A bunch of ammo for an 8 gauge shotgun. I know, it doesn’t seem very impressive. But I challenge you to find some 8g ammo, especially modern stuff loaded with Bismuth. Try and you’ll understand why seeing a pile of it is so unusual.
Eight gauges went out of favor in the US at the end of the 19th century. In 1918, they were outlawed for waterfowl and other federally-listed migratory game birds. Once they were outlawed, use plummeted and ammo makers stopped offering shells. Now any 8 gauge ammo is hard to find. Collectors covet it and their the ones you tend to snap it up.
Today, many states have outlawed anything bigger than a 10 gauge shotgun on any kind of game animal (This is pretty dumb, actually. A 10g 3 1/2″ magnum throws just as much lead as an 8.) So unless you’re shooting pests like pigeons and starlings, an 8 gauge is just plain illegal for hunting.
That doesn’t mean people don’t use them. Some states allow them, some people just use them, and big bores like 8s and even 4 gauges are still legal for waterfowl in the UK. That’s where these cartridges came from. They were loaded for an American big-bore collector in the ’80s. I guess the guy had 6000 rounds made up for him. Yeah, 6000. I don’t know what he was shooting, but that’s a lot of shells.