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 Post subject: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:49 pm 
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We will get to Discovering Plutonium By Accident after we explore the years that Federal and Remington started color coding 20 gauge shells yellow.

FEDERAL 1960

wfb18 wrote:
Fred, you asked "WHAT YEAR DID 20 GAUGE SHOT GUN SHELLS CHANGE TO YELLOW"? I narrowed down the introduction of yellow Winchester 20 gauge shells to about 1971. Federal is credited with starting the yellow color coding in either 1960 or 1961...


Three years ago, I could not resolve whether the year was 1960 or 1961. Wallace Labisky in 1973 was nearest in time to the switch. But two weeks ago I found a Federal statement that it started the yellow color coding in 1960. So be it.

Federal Ammunition in 2019 wrote:
COLOR CODING -- To increase safety among shooters, Federal was the first manufacturer to use color coding for shotshells. This safety measure became an industry norm after it was introduced in 1960. -- Page 1, Federal Premium 2019 Shotshell


Ronald B. Standler in Shotshell Cartridge History (2006) wrote:
In 1960, Federal introduced purple 16 gauge hulls and yellow 20 gauge hulls, to help prevent inserting a smaller diameter shell into a larger diameter shotgun (e.g., 10 or 12 gauge), with consequent barrel blockage and explosion of the barrel. Soon after, all brands of 20 gauge shotshells were yellow.


Vincent J.M. DiMaio in Gunshot Wounds (1985) on pp. 183-184 wrote:
In 1961, Federal began the introduction of color coding of its shotgun shells. [Footnoted, referencing Wallace Labisky. The Ever-changing Shotshell Story. In John T. Amber (editor), Gun Digest. Northfield, IL.: Digest Books Inc., 1973.] At present, Federal shotgun shells are red in 12 gauge, yellow in 20 gauge, and purple in 16 gauge. Remington and Winchester-Western color code their 20 gauge shells yellow; this color coding is done to prevent the use of the wrong gauge ammunition in a weapon...


Warren Page, editor of Field & Stream, p. 72, Dec 1968 wrote:
FEDERAL SHOTSHELLS, if you haven't noticed it before, now come red in all 12-gauge combinations, purple in 16-gauge, yellow in 20-bore, and Federal headman Bill Horn says they get word of fewer gun busts because the color coding lessens 20-12 mix-ups maybe the shooters who for years have been clamoring for color coding were right all the time!


William B. "Bill" Horn was the son of Charles "Charlie" L. Horn, who founded Federal Cartridge in 1922 and SAAMI in 1926.



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Last edited by wfb18 on Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:51 pm 
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REMINGTON 1968

Remington Arms Company, Inc., Public Relations Division on 02 Jan 1968 wrote:
News Release, 02 Jan 1968

REMINGTON-PETERS INTRODUCES SAFETY COLOR CODING FOR ALL GAUGE SHOT SHELLS

Remington Arms Company, Inc., has announced that all Remington-Peters 20 gauge shotgun shells will now have yellow, color-

coded bodies to ensure positive visual contrast between 12 and 20 gauge shells.

In the past, colors of shot shell bodies have served primarily decorative and brand identification purposes. However, many shooters own and use shotguns of more than one gauge, and 20 gauge shells can sometimes be mistakenly mixed with 12 gauge shells. Consequently, Remington-Peters has introduced the bright yellow color on all 20 gauge shot shells to make them immediately recognizable as such and to reduce the possibility of their being loaded in shotguns of larger bore.

All Remington 12 gauge shells will continue to be colored the traditional Remington green and all Peters 12 gauge shells will retain their well-known blue color. -- https://cartridgecollectors.org/content/catalogs/REMINGTON/1968-Rem-Peters-Various%20Flyers.pdf


tracker 6 wrote:
I can remember yellow Winchesters and Remingtons in 1968.

tracker 6 was correct about yellow Remington 20s in 1968, but not about Winchester 20s, as we shall see next.

