Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interesting Cartridges

Some people collect cartridges, I accumulate whatever comes my way, and so there is always interest in this subject.  At my OTHER job at The Spoils of War I was asked to identify cartridges that came in a jar of cartridges that was apparently somebody else's accumulation.

Now, while there are exceptions, most cartridges are only going to be worth a couple of dollars.  The manager doesn't have too much into these so we might make some money, if we don't get greedy.

Right from the get go I noticed there was some interesting things in there.

There are several .25 Stevens Short cartridges and two .25 Stevens Long cartridges.  I've written about the cartridge before.  It interests me.  At Nuckol's we had a three BOXES of these come in about a month ago.  All went to the boss man's collection.  Those were worth over $500. A cartridge is going for about $2.50-$3.00 now. 

There was one .45 Spanish M89 Reformado cartridge.  This cartridge was designed to replace the .43 Spanish cartridge and is the most common round (other than the 7x57) used against the U.S. soldiers in Cuba in 1898.  It has a brass jacketed bullet.  Adoption of the cartridge required the re-work of all the .43 Spanish chambered rifles (Remington system) then in the Spanish government's inventory.

There were one each .40-82 WCF .50-110 EX and .50-95 EX W.R.A. Co headstamped cartridges.  Both the .40 and .50 caliber cartridges have jacketed softpoint bullets but the .50-95 has a lead bullet, apparently a swaged lead bullet.

There is a D.C. Co. 57 Snider headstamped, drawn brass, cartridge with what appears to be a swaged lead bullet. D. C. Co. is Dominion Cartridge Company. I always thought it was the .577 Snider but apparently this was shortened at least in some instances. I understand that there was a cadet sized cartridge and shorter than full length .577 Snider. Value on this would be about $15.00 or so.

There are three .50-70 Government cartridges headstamped U.M.C. S H 50-70. There is also a somewhat shorter, 1-3/4" COL, .50 caliber cartridge with a bullet that seems somewhat lighter than the 450 gr. Government cartridge bullet. This is the .50 U.S. Carbine, is outside primed and appears to be UMC manufacture.

There was one DWM SK 515A headstamped round, the FMJ RN bulleted 10.75x63mm Mauser.

.56-56 Spencer cartridges w/both versions of H headstamp
There is one fired .56-56 Spencer cartridge case. The .56-56 was the first cartridge chambered in the Spencer rifles and carbines. Ours has the raised "H" headstamp indicating Winchester production but of course it is just the cartridge case as it has been fired. Still interesting.

Many military collectors, especially those interested in the Indian Wars period, would be interested in the three .45-70 Government cartridges we have.  All were produced by Frankford Arsenal.

The first is stamped "F 4 88" indicating is was produced in April 1888 and has a 500 gr. lead bullet.  It does not appear to be "tinned" as are the other two cartridges but I think that it is.  The cartridge is just very "dark".  The second of the .45-70 Government cartridges is headstamped "F 5 90" i.e. it was produced in May 1990 and is tinned with a 500 gr. bullet.  The third is a bit unusual, or so it seems to me.  This last one is headstamped "F 2 91" and appears to carry a bullet of about 400 gr.  I believe this would be a carbine load.  Interestingly, all the bullets are seated to the same depth in the case with the result that the "carbine" load has a shorter length overall than the other two cartridges.

I was most surprised to find a .40-50 Sharps Bottleneck round in the jar.  Neat little thing.  It seems to me that you can barely see the paper patch peeking out of the case neck.  Possibly UMC manufacture.  Value about $5-7.

There is also a German fva (=Draht-u. Metallfabriken G.m.b.H., Salzwedel, Germany) 1 44 headstamped 7.92x33mm or 7.92 Kurz cartridge. The lacquer is pretty much gone. Value about $1.50 in this condition.

The last cartridge I'll add a description of to this accounting is one headstamped for Leon Beaux & C. This is a rimmed cartridge of the dimensions of the .38 S&W marked 380 and appears to be inside primed! Interesting.

Quite a few cartridges in this cache...

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