.30 Cal Ammunition Box

On the whole, post war ammunition boxes are ignored by many collectors. These ammunition boxes though are cheap (often under £5) and they are easily available so they make an interesting area for collecting and research. It must also be remembered that many of these boxes are now reaching 50 years old and as time moves on they will start becoming more collectable and hopefully better appreciated by collectors. Tonight’s ammunition box dates from 1966 and its official designation is H82 Mk1:FullSizeRenderfAs can be seen this ammunition box is a smaller example used for belted small arms ammunition and much of what we want to know can be learnt from the markings on the side:FullSizeRendereFrom this we can see that the box contained 240 rounds of .30 cal mixed belt ammunition at a ration of 4 rounds to one tracer. Underneath this we see that it is in a Mk1 belt and that the ball ammunition is Mk4 rounds, the tracer Mk 1 and both were packed on `12th December 1966. The ammunition type, .30 cal, was used for the machine guns on many tanks and armoured vehicles of the period. Also on this side of the box is an MOD sticker indicating that the box contains explosives that are safety type 6:FullSizeRenderqThe top of the box has a handle for carrying, this is on moveable wire fasteners so it stows flat against the top of the ammunition box for easy storage:FullSizeRendernThe weight of a full box, 18lb, is recorded on one end:FullSizeRendermWhilst on the other is the clip fastener for the box which secures the lid. This is also the fastener that allows the box to be mounted on the side of a weapon so ammunition can be fed from it into the breech of the machine gun:FullSizeRenderoBelow this is impressed the details of the box:FullSizeRenderpFrom this we can ascertain that the box is an H82Mk1 and was manufactured in 1966. These details are added on the end as it is common practice to quickly overspray ammunition boxes on a range with the base colour once the contents had been fired to indicate they were empty. The embossed details ensured the original date of manufacture were not lost. A lot of the boxes that do come on the market have details over painted or multiple issues printed on the outside, this box is unusual in that it has only been used once and still retains all its markings and stickers. The markings were added using either rubber stamps or stencils and yellow paint. Examples of this type of box are probably the smallest ammunition boxes in my collection and are a good place for new collectors to start as they are cheap, available as surplus and don’t take up too much room. The box is also found with markings for 7.62 ammunition for use with a GPMG and as such this box is still manufactured today.


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