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:58 pm 
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DISCOVERING PLUTONIUM BY ACCIDENT
WINCHESTER-WESTERN 1971[sic]
ETA: SEE END OF THREAD
PARADISE LOST, PARADISE FOUND
WINCHESTER-WESTERN, BETWEEN 05 MAR 1968 AND 29 DEC 1969


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I discovered plutonium by accident last weekend when I found these photographs on an auction site of some of the first yellow Western shells with the red ink stamp, in an original box dated 01 Jul 1971 in code. The Western lot number T88EG1 inside the box flap can be read from right to left as produced on "1"=01 "G"=July "E"= 1931 1951 1971 1991 2011, that is, 01 Jul 1971.

This red-yellow-red box style reading "Western Super-X Magnum Mark 5 Plastic Shotgun Shells" was last used in 1971. The "All New Plastic" triangle is missing from the upper right corner so these were the last of these boxes. In 1972 the boxes were white but the rest was unchanged. See the 1970 (p. 40), 1971 (p. 34), and 1972 (p. 38) Winchester-Western Sporting Arms & Ammunition catalogs.

The yellow Western Super-X shells, 3" Magnum 20 gauge 1-1/4 ounce #4 shot SX20PM4, have the signature red ink stamp found on the first Winchester-Western yellow 20 gauge shells. I also have photos of more red ink stamped yellow 20 gauge Western Super-X SX20PM4 shells in a white 1972 or later box, headstamped "W-W 20 GAUGE".

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This big cardboard box has many dozens of red ink stamped yellow 20 gauge Upland shells, significant because in 1971 the Upland line was introduced in all gauges in both the Winchester and the Western brands. The next iteration in 1980 of Upland shells were black ink stamped with Winchester in italics above Western in cursive above Upland. Notice also some red ink stamped yellow 20 gauge Super-X shells, and of great importance, the only red ink stamped yellow 20 gauge Double A shell that I have found.

Before this discovery I had wanted to know the first year of Winchester yellow color coding so I contacted Winchester.

Winchester Ammunition Customer Support wrote:
Submission Date: 26 Jan 2020 10:37:32 PM
Reply: 11:03 AM 27 Jan 2020
Question: Sirs, in what year did Winchester switch to yellow shells for 20 gauge shot shells such as AA? My closest estimate is 1971, but I have searched everywhere on the internet without finding a definitive answer. If I had catalogs from 1968-1971 then I could see for myself, but my catalogs start in 1982 through present. Can you please help? Thanks, Frank

Answer: The transition from red to yellow began in the late 1970's.


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I soon found that Winchester was incorrect by several years. I found the four earliest photographs of yellow 20 gauge shells (with the white Super-X boxes introduced in 1972) in the 1974 (p. 24), 1975 (p. 20), 1976 (p. 22), 1977 (p. 22), and 1980 (p. 35) Winchester-Western Sporting Arms & Ammunition catalogs. In 1974 and 1975 the photographed yellow shell has red ink stamped WINCHESTER in italics above the Super-X logo. Consequently there must have also been a yellow 20 gauge Western Super-X in 1974 and 1975. In 1976 and 1977 the photographed shells have red ink stamped Western in cursive above the Super-X logo. In 1980 the photo includes an empty, unmarked yellow shell for reloading. The catalogs from 1967-1981 never once mention yellow color coding for 20 gauge ammunition.

The transition of yellow color coding through the many Winchester-Western shot shell lines was accomplished in the early 1970s, not the late 1970s. I realize that it took time for stores to sell out of old stock. For example, the first red plastic AA 20 gauge hulls with eight star crimp were introduced in 1965, and they were sold until the early to mid 1970's.

But I wanted to know the first year that Winchester color coded any 20 gauge shells yellow, and I already knew from the following that the Winchester answer was incorrect.

