The steel M2A1 Ammunition Can / Box (also called Chest Ammunition: M2A1 or Box, Metal, M2A1) was introduced during the 1950s for .50 caliber machine gun ammunition.
The M2A1 ammo can was designed to hold link belts of 100 cartridges of.50 cal. ammunition for theM2 Browning machine gun, but was in fact utilized to transport and store many other ammo calibres and packaging.
Construction details of the M2A1 .50 cal. ammunition can / box:
- Steel material, seam welded
- Latch, hinge, handle spot welded to body
- End-opening lid with quick release hinge
- Quick release latch
- Rubber gasket under lid makes near waterproof seal when latched closed
- Flat sides and lid
- Metal bar handle attached to the lid by rectangular wire loops so it can fold flat for stacking or lift up for easy carry
- Lid skirts protect contents when lid is partially opened
- The lid skirts originally angled down from the hinge end then ran parallel to the top as the skirt approached the latch end. Later model M2A1 boxes have a lid skirt that is shorter and parallel to the lid for the full length.
The M2A1 ammo can is painted olive drab. Stamped markings may include the manufacturer's name (eg. SCF, EMCO), the model M2A1, and year made. A cartridge shape may be embossed in the lid to indicate direction of loading. Paint (usually yellow) will be used for stencilled markings identifying the contents.
The M2A1 ammunition box has been used by the U.S. military for small and medium calibre cartridges, for artillery fuses and more, including this partial list:
· Cartridge 5.56 mm bandoleers and linked
· Cartridge 7.62 mm bandoleers and linked
· Cartridge .30 calibre carbine
· Cartridge .50 calibre linked
· Cartridge .38 special
· Cartridge 9mm (20 cartons of 50)
· Cartridge .45 ACP
· Cartridge 12 gauge shotgun shell
· Cartridge .22LR
The M2A1 ammunition can measures 12 1/32 in. (30.56 cm) x 6 3/32 in. (15.48 cm) x 7 1/2 in. (19.05 cm) in its outside dimensions. It is defined by MIL-DTL-3060F (drawing number 7553296, Box, Ammunition, M2A1 Assembly) or earlier specs in the MIL–B-3060 series. Two M2A1 boxes are packed into a wire bound, wood shipping crate (drawing number 7553347 - Box, Wire bound: Boxes, Ammunition, M2A1). The M2A1 ammunition box is covered by NSN 8140-00-960-1699 and the shipping crate NSN 8140-00-078-8969
Please note: as these are military surplus there may be some colour, quality and style variation to the image shown.