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.50 aluminum ammo chest ???


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This looks similar to the early .5 ammo cans/chest…same size .. handle etc… but it’s made from aluminum and has brackets on the back… seller says it’s pre war for aircraft use …


anyone ID it


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Chest, Ammunition, M3. Predecessor to the steel Chest, Ammunition, M17. The so called "brackets" are in fact spacers to allow the chest to be opened while next to another chest when in the M5 Handcart.

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Thanks Robin...


from the 1919A4 site...

"The M3 Aluminum Ammunition Chest Cal .50 was adopted in 1934 as a part of the "Ground mount , pack accessories , necessary hangers and ammunition and spare parts chests for the caliber .50 machine gun for cavalry use." by action of the Ordnance Committee Item number 11184, February 4, 1934" The steel M17 was a direct outgrowth of the M3 except it lacked the straps on the back, linoleum packing and usually had a cotton web handle rather than leather. The M17 was developed originally as the experimental steel T3 chest as a replacement for the M3 to save aluminum for aircraft construction but the cavalry chose to keep the aluminum M3 chest as it was not as heavy (4.9 pounds vs 8.85). The armored force chose the steel T3 but without the linoleum liners and straps on the back and the T3 chest was adopted as the M17 in March 1942. Both the M3 and M17 lacked any kind of gasket and carried ammunition taken from airtight containers."

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iron bender

Robin and Phantom, thanks for the info. Hopefully this will show up in aluminum .50 cal ammo can searches so others will know. This is the purpose of forums. Knowledge

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