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Original U.S. WWI Browning M1917 .30 Caliber Wooden Ammunition Box

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. When the .30 Cal. M1917 Browning machine gun was developed for the U.S. military during World War I, the ammunition was packed in wooden boxes suitable for direct feeding of the gun. Wooden packing crates were used for bulk shipping of ammunition.

Key construction for the wood .30 caliber ammo boxes consisted of oak or ash wood material, dovetail or lap joints, a leather or webbing strap on top fitted into a rectangular groove with a centered circular pick-up area, open-lid feed, spring-loaded lid latch to gun-side panel, and far-end hinge. A slot in the gun-side panel made a firm attachment to the gun.

The bottom panel and gun-side panel of the box were shortened, to avoid contact with the mount. A diagonal panel joins the two and completes the closure of the bottom. Flat head screws were used to secure the bottom to the sides of the box.

If painted at all, flat olive drab paint was used for the box. The bottom of the interior of the box was stenciled with the orientation of the ammunition contents. Some of the .30 caliber wood ammo boxes are stenciled outside with "CHEST 49-1-84".

This M1917 wood ammunition box is totally original with working closure clasp and no cracks or breaks. It has the angled corner specific to early production models, which was removed for the later M1917A1 specification. The leather carry strap appears to be original and is without damage. The box retains much of the original green paint, but unfortunately there is no stenciling visible. The inside of the box is unpainted and free of damage with the correct image of 3 rounds burned into the bottom to ensure proper loading.

This is a beautiful example of an early ammunition box for the famed Browning M1917 Machine Gun. Comes ready to display!

Dimensions: 12 ¼” x 4 ½” x 7 ¼”   
Depth: 6 ¾”
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