11 m/m M1871 Mauser cartridge?


Since we currently have a link to an electronic copy of B.R. Lewis’ annotated catalog of the 1876 Frankford Arsenal exhibit at the Philadelphia Exposition I have a question I’d like to ask about one of the listed items. It’s no. 160, which Lewis identifies as the 1871 Mauser cartridge. The cartridge doesn’t seem a good match to me for the 1871 Mauser, particularly with its apparent longer base to shoulder dimension. Do you think Lewis’ ID is correct? If not, any suggestion as to the actual identity of this cartridge? Jack


It matches to me:

the pictured cartridge has a 67 mm case lenght and a 42 mm head to shoulder lenght ( due to picture size)
the actual cartridge has a 60 mm case lenght so:

67 : 60 = 42 : x

67x = 2520

x = 37, 61 mm

The actual cartridge has a 37,59 mm head to shoulder lenght so the pictured cartridge is a 11 mm Mauser to me


Jack – I’m with you on this one. A side-by-side comparison apparently shows a large difference in base to shoulder length. Maybe it’s because of the way the original was photographed and copied into the original book and then again into the .pdf file.


Phil: I didn’t mention it in my first post but the original 1876 text by Lt. Metcalfe gives the bullet weight as 438 gr., well above the 386 gr. weight of a standard M71 Mauser bullet. I thought that perhaps it was an experimental Gatling gun cartridge. Jack


I measured the overall length of the standard M71 Mauser bullet and obtained a figure of 26.5 m/m with the paper patch in place; the paper fold at the base of the bullet extends the length of the lead bullet proper by about 1 m/m. I figured a 438 gr. bullet of 11 m/m caliber and similar form to the standard ball bullet would be about 3 m/m longer, that is about 28.5 m/m disregarding patch. The bullet shown in the Philadelphia exposition publication appears to be very close to that figure, i.e. two bullet lengths are just a touch (a “touch” in this case being about 3 m/m or an eighth of an inch) shorter than the 60 m/m cartridge case. Thanks again to Phil for his picture. Jack