11mm Javelle Horizontal Pinfire Cartridge


#1

This is an early French cartridge made by Michel Javelle. There were three variations of this cartridge that were patented and made in the late 1850s to early 1860s. This is the third variation. Both of the earlier versions had the base of the pin holder visible and flush with the bottom of the case. As seen in the patent images above, this lead-cased cartridge has a pin that is fixed to the inside of the base and goes up to a percussion cap that sits in the base of the bullet. There is also a hard-to-see raised “J” headstamp on these.


#2

This is the first lead-cased cartridge I have seen. Would extraction of fired cases from the cylinder be a problem I wonder?


#3

Aaron, very nice cartridge, thanks for sharing these pictures.

I’m not sure which is the oldest cartridge using a lead case but in 1856 a .50 caliber Burnside rifle was tested in Washington using thin brass and lead cases.


#4

Great cartridge Aaron! & Great information ! THANKS!

Another third variation which also has a raised headstamp, but appears to be a mistrake as the first three letters or the left here read upside down, or perhaps the whole is backwards? On the right side next to the “E” appears to be a backwards “L.”.


I flipped the above, as it is, headstamp photo horizontally & then rotated it to the left 180º, & below is the result. Guess this answers the above question, & it appears the bunter was made backwards!


#5

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]Great cartridge Aaron! & Great information ! THANKS!

Another third variation which also has a raised headstamp, but appears to be a mistrake as the first three letters or the left here read upside down, or perhaps the whole is backwards? On the right side next to the “E” appears to be a backwards “L.”.
I flipped the above, as it is, headstamp photo horizontally & then rotated it to the left 180º, & below is the result. Guess this answers the above question, & it appears the bunter was made backwards!
[/quote]

Pete, you are sure, this is genuine?? All (and I have seen about 60 of them, had the condition of the ones shown by Aaron). i myself had 15 of them, and all had the raised J marks on the base…
And secondly, why should Javelle put an other J in front of his Name, if his first Name is Michael. Than at least i would expect an M. there…

Forensic

As blackpowder is acting very bad with lead (oxidation also), I would also expect a more “eaten up” case and bullet…
Just my opinion


#6

Aaron–Do you have an address for where these were made. I have had one in my collection for over 40 years and had it list as a .450 Lead Case (as per Datig) until about 1995 when I found it’s real name.


#7

Hi Peter
Well I’m pretty sure it’s genuine, however if I’m wrong it would be the first time today . (From a well respected old collection, to me). I’ve seen photos of other variations with different headstamps from a European collection, but not like this one.
I’ve also seen some “J” stamped examples in much better and some in much worse condition than Aaron’s example.
I’ve no idea about the “J” at the end, not at the front, shown on the reversed photo. Perhaps it was the start of another JAVELLE but was out of line with the other half of the case? Just a guess, & a wild one at that.
It does measure correctly.
I’d think it would be a hard fake to make. & if a fake have you seen others? Who would just make one?
Appreciate & value your opinion, & should like to hear more.


#8

Peter & Pete, the letter in front of “JAVELLE” is not a “J” but a poorly marked “M”. The same marking was used in his revolvers:


#9

[quote=“Forensic”]
As blackpowder is acting very bad with lead (oxidation also), I would also expect a more “eaten up” case and bullet…
Just my opinion[/quote]

I also have seen others in excellent condition. Here is another one from a US collection that is in about perfect condition.


#10

Are the cases maybe tin and no lead? Or were different materials (molds) used over the years?


#11

I think Javelle case is not in lead but in tin, pinfire is in zinc and bullet is in lead. That can explain the very bad condition of conservation (redox reaction with the powder)

I have two different 11 mm Javelle tin cases : inside pin and outside pin
The outside pinfire cartridge has no headstamp, the inside pinfire has a raised J headstamp

One my inversed JAVELLE headstamp the third letter is a V. I think that the constructor of the case mould used the same bunter that for revolver… an the headstamp is inversed.

I also have an unloaded à 9 mm Javelle tin case and lead bullet (1860 french patent) and an 9 mm Javelle iron case (1862 french patent). The iron case is threaded like iron Galand cases.

chassepot


#12

Chassepot, wonderful cartridges, thanks for posting. If I’m correctly reading the patent addition it is described as “Cartouche douille étain” (cartridge with tin case).


#13

Ron,

I have found one document that shows him at: “N° 54, Rue Beaubrun, St Etienne, in the Empire of France” on May 31, 1861

Chassepot,

The stuff you have always amazes me and encourages me that there is still tons of neat things out there to acquire!

Also, I have acquired a couple more specimens that I think would be better suited here than in a new thread.

First up is a zinc (it looks like zinc since it has a slight greenish tint) cased pinfire cartridge made by Javelle. This is a super rare cartridge.

And next, another super rare cartridge that appears to be a tin cased (I am no metallurgist so I really have a hard time knowing what metal things are!) 12mm pinfire by Charles Fusnot. It says Brevete on it so I am guessing he was making it following someone’s patent. Any ideas on this one?