Shooters Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all new guy here. I'm into a little bit of everything. Bullet casting, reloading, blackpowder both in muzzleloaders and cartridges. Mostly into older guns, really into pre 1900 designs. Anyway today I'm trying to identify a couple of cartridges I found helping my grandmother clean out a closet. My late grandfather did not own any centerfire rifles just a couple of .22's, some shotguns, and a bunch of pistols and revolvers so no help with identity there.

My first guess was .45-70 and .303 British, pretty sure I'm wrong on both counts. I'm going to label said cartridges 1,2,3, and 4 from left to right, and give what is hopefully a good description of each round. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

On first appearance #1 and #2 appear to be .45-70 Government but the bullet diameter is only between .440"-450" it's no longer round, I'm assuming from years of being bounced around. The case seems to be a .45-70 when compared to my .45-70 brass but I don't know. Rim diameter is .606", Rim thickness .058" and case length is 2.100. Overall length is 2.842" on one and 2.892" on the other. I'm guessing one got compressed over the years, or they are someone's shoddy reloads. The headstamps are RF 3 84 on one. Frankford Arsenal March 1884? And F 6 86. Frankford Arsenal June 1886? On the other.

Originally I thought #3 and #4 were the same thing and one just had the bullet seated deeper but on further inspection the necks look different and the bullet diameters differ by a few thousandths of an inch

#3 has a bullet diameter of .303"-.305" again not perfectly round, it seems to be jacketed but not a copper jacket. Rim diameter is .540", rim thickness is .052", case length is 2.308", and overall length is 2.920" The Headstamps appears to be F 5 02. May 1902? The headstamp font is tiny and almost illegible.

#4 has a bullet diameter of .307"-.308", rim diameter of .540", rim thickness .058", case length is again 2.308", and overall length is 3.064". The headstamp appears to be K 9 88. Kynoch September 1888? Would a commercial manufacturer like Kynoch date commercial ammo? Or is it in fact a military round? The headstamp font is much larger than on #3 and I can read it clearly. The primer is also of a larger diameter.

#'s 3 and 4 could very well be the same thing, maybe manufacturing consistency just wasn't that great 100+ years ago or maybe they are just shoddy reloads. I'm almost positive #1 and #2 are the same cartridge but the bullet diameter is throwing me off on identifying them.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
478 Posts
Regarding bullets #1 & #2. Your guess of Frankford Arsenal is correct, as is the numbers being the month & year. The copper cases are probably Benet or Martin primed & I'm guessing are 45-70. The bullet bands inside the case probably measure .458" diameter, but the exposed ogive part of the bullet isn't as fat. Measure the neck diameter. It should be around .480". Frankfort stamped the 45-70 rifle rounds RF & the 45-70 calvary carbine rounds CF. They also stamped cases with just the F. The difference in ogive & OAL could be that the gov't just changed the bullet slightly between 1884 & 1886 or as you speculated they could be reloads using different bullets. That just about exhaust my knowledge about these old copper cased rounds & Frankford & my guess could be completely wrong, but I don't think Frankford made anything not for the US military. I know nothing about the other two rounds. Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Regarding bullets #1 & #2. Your guess of Frankford Arsenal is correct, as is the numbers being the month & year. The copper cases are probably Benet or Martin primed & I'm guessing are 45-70. The bullet bands inside the case probably measure .458" diameter, but the exposed ogive part of the bullet isn't as fat. Measure the neck diameter. It should be around .480". Frankfort stamped the 45-70 rifle rounds RF & the 45-70 calvary carbine rounds CF. They also stamped cases with just the F. The difference in ogive & OAL could be that the gov't just changed the bullet slightly between 1884 & 1886 or as you speculated they could be reloads using different bullets. That just about exhaust my knowledge about these old copper cased rounds & Frankford & my guess could be completely wrong, but I don't think Frankford made anything not for the US military. I know nothing about the other two rounds. Hope this helps!
Thanks I've been doing some digging online and I'm 90% sure you're right. I was able to find some Frankford Arsenal .45-70's on another site with the same head stamp as mine. I never thought about the bullet bands being larger in the case, I had some old Lyman 535 grain "Postal" bullets a few years ago that were like that. .458" on the bands but smaller forward of the bands. Still stumped on the other two. I found some modern .303 brass in my stash as a comparison and I'm fairly certain they are not .303 British. Unless they're super early, I don't know if the blackpowder .303 Lee-Metford ammo had different case and bullet dimensions than the later stuff or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Thanks I've been doing some digging online and I'm 90% sure you're right. I was able to find some Frankford Arsenal .45-70's on another site with the same head stamp as mine. I never thought about the bullet bands being larger in the case, I had some old Lyman 535 grain "Postal" bullets a few years ago that were like that. .458" on the bands but smaller forward of the bands. Still stumped on the other two. I found some modern .303 brass in my stash as a comparison and I'm fairly certain they are not .303 British. Unless they're super early, I don't know if the blackpowder .303 Lee-Metford ammo had different case and bullet dimensions than the later stuff or not.
Maybe 8mm Lebel ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Originally I thought #3 and #4 were the same thing and one just had the bullet seated deeper but on further inspection the necks look different and the bullet diameters differ by a few thousandths of an inch

#3 has a bullet diameter of .303"-.305" again not perfectly round, it seems to be jacketed but not a copper jacket. Rim diameter is .540", rim thickness is .052", case length is 2.308", and overall length is 2.920" The Headstamps appears to be F 5 02. May 1902? The headstamp font is tiny and almost illegible.

