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Old January 4, 2012, 03:43 PM   #1
donharmon42
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Unidentified, Very Old .51 .Cal Rimmed Cartridge

My neighbor asked me to identify this strange old cartridge, (see photo) which he found in upstate NY many years ago. The lead bullet is about .51 cal. It is hard to measure with calipers, because the bullet is lumpy, corroded and out-of-round. The bullet weighs about 338 gn., a monster. The cartridge overall length is 1.8". The cartridge has at least two other strange characteristics: First, as can barely be seen in the photo, it has no primer, but has a pinhole opening. Next, the rim on the brass casing is enormous.

Can you identify this cartridge for me?
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File Type: jpg .51 Cal. Rimmed 2.jpg (78.6 KB, 68 views)
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Old January 4, 2012, 04:13 PM   #2
Scorch
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I believe that is a 50 Maynard. Not positive, but it seems I have seen that before.
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Old January 4, 2012, 04:26 PM   #3
B. Lahey
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Looks like a Maynard cartridge to me as well:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:...dCartridge.jpg

I jawjacked with a fellow shooting one of those at the range a while back. The casings he was using were new-production and made out of plastic. The clay pigeons he had set up at 50yards were getting broken with fair regularity, and he was mostly shooting offhand. Neat little carbines, although he was having ignition problems after an hour or so of shooting.
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Old January 6, 2012, 06:12 PM   #4
bigbird34
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Maynard

Gentlemen,YOU are Correct a 50 cal Maynard....1865 if memory serves me correctly....the large brass rim was soldered to the cylinder case,and was this was great in holding in all the gases,also one of the first reloadable cartridges....It's worth about ~$40.00 .

Dr Maynard was a renowed dentist ,who dabbled in firearms,he sold his patents,to companies,he was a man before his time...(or just in time).

I have several different sample of his cartridges in my collection !

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Old January 6, 2012, 06:31 PM   #5
mete
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Obvious from the very wide rim - Maynard !
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Old January 7, 2012, 08:48 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
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Definitely a .50 Maynard.

I've got one that looks exactly like it.
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Old January 8, 2012, 11:13 AM   #7
BlueTrain
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I also have one. It turned up in a box of assorted small arms ammo which we found in my late father-in-law's garage. There was also a partially full box of .38 S&W that contained two rounds of .38 long Colt, case marked ".38 LONG." The Maynard has no markings (and no primer).
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Old January 8, 2012, 01:31 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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"(and no primer)"

Nope. They were externally primed, like the Burnsides, Gallagher, and Smith carbines of the same time frame (Civil War era). The cartridge was loaded and a percussion cap placed on a nipple to fire the round.

Cartridges and carbines like these are best termed transitional, because they fall right in between the muzzle loading caplock rifled musket and the breech loading rim and center fire weapons like the Spencer and later Winchesters.

Here's an article on the Maynard carbine (a reproduction in this case) showing both the carbine with separate priming nipple and a picture of the case and other components.

http://www.civilwarguns.com/9804.html
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