Project Support

#1
Hi Everyone,

I hope I have posted this in the right place! I'm sorry if its not and I cause offence.

My name is Guy and I am a final year engineering student from the University of Nottingham. I was wandering if any of you would be able to help me by giving me your first hand experiences? I am currently looking at redesigning and improving the ammunitions box.

At the moment I have an old H83 ammo box but the project will extend into many variations and differing sizes.



However the main point is bringing it up to the 21st century, just like the weapons of today.

To do this I really need user input from people like you who have had first hand experience using an ammunitions box in real life. Whats good, bad, where you think improvements need to be made etc. This can be anything from how easy it is to run with or what you use it for once it is empty? Unfortunately my experiences only extend to a few years in the CCF!

Any experiences you can give me about any type of ammuntions box would be extremely helpful.

Thank you for your time :)
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#2
It has to be practically indestructable, waterproof and reusable. And most importantly they have to be easy to open (The British Army doesn't need another Isandlwana). If you could make a lighter that would be a bonus. Oh and make the carrying handle round so its easier to carry a couple of them in each hand more comfortably but still allow the box to pack flat underneath other ones. I believe it is a NATO standard design.
 
#3
The box I have is currently at 2.54kg but a gross full weight of 17.2kg so I can understand that a weight saving would be a real benefit! I also have MOD regulations concerning its durability etc so I can ensure a better ergonomic handle will still comply to them.

How easy have you found it to open with the current hinge type mechanism? Also, what do you do with them once they have been emptied?
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#4
Opening the hinge - very easy.
Once empty - usually back in stores. What happens after that I have no idea but it looks like they get re-used. The round L109 Grenade tins usually get dished out to whoever wants them. The 5.56, 40mm & 7.62 Cans go back. A Lot of the ammo now comes in those breakable wooden pallets.
 
#5
Thanks for your help. Thats really helpful! So does the ammunition come in ammo boxes within those wooden crates or is it 'loose' ammo which then refills the returned ammo boxes? Or both?

I'm guessing returning the ammo boxes would be during training? So how are the ammo boxes used on real operations? Is it a case of loading up before hand or taking the ammo within the boxes with you and then leaving the empties behind? I guess that could depend on the length of the operation.
 
#7
Those ones make excellent saucepans for boil in the bags.
That is the only reason why we don't go over to something silly like plastic. The used ones sometimes become the tool kit holders for the rovers and other green fleet. I have seen H83's turned into radios with old car stereos and a set of speakers. This was in the days before IPODS.
 
#9
If you could design some means of shedding that irritating wire tie without kicking it about the bottom of a sangar whilst looking for a combi tool or bayonet Id be most grateful.

The design is long standing and unchanged primarily because its near on perfect for its task. - Ill be surprised what you find to change in it, or indeed if you find anything to change in it.
 
#10
Thanks for all your replies. I know I have a challenging project on my hands! Could I ask again the procedure for using these on real operations? Do you take them with you and then leave them behind?

As you mention about them having after-life functions I was wandering if you could think of anything else they might be useful for? If they were changed slightly is there something you could imagine it being really useful in helping you do?
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#11
Thanks for all your replies. I know I have a challenging project on my hands! Could I ask again the procedure for using these on real operations? Do you take them with you and then leave them behind?
No good soldier leaves anything behind if he can help it.
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#12
Thats really helpful! So does the ammunition come in ammo boxes within those wooden crates or is it 'loose' ammo which then refills the returned ammo boxes? Or both?
The wood crated stuff comes in BAE Systems waterproof bags. Inside those bags are 20 Rd Boxes of loose. They take ages to bomb up.The stuff that comes in the tins is either Bandolier (if its 5.56) or Link if its 7.62. These are a lot easier to bomb up as they come on clips.
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#13
If you could design some means of shedding that irritating wire tie without kicking it about the bottom of a sangar whilst looking for a combi tool or bayonet Id be most grateful.
Agreed 100%. However Isn't your combi tool in your top right hand pocket?
 
#14
It is in my top right pocket, which the Ubacs cleverly places on a sleeve which is inaccessible to your left hand when wearing osprey, hence kicking the box repeatedly is better - more stress relieving if time consuming activity that trying to dislocate your right wrist getting at your own bicep.......

.... You know its true!
 
#15
Would it be helpful if you designed them to clip together like lego bricks?

I'm currently only a civvie but I've got one of the boxes in my room that I use to keep important documents in, they weigh a fair bit even when empty, but I imagine that lighter materials with the same strength are going to be too expensive for the MoD to buy.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#16
I suspect another reason they are metal is to protect the contents from accidental ignition, which plastic probably didn't do when designed. If thats the case, maybe a revisit is a good idea.

