In 1896 the United States government started issuing a cartridge box to carry revolver ammunition. The earliest issued were black leather and were not dated and only stamped with the arsenal of manufacture and inspector. It was issued without the wooden insert. The early black boxes were issued for both the Colt single action army “artillery” revolvers and the .38 cal. 1892 Colt New Model Army. The cartridges for both were carried loose in the boxes.
Although almost all of the black dye has been worn off, the leather itself is in great condition and the stitches are tight. Leather demonstrates some crazing and a few scuffs. Stamped on the back is “ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL” with Inspector Initials “T.C.” Box was likely manufactured between 1896-1901.