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Old 05-19-2020, 09:42 PM
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Default Whatzit.....old brass shots shells ?

Picked these up today.
Pretty clueless.....help.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:57 PM
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12 ga Winchester and the other looks like a 45-70 round dated 4 of 1886. Can't really tell without seeing the rest of the cases
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:24 PM
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Those brass shells were in common use back in the late 19th Century, as most everyone loaded their own shotshells back then. When you went out hunting you just loaded a dozen or so of them with whatever shot load you wanted and stuck them in your pocket. Even through WWII, brass shells were used in combat by the military, as paper shells were not adequately sealed to withstand wet weather without swelling and becoming useless. They didn't completely go away until plastic shell cases came on the scene back in the 1960s. Most of the brass shells I have seen used rifle primers. The .45-70 round is a Carbine load (C on the headstamp) made at Frankford Arsenal in 4/1886. It was really a .45-55-405. There is a little more to the historical story but I won't go into it.

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Old 05-19-2020, 11:49 PM
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All brass shotshells are still produced in Russia. I have a few in 20 gauge
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:37 AM
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Thanks for the help.
Interesting about the C.
IIRC most old Frankford one's had FA but definitely may not be remembering that correctly.

They were made as shot shells too.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:59 AM
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Besides brass shot shells, my collection includes some shot loads for straight-walled rifle cartridges. These usually had a wood sabot (for want of a more descriptive term) to contain the shot charge and extended a bit beyond the casing. I'm not sure if military planners in the black powder era had the presence of mind to create such loads but they do exist.

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Old 05-20-2020, 07:42 AM
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I have an unopened 25 round box of what I presume are military issue brass 00 buck shotshells made by Winchester. No date on it just, the WRA lot #. Wish it had been accompanied by a couple of loose rounds but I'm unwilling to open the box to peak at them.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:21 AM
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I've been told that back in old days, you just went to the local hardware store and picked up your components for shotshells...not sure how primers were done? probably just pushed in by hand
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:54 AM
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Show the rest of the story....it will make a proper ID easier .
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:44 AM
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I do have some of the old 45-70 rounds from the 1880s and the full loaded cartridges do have FA on them. Forgot about the C for carbine. I also have some 1910 or 1911 dated FA 45 Colt rounds...and no they were not the Schofield rounds. Gonna have to dig them out. Also have most of a round tin of FA primers that I think says they are for 45 -70 or 45 Revolver. Gotta dig them out too.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:31 AM
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In the last few years of all black powder loading for rifles it was common to use two different grades of black powder for loads in 'rifles' vs. carbine. The two powders today would be called "F G" for rifles and "FF G" for the shorter barreled carbines. "FFF G" was used for handguns. Of course, in a time of dire need the self-loader used what ever grade of powder was available with some judicious judgement for the amount to be measured.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babysitr View Post
I've been told that back in old days, you just went to the local hardware store and picked up your components for shotshells...not sure how primers were done? probably just pushed in by hand
It was a fairly common practice to load your own in the late 1800's and early 1900's. There were simple, basic tools available though you could de-cap with a punch and seat a new primer by placing it on a flat surface and tapping the case down over it with a wooden dowel and mallet. Wads could be pressed in with the same dowel and top wads were often secured in with water glass or other glues in brass cases.

I have a small collection of early loading tools, many of the shotgun ones are very simple and easy to use. Also many ammo producers sold primed shell cases ready to load with whatever the end user wanted. The advent of smokeless powders reduced the popularity of loading your own a bit and led to many of the old tools being retired from use. Later tools tended more toward the machine type but LEE was still selling simple shotgun loaders long after everyone else had given up on them.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:57 AM
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"I also have some 1910 or 1911 dated FA 45 Colt rounds...and no they were not the Schofield rounds."

Those would be M1909 rounds, made for the Colt M1909 DA revolver (a variant of the Colt New Service revolver) which was briefly in military service, mainly in the Philippines. Pretty much the same as the .45 Colt cartridge, but with a slightly larger rim diameter for more reliable fired case extraction. The M1909 ammo was made only at Frankford Arsenal. Unusual cartridge, unusual revolver. Most of the revolvers never made it back from the Philippine jungles, and those that did are generally in poor condition. Finding a nice example of a Colt M1909 revolver is rare, but they do exist. Not quite like finding a Colt Paterson, but close.

Regarding the .45-70 case, Frankford used both F A and F headstamps at different times. Back when there was a distinction between the Rifle and Carbine loads, the headstamps were F C and F R, with a date. The Carbine and Rifle load distinction was ended in April 1886. You have one of the last loads of that type made. The Carbine load used a light load (55 grains) of black powder, and required a cork wad between the powder and the bullet.

