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Old 11-26-2021, 02:04 PM
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Question Age of .357 Magnum Ammunition-Photo Added

Below is a photo of a full box of .357 Magnum ammunition. I think the lot number is A47 25. Does anyone know when this ammunition was made? Thanks for your help.

Bill




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Old 11-26-2021, 02:40 PM
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April 25, 1937. And it was loaded at the Western plant, not in New Haven.
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Old 11-26-2021, 03:03 PM
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Thanks. I appreciate the help.

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Old 11-26-2021, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
April 25, 1937. And it was loaded at the Western plant, not in New Haven.
If it is A47 25, is it 1937 or 1947? Can anyone explain the code system?

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Old 11-26-2021, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
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April 25, 1937. And it was loaded at the Western plant, not in New Haven.
I’m impressed.
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Old 11-26-2021, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcvs View Post
If it is A47 25, is it 1937 or 1947? Can anyone explain the code system?
You must go by the box graphics. The general style of the box shown was used in the later 1930s. The Winchester system is simple. The first one or two numbers are the month, the second or third number is the last number of the year. The last one or two digits represent the date. If there is a leading A, that indicates that it was loaded at Western's plant in East Alton IL. That system was used by Winchester into the late 1950s, at which time Winchester adopted the Western coding system which had been in use since the 1920s.

Example: 114 13 would indicate loading on November 13 1954, or whatever year ending in 4 fits the box graphics. As there is no A, the loading was done at New Haven. There is also a rough dating that can be done by noting the company name printed on the box. Inclusion of Olin began in 1944 with other name changes thereafter.
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:22 PM
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I would assume this ammo used Large Primers. When did they switch to a small primer pocket?

Ivan
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:34 PM
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Interesting
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
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April 25, 1937. And it was loaded at the Western plant, not in New Haven.
I absolutely LOVE the Forum!
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Old 11-27-2021, 02:11 AM
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Why have they always considered the date of manufacture as something which needs to be coded? Just print the date, dang it! I hate digging out my charts every time I want to get a box date, and I am too lazy to memorize all the different manufacturer's codes. Heck, some of them haven't even been totally cracked, such as Federal's.
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Old 11-27-2021, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
You must go by the box graphics. The general style of the box shown was used in the later 1930s. The Winchester system is simple. The first one or two numbers are the month, the second or third number is the last number of the year. The last one or two digits represent the date. If there is a leading A, that indicates that it was loaded at Western's plant in East Alton IL. That system was used by Winchester into the late 1950s, at which time Winchester adopted the Western coding system which had been in use since the 1920s.

Example: 114 13 would indicate loading on November 13 1954, or whatever year ending in 4 fits the box graphics. As there, is no A, the loading was done at New Haven. There is also a rough dating that can be done by noting the company name printed on the box. Inclusion of Olin began in 1944 with other name changes thereafter.
Until you posted the above explanation, I figured this post,

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April 25, 1937. And it was loaded at the Western plant, not in New Haven.
was pulled out of thin air.

I am glad I come here to learn and I am equally glad so many others are willing to share their knowledge.

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Old 11-27-2021, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
Until you posted the above explanation, I figured this post,



was pulled out of thin air.

I am glad I come here to learn and I am equally glad so many others are willing to share their knowledge.

Kevin

Kevin,

Dwalt has helped to explain another of one of the mysteries of life!☺

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Old 11-27-2021, 11:14 AM
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Bill,
It also is in what is called the 1935 box. The Winchester address with red letters in the blue band is what meets that designation. The 1939 box does not have the address. 1935 boxes are not seen too often. I agree with Dewalt on the East Alton manufacture location.
I hope this helps,
Bill
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Old 11-27-2021, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingomann View Post
Why have they always considered the date of manufacture as something which needs to be coded? Just print the date, dang it! I hate digging out my charts every time I want to get a box date, and I am too lazy to memorize all the different manufacturer's codes. Heck, some of them haven't even been totally cracked, such as Federal's.
Most likely because many people seem to think ammo goes bad with age. I still encounter this mindset regularly. Too many people seem to think that any ammo more than a couple years old is like the milk they buy at the store and it will spoil. In reality unless it is exposed to really bad storage conditions or (rarely, mostly seen with wartime production) has production issues most ammo will far outlast the owner if not shot up.

The only other reason that Ive heard of that makes any sense is the old bugaboo of industrial competition.... Don't want competitors figuring out your volume of production and possible sales from just reading the dates on the boxes. Industries can be funny about that sometimes.
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:15 PM
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Knowledge shared in this thread is beyond compare.

The one thing that struck me the most about Bill's photo in the OP is the statement on the front of the box: "For SMITH and WESSON .357 MAGNUM REVOLVERS".

