The 7.62mm GPMG ammunition belt was covered on the blog last month here. These belts were provided in a number of different forms of packaging, but the tradition metal ammunition box was the most common, a belt of 200 rounds of ammunition fitting neatly inside a H82 can:The ammunition box is identical to the .30 cal version we looked at here but with different markings to reflect that it was for use with 7.62mm ammunition:The top of the can has a large pull out handle that allows it to be carried:A large catch is fitted to one side of the can to secure the lid:This also allowed the box to be mounted alongside a GPMG when it was used aboard a vehicle in a special mounting. Beneath this the box’s designation, H82, and the year of manufacture 1964 are stamped into the metal:The contents of the can are marked on the side in yellow paint, 200 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition:The markings indicate that for every four ball rounds there is a single tracer round and that the rounds are linked together. The ball ammunition is L2A2 whilst the tracer is L5A3. These markings had been overpainted with the same brown as the rest of the can, careful scraping with a sharp blade revealed them again, but has resulted in a rather jagged appearance to some of the markings.
The rear of the can has another small stencilled marking that is presumably the lot numbers for this batch of ammunition:The H82 was a remarkably strong ammunition box, even when the ammunition within was subject to intense heat. One former soldier remembers:
I had to deal with the same in Basra about ten years ago.. The fire was intense and there was not much left apart from the gear box and engines. All the ammo on the pintle mount GPMG had cooked off as had the contents of the packed 7.62 link. The H82 ammo boxes had swelled with the pressure, but nothing had come out.