The Ammo Box


Cree Vicar Dave - SASS LIFE 49907

It is a joy to behold observing parents and grandparents bringing their offspring with them to participate in Cowboy Action Shooting™.  Our sport is one of very few that is truly family oriented.  The game we play does more than its share to propagate gun ownership.  It says in Psalm 127:4-5 “As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.  Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them!  They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries (in gatherings) at the (city’s) gate.”  Amplified Bible.  To put this passage in the “Cowboy Action Translation” it could read:  “As cartridges are in the hand of a Cowboy Action Shooter, so are the youth that participate in Cowboy Action Shooting™ with their progenitors.  Happy, blessed and fortunate is the cowboy whose ammo box is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they compete in a Cowboy Action event in the “Spirit of the Game”.  It is a blessing to see youngsters being trained in safe gun handling and marksmanship.  May every Cowboy Action Club have an “Ammo Box” full of youth.

Speaking of ammo boxes, you could build your own if you have wood working talents and the proper tools.  I’ve received quite a few compliments on the one I made.  The ammo box was made out of red cedar with box joints.  These two main factors make it an eye grabber.


First thing needed are actual measurements.  Take a look at some other boxes and decide what size is adequate.  I purchased 1” x 8” rough sawn red cedar lumber from a mill.  I stuck and staked it in a dry place for a few months then planed it to ¾”.  I could have got it from a lumber yard at an extra cost but at my age money is harder to obtain than time.  It wouldn’t be accurate to categorize me as a miser or even full fledged frugality, but prudent comes close.  I cut the ends and sides of the box 1 ½”  longer than finished dimensions to allow for the ¾” box joints.  You can buy a box joint fixture or if you’re like minded make one.  I cut a 2” x 6” x 24” piece of hardwood and attached it in the proper place on the table saw miter gauge.  It has to be long enough and strong enough to hold the sides and ends upright while cutting the box joints.  I then cut a ¾” by ¾” slot in the 2” x 6” hardwood board with a ¾” dado saw blade set ¾” high.  Then a ¾” x ¾” x ¾” aluminum block was installed ¾” away from and in line with the slot opening.  The block holds the wood in the right spot for successive cuts.  Two scrap pieces of lumber were then used to check the joint fit.  The wood is held in place with clamps when cutting joint with careful regard and respect for the blade teeth. 

After proper joint fit is established, ammo box joints can be cut.  The opposite sides of the box are cut the same while the two ends are offset ¾” to make everything come out equal in height.  The bottom inside edge has a rabbit cut in it and the bottom is made to fit.  The top fits even with the outside of the box.  I used biscuits in the sides, ends, top and bottom glue ups.  Exterior glue was used on the box.  The top has a piano hinge and a friction slide stop to hold top open when in use.  A small hasp was affixed to the top.  A couple coats of boiled linseed oil finished it off.

It looks great and is typical of the old time ammo boxes.  And yes, by the way, I am happy when it is full because that means I don’t have to pull the lever on my reloader for a while.

Always be safety minded when working on projects following all safety practices and wearing the proper personal safety gear.

God Bless,

Cree Vicar Dave