Saturday, May 18, 2013

Treasure trove...

One of the side benefits of working in a gun store is that it makes collecting cartridges pretty easy; it seems like you're always running across something new and interesting. As my friend Shannon put it, "If you're patient, sooner or later one of everything will walk through that front door." It's how I got everything from 5.7x28mm and 5.45x39mm before they were commonly commercially available to a .470 Nitro Express for my cartridge display board.

My roommate's friend, The Data Viking, dropped by our house the other day with a truly princely gift: His granddad had run a gun store from 1939 on up, and over time had filled four cigar boxes with oddities and rarities Now I'm going to have fun going through them and cataloging the contents!

On the left is a .40-60 Winchester, a cartridge that debuted in 1876. Intended to give Winchester lever guns more hitting power than the pistol calibers of the Model 1873, the Model 1876 was offered in .40-60 up until 1897 and the cartridge stayed in Winchester's catalog until the Great Depression.

Next to it is a .33 Winchester, a cartridge that came out in 1902. Ballistically similar to the .35 Remington, it was replaced in the lineup by the .348 Winchester. Production was discontinued in 1940 and never resumed after the war.

The third cartridge is a .219 Zipper, a high-speed smallbore round for lever action rifles that came out in 1937. Given the difficulty of fitting optics to lever action Winchesters, it never really caught on and was finally put out to pasture in the early '60s.

Bonus: A full box of UMC .32 Smith & Wesson!


akornzombie said...

There are days that I wish I had a lathe and a large supply of Thompson/Center barrel blanks.

I could have a lot of fun recreating those oddball calibers and seeing what they could do.

Anonymous said...

My cigar box full of oddities runs toward the military cartridges. A 5.45 x 39 tracer found it's way in the box back in the early 90's, about the same time I got hold of some .338 Lapua.. I also have some pre WW2 Japanese ammo and a few others. I think my rarest is a 5.45 x 18. It looks like a 9mm Makarov necked down for a .22 bullet. I got it from a guy who actually had a pistol chambered for it.


Gewehr98 said...

I never thought about the .40-60, but I am putting together a Rolling Block Creedmoor that's chambered in .40-65. Hope your cartridge display board is coming along nicely, let us know if there are gaps! I'm sure your network here can find the stragglers for you...

Jeffro said...

My favorite merchant of death and friend says the same thing about everything will eventually walk through the front door.

One of his treasures is a Pederson device. Yep, in Western Kansas, and no, it's not for sale!

Anonymous said...

Cartridge Board?

Is that something you buy, or that you make yourself?

That is a blog post all by itself, and I would love to see a picture.

I have a "cartridge collection" but my display technique is to toss them into a box or two, and leave them there.

I hope there is some way to rearrange the cartridges without major effort, because you never know when you are going to find something that needs to squeeze between item number 41 and 42.

global village idiot said...

.219 Ackley Improved was the favorite competing cartridge for one of the old salts at my church - he is a past Grand Master (or whatever the title is) in smallbore rifle, which I think is second only to "unlimited class" benchrest shooting for anal-retentiveness and cost.


Tpa Gunslinger said...

I am jealous. I have only a partial box of 32S&W my step-father gave me. They fit the old Iver-Johnson wall hanger nicely.