0.45 Rifle Ball Cartridge M1898, Frankford Arsenal, WRA Co., Technical Drawing Collection


From the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, McCracken Research Library digital collection, WRA Co. drawing collection here are 2 drawings from Frankford Arsenal, both dated 1898, showing detailed aspects of the .45-70 cartridge.

Included in the two pdf’s below is a screen shot of the drawing in its entirety and then screen shots of enlarged sections of the drawings to provide better detail.

0.45 Rifle Ball Cartridge M1898, Frankford Arsenal, WRA Co., 1898.pdf (567.9 KB)

0.45 Service Rifle Ball Cartridge, Frankford Arsenal, WRA Co…pdf (1.3 MB)



Note that these two drawings are for different cartridges. The first is for SMOKELESS and shows the cannelure for seating the bullet. The second is for BLACK POWDER and omits the cannelure.

Both drawings are dated during the Spanish American War when there was a sudden need for more .45-70 ammunition for the trapdoor rifles being used by most of the volunteer troops mustered into service.


Are you sure about the smokeless vs the BP for these drawings?
The smokeless in my collection is headstamped / dated F 4 98 and it has a lead bullet (held with a taper crimp in what seems to be a very slight groove or perhaps by the act of crimping) not jacketed. It also has a knurled cannelure / groove in the tinned brass case. Think these smokeless loading’s were only made with three dates.

The Winchester drawing of the jacketed bullet is most likely smokeless by virtue of the jacket and for sporting use. I don’t have a 500 gr. WRACo. jacketed bullet but do have a U.S.C.Co example (tinned GM-jacket).
Checking Shuey I don’t see a jacketed 500 grain bullet listed, lead yes. So I have no explanation for this jacketed bullet.


Pete- Note that while the scans of these drawings come from the Winchester archives now housed at Cody, the two drawing in THIS thread are both Frankford Arsenal drawings by the Ordnance Department, so they could be totally unrelated to any Winchester commercial production. I do not know for sure if Winchester had any Army contract for this ammo.

Neither shows a jacketed bullet, only 500 grain (16 lead 1 part tin) unjacketed bullet.

The drawing for “Rifle Ball Cartridge Cal. .45 Model 1898 for smokeless powder” is dated February 25, 1898, which would be consistent with your F 4 98 example.

There is a separate thread with a WINCHESTER drawing of “Bullet of Service Rifle Ball Cartridge Caliber .45 Metal Patched” dated May 17, 1899. I know nothing about those, and what type of cases were intended for use with these. My original comment was only to note the fact that the two Frankford Arsenal drawings covered both smokeless and black powder loads.


Your correct John
Somehow I missed downloading one of the drawings on this thread, but thought I had downloaded it earlier. So I was confused comparing the two I had as one was just of a WRACo jacketed bullet.