11 mm Mauser for Spanish Remington


#1

This is a very inusual an interesting box of modified 11,15 x 60 R Mauser cartridges for .43 Spanish Remington rifles. The entire box was opened and re-sealed with white paper covering the original German label (now only barely visible) and a new US style label was added on the opposite side reading: “CENTRAL FIRE AMMUNITION - 20 METALLIC CARTRIDGES - FOR - SPANISH REMINGTON - These shells can be reloaded many times”.

The cartridges inside looks like normal arsenal reloads with flat nose bullet without paper patch, but the rim of the cases was enlarged by compression and now measures 15.55 to 15.91 mm (.612 to .626"). The original Mauser rim measured c. 15 mm (.590") while the .43 SR rim is about 15.75-16.30 mm (.620-.641"). There are many different headstamps inside with dates between 1876 and 1888.

I’ve seen only three of these boxes in Argentina, two of them sealed and full of modified cartridges and one empty. I wonder who made these labels and modified the cartridges; maybe it was done by a US surplus ammunition dealer or maybe it was done here in Argentina? Does anyone have similar 11 mm Mauser cartridges with enlarged rims?



#2

From having to use 11mm Mauser cartridge cases for Blanks (Movie & Theatre) in 11mm Spanish Remington RBs, I have the following experiences:

  1. The Head to shoulder Length is about the same, and the cases will fit well into the chanmbers.) Mauser .515" head, Spanish .525" head)
  2. The Rifling of the Span.Rem. will accomodate the Mauser projectile without problems;
  3. The rim ( at least for Blanks) does not have to be “expanded” ( squashed), as the Extractor is sufficiently big to catch the smaller Mauser Rim.

Now to the Packet Label:

The Style of Print (Font) and the wording is typical of 1880-1920 US printing.

The Cartridges shown are GR 1875, and seem to be “reloads” ( “o” marks on inner ring of “A” Base.) The entire Original headstamps ( including Sector Lines) are “partly obliterated” by the swaging process.

I would suggest that these cartridges were supplied via the US to Argentina, after modification. Argentina in 1879 adopted the Remington Rolling Block in 11mm (.43 Spanish) Remington; but from the 1880s to 1890, also did a lot of trialing of other “11mm” Cartridge systems, Mauser amongst them.

The cartridges could have been to supply a commercial request from Argentina,
but my query here is why the label was not in Spanish, but in English???

Maybe they were to supply an English speaking Customer source, but somehow ended up in Argentina ( which had a large Migrant English speaking Population from the 1860s onwards…Note “the English Tower” – a clock-tower in Buenas Aires, and the early playing of Football and Rugby).

Regards,
Doc AV


#3

Features seen in this cartridge that set it apart from an original German military reload is the lack of a paper patch and the case mouth crimp. The German cartridges, original loadings and reloads alike, have patched bullets retained in the case by a friction fit, not by crimping. Perhaps someone working on a “cottage industry” basis in the late 19th century or the early years of the 20th acquired German brass and produced these for sale to insurgents or shooters in the New World or elsewhere. Jack


#4

Being a Georg Roth (Wien) product originally, I doubt these cases/shells were ever in Germany at all, but made originally for Export from Austria-Hungary…so any reference to German Imperial Reloading pracitces is moot.

Export Customers of GR included Colonial Africa, Latin America, and China.
But the English Language label points to the Conversion ( and/or repacking) being done, probably, in the USA.

Bannermann, Anyone?

Regards,
Doc AV


#5

Doc: I agree that Bannerman is a good possibility for these, tho I don’t believe they show up here in the U.S. (not in my part, at least). The fact the case shown is by Roth isn’t necessarily significant, as Fede said in his post that the box pictured contained a mixture of headstamps. Jack


#6

DocAV and Jack, thanks for your comments and suggestions.

There is only one GR cartridge inside the box and it is also the only one showing reloading marks; the rest was a mixture of German headstamps dated up to 1888. All rounds are loaded with the same bullet and have brass primers surrounded by a black annulus.

Note that the box construction is a typical German style made of linen. The original framed label style probably looks similar to this one:


#7

Me disculpe, Fede,
I was under the impression that ALL the cartridges were “GR”…that puts a slightly different aspect to it, but again, the mixed ammo could be “surplus” sold through a Hamburg Outfitter(ALFA, AKAH) in the 1890s-1914 period, possibly to Bannermann… The Clincher is the English language Label, and the Typically American description “Spanish Remington”.

BTW, the cartridge was not only suited to the Remington Rolling Block, but also to the Remington-Lee Bolt-action rifle ( sold in 45/70 and .43 Spanish, as well as later in 7x57).

The Mystery deepens…

Regards,
Doc AV


#8

DocAV, now that you mention the Remington Keene magazine rifle in .43 caliber, I recently had the opportunity to examine one of this guns (a Frontier 24" rifle). Most references mentions that these were made for the .43 Spanish Remington cartridge and just a few says that the overall lenght of the Keene cartridge was supposed to be shorter than the Spanish standard.

I’ve tried at least 15 different .43 Spanish Remington cartridges but I couldn’t chamber any of these (E. Remington, UMC, REM-UMC, USCCo, Gévelot, SFM, PA, plus several unidentified unheadstamped rounds). These couldn’t be loaded in the magazine either, as the rim diameter exceded that of the loading port. I’ve also tried some of the cartridges with short overall lenght and grooved bullet made by E. Remington and listed as “.43 Peabody”.

The only cartridge that was perfectly chambered and loaded in the magazine was an unidentified .43 cartridge made by E. Remington with a 55 mm (2.165") case lenght, 68.75 mm (2.706") overall lenght and a rim diameter of only 15.35-15.45 mm (.604-.608"). The base is rounded and unheadstamped (just like the .45-70 cartridges for the Remington Keene by E. Remington).

I can’t say if there are Remington Keene rifles out there made for standard .43 Spanish Remington cartridges but this Frontier rifle was made for an unidentifed cartridge that I will start to call the “.43 Remington Keene”.


#9

Fede: The dimensions of the .43 Keene cartridge sound as tho an effort had been made to tailor that cartridge to fit, with minimal alterations, a rifle designed for the .45-70. It would be interesting to hear what Remington’s thinking was here. Jack