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ca. 1941 FRANKFORD ARSENAL CRATE FOR 1500 M-1 BALL AMMUNITION IN CLIPS AND CARTONS – COMPLETE WITH METAL LINER:  A nice solid original Frankford Arsenal ammunition crate for the M-1 Rifle cartridges.  Constructed of thick wide boards, the crate still retains the original OD brown paint with a broad red stripe running up the front and back panels.  The arsenal stenciling is still legible on all four sides, including the type and amount of ammunition, lot number and arsenal identification, as well as the Ordnance bomb insignia on each end panel. 

While this crate is not dated, the lot number on the crate - "1786", the "M-1" designation, and the Frankford Arsenal identification does help to determine that this crate was issued from the arsenal prior to October of 1941.  According to the History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Vol. II, by Hackley, Woodin and Scranton:

"In 1940 the standard ball cartridge was the M2, which had been standardized for ground use by the Ordnance Committee on November 9, 1939 (approved January 12, 1940).  At the same time the M1 Ball cartridge was reclassified as Limited Standard, except for use in aircraft machine guns by the U.S. Navy where it was still standard." The last loaded at Frankford was Lot 2161 (accepted 24 October, 1941).  The lot consisted of 601,500 rounds.  The M1 Ball was declared obsolete on 17 August 1944.”

The bottom panel is intact and solid.  The wide board making up the top panel of the front has an age check in the wood, but it is stable and solid and not at risk of separating further.  The top appears to be a replacement and from the look of the wood, may have been added contemporary to the crate’s use, perhaps by a soldier using it as a shipping crate as was often done with cast off ammo crates.  Five of the six anchor bolts for sealing the top are present.  A very nice feature, the metal liner is still present and intact and is in remarkable condition with much of the original finish present and only minor spots of corrosion and a few very small, minor pin holes.   

This is one of those unusual Ordnance Department items that surfaces once in a while and will be an interesting piece to display with your M1 Rifle, with the added value of dating from the early days of World War Two.   $100




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