- From what I know the Dutch used the single shot Beaumont M1871 rifle (also the Navy model and the carbine) and later the Beaumont-Vitali M1871/88 rifle which had a 4-rds. Italian Vitali box magazine (also a carbine existed). First the Dutch used the 11.3X50R Beaumont M71 cartridge with a bullet diameter of 11.8mm / 0.464-inch having a muzzle velocity of 405 m/sec. (1330 fps). Later in 1878 (or 1879) the new 11X52R Beaumont M71/78 cartridge (Harsveldt cartridge ?) was introduced with a bullet diameter of 11.6mm / 0.457-inch having a muzzle velocity of 435 m/sec. (1425 fps). => If anyone has in the collection the original Dutch 11.3X50R and 11X52R cartridges and their boxes, I would like to see pictures of them. I hope somebody from Holland has them. Thanks in advance, Liviu 11/29/09
- I asked to see some pictures of the original Dutch 11.3X50R and 11X52R Beaumont rimmed cartridges because I have the Beaumont M1871 socket bayonet (the variant having the locking ring made of two pieces) that was manufactured at “P. Stevens” arms company of Maastricht (Holland), socket bayonet for the Beaumont rifles. Anyone who can give me some information about the “P. Stevens” gun company which was located in Maastricht (Holland) during the 19th century ??? I only know that “P. Stevens” stands for Petrus Stevens (1800-1863). Thanks in advance, Liviu 12/01/09
I can’t help with any pictures of boxes - I don’t have any - but, as nobody else has responded I can post a picture of an original 11.3 x 52mm Dutch Beaumont if this will help you;
the very unhelpful headstamp of a 11.3 x 52mm Dutch Beaumont;
I do have a cartridge sold to me as a 11.3 x 50mm Dutch Beaumont but I now believe this is just as likely to be the very similar .433 Egyptian. I’ve pictured the three cartridges below for comparison;
(left).433 Egyptian (centre)11.3 x 50mm Beaumont (right)11.3 x 52mm Beaumont
The cartridge in the centre, whether it’s a .433 Egyptian or a 11.3 x 50mm Beaumont, has an equally unhelpful headstamp;
Sorry I can’t be of more help,
- @ Jim: Thanks very much for your nice pictures. Those old rounds look real good and are a real piece of history. Thanks again, Liviu 12/04/09
The Egyptian and “short” Beaumont rounds are almost identical and extremely difficult to tell one from each other without headstamp or box.
I also have a cartridge sold me as Beaumont ( 50 mm case) but it is identical to a Egyptian case ( Kynoch made) I already have in my collection
Pivi, does your 50mm Beaumont look the same as my cartridge pictured centrally above? Does it have the same bullet profile?
Same primer size and shape?
I’m just trying to figure out whether we both have .433 Egyptian rounds or 11.3 x 50mm Dutch Beaumont rounds!
this is my round.As you can see the bullet is longer than your cartridge and looks like the one loaded on “long” Beaumont
Can anyone tell me the weight of the bullet and blackpowder charge in the 11x52R used in the M71/88 rifle? I have numbers from ‘COTW’, but have been told that they may be incorrect. ‘COTW’ lists a 345 grain bullet with 60 grains of FG blackpowder. Thank you!
In differents olds papers/draws from SFM i have :
Mle 71/88 NL made (hstp 94 and 6) : 5 grammes Black powder
Mle 71/88 “Cartoucherie Belge” : 4,25 grammes Black powder
Mle 71/88 SFM : 4,00 grammes Black powder
Mle 71/88 SFM : 4,50 grammes Powder F3 (in 1901)
I posted this question a couple of years back and really never got an answer. My question is; Why did the Dutch change the dimensions and form of the Beaumont cartridge in 1878 (or79)?
Here is a little background. The M1871 rifle and matching 11.3X50R cartridge were introduced in 1871. Around 1878 the cartridge was redesigned with a narrower shoulder, more body taper and bullet diameter reduced from .464 inch to .457 inch. This is the M1878 11X52R Beaumont that is so easily confused with the 11mm Egyptian Remington round. Then in 1888 the single shot Beaumont rifles were converted to repeaters under the patented Vitali magazine system.
I acquired a Beaumont-Vitali rifle and modern reformed cartridges (made from Bell 50-90 cases) a few years before I ever got my hands on original cartridges for my collection. I had not paid attention to dates and had always assumed that the M1878 cartridge was given a more streamlined shape as part of the Vitali box magazine conversion, which in fact did not exist for another ten years.
