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Old October 24, 2018, 11:58 PM   #1
TruthTellers
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19th Century Ammo Manufacturers?

I was thinking the other day about how we know all about the gun manufacturing companies like Colt's, Remington, Winchester, Smith & Wesson, and others of the 1800s, but what about ammunition? The only company I know of from the time was Union Metallic, but I'm sure there were others.

Who were they? What happened to them? Since it was just lead bullets and black powder, was there much of a difference between the fixed ammunition at all?
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Old October 25, 2018, 01:24 AM   #2
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The major firearms manufacturers made ammunition too.
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Old October 25, 2018, 10:28 AM   #3
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Holy Cow!

What a huge subject. Cartridge collecting is just as interesting, maybe more so, than collecting firearms.

The variations are almost endless. In addition to Rimfire and Centerfire, there was Pin Fire, Teat Fire, and probably a few more that I can't think of right now.

In Center Fire there were the old Copper Cased, Benet Primed, Folded Rim cartridges, Balloon Heads, and modern Solid Head cases. This photo of 45 Colt cartridges includes one of the Benet Primed rounds at the far left, some Balloon Heads, and second from the right is one of the rounds with the extra large rims made for the Colt Model 1909.






Here is the difference between a Remington-UMC Balloon Head 45 Colt on the left and a modern Solid Head case on the right.






Frankford Arsenal produced ammunition for the US Military from 1816 until 1977. Frankford Arsenal was key to many advancements in ammunition technology in the mid 1800s.




At one time, Smith and Wesson and Winchester made their own ammunition. Winchester still does.




The United States Cartridge Company started operations in Lowell Mass in 1869 and produced much of the ammunition used in World War One. After the war it was acquired by Winchester. I bought this reproduction of an 1881 USCCo poster last year. They had a magazine explosion early in the 20th Century that flattened an entire neighborhood.






Union Metallic merged with Remington in 1912. On the left is a REM-UMC headstamp and on the right is a 38-40 made by the United States Cartridge Company. Notice how the primer is stamped with a US. Pretty neat, huh?





If you really want to learn about old cartridges and the companies that made them, go to this guy's web site. It is terrific. Be sure to check out his picture pages.

http://www.oldammo.com/january04.htm
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Old November 28, 2018, 10:31 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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I didn't see this question before, but it's right in my wheel house for interests.

There were literally dozens of different cartridge manufacturers at various times in the US starting from the beginning of the cartridge age in the 1860s.

Perhaps the most famous of the 1800s companies were Union Metallic Cartridge Company and the United States Cartridge Company.

UMC, as noted, merged with Remington in 1912 to give Remington (owned at that time, I believe, by Schulyer, Hartley and Graham Sporting Goods) an entry into the ammunition market. (Edit in: See my expanded note under Crittenden & Tibbal)

USCC was founded, in part, by Gen. Benjamin Butler of Civil War fame (Ben "The Beast" Butler). USCC was the primary non-military manufacturer of ammunition for the US during World War I and was later acquired by the parent company of Winchester, also to give that company an entry into the ammunition market.

Peters was established during World War I (around 1916) and almost went out of business during the Great Depression. It was saved when it was purchased by Remington and became the Peters Cartridge Division located in Kings Mills, Ohio.

Most of the other companies either quickly folded, or were quickly merged into other companies.

Some of those included:

Union Star Cartridge Company (may have been a period manufacturer, maybe modern reproductions)

Phoenix Metallic Cartridge Company

American Metallic Cartridge Company

Hoxie Ammunition Company

Blackhawk Powder Company (may have been loaded by UMC or USCC)

New York Metallic Ammunition Company

Robin Hood Ammunition Company

Meriden Firearms Company (may have been loaded by UMC or USCC)

Union Cap & Chemical Company

Crittenden & Tibbal (edit in: I just learned that the company these two founded before the Civil War obtained S&W's patents for manufacturing metallic cartridges. They later sold the company to Schulyer, Hartley & Graham, who renamed to the Union Metallic Cartridge Company!)

Ethan Allen & Co. (may have manufactured their own, may have been made by other companies)

Those are the ones I know of. Some of them were only in a business a few years and boxes imprinted with the names bring VERY high collector prices.

Of course, as mentioned, at various times Remington, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester all manufactured their own cartridges, especially in the early years.
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Old November 28, 2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Just learned about a new one...

Smith, Hall, & Farmer. They apparently made .22 shorts for a short period of time.


And I forgot to include the Clinton Cartridge Company.
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Old November 29, 2018, 11:43 PM   #6
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That old poster just solved the problem of identifying an old paper shot shell tool I have. Never know what you’ll learn around here.
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Old November 30, 2018, 04:49 AM   #7
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You mean the roll crimper? They work on plastic shells too.

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Old November 30, 2018, 09:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
That old poster just solved the problem of identifying an old paper shot shell tool I have. Never know what you’ll learn around here.
Quote:
You mean the roll crimper? They work on plastic shells too.
They sure do. I use one still.
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:52 PM   #9
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Flobert?
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Old November 30, 2018, 11:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
That old poster just solved the problem of identifying an old paper shot shell tool I have. Never know what you’ll learn around here.
Here is a closeup of the shot shell reloading tool.

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Old December 1, 2018, 05:28 PM   #11
Mike Irwin
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Flobert what?

A US manufacturer? Nope. Flobert was French.
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