1" Nordenfeld

I picked up this Nordenfeld dummy (actually fired case & bullet) recently. How far (millimeters) should the brass section of the projectile stick out from the case? Also a question about the headstamp? Does the E refer to Eley? How does a Mark I cartridge differ from other marks?

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A nice cartridge.
It seems to.be a Mk1 aiming rifle case with a Nordenfelt projectile. Wrong projectile.
Yes made by Eley with percussion primer.

Hi Ron, thank you for the information, as I am a complete novice. On what do you base your opinion? As far as I know the two cases has the same dimensions. Is it the maker, the date or the mark? Or the missing stab marks to keep the projectile in place?

The aiming rifle was loaded with a lead bullet. The case is marked as such & that is an AP Nordenfelt bullet as Ron states.

Although considered by many as AP, they’re actually Ball. It’s a most frustrating situation in the UK, as most Police Forces treat them as AP which has meant that our collection of Nordenfelt rounds and projectiles, notwithstanding they are inert, have to be held on a Sec. 5 Licence.


Good to know these are ball, Just shows you how things can get shifted & wrongs repeated through time.

Here is some documentation from P.Labbett excellent book “British S.A. Ammunition.
1864-1938”. Tells you all about the Aiming Rifle 1" Percussion Mk1.


Hi Ron, Tim & Pete, thank you for your expertise and information. Really appreciate it. Now I am only left wondering how the projectile and the case became a couple.

It fitted the case so was inserted by mistake by some collector/person.
Keep the projectile as it fits the Mks 1V, V & V1 Nordenfelt cases which will have the marks in the headstamps to identify them. Find a case and you have two nice rounds then.
You could also make a cast projectile and put a paper patch around it to fit your aiming rifle case till you find a real projectile. It would be easily identified as a reproduction projectile.
Original projectiles are often found and have a copper base gas check on the base. Cheers.

I may be wrong as the cordite projectiles have the copper gas checks.
The diagram shows only a paper patch for the percussion Mk1.

Here’s the British List of Changes (LoC) announcing the introduction of the 1" Nordenfelt into service … pay little attention to the dates on the document, items were often in service for a considerable period before their announcement.

I actually have one LoC that announces the obsolescence of a telegraph key at the same time as announcing its introduction … needless to say, those keys are very hard to find now.



Very interesting info.
So the Dummy Drill is tinned case with a lead projectile and wooden base plug.
Soldered at the mouth. I only wish I could find such a cartridge. Many thanks.

What did I miss there? What marking on the case indicates it is an aiming cartridge?

The headstamp indicates if it is a Nordenfelt or Aiming Rifle.
A Mk1 Nordenfelt would have R^L headstamp and was only made pre 1883?
Mk11 were made from 1883 and have 11 in the headstamp.
Eley and the Trade did not make Mk1 Nordenfelts so in 1899 it must be an Aiming Rifle case.

It sounds complicated but the date,maker and headstamps identify if Nordenfelt or Aiming Rifle.

Sorry to sound dumb, but I see: E, 18 98, I
So, what exactly tells me it is an “aiming” cartridge?

ron3350 has the answer below your post

1" Nord. DRILL is 2nd from the right.
Regards Ozzi.


Just based on the headstamp of this round… aiming rifle or Nordenfeld?

As per the elctric primer it must be for the aiming rifle.