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Old 09-23-2017, 04:58 PM
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Default S&W model 1 cartridges

Does anyone have any model 1 .22 caliber black powder cartridges? Not sure that I have ever seen any or the box that they came in. Any photos would be greatly appreciated.

Anybody have any for sale?
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:04 PM
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If you are speaking of original .22 BP (short) cartridges contemporary to the Model 1, good luck. I remember seeing a box of them selling for several thousand dollars. You might find a box of them from much later in the 19th century for a more reasonable price. Those wishing to shoot the old Model 1s should use BB or CB caps.

Last edited by DWalt; 09-23-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:48 PM
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The 22 Short remains totally unchanged from the first years of production. Problem is that you don't know by looking at a standard vintage brass cartridge whether it is BP or smokeless. I have a few copper cartridges and am pretty sure that all copper cased cartridges were BP. Photos are of 22 Short, 22 Long, 32 Short, 32 Long, and 32 Shot. These cartridges were outside lubricated, but all remnants of the lube is long gone.

There are a couple of good links that show a few early 22 boxes and give some information about the 22 RF you might find interesting.

Introduction To .22 Box Collecting - International Ammunition Association
USA Boxes
http://22box-id.com/USA/S&W.pdf
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:24 PM
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Gary, I am fairly certain that the cartridge that you have labeled as a .22 Long, is in fact a .22 Long Rifle. All of the .22 longs that I saw and shot in my youth had the same 29 grain bullet as a.22 short, but the longer brass case of the long rifle. The cartridge clearly has the same length bullet as the 40 grain Long rifle.
I would agree that the copper cases are probably an indication of BP loading.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:39 PM
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There was a discussion recently about Long vs. Long Rifle here. I went back through several early ammunition catalogs, and every .22 Long cartridge was identified as having a 29 grain bullet, same as the .22 Short. .22 LRs all had 40 grain bullets.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:41 PM
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James
This is the same box as the Smith & Wesson .22 box. It is my .32 box. I wouldn't trade this for both of the guns you have that I want. Seriously!
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:01 PM
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James, about the best one can do is to find antique, copper cased, Henry (H) head stamped examples. Last H head stamped, .22 shorts that I saw were loose rounds with lots of lead corrosion and priced at $1 ea.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeetr57 View Post
Gary, I am fairly certain that the cartridge that you have labeled as a .22 Long, is in fact a .22 Long Rifle. . .
You are probably right, and that might make a copper cased 22 LR pretty scarce?? I guess I did not give it much of a thought, since it was copper. The 22 LR started in the late 1880s, about the same time as the copper case was changed to brass, so I guess not much overlap. That case has a "K" headstamp.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:16 PM
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So Don the cartridges that these guns shot were made by S&W and not other manufacturers???
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:07 PM
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James
Yes, until the patent went to Smith, Hall & Farmer.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
I have a few copper cartridges and am pretty sure that all copper cased cartridges were BP.
Gary, I would assume that when you shoot these old cartridges that you would be able to tell the difference between a BP round and a smokeless round??? My only experience with BP is in my flintlock rifle and when I shoot it on our range there is no mistaking by anyone nearby that it is BP.

Being such a small case, does it also make quite a bit of smoke compared to its smokeless counterpart?
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:37 AM
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James, having shot just about every original BP caliber through my chronographs over the years, I will tell you that the first thing you will notice about antique 22 Short ammo is that hardly any will fire today. I experimented with 22 Short rounds over 20 years ago and found that most will not fire. I was trying figure out how to reload modern 22 short rounds with BP and pulled the bullets, packed in 4F priming powder, then shot them in my Model 1s. Half would not even leave the barrel. It took some time, a mortar & pestle, and Super Glue to get these little rounds to go further than 25 feet. My success came by devising a collet to pull the bullets without deforming them, crushing BP to a fine powder, replacing the bullet with a drop of Super Glue to provide equivalent back pressure originally offered by the crimp and getting around 500 fps.

My testing of 22 Short BP found that both UMC and Winchester 1880s ammo averaged close to 600 fps. I would suspect that the early rounds may have been slower, but with a box of Smith & Wesson No. 1 Ammo going for $1000, I will never be able to prove my hypothesis.

I located my collected images of these early boxes and am attaching. Interesting that the last box shows a Model 1 and states the contents were for 22 Long. I have always been curious as to when the boxes of 50 started showing up. It seems that the very early boxes I have found pre-Civil War were all 100 count.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:15 PM
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I have a partial 50 round box (two-piece) of Winchester .22 Short somewhere which is BP, and as I remember they have copper cases. I haven't seen that box for awhile, probably packed away.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:01 PM
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I have attached images of S&W original cartridges courtesy of Roy Jinks many years ago and also two boxes of successors who assumed production shortly after.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR III View Post
Does anyone have any model 1 .22 caliber black powder cartridges? Not sure that I have ever seen any or the box that they came in. Any photos would be greatly appreciated.

Anybody have any for sale?
I would love to help you, I've got a model 1 1/2 in .32 with the same issue. Got a lead on a N Dakota company, please stay in touch, we might get lucky.

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Old 09-29-2017, 01:23 PM
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I had a factory box of the original .22RF, made by Smith & Wesson, circa 1854, in a display I had at an annual S&WCA meeting years ago. Unfortunately, when I packed up to go home, the box had disappeared, so I can't post a picture here. Ed.
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