Opening a Can of Russian 7.62x54 Light Ball from AIM

My 1941 Mosin-Nagant 91/30 rifle, Purchased In September 2007 in Chattanooga, Tennessee

I purchased a Mosin 91/30 last week, and needed some ammo. My gun shop was out, so I searched the internet for a good price, and happened upon AIM, and ordered a can of 440 rounds of Russian lead-core light ball for $69.95. (If you buy two cans it is $3 cheaper.) I don't know much about this ammo, but I believe it was manufactured in the 1940's, and it appears to be "copper-washed." The primers appear to be unsealed. I hope they fire off! I haven't shot the stuff yet, but I really appreciate the quick shipping from AIM. I placed my order on Saturday, they shipped on Monday, and it arrived Wednesday. Thank you, AIM!

I have never opened a can of military surplus ammo before, and no "can opener" came with the ammo, so I figured out my own method. I thought that maybe somebody out there in internet land might need some advice some day, so I'm detailing what I did. It was really quite easy to open the can -- it took me about five minutes.

Here's the box as it came by UPS. Note the sticker that identifies it as ammo for small arms.

You open the cardboard box, and there's the ammo can!

So I rolled the box over, and dumped it out on the floor. See that tin strip on the right hand side of the box? You must YANK that off with a pair of pliers. Don't be too gentle! Yank it off!

When you get that strip yanked off, you can see a thin cardboard lining inside the can. The packages of ammo are just on the other side of that thin cardboard.

Here are the two tools I used to get to the ammo: pliers and tin snips. You say you don't have tin snips? Why not? Every tool chest needs a pair, and they are cheap. I think I got mine at ACE Hardware for $5.00 a few years ago. You never know when they might come in handy! I got busy with the tin snips on the top of the box, and in very short order had cut a hole large enough for the packages of ammo to be pulled out of (bad grammar!)

Just tear out enough of that thin cardboard to reveal the ammo packages, and start pulling them out. They are wrapped up with some string, and sometimes you can pull on the string to hoist a package out through the hole in the can.

Here's the first "baby" to get delivered. There are 22 packages of 10 in the can.

Here they are, 22 ammo packages, seeing the light of day
for the first time in 65 years!

I opened one package to see what the cartridges looked like.

Here's a close up. You can see that they are a uniform golden color
(copper-washed I guess). The primers look "yellow" or bright gold in color.

Here's a close up of the end of a cartridge. There are some very faint numbers
stamped there. I got out my magnifying glass and found they were
"60" and "45," 180 degrees opposite each other.

And here they are, finally safely stowed away in a tool box, ready to go to the range.
I keep all my varities of ammo in separate locked boxes.

I hope this was helpful to somebody!