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Keywords Winchester Ammunition Boxes
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February 6, 2023 - 12:28 pm
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Here are a few key words about age determination of Winchester ammunition boxes that I jotted down for a presentation to my collector friends. Maybe someone will be interested.

 

Wrong patent date: For rimfire cartridges from 1871 to about 1908 (37 years!).
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Cartridge Headstamp: Only from 1878 onwards
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Solid Head: Patent 1880
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“Metallic Cartridges” changed to “Rifle Cartridges”: mid 1880s.
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Intertwined WAR Logo: Only between 1890 – 1906
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Primer: From 1894 embossed “W”.
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Label colors: Until 1895 the colors of the labels were random, from this date onwards
BP Lead Green
BP Softpoint Blue
NP Softpoint Orange
NP VM Red
NP Softpoint HV Yellow
NP VM HV Pink
NP Short Range Beige / Red Font
NP Military Beige / Black font
There are many exceptions!

 

Sunburst Label: From 1895 to 1902
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Date Label: From 1906 the printing date of the labels was printed as well
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Red W: From 1906 onwards
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Cummings Cryptographic Machine: ca. 1908-1910, Coded were production date and loading machine.
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“Loaded in France : “Monopole of Poudres et Salpêtres” from ca. 1909 to 1931. Only factory for propellant powder in France. To protect the monopoly, high import duties were imposed on loaded ammunition from the USA. Therefore, Winchester sold primed cases and bullets which were then loaded with French powder in France.

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License Label: Between 1910 – 1913

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K code: From 1923 to 1952. C = Rifle, T = Pistol.
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Super Speed: From 1925

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Staynless Primer: From 1928
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Non Mercuric Primer: As of 1931

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Blue Boxes: From 1932 – 1939

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Blue-Yellow Boxes: 1938/39 – 1946 “Division of Western Cartridge Co.”

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Silver Tip Bullets: From 1940

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Red Yellow Boxes: 1946 – 1955 “Division of Olin Industries Inc.”

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W Code: 1952 onwards
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Please excuse my bad English, of course I gave the presentation in German.

 

Stefan

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February 6, 2023 - 12:36 pm
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Very nice job!  Great education for me.  Thanks Steff!

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February 6, 2023 - 3:31 pm
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Nothing wrong with your English at all.  I’m rather surprised that so much “foreign” ammo made its way to Europe, & with the import duties all countries imposed, it would not have been cheap.

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February 6, 2023 - 4:15 pm
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Globalization was already well advanced at that time. Even then, there were some dealers who specialized in American weapons. Likewise, there were many German manufacturers who produced ammunition specifically for the US market.

 

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Stefan

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February 6, 2023 - 8:42 pm
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steff said
Cartridge Headstamp: Only from 1878 onwards

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Steff

I agree with most of what you posted. But question, where did you get the date of 1878 for head stamps?

My understanding was that the head stamps didn’t start being used until 1884 or so.

One example I can think that supports a later date is the 50-95 Express cartridge. Introduced in 1879. Early 50 Express cartridges are without head stamp.

I’ll have think on finding other like examples of this, but that is off the top of my head.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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February 6, 2023 - 9:16 pm
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I got this info from Shuey’s books.

The cartridges in the box with headstamp picture do not have headstamps. Perhaps this is the reason for the discrepancy in the years?

Cartridges from about 1884 with HS/ box images from about 1878 with HS?

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Stefan

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February 6, 2023 - 9:29 pm
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Here is another example for my theory:

 

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February 7, 2023 - 5:15 am
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steff said
I got this info from Shuey’s books.

The cartridges in the box with headstamp picture do not have headstamps. Perhaps this is the reason for the discrepancy in the years?

Cartridges from about 1884 with HS/ box images from about 1878 with HS?

P1290588_3.jpgImage Enlarger

Stefan

Where in Shuey’s Book? Or Books? What page(s)?

Sincerely,

Maverick

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February 7, 2023 - 10:32 pm
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Unfortunately, that was a few weeks ago – but I think it was in the timelines at the beginning of the first volume.

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February 9, 2023 - 4:41 am
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On the first page of the Introduction of Volume 1 Shuey states, “The earliest catalog showing headstamps on its illustrations is 1884. It is believed this the approximate time headstamping started to become a practice at Winchester.” Also the timeline on page 10, restates this.

The paragraph before this sentence mentions that Shotshells were noted to be the first to bear a headstamp in 1878. And some early government contract 45-70 Government cartridges were headstamped as early 1878. But this is the exception to the rule.

Everything I’ve come across supports this to be the case.

Shuey also states, “Many Winchester cartridges never bore headstamps, and many were never headstamped until later in their time span, an example being the 42 Russian.” Which I believe this points to calibers that were not standard proprietary calibers of Winchester’s.

The cartridge boxes you have shown. What aspect of them dates the boxes to be pre-1884? Or 1878?

 Sincerely,

Maverick

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