Also, if NATO standards, (1) were they written around the box, or the box designed around the standards? (2) I suggest you go to a US mil website and see what the yanks use, they don't stick to intl standards so I bet there is something different. Likewise, hunt down one of your Russian language students at your uni (preferably a female one) and get her to go on a Ruskie mil website and find out what the Sovbloc used.

Lastly, if you are in the mood for a field trip, I once drove a 4T fully loaded with empties from S.UK to just South of the Scottish border where we have a huge ammo camp. I don't know if its location/existence is restricted or not but they had every packing crate you can imagine there. Case, X1 Storm Shadow. Crate X1 Torpedo, Fish, Sword Type, Leather bag X1 Brown Bess, 50 ball (round, lead), Box, Rifle Energy Pack, 50w Plasma, etc etc

If you can find it or if another arrse user knows if its not restricted and will post it's details, you could see every box under the sun and probably meet the guys that pack the used boxes and get their opinions etc.

Goodluck mate.
 
#17
Again, thank you for those replies! I have been looking into methods of joining the boxes together. One for mass transportation and possibly so two could be carried on one handle. Although this might be too heavy. What interests me most is if there is a need for this? Are these ammo boxes constantly on the move and used constantly in real operations? Especially in places like the Middle East.

A new plastic material will be cheaper than metal. The actual cost of material maybe more per kg but the manufacturing costs will be minimal in comparison making it more cost effective. There are even plastics now that could still let you boil water within them!

I will definately look into US and Russian as well then.

That field trip would be fantastic! How I would go about trying to get in and see anything though, I don’t know. It has been hard enough trying to get into local TA and other bases.

Finally, a comment earlier said that a good soldier never leaves anything behind. If your taking an ammo box with you on operation surely it would be a pain to bring back? If this is case would a collapasable version be useful to you?
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#18
Finally, a comment earlier said that a good soldier never leaves anything behind. If your taking an ammo box with you on operation surely it would be a pain to bring back? If this is case would a collapasable version be useful to you?
Absolutely. However the chances are if you're lugging cans round the place then you are probably in a vehicle. You wouldn't really want to be carrying that extra weight if you were on foot. But I agree that a collapsable container would be handier once it has been used, either in a vehicle or in a FOB where space is at a premium. There are exceptions to carting containers into the field, because ideally you don't want your link draped round you like some mexican bandit, you also don't want it trailing in dust, mud or water that will feed into the weapon. This is why Minimi link is held in a bag attached to the weapon whenever possible.
 
#19
Commendable project. I was a student and also ended up as a post-grad tutor at a uni for a while so I know how difficult it is to get information that is project relevant. If this is your first degree dissertation at this time of the year you are ordinarily into your 'hand in' and 'feedback' cycle. If this is for a staged assignment then you have no chance of producing anything other than a mainly conceptual report based on feedback from here.

To fully undertake a project as you have described:

1. You need to get in contact with the MOD and find out who is responsible for ammunition packaging,

2. in an academic vein, contact these people and dig around for someone who can help you

Defence Academy of the United Kingdom — Defence Academy of the United Kingdom
 
#20
Absolutely. However the chances are if you're lugging cans round the place then you are probably in a vehicle. You wouldn't really want to be carrying that extra weight if you were on foot. But I agree that a collapsable container would be handier once it has been used, either in a vehicle or in a FOB where space is at a premium. There are exceptions to carting containers into the field, because ideally you don't want your link draped round you like some mexican bandit, you also don't want it trailing in dust, mud or water that will feed into the weapon. This is why Minimi link is held in a bag attached to the weapon whenever possible.
Fantastic, that is a great help.

Commendable project. I was a student and also ended up as a post-grad tutor at a uni for a while so I know how difficult it is to get information that is project relevant. If this is your first degree dissertation at this time of the year you are ordinarily into your 'hand in' and 'feedback' cycle. If this is for a staged assignment then you have no chance of producing anything other than a mainly conceptual report based on feedback from here.

To fully undertake a project as you have described:

1. You need to get in contact with the MOD and find out who is responsible for ammunition packaging,

2. in an academic vein, contact these people and dig around for someone who can help you

Defence Academy of the United Kingdom — Defence Academy of the United Kingdom
I am currently doing my Masters in Product Design & Manufacturing so I have already done 2 design projects this year and currently finishing my manufacturing dissertation in for next week. This major project has just started so I am not at a hand in stage by any means but I am getting constant input and feedback, yes.

I have until the end of May to complete this project which will consist of fully functioning and tested prototypes so if any of you fancy trying them out that would be great?!

Due to the nature of the project it is hard to get user based research and this forum has been a fantastic start point. I already have had a meeting with MOD to discuss this project and currently trying to arrange a visit to a base of some form - but this is proving difficult to get first hand research.

I have currently been looking at DEF STANS such as 00-88 and DEFCONS which offer a bit of insight but nothing like a real person could!
 

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