1972, a year when the massive carvings at Stone Mountain, Georgia were completed and the Bahamas was still a colonial holding of the British Empire. Among other things it was also the year Winchester made this box of shotgun shells according to the hand-drawn markings that were on it when I picked it up from a tiny country gun shop.

Even without the date you can look at this box and see its old, so I couldn’t resist the chance to compare a 45 year old Winchester shell to a modern one and see what if any difference there was besides the fact that according to the vintage Jamesway sticker that back in the day a box of 25 shells was $2.99.

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To compare I grabbed a rifled Winchester PDX defender slug which is black in the pictures. Obviously its not the same loading as number six but I was impressed by how similar the shells were. The brass of the old shell had some horizontal striping on it which I could not identify a purpose for. However this was about the only real difference in the construction of the shells. I was impressed that the vertical ribbing on the plastic hull of the shell was still there. I had assumed that to be a more recent introduction.

What I also noted was how the box was branded “Winchester Western”, I do not know personally the meaning of this brand, the fact that this was sold at a hardware store like Jamesway leads me to theorize it may have had a connection to other notable hardware store gun merchant Western Auto. A budget store brand maybe? I honestly don’t know. If any of y’all know anything more about these vintage shells I’d love to hear your input down in the comments. Otherwise I hope you found these pictures interesting, it would that while we’ve certainly made plenty of advances in shotguns over the past four and a half decades, shot shells haven’t changed too much. But then again you know the old saying: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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