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#112198 - 09/11/08 10:32 AM Shotgun shells from late 1880's to early 1890's
Chris Schotz Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 568
Loc: Western, NY
What would be the proper paper or brass shells from this period? How were they packaged?
What would the boxes look like? I'm interested in this for ten ga shells, I don't know if there was a difference in looks or styles between the gages.
Where could I find info on this period for loading tools?
Thanks,
Chris

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#112223 - 09/11/08 11:35 AM Re: Shotgun shells from late 1880's to early 1890's [Re: Chris Schotz]
MarketHunter Offline
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Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 1206
Loc: Originally S. Illinois Michiga...
There's a book sold through http://www.soldusa.com that pictures a lot of the super vintage shotshell boxes.

And for the ammo itself I'd suggest Winchester Shotguns and Shotshells by Ronald W. Stadt as a place to start.

Also the new Parker book by Ed Muderlak is full of shotshell history though it deals more with the earlier types.


Destry
_________________________
Out there at the crossroads molding the devil's bullets. - Tom Waits

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#112234 - 09/11/08 12:17 PM Re: Shotgun shells from late 1880's to early 1890's [Re: MarketHunter]
Roy Hebbes Offline
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Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 1048
Loc: Canada
The book, "Collecting Shotgun Cartridges", by Ken Rutterford is the best reference book in relation to British shells.
Try Gunnerman books @ 248-608-2856.
10 G; Shells of this period were drawn brass,or paper tube with over shot card wad and rolled edge closure.The shell base was almost always brass,stamped with the gauge and makers name. Boxes were two-piece construction.The overshot wad usually carries the shot size,whilst the paper tube,in most cases gives the makers name and is often accompanied by a brand name. The top half of the box normally incorporates an impressive makers label.
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Roy Hebbes

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#112245 - 09/11/08 12:41 PM Re: Shotgun shells from late 1880's to early 1890's [Re: Roy Hebbes]
Humpty Dumpty Offline
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Registered: 08/12/06
Posts: 743
Loc: Samara, Russia
If I can add a question of my own ... at that period (1880-1900) did most of the hunters use factory shells or reloads? And did those shells come from big loading companies like today or were loaded by gun stores?
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#112261 - 09/11/08 01:52 PM Re: Shotgun shells from late 1880's to early 1890's [Re: Humpty Dumpty]
MarketHunter Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 1206
Loc: Originally S. Illinois Michiga...
Lots of folks rolled their own in those days though factory shells were available.

And it was both, there were big companies loading but also gun stores and other proprietary loaders as well. I've got lots of stuff in my collection loaded in cases from the big companies but the overshot card shows it was loaded by somebody else.

My best one is a french pinfire case with an overshot card from a sporting goods outfit in New York. Only American (semi-factory) loaded pinfire shell I've ever heard of.

DLH
_________________________
Out there at the crossroads molding the devil's bullets. - Tom Waits

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#112285 - 09/11/08 03:14 PM Re: Shotgun shells from late 1880's to early 1890's [Re: Chris Schotz]
EDM Offline
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Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 318
Loc: IL-WI Stateline
Originally Posted By: Chris Schotz
What would be the proper paper or brass shells from this period? How were they packaged?
What would the boxes look like? Where could I find info on this period for loading tools?
Thanks, Chris


Go to eBay and find Abby Books/Corrnell Publications or check out her website: abbybooks@comcast.net

Abby has reprinted about 1,000 old guns and ammo catalogs. A wealth of info. The Parker Bros catalogs of the 1880s pictured a whole line of loading equipment.

By the late 1880s, paper shells dominated. Unloaded "shells" were in boxes of 100; loaded "cartridges" were in boxes of 25 because of weight. I believe the first factory loads were marketed in about 1885; before then, home-business loaders like Peters and Von Lengerke bought empty shells and sold loaded ammo locally. Keep in mind that rail rates were weight sensitive and a box of 100 loaded shotshells at 1 1/2 oz would have an incremental 10-plus lbs of lead, wads, and powder.

By the way, ten-bores started going out of fashion in the late 1880s, and by 1900 comprised only 2% of Parker Bros production, thus 10-bore collector ammo starts to diminish in proportion to other bore sizes after 1890. But it's not rare.

Destry is right about my new book. So much has been written about old shotshells and boxes that I limited my chapters on the topic to the seminal ammo of the 1860s and early 1870s, where the info is all but nonexistent. There was a "chicken and egg," which came first? situation with the post-Civil War American-made breechloaders. Of necessity, the makers had to literally invent their own ammo, which quickly went out of production when the early guns failed for bad design or financial reasons, like the Panic of 1873.

Action configuration and chambering standardized in about 1873 along the lines of the "tipping-open" Parker, which was the only surviving 1860s maker of commercial quantities of central fire breech-loading shotguns. The first year UMC made a paper shell was, coincidentally, 1873, and paper shells from then are headstamped "Parker Bro's Meriden Conn." UMC also made the "Parker's Patent" Berdan-primed brass shells with Parker's headstamp, and green-labeled shell boxes exist in collections with Parker's label pasted over UMC's.

However, almost every brass shotshell owned by collectors post-dates about 1877, when the tooling was designed to extrude a one-piece shell with a thick base to withstand the hammer smacking the Berdan primer against the built-in nipple, while as part of the same process making the extruded tube walls thicker at the base and thinner at the mouth to seal the chamber. These post-1877 shells all have an inner ring on the base; the only example of what I believe is pre-1877 technology (extruded and "bumped" like rimfires, or assembled and soldered multi-piece), being a Parker 11B-size shell without the extruded inner ring, which is shown on page 544 (right) of The Parker Story. EDM
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EDM

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