At the time DWalt said this box of ammo was produced, were there any other manufactures producing .357 Magnum revolvers?
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:16 PM
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Bill...thanks for the additional information.

Bill
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
You must go by the box graphics. The general style of the box shown was used in the later 1930s. The Winchester system is simple. The first one or two numbers are the month, the second or third number is the last number of the year. The last one or two digits represent the date. If there is a leading A, that indicates that it was loaded at Western's plant in East Alton IL. That system was used by Winchester into the late 1950s, at which time Winchester adopted the Western coding system which had been in use since the 1920s.

Example: 114 13 would indicate loading on November 13 1954, or whatever year ending in 4 fits the box graphics. As there is no A, the loading was done at New Haven. There is also a rough dating that can be done by noting the company name printed on the box. Inclusion of Olin began in 1944 with other name changes thereafter.
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Originally Posted by desi2358 View Post
Most likely because many people seem to think ammo goes bad with age. I still encounter this mindset regularly. Too many people seem to think that any ammo more than a couple years old is like the milk they buy at the store and it will spoil. In reality unless it is exposed to really bad storage conditions or (rarely, mostly seen with wartime production) has production issues most ammo will far outlast the owner if not shot up.

The only other reason that Ive heard of that makes any sense is the old bugaboo of industrial competition.... Don't want competitors figuring out your volume of production and possible sales from just reading the dates on the boxes. Industries can be funny about that sometimes.
Dad just returned a box of Federal 357B 125 grain JHP I gave him in 1980. The first 12 have been just fine.
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:35 PM
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Very neat box and love the information in this discussion.

If it is at all possible (and I certainly understand if it isn’t), please post a picture of the rounds and especially of the case head with primer. As mentioned in a post above, I believe early .357 Magnum ammo was made with a large pistol primer and I should think that would make for an interesting and non-ordinary look.
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:56 PM
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"At the time DWalt said this box of ammo was produced, were there any other manufactures producing .357 Magnum revolvers?"

The Colt New Service, though not many. And venturing into dangerous territory - my memory - there may have been a very few special order pre-war II SAA's made in .357
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Old 11-27-2021, 05:08 PM
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For those interested in such things, the Giles and Shuey book provides about 100 years (1856-1956) worth of color pictures of Winchester cartridge boxes, mainly centerfire rifle, in all calibers. A little on rimfire, none of shotshell. Pretty good for approximate dating of Winchester boxes.




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Old 11-28-2021, 12:42 PM
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Per a request, I have added a photo of the individual cartridges to post #1.

Bill
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Old 11-28-2021, 01:00 PM
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Wow they look just fantastic for their age!
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Old 11-28-2021, 01:12 PM
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Default Other Manufacturers Producing .357 Magnum Revolvers Pre-WWII?

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"And venturing into dangerous territory - my memory - there may have been a very few special order pre-war II SAA's made in .357
Your memory didn’t fail you this time; here is my 1st generation 1939 vintage Colt SAA in .357 Magnum, nearly NIB although it looks like a previous owner put 6 more rounds through the test target…….


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Old 11-28-2021, 04:52 PM
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"I believe early .357 Magnum ammo was made with a large pistol primer and I should think that would make for an interesting and non-ordinary look."

I have quite a few different .357 example specimens in my collection, none of which have large primer pockets. But absent their original boxes I have no way to date them accurately. I do have some early .38 Auto cartridges and cases which have large primer pockets (USCCo), but again I cannot date them. While it is possible that some early .357 cases may have large primer pockets I do not remember seeing one. And I do not know what the benefit(s) of using large primers would be, as small primers seem to do a satisfactory job of powder ignition in the .357 case.

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Old 11-28-2021, 06:01 PM
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I compared the primers of the ammunition made in 1937 to those of contemporary .357 Magnum ammunition and 44 Magnum ammunition. Based on the comparison, the primers in the early ammunition are definitely of the large pistol type.

Bill
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Old 11-28-2021, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
For those interested in such things, the Giles and Shuey book provides about 100 years (1856-1956) worth of color pictures of Winchester cartridge boxes, mainly centerfire rifle, in all calibers. A little on rimfire, none of shotshell. Pretty good for approximate dating of Winchester boxes.

https://www.amazon.com/100-Years-Win.../dp/0764325418
I have that book and have had it for quite a while. Have looked some things up in it. Mainly a .22 box collector. Guess I will need to read the whole thing.
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Old 11-28-2021, 06:40 PM
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I am not finding any date codes on my box.

Curious to know where the OP's date code is.

My box appears to be an exact image of Doc's.

Is this a 1939 box?

Mine is complete.

bdGreen

Tap on image to enlarge.






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Old 11-28-2021, 07:05 PM
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Batch Codes on my oldest boxes (post war) are stamped inside the end flap.

I have one 357 cartridge in my collection with the large primer.

