Original WWII U.S. Army Wooden Shotgun T3ABD 12 Gauge No.00 Buckshot M1917 Ammunition Crate - Dated 1944

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The M1917 Ammunition Packing Box was a wooden box designed to be reused. The lid was secured by tightening brass wingnuts over threaded metal posts in the walls of the chest. They were meant to be carried by means of handles milled into the ends of the chest; troops assigned to carry ammo found them hard to grasp. Ammunition was shipped in boxes with a hermetically-sealed terneplate lining that had the top soldered on to seal it; this was ripped open using a wire handle built into the top. It came in two standard sizes.

There was a large packing box (Dimensions: 18-7/16" Length × 9-7/16" Width × 14-13/16" Height; Tare Weight: 9 lbs. Volume: 1.49 cubic feet) secured with 6 threaded posts (one on each end and two on each side). It was used to store and carry .30- and .50-caliber ammunition.

The smaller box (Dimensions: 16-7/16" Length × 12-11/16" Width × 7-5/8" Height; Volume: 0.92 cubic feet) was secured with 4 threaded posts (one on each side). It was used for pistol and submachine gun ammunition. Another box (Volume: 0.83 cubic feet) was used for carbine ammunition.

Pre-war and early-war ammo packing boxes were made of stained wood with black-painted lettering. Mid- to late-war packing boxes were painted Olive Drab brown with white or yellow lettering that used the item's AIC code and a system of symbols to indicate the contents at a glance. The caliber, ammunition type and model (e.g., Caliber .30 Ball M1) were in the upper center field in bold lettering. The number of units (i.e., how many bullets or shells there were per box) and packing information (i.e., whether it was in cartons, bandoleers or belts) were on the two lines below it. The caliber (CAL .45, CAL .30, or CAL .50) was painted in bold lettering in the upper left corner. The gross weight of the box in pounds and its volume in cubic feet was painted in the lower left corner and the Ammunition Lot information (manufacturer code and lot number) was painted in the lower right corner.

This M1917 Ammunition Packing Box is of the large size, measuring at 18 1/8” x 9 3/8” x 14 1/2” and was repackaged in June 1944, just in time for the Normandy Invasion. This box was designed to hold 675 12 Gauge, No.00 Buckshot shells. The box is properly labeled at the top as T3ABD. Group “T” related material was the indicator for small arms ammunition, Sub-Group “T3” was the indicator for Shells for Shotgun, and altogether T3ABD meant the following information and contents was for the crate: 675 Shells, Shotgun, 12 Gauge, No.00 Buckshot, in 25-shell cartons. 27 cartons per wooden M1917 ammunition packing box. Gross Weight: 98 lbs. Volume: 1.5 cubic feet.

Most of that information can still be found in yellow writing on the chocolate brown paint used to cover the crate. The top has SMALL ARMS AMMUNITION painted on the top, which is correct for “T” group crates. The front is marked with:

NO. 00 12 GAGE
LOT W.C.C 6005
95 WT 1.5 CU

The side is also marked with similar information in a more condensed manner. The condition is excellent and without major damage. There are some minor cracks present in the wood, but they appear to be from when the crate was repacked in 1944.

This is truly a beautiful example that comes more than ready to display!

Combat Shotgun
A combat shotgun is a shotgun issued by militaries for warfare. The earliest shotguns specifically designed for combat were the trench guns or trench shotguns issued in World War I. While limited in range, the multiple projectiles typically used in a shotgun shell provide increased hit probability unmatched by other small arms.

While the sporting shotgun traces its ancestry back to the fowling piece, which was a refinement of the smoothbore musket, the combat shotgun bears more kinship to the shorter blunderbuss. Invented in the 16th century by the Dutch, the blunderbuss was used through the 18th century in warfare by British, Austrian, Spanish (like the Escopeteros Voluntarios de Cadiz, formed in 1804 or the Compañía de Escopeteros de las Salinas, among others) and Prussian regiments, as well as in the American colonies.