#4 has a bullet diameter of .307"-.308", rim diameter of .540", rim thickness .058", case length is again 2.308", and overall length is 3.064". The headstamp appears to be K 9 88. Kynoch September 1888? Would a commercial manufacturer like Kynoch date commercial ammo? Or is it in fact a military round? The headstamp font is much larger than on #3 and I can read it clearly. The primer is also of a larger diameter.

#'s 3 and 4 could very well be the same thing, maybe manufacturing consistency just wasn't that great 100+ years ago or maybe they are just shoddy reloads. I'm almost positive #1 and #2 are the same cartridge but the bullet diameter is throwing me off on identifying them.


yOUR TWO LAST ARE ".30 US GOVT" AKA 30-40 kRAG CARTRIDGES. likely ONE HAS HAD THE BULLET KNOCKED INTO THE CASE A BIT , WHICH IS NOT UNCOMMON AS THEY WERE NOT CRIMPED.
The bullet jackets are cupronickel alloy and non magnetic. With 30-30 first entered the scene they were supplied with full patch bullets similar but lighter than the 30-40 krag full patch bullets. I have even had 303 savage cartridges with full patch bullets from some very old factory cartridge loadings. Soft point jacketed bullets were not made right off the bat for most jacketed rifle bullets back in those days.Took awhile before the soft nosed jacketed bullets were found to be the thing for hunting and became common. Now an uncommon 30-40 krag type cartridge to find is the 30 cal long range the navy played with for emma gees. It's basically just a longer 30-40 krag case with same 220 grain full patch bullet. I had two live rounds and one made as a dummy ( no primer flash hole or powder charge).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
yOUR TWO LAST ARE ".30 US GOVT" AKA 30-40 kRAG CARTRIDGES. likely ONE HAS HAD THE BULLET KNOCKED INTO THE CASE A BIT , WHICH IS NOT UNCOMMON AS THEY WERE NOT CRIMPED.
The bullet jackets are cupronickel alloy and non magnetic. With 30-30 first entered the scene they were supplied with full patch bullets similar but lighter than the 30-40 krag full patch bullets. I have even had 303 savage cartridges with full patch bullets from some very old factory cartridge loadings. Soft point jacketed bullets were not made right off the bat for most jacketed rifle bullets back in those days.Took awhile before the soft nosed jacketed bullets were found to be the thing for hunting and became common. Now an uncommon 30-40 krag type cartridge to find is the 30 cal long range the navy played with for emma gees. It's basically just a longer 30-40 krag case with same 220 grain full patch bullet. I had two live rounds and one made as a dummy ( no primer flash hole or powder charge).
The two on the right are two different cartridges. One may be a 30-40, but the other clearly is not the same, look at the shoulder and the length of the case, the one on right has less taper too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
yOUR TWO LAST ARE ".30 US GOVT" AKA 30-40 kRAG CARTRIDGES. likely ONE HAS HAD THE BULLET KNOCKED INTO THE CASE A BIT , WHICH IS NOT UNCOMMON AS THEY WERE NOT CRIMPED.
The bullet jackets are cupronickel alloy and non magnetic. With 30-30 first entered the scene they were supplied with full patch bullets similar but lighter than the 30-40 krag full patch bullets. I have even had 303 savage cartridges with full patch bullets from some very old factory cartridge loadings. Soft point jacketed bullets were not made right off the bat for most jacketed rifle bullets back in those days.Took awhile before the soft nosed jacketed bullets were found to be the thing for hunting and became common. Now an uncommon 30-40 krag type cartridge to find is the 30 cal long range the navy played with for emma gees. It's basically just a longer 30-40 krag case with same 220 grain full patch bullet. I had two live rounds and one made as a dummy ( no primer flash hole or powder charge).
Thanks. I'm with you that one may definately be a .30-40 Krag, I'm thinking the one on the left judging by the shoulder. As the former owner of an unmolested 1898 Krag Carbine I don't know why that never crossed my mind. But I believe the other is definately something else due to the different shoulder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The two on the right are two different cartridges. One may be a 30-40, but the other clearly is not the same, look at the shoulder and the length of the case, the one on right has less taper too
I'm with you that one may be a .30-40 Krag, I'm thinking the one on the left due to the shoulder. The other is definately something else as yet unidentified. Sorry for the late post but I forgot all about these until I stumbled across them digging for some reloading components this evening.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top