Ivan
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Old 11-28-2021, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
"I believe early .357 Magnum ammo was made with a large pistol primer and I should think that would make for an interesting and non-ordinary look."

I have quite a few different .357 example specimens in my collection, none of which have large primer pockets. But absent their original boxes I have no way to date them accurately. I do have some early .38 Auto cartridges and cases which have large primer pockets (USCCo), but again I cannot date them. While it is possible that some early .357 cases may have large primer pockets I do not remember seeing one. And I do not know what the benefit(s) of using large primers would be, as small primers seem to do a satisfactory job of powder ignition in the .357 case.
I agree with you that there is no tangible advantage of a large pistol primer over a small pistol primer today, that wasn’t the conventional wisdom many decades ago. Today we see that .45 ACP and 10mm both are being made with a small pistol primer to no ill effect whatsoever.

As a matter of fact, we could take the conversation further and say that if anything, a small pistol primer makes for more brass in the case head, helpful to contain pressure. On this subject, a semi-internet famous (or internet infamous!) poster on other forums who made an absolute hobby of purposely overloading til failure (on purpose, for scientific research) made note of the fact that 10mm was somewhat handicapped by using a large pistol primer on a case with a relatively medium-small case head.
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Old 11-28-2021, 08:55 PM
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This thread is great.
What would a "R" mean on a box of 22's?
Bottom on front "Made in United States of America"
Inside right flap "R 17 13"
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:05 PM
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Bruce, it is a 1935 style box. The date code is on the inside of one of the flaps.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
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Bruce, it is a 1935 style box. The date code is on the inside of one of the flaps.
Bill
Thanx Bill.

I guess I won't know. Don't plan on cutting into the protective seal on the box right now.

Appreciate your response.

bdGreen
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Old 11-29-2021, 03:49 PM
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This thread is great.
What would a "R" mean on a box of 22's?
Bottom on front "Made in United States of America"
Inside right flap "R 17 13"
A Winchester box or some other brand? A picture would help.
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  #34  
Old 11-29-2021, 04:09 PM
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A wise man once said "Try to learn something new every day."
Mission accomplished!
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  #35  
Old 11-29-2021, 06:22 PM
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Great thread. I'll venture a guess that this stuff is somewhat newer. I have it in with my pre-27 that shipped February, 1954.
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  #36  
Old 11-29-2021, 08:44 PM
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Retired W4,
Does it have “Division of Olin Industries” or “Division of Olin Mathieson” on the box? With that we can put it in a timeframe.
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Last edited by 1Aspenhill; 11-29-2021 at 08:51 PM.
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  #37  
Old 11-29-2021, 09:35 PM
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A wise man once said "Try to learn something new every day."
Mission accomplished!
While I'm NOT a "wise man", back when I was given a rookie police officer to train, I would tell him/her the same thing. It might be as simple as learning a different way to get from Point A to Point B. Or it could be learning the exact boundaries to your beat, all of the elements listed in the state code as pertaining to a crime, etc., etc., etc.
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  #38  
Old 11-30-2021, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrofix View Post
This thread is great.
What would a "R" mean on a box of 22's?
Bottom on front "Made in United States of America"
Inside right flap "R 17 13"
If it appears to be hand stamped it could be part of the lot number. Depending on manufacturer it may be possible to decipher the code and determine the production date. If it looks machine printed or is in the same ink as the packaging it may simply be the makers code for that particular box.
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Old 11-30-2021, 03:29 PM
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"Does it have “Division of Olin Industries” or “Division of Olin Mathieson” on the box? With that we can put it in a timeframe."
-----------------------------------------
As a way of approximating age of a box of Winchester or Western ammunition from the label, "Olin Industries" was used first in 1944. In 1954, it was changed to "Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation." In 1969, it was changed again to "Olin Corporation."

Note however that Winchester first became a part of Olin Industries in 1931. Western (which started in the late 1890s) was always Olin.

Also, the WRA and WESTERN headstamps were gradually changed to W-W during the mid-1960s.

Last edited by DWalt; 11-30-2021 at 03:42 PM.
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  #40  
Old 11-30-2021, 06:22 PM
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Retired W4,
Does it have “Division of Olin Industries” or “Division of Olin Mathieson” on the box? With that we can put it in a timeframe.
Winchester-Western Division
Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation

code on flap:

42
22NL42

Headstamp is: SUPER-X 357 MAGNUM

Last edited by Retired W4; 11-30-2021 at 06:24 PM.
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  #41  
Old 11-30-2021, 07:39 PM
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Here are the 2 pre-war boxes I have, The top one has small primer rounds and the bottom one has large primer rounds.
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File Type: jpg Mag Ammo 1.jpg (102.1 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Mag Ammo 4.jpg (79.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Mag Ammo 3.jpg (74.6 KB, 17 views)
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