As use of the blunderbuss declined, the United States military began loading smaller lead shot (buckshot) in combination with their larger bullets, a combination known as "buck and ball". The buck and ball load was used extensively by Americans at the Battle of New Orleans in 1814 and was partially responsible for the disparate casualty rates between American and British forces. The advantage of this loading was that it had a greater chance of hitting the enemy, thus taking wounded soldiers out of a fight. The disadvantage of this load was that the buckshot did not cause as severe wounds at longer ranges, and contemporary accounts show many of the British wounded recovering quickly as they had been struck by the buckshot rather than the ball. Fowling pieces were commonly used by militias, for example during the Texas Revolution. However, buck and ball worked as well or better in standard or even rifled muskets. Buck and ball loads were used by both sides of the American Civil War, often by cavalry units.

The development of the repeating pump-action shotguns in the 1890s led to their use by the US Marines in the Philippines insurrections and by General "Black Jack" Pershing's pursuit of Pancho Villa, and "riot" shotguns quickly gained favor with civilian police units, but the modern concept of the combat shotgun was fully developed by the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. The trench gun, as it was called, was a short-barreled pump action shotgun loaded with 6 rounds containing antimony hardened 00 buckshot, and equipped with a bayonet. The M1897 and M1912 also could be slam fired: the weapon having no trigger disconnector, shells could be fired one after the other simply by working the slide if the trigger was held down, though in the heat of combat one could easily short-stroke the weapon and jam it. When fighting within a trench, the shorter shotgun could be rapidly turned and fired in both directions along the trench axis. The shotguns elicited a diplomatic protest from the German government, claiming the shotguns caused excessive injury, and that any troops found in possession of them would be subject to execution. The US Government rejected the claims, and threatened reprisals in kind if any US troops were executed for possession of a shotgun.

The shotgun was used by Allied forces and Allied supported partisans in all theaters of combat in World War II, and both pump and semi-automatic shotguns are currently issued to all branches of the US military; they have also been used in subsequent conflicts by French, British, Australian, and New Zealand forces, as well as many guerrillas and insurgents throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Latin and South America, and Southeast Asia. Six different models of shotguns were accepted in the US army during World War II, the most popular being the M97 and M1912. One disadvantage of using a shotgun in the Pacific Theater was the way of carrying the shotshells. The standard rifle pouches that carried shotshells were small, only about 30 rounds if carried vertically. Some Marines carried the shells in SL-3 grenade vests from World War I, but these vests were hard to come by. Also used were modified bandoliers and whatever came to hand or could be improvised.

Another disadvantage was paper-hull shotshells, which would swell when they became damp in a rainy or humid environment, and would not fit into the chamber even after drying out. Commercial paper hulls were later impregnated with wax to make them water resistant, but in combat the heat from rapid firing would cause the wax to melt, often resulting in a jammed gun. Military-issue shotshells were usually made entirely of brass to avoid these issues, until the introduction of plastic hulls in the early 1960s.
General Alexander Patch was seen being armed with a Winchester shotgun when he personally led an attack in Guadalcanal.

In the jungle warfare during the Malayan Emergency, the British Army and local forces of Malaya used shotguns to great effect due to limited space in the jungles and frequent close combat. In the Vietnam War, the shotgun was used as an individual weapon in the American army during jungle patrol and urban warfare like the Tet Offensive.

During the Somali conflict in 1992, the US task forces tested out a new type of Remington shotgun called Ciener Ultimate Over/Under, which was an under-barrel attachment for the standard M16 variants during Operation Gothic Serpent. The idea was for a soldier in an entry team to be able to breach a locked door with the shotgun and then immediately switch to the assault rifle to clear the room. According to the Army Rangers, their verdict was positive for this new type of breaching gun.

In operations in post-invasion Iraq, US forces used their combat shotguns to clear out suspected insurgent hideouts in house to house fighting. One notable experimental shotgun used in limited numbers during Operation Enduring Freedom is the XM26 for breaching doors or close-quarter battle (CQB).

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