David McMillen on another forum wrote:
Winchester changed the color of their 20 gauge shells from red to yellow in 1971. I was in the Navy stationed in Guam and I first started with red and then at the end of 1971, I was shooting all yellow. The change was made for safety reasons as you can imagine. I gave most of mine away, but I still have a few... Those with the red ink stamp go back to the early 1970's. I believe they were the first that came out from production...


Hap Shaughnessy wrote:
... Anybody know when Winchester stopped making the red [plastic] 20 gauge [Super-X] Mark 5's?
Researcher01 wrote:
The first Winchester/Western catalog I have that pictures yellow 20-gauge shells is 1975. [Even earlier, see p. 24, 1974 catalog] However, I know they were already out in 1972, because a Navy Chief I shot with in San Diego had saved out a case of red 20-gauge AAs and gave me two boxes before I left there in late 1973. I left them at my Father's house in Seattle. Next time I saw them, they were two boxes of empties. Dad used them on Doves!!

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Image
Joe and Jill
Went up the Hill
To steal a big election.
Joe fell down
And lost his Crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.


Last edited by wfb18 on Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:01 pm 
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THE FIRST YELLOW DOUBLE As, PROBABLY 1971

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After examining hundreds of images for red ink stamps on the earliest yellow 20 gauge Winchester Double A or Western Double A Skeet Loads WW20AA9, I finally identified the eight crimp one pictured above. The elusive first yellow Winchester-Western Double A shell from probably 1971 to possibly 1981 can be seen stamped with red ink WINCHESTER in italics above Western in cursive above AA in a square above 2 1/2 - 7/8 - 9 above SKEET, and it likely has the same headstamp as the earlier red plastic AAs. It looks almost the same as the above yellow 20 gauge red ink stamped Winchester-Western AA Plus shells introduced in 1979.

The first red plastic Double A 20 gauge shells in 1965 were Winchester Double A Skeet Loads WW20AA9 black ink stamped with WINCHESTER in italics above AA in a square and Western Double A Skeet Loads WW20AA9 black ink stamped with Western in cursive above AA in a square. The headstamps read "W-W" opposite AA in a little square, and "20" opposite "GA".

Do not confuse the first yellow coded AAs with the red ink stamped Winchester AA shells circa 1983 and circa 1991. Some time after 1980 the stamps on yellow 20 gauge shells of almost every line and both brands used black ink. In 1975 all 12 gauge Double As were black ink stamped with WINCHESTER in italics above Western in cursive above AA in a square. Both red 12 gauge and yellow 20 gauge Double As were black ink stamped with WINCHESTER above AA in a square from 1982 until 1990.

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Joe fell down
And lost his Crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:08 pm 
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EARLIEST YELLOW VALUE PACK SHELLS, PROBABLY 1971

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I have found photographs of yellow 20 gauge Winchester-Western Pheasant and Duck shells and Dove & Quail four-piece poly-formed shells. The shells are black ink stamped with WINCHESTER in italics above Western in cursive. I have not determined the first year that they were color coded yellow. Here are some clues.

Until 1968 or a little later, boxes were printed with "Winchester-Western Division, New Haven, Conn. East Alton, Ill. Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation". In 1969, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation became Olin Corporation, which invited everyone "to call us by our first name," and boxes began to be printed with "Winchester-Western Division, Olin Corporation".

The red and white illustrated boxes of Winchester-Western Duck and Pheasant WW20PD6 and the yellow and white illustrated boxes of Winchester-Western Dove and Quail WW20D8 were used from 1968 or before until 1981, when they were replaced by orange-red banner white illustrated boxes. I have found a box of red 12 gauge Winchester-Western Duck and Pheasant WW12PD6 with a lot number H54DA03H, from which can be read from right to left as produced on "03"=30 "A"=January "D"= 1930 1950 1970 1990 2010, that is, 30 Jan 1970. The shells are black ink stamped with WINCHESTER in italics above Western in cursive. The box reads Winchester-Western Division, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation, indicating that the 1968 or older boxes were still being filled into 1970. Sometime after 1969, perhaps 1970, updated red and white illustrated boxes and yellow and white illustrated boxes were produced by Winchester-Western Division, Olin Corporation. In 1982 WW20PD6 and WW20D8 were packaged in the new orange-red banner white illustrated boxes and were produced by Olin Corporation, Winchester Group.

