View Full Version : Pin Fire info

May 16, 2002, 06:31 PM
I just picked up an old Belgium ? Pin fire, and have 2 questions,

1, what caliber is it? The bore measures 0.299 to .302 depending on where you measure it from;) , i'm assuming this is a 7 mm as that's about all i can find, didn't see it in cartridges of the world.

2. is there any place to pick up any of this ammo?, just for kicks, i know have a real good smith check it out etc, and obviously wouldn't shoot the thing probly more that 1 cylinder full ever, but i like to have ammo for my guns, even if i don't shoot them.

Thank you gents.

May 16, 2002, 06:39 PM
These I have ammo for:D

James K
May 16, 2002, 09:35 PM
The bore seems a bit large for 7mm, maybe 7.5. Pinfires were made in both calibers as well as 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm and perhaps others.

FWIW, I know of no source of pinfire ammo of any caliber except the odd round at gun shows. AFAIK, it is no longer made anywhere, not even in Europe. Any ammunition you might find would be around 100+ years old and would not be guaranteed to fire.

I think that with a great deal of patience and a lot of work, a few rounds might be hand made, but I can't see anyone doing so for less than a small fortune.

It does seem strange that an entire ignition system, very widespread, and used by the military of several major nations, should have disappeared so quickly and so completely. But that is the way it is.


Mike Irwin
May 17, 2002, 12:15 PM
Pinfire ammo was made in some calibers up until World War II, and in some special runs, afterwards.

Your best bet for finding any would probably be Old Western Scrounger, but it will be expensive as all hell.

One of the more interesting things I've ever seen is a kit used for reloading pin fire ammunition, a packet of primers, bullets, individual baggies of powder, and the little rods, or pins, that provided the ignition source. IIRC there were 12 reloads in the box, probably from the turn of the century, and printed in French.

IIRC the guy who had it wanted almost $800 for it.

Pinfire disappeard for a number of reasons, but the most important were that centerfire was more versatile, could handle more powerful rounds, and would actually feed from a magazine relatively well.

Pinfire was an interesting off-shoot of the firearms evolutionary scale, but like the road traveled by trilobites, it was an evolutionary dead end.

James K
May 17, 2002, 07:49 PM
Just for info, I tried the Scrounger and couldn't find any pinfire like that. Tried a couple of other old ammo sites as well, with no luck.

I have read the same thing as Mike, but the only remotely recent pin fire ammo I have actually seen was 9mm; I was told it was made around 1930.

I think the ammo could be made either by machining brass cases or by using some CF case and plugging the flash hole and primer pocket. I am not sure a shelf would be needed, some pinfire rounds did not have it. Standard percussion caps should work OK. But it would be tedious and costly.


May 17, 2002, 08:35 PM
I may never shoot it, but i'll always have someting to look for at the gunshows:)

Mike Irwin
May 18, 2002, 03:47 PM

I've seen French 9mm shotshell pinfire ammo made after WW II.

James K
May 18, 2002, 08:33 PM
Come to think of it, Mike, so have I. I was sort of fixated on revolver ammo and didn't even think of shot shells.


May 23, 2007, 10:18 AM

For pinfire reloadable cartridges, just see H&C 's website:


June 4, 2007, 07:29 PM
the cartridges are not all that safe.if you drop one it could go off.I have4 wrapped in paper and in tin box.I am very careful handling them.:eek:

Mike Irwin
June 5, 2007, 11:06 AM
Life is fraught with danger.

Live adventurously, and don't drop your ammo. :D

I've actually wondered how many accidents there have been over the years from the pin on a pinfire getting whacked at the wrong time.

June 10, 2007, 01:44 PM
Mike:we will never know at this late date:)