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Old 03-31-2007, 05:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 42
Question on old box of M2 Ball from WWII

I was helping a friend inventory some items left to him by his late grandfather, an avid shooter/reloader and ran across an old box of M2 ball from WWII. It is your typical M2 box of 20 cartridges marked with a 2 inch red painted stripe across the top flap and reads:
20 Cartridges BALL, Caliber .30 M2 Alternative, Ammunition lot S.L. 8040. Below that on the box is "Disposal of emptied Cartridge cases must be made as prescribed by A.R. St. Louis Ordnance Plant"
Inside are empty cases marked SL 43. What is M2 Ball alternative, and what is meant by the disposal statement? I figured some of you knowledgeable people on this forum could help him out. Thanks, bsmd.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:38 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 99
The alternative designation means it is a steel jacketed bullet. M2 Ball originally used guilding metal as the jacket material but as WWII progressed, the Army substituted steel for the jacket material and designated it Alternative. They eventually dropped the alternative designation when they decided the steel was OK. After that, they used whatever material was cheaper at the time. That's why some years they used guilding metal and others they used steel jackets.

AR means Army Regulation. The Army has a regulation for everything so ammo, brass, etc. had to be disposed of according to whatever regulation covered it. They didn't, and still don't, want soldiers to just throw the brass in their pocket and take it home.
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:57 AM   #3
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Interesting. I had wondered about that as well. Thanks for the info.

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