal in cartons .50 Cal linked .50 Cal linked 12 Gage 00 Shotgun The type and style of markings on ammo boxes and cans vary depending on when they were packed and the type of ammunition.The yellow painted tab on the end apparently had some significance but was not always used. This also applies to bandoleers, clips and links but not to ammunition boxes, which carry an NSN that begins with 8140. The original markings for 1000, 9mm cartridges have been painted over with tan paint (one side only) and remarked in black stencil. - It is difficult to find information on lot numbers from early years.There are few variations to be found on M19A1 boxes but markings may vary. No effort was made to match the original color and this may have been deliberate as it shows that the box had been reloaded once and probably should not be used again. Technical manuals only mention that there is such a thing as lot numbers and that it was important to keep the lot number information with the ammunition.Ammunition boxes are often reloaded and relabeled several times. From the design of the lid and color it appears to be an older type. The box has the same lid as the M2A1 .50 caliber box but is 12-1/32 x 6-3/32 x 16-5/16. Although a small lock will fit, it offers only moderate security. These two pictures show an example of a foreign made and loaded M2A1 style box. It lacks a makers name or other identification on the box. The abbreviations of the ordnance plant will be found as a part of the lot number on ammunition boxes and cans and may also be found on cartridges.The original markings are often painted over with a color similar to the original color and then marked with the new information in yellow. This box was unmarked as to its purpose or model number. It measurers 11 L x 5-9/16 W x 9-9/16 D. The KA in the lot number indicates Puzan Government Arsenal Republic of Korea. These were the most common manufacturers of small arms ammunition during WWII: Boxes may have lot numbers or repacked lot numbers.There is no evidence that it has been used to carry .50 caliber ammunition. TM 9-1305-201-34&P (July 1981) shows NSN 8010-00-848-9272 for shade 34087 but actual cans of GI one-pint spray paint in shade 34088 show that same NSN. Shade 34087 is a light OD or even slightly tan shade that is similar to U. An online search seems to confirm that the NSN 8010-00-848-9272 (16 oz) and also 8010-00-782-9357 belongs to shade 34088 and not 34087. Orange Paint In recent years, orange paint has been prescribed to paint ammunition boxes that are less than full.
Post war models would be simple in design and more rugged than the wartime boxes. Newer M2A1s still have a separate piece for the hinge but the lid has been extended and folded over to form the opener pivot.
Some sources say that at least some M19 boxes lack the slot on the bottom that was designed to accommodate the handle of another box when stacked. This one was originally loaded with 250 rounds of .30 Cal linked ball M2 cartridges at Lake City Arsenal. This one has no lot number or date and was probably never used for the intended purpose.
It was then reloaded with 200 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, M80 in cartons in M13 links, also at Lake City Arsenal. Another example of an older M19A1 box with original markings. The PA-125 has a carrying handle on both ends and one side. M621 Box - A plastic ammo box for 30, linked 25mm Cartridges probably for the Bradley fighting vehicle gun. It served as a toolbox for many years and the hasp was a later add on.
For example, most makers placed the welded seam of the box on the opener end and their initials on the hinge end. Lot numbers can be described as the New Standard, the Old Standard and the Very Old Standard. It appears that the very old standard involved each arsenal assigning its own numbers to their lot numbers in sequence and lot numbers could be three to six or more digits.
UNITED and GP&F placed the welded seam on the hinge end and their name will be found on the opener end. Different styles of handles, some made of fabric, have also been observed in photographs but no details are available. One type (made in Singapore) uses a rolled crimp, similar to the M1 box, for the bottom. Dimensions are similar to .50 cal M2A1 box except for being about 32 inches tall and the lid is not interchangeable. A letter such as B (belted ammo) or L (linked ammo) could follow the makers code or appear within the lot number.