The custom loader that I called on to supply ammo did not have dies for either Beaumont cartridge, but did have dies for the 11mm Egyptian. I had already read in COTW that the M1878 11X52R Beaumont and the Egyptian Remington round were interchangeable, so when the the custom loader repeated the “facts”, I figured it must be true and ordered a box of new formed 11mm Egyptian black powder ammo. There were no safety problems in firing that ammo but the ejected cases were bulged back to the approximate shape of the original M1871 chamber, but they were all bulged off center and no two were the same. The listings in COTW seem to give the idea that there are two distinct Beaumont chamberings but this is not the case. Construction of all M1871 rifles was completed before the advent of the M1878 cartridge. I found documentation (somewhere!) that all Dutch Beaumont chambers match the general shape of the M1871 cartridge. Now the M1871 cartridge may not feed from the Vitali magazine and associated chargers (which presumably were designed for the M1878 cartridge), but I have not tested this theory yet. Since reloading is not an issue to most militaries, I suppose the condition of the spent brass is not an issue.
I obtained examples of original Beaumont cartridges a few years after that and put the redesigns in the proper sequence. That led me to ponder, What was the reason for the design change? Did the thrifty Dutch ever use Egyptian style ammo? I used to think I could absolutely, 100% tell the difference between the M1878 Beaumont and the Egyptian Remington cartridges, but now I am no longer sure. I am not sure if that makes me older and wiser or just older and more easily confused!
Speaking of being confused, all editions of COTW that I own ( eds 1,3,9 and 10) have the drawing of the M1878 cartridge above the listing of the M1871 cartridge and vis versa. I wish the new editers would check the old listings for little problems like that. I haven’t seen the latest edition yet, so maybe they caught it.
Curt: Have you ever slugged the barrel of a Beaumont? Are there any reliable published figures on the land and groove dimensions of these rifles and whether there is a lack of consistency in these dimensions from specimen to specimen or between the single-shot models and the Vitali magazine arms? Published information seems pretty scarce. Thanks for your interesting post. Jack
Jack: The bore is in good shape and slugs in at 0.457in (11.61mm). I do consider such a “perfect” bore dimension to be a bit of an anomaly for black powder or military surplus weapons. Large variances in bore dimensions are generally the rule. My family owns an old Ballard that has no chamber markings. I tried to guess it out for many of my teen years, it was about .45 caliber and I wanted so badly for it to be a 45-100 Ballard. After years of dithering, I finally got my hands on it long enough to chamber cast and bore slug it. It was exactly .45 caliber at 0.458in (11.63mm). The only problem was the the chamber casting was a dead ringer for the .44-77 Sharps. That conundrum bothered me for another decade or so until I bought Col. Brophy’s Marlin book that listed .44-77 for the No.5 Marlin Pacific and read an article by Stan Skinner (I think) stating that .44 caliber black powder barrels often run as big as .458in, which is not a big problem when shooting soft lead paper patched bullets. Mystery solved. I also have a 1938 Moisin Nagant, with a shiny bore, that slugs in at .317in (8.05mm). Then again, my early 1990’s Ruger Blackhawk Buckeye, with 10mm and 38-40 WCF cylinders, has a perfect .400in (10.16mm) bore. The problem is that the chamber throats slug in at .396in (10.06mm) on both cylinders. A slug that has been forced through a chamber throat, will slide down the barrel with little resistance after starting. Someday I am going to get that fixed, it is no fun to own a nice revolver that barely stays on the paper at 25 yards.
Back to Beaumonts… It is my contention that there should be no real differences stemming from whether the rifle is a single shot or a Vitali magazine conversion, all Beaumonts started life as single shots. Production was completed long before the Vitali conversion program. The conversion entailed changes to the original receiver bottom and stock, but not the barrel. Unless there was some sort of selection process, for instance, retaining over-sized bore rifles as single shots, there should be no differences between the two variations. Thank you for your interest. Curt
A quick revision: All measurements listed are for the major diameter, ie the groove diameter, not bore diameter.
Curt: Thanks for the additional information. I have what I believe to be two specimens of the M71/78 cartridge & last night I miked the bullets. One has a paper-patched bullet running .456 in. (11.58 m/m); the other has a plain lead bullet, heavily crimped at the case mouth, and showing .446 in. (11.39 m/m). Probably the latter one has a greater max diameter inside the case. Jack
I notice my few Beaumont’s have flat primers, and my Egyptian’s have rounded primers. I know there are alway exceptions, and reloads, but has anyone else noticed this. Or is it just my small collection?
XPH2USN & Jack - My M.1871/78/88 Beaumont-Vitale s/n 3372 barrel slugs out at .458 in./11.63mm; very close to yours. The bore is bright and shiny with sharp rifling.
My 1876 vintage M71/88 also slugs out at .458"/11.63mm. The bore is very nice with sharp rifling.
If I am reading the drawing correctly, is the bullet weight 25 grams with a charge of 5 grams of black powder? Also, is the date 29 June 1899? Thanks!