Even if I could find an empty box of WW20PD6 or WW20D8 shells with a lot number from which can be read a production date before the 1974 catalog photograph, what if the missing shells had been red? Likewise, even if I could find yellow 20 gauge Winchester-Western Pheasant and Duck shells or Dove & Quail shells in original boxes with a visible lot code from which to read the production date, it may not be earlier than the 1974 catalog photograph. It is a mystery...

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Joe fell down
And lost his Crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:18 pm 
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One rumor is that the color yellow was chosen was partially because someone who was totally color blind could easily recognize it.

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:31 pm 
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While I have no proof other than memories,I have used a 20 ga.exclusively and have never shot any thing but a yellow hull .My go to was Super X 6 shot with red ink.I know that I was using them in 1968.


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:31 pm 
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I have an old paper hull 20 ga shell that is the same maroon shade of red as the 12 ga shells of the period. It would be VERY easy to get them mixed up if you were not paying very close attention. Color coding was a great idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:31 am 
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This is outstanding and thank you for the pictures. Do you have any pictures of the original Federal. Purple 16 Gauge rounds?

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:46 am 
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tracker 6 wrote:
wfb18 wrote:
tracker 6 wrote:
I can remember yellow Winchesters and Remingtons in 1968.

tracker 6 was correct about yellow Remington 20s in 1968, but not about Winchester 20s, as we shall see next.

While I have no proof other than memories, I have used a 20 gauge exclusively and have never shot anything but a yellow hull. My go to was Super-X 6 shot with red ink. I know that I was using them in 1968.

Thank you especially for noticing this thread and your quote, and for your fast reply, tracker 6. I will do my best to verify that the red ink stamped yellow Super-X shells were already in production in 1968. I do not know how to do that and it may take years, but in time more information and images should become available.

If your memory of 1968 is correct, then I was premature about 1971. AFAIK, literally everything that is currently on the internet is in this thread. Do you still have even a single box of the 1968 - 1971 yellow Super-X shells, say SX20PM4 or SX20PM6, empty or with shells? We can read the lot number under or on the end flap for the production date.

If not, could you please add some significant events that have fixed the year 1968 so well in your memory, sir? You have used a 20 gauge exclusively and have never shot any thing but a yellow hull. Your go to was Super-X 6 shot with red ink and you know that you were using them in 1968. If I understand correctly, I can deduce that your first shotgun was a 20 gauge that you obtained in 1968. If so, what was that shotgun and where did you buy it? How old were you in 1968, and where did you shoot that gun? Perhaps that would be an easy way to pinpoint 1968.

I truly appreciate your comeback and perhaps some more sleuthing will get us a definitive answer. Just think how easily we could get that answer if we had access to the Winchester Ammunition records or especially the old Winchester-Western Division, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation records! Was Winchester Ammunition Customer Support off by an entire decade? Thank you, tracker 6.

Winchester-Western wrote:
1964 This was a really big year because it saw us introduce the revolutionary compression-formed plastic shot shell case tough enough that it can be fired without the metal head... Originally, it was introduced only in our Super-X brand..

1965 Recognizing the inherent advantages of the plastic hull, Winchester developed a new line of skeet and trap loads, named AA... -- A "History of winchester-Western Shells" advertisement in Popular Science, Sep 1973, p. 20

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:13 am 
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I still have a bunch of 20ga AA hulls with the red print. I can't seem to wear them out. They were great.

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:22 am 
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In 1967, I had a 16 gauge. The shells were purple.

