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.