Original U.S. WWII .30 Caliber M1 Ammo Can by Canco or Reeves

Item Description

Original Item: Offered in solid useable condition, but all will show some surface rust, grime and possibly minor dents from years of neglect in storage. All lids and hinges will function.

The .30 caliber M1 steel ammunition can box was developed to deliver belts of 250 .30-06 cartridges for the .30 Cal. M1917 Browning machine gun. It has also been used for various calibers in cartons, clips, bandoleers or other packaging. The .30 cal. steel M1 ammo can replaced the wood Cal .30 Ammunition Box early in WW2.

The M1 ammo can typically held a cloth or link belt of .30-06 cartridges. The same box was also used for other cartridges and was stencil marked to indicate the contents, usually in yellow. The box was embossed with concentric rectangles (for strength) and lettering:

Cal. .30 M1

Ammunition Box

The U.S. and the Ordnance flaming bomb is embossed on the hinge end. Usually the manufacturer embossed a form of their name above the U.S. (Canco, Reeves, Crown, etc.) An embossed cartridge shape indicated the orientation of the contained ammo.

The M1 ammo box had a hinged lid that could be simply flipped up for use or could be removed by sliding it off the hinge. A metal bar handle is attached to the lid by rectangular wire loops so it can fold flat for stacking or lift up for easy carry. On the opposite end from the hinge, a sturdy latch clamped the lid down on its interior edge gasket, making the box almost waterproof. The M1 ammo box was fitted to mount the box to a machine gun.

When loaded with .30 cal. belted ammunition, the M1 ammo can is able to hold a 250 round belt but it can be difficult to fold the belt in such a way that it fits the can and feeds correctly. If you are loading your own cans, you may have to practice this before it will work for you. Linked belts load more easily than cloth belts.

The M1 ammunition box was painted semi-gloss olive drab. Two shades were used, one a little lighter than the other. Both are authentic for this ammo can.

The dimensions of the M1 .30 cal. ammo can are 7.25 inches high, 3.75 inches wide, and 10.75 inches long. It weighs about 22 pounds, loaded or 1.2 pounds empty.

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