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:59 am 
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Here we go , In the fall of 68 I turned 14 . My 1st gun was a 20 ga. Crescent Sxs from my grandpa, so no help there . My dad had bought me a beagle and we,Dad, Grandpa,brother and I,hunted together.I'm sure of the year because the following year was my first yr to be allowed,by Dad not the state of Ohio, to hunt alone .I was 15 ,16 was Ohio's age requirement.that's how I know the yr.As I said I have never fired any thing , but a yellow hull.Probably 90% Super X.I don't have any boxes form that time,kids don't see the value in such things.So all I have to go on is this timeline. I'm fairly sure that I was carrying this gun on hunts before 68 , but can't say for sure . Hope this helps the Quest,


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:20 pm 
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tracker 6 wrote:
Here we go, In the fall of 1968 I turned 14. My 1st gun was a 20 ga. Crescent SxS from my grandpa... Hope this helps the Quest,

Absolutely, sir. I am convinced that your 1968 memories are correct. I was 14 until Apr 1968.

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I almost caught a break. The box of red plastic 16 gauge Super-X shells has lot number P94YD6RT which can be read from right to left as produced on "6"=06 "D"=April "Y"= 1947 1967 1987 2007 2017, that is, 06 Apr 1967. Sadly, the box of red ink stamped yellow Super-X shells did not show the lot number. They could very well have been made in 1968, but the Guns International auction #101092990 has ended. The red 16 gauge shells are in a slightly larger box.

Notice the boxes have the same early style with the "All New Plastic" triangle in the upper-right corner. Later the triangle was omitted. On such boxes was printed "Winchester-Western Division, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation", theoretically until 1968, but as in my Plutonium example the boxes were still being used up through 1971. In 1972 the boxes were white with a similar design as shown below, and were printed with "Winchester-Western Division, Olin Corporation".

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Joe fell down
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And Jill came tumbling after.


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 Post subject: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:35 pm 
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Western shells had red print. Winchester branded had black print in the AA hulls

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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:16 pm 
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wfb18, fantastic job! History is often full of incorrect
information, probably high percent of the time, if
everyone did this good of a job on it, history books
would be really much better.

I hope John Durham does an investigation this good.


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:15 pm 
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So do I, JoeCool. Drain the swamp.

Here are the Super-X boxes from 1965-1967 and 1970-1971, and all of them have the "All New Plastic" triangle in the upper-right corner. That triangle is missing on the 01 Jul 1971 Plutonium box so it was among the last of these boxes. Unfortunately, I do not have the 1968 or 1969 catalogs. There are no yellow shells in these catalogs, so 1974 remains the earliest year that a yellow shell appears in a catalog.

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Joe and Jill
Went up the Hill
To steal a big election.
Joe fell down
And lost his Crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:21 am 
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You might want to look again at the boxes without a lot number.
I just looked at an old box of AA 20 gauge yellow with red ink and the lot number is impressed into the box flap, not inked.
The impressed lot number is hard to read and looks to be 41Z3KH24.


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:48 am 
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Thank you, single stack. I have been looking at images for lot numbers on box flaps. I had not heard of lot numbers impressed into the cardboard. "41Z3KH24" is not a legitimate Western lot number but you may be close to it. To explain, reading from right to left, "42" is not a calendar day. but perhaps you did read "KH" correctly. If so, "H"=August and "K"= 1935 1955 1975 1995 2015, that is, Aug 1975.

Could you please photograph clear images of both sides of a yellow 20 gauge AA shell with red ink, of a headstamp, and all six sides of the box including the fully opened end flaps? Also, an image with all the shells still in the box? Also, a clear image of the side of the box with Olin on it? In 1975 the boxes were white, and were printed with "Winchester-Western Division, Olin Corporation". Thank you, sir.

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Joe and Jill
Went up the Hill
To steal a big election.
Joe fell down
And lost his Crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.


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 Post subject: Re: Discovering Plutonium By Accident
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:03 pm 
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I have two boxes of Winchester Ranger 16 ga. One looks exactly like the ones in the picture with the blue triangle indicating new plastic. The other box is identical except without the blue triangle and the shells are paper



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