Last edited by DWalt; 05-21-2020 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:12 PM
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Later tools tended more toward the machine type but LEE was still selling simple shotgun loaders long after everyone else had given up on them.
When I first started handloading in the mid-1960s. I used a variety of Lee loaders for handgun, CF rifle, and 12 gauge. Not sure if Lee still makes those tools (they were about $10/set back then), They were primitive and slow - but they did the job. Everything was a hand operation, and you needed a hammer. Scoops for measuring shot and powder were included. I used to sit on the floor and watch TV while I was loading. A big evening was loading 4 boxes of 12 gauge shells (which took maybe 1-1/2 to 2 hours) so I could go out and shoot trap or skeet on weekends. That was back in the days of (mainly) paper-cased shells. They were more easily loaded with the Lee loaders than plastic case shells, but you did well to get more than three or four reloads from a paper case shell. I scrounged all of the fired paper cased shells I could find at the shotgun range, at one time I had thousands of them. Remington shells back then were different, as they used a smaller diameter primer, and those were more difficult to find than the 209 primers used by W-W and Federal. Could never understand why all shotshell makers couldn't use the same primers, but much later they did. I preferred Federal shells.

Last edited by DWalt; 05-21-2020 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:30 AM
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I have a couple of those shot shells with the wood sabot in 45-70. They were forager rounds for the troops to get meat for supper. I also have one in 25 Stevens and another one in 38 S&W. These might have been for rats or snakes.
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Originally Posted by federali View Post
Besides brass shot shells, my collection includes some shot loads for straight-walled rifle cartridges. These usually had a wood sabot (for want of a more descriptive term) to contain the shot charge and extended a bit beyond the casing. I'm not sure if military planners in the black powder era had the presence of mind to create such loads but they do exist.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
"I also have some 1910 or 1911 dated FA 45 Colt rounds...and no they were not the Schofield rounds."

Those would be M1909 rounds, made for the Colt M1909 DA revolver (a variant of the Colt New Service revolver) which was briefly in military service, mainly in the Philippines. Pretty much the same as the .45 Colt cartridge, but with a slightly larger rim diameter for more reliable fired case extraction. The M1909 ammo was made only at Frankford Arsenal. Unusual cartridge, unusual revolver. Most of the revolvers never made it back from the Philippine jungles, and those that did are generally in poor condition. Finding a nice example of a Colt M1909 revolver is rare, but they do exist. Not quite like finding a Colt Paterson, but close.



Regarding the .45-70 case, Frankford used both F A and F headstamps at different times. Back when there was a distinction between the Rifle and Carbine loads, the headstamps were F C and F R, with a date. The Carbine and Rifle load distinction was ended in April 1886. You have one of the last loads of that type made. The Carbine load used a light load (55 grains) of black powder, and required a cork wad between the powder and the bullet.
So after 1886 only one .45-70 ball round was produced ? Was that the 405 gr ?
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:38 PM
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I've got ten or so solid brass shotshells I bought at a flea market in the 70s. Winchester 12 gauge 00 buck.

Almost certainly military issue. I had assumed WWI, but I read recently some were issued in WWII due to the swelling of paper cases. Very few were produced as they required a lot of precious brass.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:43 PM
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So after 1886 only one .45-70 ball round was produced ? Was that the 405 gr ?
No. Only the C and R headstamps were dropped. The standard rifle ball round used a 500 grain bullet and 70 grains of powder, while the standard carbine load used a more deeply seated 405 grain bullet and 55 grains of powder. But the use of the wad under the carbine bullet was discontinued due to the deeper bullet seating. The rifle and carbine rounds could be visually distinguished easily by the amount of bullet protrusion. As typical, there were a great many different .45-70 rounds developed over the years, such as multi-ball guard rounds, shot rounds, and gallery practice rounds using light bullets and powder charges. There were even some smokeless loads made by Frankford Arsenal in the late 1890s.

Last edited by DWalt; 06-03-2020 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:04 PM
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Also many ammo producers sold primed shell cases ready to load with whatever the end user wanted.
The ammunition companies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries sold primed paper case shells in volume, but not so much to individual shooters. Different parts of the country supported local shotshell loading companies who specialized in making loads which were very popular in that specific area, for example Duck and Goose loads in areas having lots of duck or goose hunting activity. Such companies would buy the primed paper cases, then load them with purchased powder, wads, and shot using their own equipment to meet seasonal demand. That practice had pretty well died out by the time of WWI, as the big factories had expanded their load offerings so that they covered almost any possible market demand. Some of the ammo companies' catalogs of the time listed hundreds of different loads. From a 1914 Peters distributor's catalog:






Last edited by DWalt; 06-02-2020 at 08:10 PM.
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