11 MM Riera Question

I have read previous threads about this cartridge. Is there any way to differentiate a known reproduction from an original? It appears most of the reproduction versions (cast from the original mold) have closed petals. This particular example has open petals.

the problem is not to see the difference between an original and a reproduction but the difference between an original and a fake.

Indeed a reproduction is llke an original : same components even if they are new.
A fake has not the same components as the original.

I explain in this case :
In the original the tube is hollow and filled with an explosive mixture.
The fake has a plain steel tube .

Easy to recognize

The pin looks to be steel and the bullet lead. Are you saying the steel pin should be hollow? The explosive mixture from the patent drawing looks to be in the hollow bullet. How could you tell if this specimen is hollow with the mixture?

As I said if you have a plain steel tube it is a fake.
The original one has copper tube which is hollow and contains the explosive mixture.
This tube is going down through the powder.


I missed the part about a copper tube.

JP How does it ignite? External or internal spark?

internal spark

Would like to see a picture of a real one.

There was an article about theses in a back issue of the IAA journal #415 pg 28. Being tube fired a solid steel tube is a definite fake.

Get your money back.

Back issues of the journal are for sale as is a CD. Look on this site for info & if your not already a member join the IAA & help prevent expensive mistakes like this.

Thank you Pete and J P was a member from 74 to 2000 will send for #415. The guy I bought it from has passed away he brought them back from Europe.

Thanks for your input! I was able to pull up Journal #415 to take a look. It took some serious machine skills to produce a projectile like this even though it may seem simple.

here is the story
a french collector bought a box with inside a Riera revolver and the mould to make the bullets.
He made some lead bullets with the mold and put nails (instead of the copper tube)
And he sold them at a very high price .

Isn’t it good the life ?

I sectioned the thing.


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The Riera used a tube primer. The tube/pin that you see has priming compound in it and it is hollow inside. A rimfire-esq hammer smashes the tube which ignites it. Also, it is a caseless cartridge, so that whole thing ends up being the bullet. Here are some pictures that help explain how it works too.








Does the Spanish patent differ? C
May have answered my own question. Journal 337/16 shows a different pistol with a 1852 Spanish patent.

Here are two more pictures of the sectioned Riera cartridge. There are obviously two thick brass pieces or cups with powder in between. They almost appear to be priming caps but thicker. The iron rod appears to go the entire way through the top cup. Could this be another way of making a working cartridge with the original mold? Any thoughts on this?


The key to this as I understand is that the hammer crushes the hollow tube detonating the fulminate, if so then a different action / direction of the hammer would need to be applied, to not crush the tube but to push it into the percussion cap.

This cartridge shape doesn’t look like figure four French patent. I wonder if it is a Riera cartridge? Is it possible the reason it doesn’t have a copper tube it’s something else?