Silly question of the day


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woof
July 26, 2007, 04:42 PM
Maybe it's not a silly question, I don't know. Seems silly but I can't be the only one to not know:

What's up with ammo cans? I know ammo has to be stored somewhere and carried somehow, but how did the uniform shape and type of ammo cans evolve? Why not an ammo backpack or something made of plastic? Of course as far back as ww2 many materials we take for granted today weren't available. Is there a whole niche of people collecting ammo cans and studying ammo can history? Maybe someone can post how far back they go and why they are designed the way they are.

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Sistema1927
July 26, 2007, 05:01 PM
If you have ever seen the military logistics system at work you will quickly understand the ammo can. When your ammo is being pitched off of a helicopter or the back end of a truck it is a good thing that it is protected by that can.

USMC - Retired
July 26, 2007, 05:09 PM
Also cans stack and store better than bags.

Cans mount on weapons platforms better. (Maw Duece being a prime example)

Cans store ammo air and water tight. (Important during amphibious assaults)

Cans are durable and reuseable. (for more than just ammo)

Cans make great field seats when waiting around in cold wet weather...

El Tejon
July 26, 2007, 05:24 PM
People who study ammo can history?

Why, yes, you can find those people. They are all here at THR!:D

MisterPX
July 26, 2007, 05:29 PM
Let's see a plastic can be a good ashtray;)

Dannavyret
July 26, 2007, 06:47 PM
The cans made quick effective outhouses in the middle of battle.

Ian
July 26, 2007, 07:05 PM
I expect the modern ammo can was designed around the need to store machine gun ammo around the turn of the century. The width of the cans is determined by cartridge OAL. They need to be big enough to hold a usefully-long belt of ammo, but not so big as to be too heavy to move around. They need to pack together well, and need to seal out water. Presto, you've got an ammo can.

There definitely are can collectors, and a bit of variety in cans. For instance, early German ones had the handles mounted on top along one side, rather than in the center. That allowed a soldier to easily carry two in each hand (turn one around so the handles are right next to each other). Every country with machine guns had their own particular style of ammo can...wood or metal, opening at the side or end, metal or leather handles, special tripod adaptations, etc.

kellyj00
July 26, 2007, 07:11 PM
that is a good point. they seem kinda heavy duty considering their purpose.

Then again, ammo is so expensive, it makes sense to put a few bucks of 11 gauge sheet metal around a hundred .50 BMG rounds, or whatever they hold.

Note: approx 1200 45acp's fit in a 50bmg ammo can loosely packed.

Mr White
July 26, 2007, 07:34 PM
Just think, if women were running the military, they might have come up with ammo purses. They would've held the ammo just as effectively but also would have made a bold fashion statement and added a splash of color and style to the heat of an otherwise drab and dreary battle.

Whew! Lucky for us, huh?

Neo-Luddite
July 26, 2007, 07:58 PM
U.S. ammo cans are basically standardized in widths based on the length of the .30,.50, and 20 mm rounds. WW II cans are little different in shape from recent issue ones. Other types of ordnance and ammo have been fitted into these in varrious ways.


Steel ammo cans are just plain terrific for almost any storage task. And if you get sick of them, you can fill them will water and expired JELLO powder--let it set up--and add some lead to the mix.

DoubleTapDrew
July 26, 2007, 08:10 PM
Just think, if women were running the military, they might have come up with ammo purses. They would've held the ammo just as effectively but also would have made a bold fashion statement and added a splash of color and style to the heat of an otherwise drab and dreary battle.

:) "Good shot soldier! Got him right in the purse!"

I have a couple plastic ammo cans, or dry lockboxes or whatever they are called and they aren't nearly as strong as metal ones. You can feel the lid flexing and worry about the handle popping off when you've got a load in it.

CWL
July 26, 2007, 08:28 PM
Steel cans have also been known to be used for stoves, cooking pots and latrines.

CajunBass
July 27, 2007, 05:18 AM
Seems the metal can would have been a natural evolution of the wooden cartridge box from earlier times.

shc1
July 27, 2007, 08:01 AM
They look really good as saddle bags on a motorcycle.

The Deer Hunter
July 27, 2007, 10:59 AM
IIRC they stack too.

UKarmourer
July 27, 2007, 04:10 PM
Ours are great, up until the recent rules regarding the 'parts thereof' bit of our end of range declaration they made quality spares boxes, toolboxes in fact anything that you wanted watertight, H83 (900x 5.56) were good for a complete landrover toolkit while the 200x 7.62 were good for general spares

MD_Willington
July 27, 2007, 05:34 PM
The cans made quick effective outhouses in the middle of battle.


Mark them "top secret" afterwards if you have to leave the area... imagine the surprise for the other guys if they manage to get a hold of it...

MisterPX
July 27, 2007, 10:05 PM
Just think, if women were running the military, they might have come up with ammo purses. They would've held the ammo just as effectively but also would have made a bold fashion statement and added a splash of color and style to the heat of an otherwise drab and dreary battle.

Those are called Bandoleers;)

brighamr
July 27, 2007, 10:14 PM
if anyone has seen eddie izzard, the purse comment would fit his routine quite well. He says: "transvestites should be encouraged to join the military. After all the best attack is suprize... What does the enemy think when 30 seals break through the door wearing fantastic makeup" :neener:

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