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  1. #1
    us
    Jul 2012
    Pennsylvania
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    Shotgun shell question

    What were shotgun shells made of before they used plastic?


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  2. #2
    us
    Sep 2012
    Shelby, Alabama
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    I've seen shotgun shells made out of a thick paper or a really thin cardboard..

  3. #3
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  4. #4
    Educator

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    The info at the link posted by Ticm is correct. I'll add:
    The very first ones (1860s) -- such as those made by Eley of London -- had a short brass base with paper/cardboard body. Afterward, in the 1870s, a few (quite rare) all-brass ones were also made. Then in the early 20th-century some were made entirely of aluminum, but those too are quite rare. In summary... from their advent in the 1860s until plastic-bodied one were introduced in the latter half of the 20th-century, the vast majority of shotgun shells has a paper/cardboard body with a short brass base.

  5. #5

    Nov 2007
    ,M.X.T.& Tesoro Tejon
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    We find the complete brass ones on ocassion.We stumbled onto a homesite years back,that produced about 30 of them
    M.X.T , Tesoro Tejon



    "A pen in the hand of this president is far more dangerous than a gun in the hands of 200 million law-abiding citizens."

  6. #6
    us
    Jul 2012
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    Here's why I asked... I found these in a wooded area between a park and a golf course... Not exactly a place one could hunt without being noticed (and arrested). The modern rounds are mine and shown for comparison.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm guessing this is a .45 shell, here it is next to a .44 in my revolver, and as you can see it doesn't quite fit.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I guess that could be due to corrosion, and idk whether calibers have had size variations over the years, but I'm pretty sure it's a .45. Thoughts?


    Quote Originally Posted by TheCannonballGuy View Post
    The info at the link posted by Ticm is correct. I'll add:
    The very first ones (1860s) -- such as those made by Eley of London -- had a short brass base with paper/cardboard body. Afterward, in the 1870s, a few (quite rare) all-brass ones were also made. Then in the early 20th-century some were made entirely of aluminum, but those too are quite rare. In summary... from their advent in the 1860s until plastic-bodied one were introduced in the latter half of the 20th-century, the vast majority of shotgun shells has a paper/cardboard body with a short brass base.
    Did they all, from conception to present, have the same basic shell design? Like, if I compared a modern shell base (where the brand etching, gauge, and primer is) to an old one from the 1800s, would it be easily distinguishable?
    Last edited by cti4sw; Sep 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM.


    My Best Finds
    Oldest Visible Year: 1730
    Colonial Coppers: 7
    Large Cents: 7
    Half Cents: 2
    Indian Head Cents: 5
    Silver: 24
    Gold: 1
    Bells: 3


  7. #7
    us
    Jun 2007
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    I found an all brass one on an old homestead. The old farmer told me that he remembered using all brass ones in the 1930's. The base says Winchester No. 12. I Googled about it, and it seems that buckshot came in the all brass shells.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    us
    Jul 2012
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    The ones I found today I think were the paper ones, there is absolutely NOTHING left except the rims and the wadding around the primer. So definitely pre-1960, which is cool I guess (being at least 50 years old), but would have loved to find an all-brass like yours. What do you do with them when you find them? I'll probably just trash mine, they're not quite in keeper condition anyway.


    My Best Finds
    Oldest Visible Year: 1730
    Colonial Coppers: 7
    Large Cents: 7
    Half Cents: 2
    Indian Head Cents: 5
    Silver: 24
    Gold: 1
    Bells: 3


  9. #9
    us
    Jun 2007
    Central Wisconsin
    Ace 250 with 10 x 14 Excelerator Coil & ATPro
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    97 times
    I tumbled it with my pennies to clean it up a little, now I'll just throw it in my brass recycle pail.

  10. #10
    us
    Mar 2010
    Southwest Georgia
    White's DFX
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    some people see how many different shotshell bases they can find. I throw all mine in the "keep but don't display" box. One day I may go through them and make a display.

  11. #11
    us
    Feb 2010
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    could the base shown w/ your hand gun be .410? Somewhere around .44 or .45 a .410 will chamber. They are used in 2 shot derringer's but I would advise against touching one off.

  12. #12
    us
    Jul 2012
    Pennsylvania
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    Quote Originally Posted by uglymailman
    could the base shown w/ your hand gun be .410? Somewhere around .44 or .45 a .410 will chamber. They are used in 2 shot derringer's but I would advise against touching one off.
    Wouldn't a .410 fit into a .44 chamber? Logically I'd think a .44 would be larger than a .410. This just barely wouldnt fit into my .44 revolver, which is why I'd thought it was a .45, but I'm no ammunition expert.


    My Best Finds
    Oldest Visible Year: 1730
    Colonial Coppers: 7
    Large Cents: 7
    Half Cents: 2
    Indian Head Cents: 5
    Silver: 24
    Gold: 1
    Bells: 3


  13. #13
    us
    When the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro....

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    New Orleans
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    ,410 and .45 long colt are the two calibers that those little derringer type knuckle busters shoot. The one in the pic with the revolver is most likely a .410. you'd need to measure the diameter to be certain, but the only other shotshell remotely close is the 28 guage, which is around .55 cal.

    The all brass shells really aren't all that rare, and in fact you can buy brand new ones today. They are pretty pricey though..... Magtech Shotshell Hulls 12 Ga 2-1/2 Brass
    "That's me, on the beach side combing the sand, metal meter in my hand, sporting a pocket full of change"...... NOFX

    Now in the process of posting my antique photo collection at : http://forgottonimages.tumblr.com/

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2012
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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    So you found a 'Peter's' shell end, I have one or two of them I found. The history in the company is interesting. Peters Cartridge Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  15. #15
    us
    When the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro....

    Jan 2011
    New Orleans
    Garrett Ace 350 and Propointer, Whites Prism
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    Just for fun here's a couple with the cardboard hull still intact. The green one is a Remington Express Extra Long Range, and the red one is a Winchester Western Super X No.6 Shot. Both of these are 12 gauge.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also I figured I'd add here, the reason a .410 will fit in a .45 but not a .44 is that .410 is the internal dimension of the shell not the outer. The outside of the shell is .446 just a bit to big for the .44.
    Last edited by NOLA_Ken; Sep 18, 2012 at 10:34 AM.
    "That's me, on the beach side combing the sand, metal meter in my hand, sporting a pocket full of change"...... NOFX

    Now in the process of posting my antique photo collection at : http://forgottonimages.tumblr.com/

 

 
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