B.166 Ammunition Box

We are continuing our survey of British Army ammunition boxes by looking at the B.166 box tonight. This is one of the larger boxes and is amongst the easiest patterns for collectors to find- its large size making it popular as a tool box which has helped many survive to the present day. My example was bought as such and has been sanded, repainted and stencilled to make it look a little more like it did when first manufactured, as such the holes drilled through the outside of the box are not original and date from its post war life in someone’s workshop:imageThe official designation for the box is B.166 and this is stamped into the lid:imageThis particular example is dated 1945. Other features of the box are identical to British ammunition boxes of the period. The lid is attached with a pair heavy duty hinges that allow the lid to be held away from the main body of the box for easy removal of the contents:imageA pair of metal clips hold the lid down and cleats are included to allow the clips to be wired shut:imageA heavy duty metal handle is fitted to each end of the box to allow it to be carried:imageThe full weight of these boxes is such that it is easier and safer for two men to carry the box between them if possible rather than one man risk injuring himself by moving it alone. The box was used for a number of different types of ordnance, the most common being for 3” mortar rounds. The list of potential contents include:

3 in M.L. Mortar HE

3 in M.L. Mortar Smoke

3 in M.L. Mortar Chemical

3 in M.L. Mortar Practice

Number Packed: 6

Gross weight: 88 lbs

Grenades No. 73

Number Packed: 10

Gross weight: 62 lbs

Grenade No. 77

Number Packed: 34

Gross weight: 41 lbs

Grenade No. 79

Number Packed: 24

Gross weight: 56 lbs

Portfires, common

Number Packed: 200

Gross weight: – lbs

Bombs, P.I.A.T., H.E.

Bombs, P.I.A.T., Inert, practice

Of all the ammunition boxes in my collection, the B.166 is the most useful as its large size means I can pack a lot of kit inside it for storage. I now have three of this particular type of box and none have cost me more than £10 each.

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