.297/.230 Lancaster Solid Head Case?


#1

I could be wrong but as far as I can tell from different publications (including many auction catalogues) all known .297/.230 Lancaster specimens bear COPPER case and a COPPER primer with BRASS battery cup.

This unknown 5,7 x 14,5 R cartridge seems to be a solid head BRASS case example with COPPER or Brass primer (corrosion doesn’t help):

Case Lenght: 14,54-14,61
Body Lenght: 9,95-10,10
Neck Lenght: 2,30-2,35
Rim: 8,73-8,74
Head: 7,54-7,56
Shoulder: 7,38-7,40
Neck: 6,03-6,06
Bullet: 5,65-5,68
Total Lenght: 20,24-20,26
Rim Thickness: 1,20-1,21
Primer: 3,65 mm

.297/.230 Lancaster Copper Case:

Case Lenght: 13,97-14,30
Body Lenght: 10,20-10,50
Neck Lenght: 2,20-2,40
Rim: 8,81-8,92
Head: 7,46-7,49
Shoulder: 7,36-7,37
Neck: 5,84-5,97
Bullet: 5,71-5,79


#2

Well it certainly looks like brass to me. I’m sure I must have seen brass ones before but you have me wondering now. As these were fairly popular at one time they must have been made by a fair number of different makers. Belgian possibly (?)


#3

I have several part-Boxes of 297/230 Long, with Brass cases, Copper primers, and Black Powder loads. Definitely Belgian made for the British ( and Colonial) Market. ( Pre-WW I).

The primer is Berdan, a small size; I have decapped some, but can’t remember if they are .175 or smaller.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#4

I guess you did not notice that this specimen does not look like a “.297/.230 Short Morris” but a “.297/.230 Lancaster”.


#5

“Lancaster” was a proprietary name (Firm of Gunmakers in England); what differances there may be from the Morris Tube ( short and Long )Cases may be only nominal. The photo shows a “short” cartridge type.

Anyway, the differences (if any) may be purely academic…does anyone know of a “Lancaster” made or marketed rifle in this chambering?
( obviously there should be, to justify a “proprietary” name.)

Regards, Doc AV
( another conundrum for the new year!!!)


#6

Hello Doc AV,

          I have carefully kept records and measurements of many different comfirmed specimens from Eley, Kynoch, Fusnot, Gaupillat, SFM and Hirtenberger. I also have pictures of Dominion made ones and some others taken from CAC and BMMCo boxes. There are many others which I cannot identify. None bear a case with such a high shoulder and light bullet (similar to the 30 grains used by the "Lancaster" round made by Eley).

          It may not be a ".297/.230 Lancaster Solid Head Case" but is not a .297/.230 Short Morris either.

          Regards, Fede.

#7

I suppose the definitive dimensions for a .297/230 Morris Short should be taken from this round. It is an inspectors’ gauge from RSAF Enfield so should be about correct!

I will take dimensions and post tomorrow.

Regards
TonyE


#8

You can also compare it to this kynoch drawing.


#9

I have never seen a rifle made by Lancaster in this calibre either although there must have been some. I had always assumed that it was an exercise in rebranding by Lancaster of the short Morris. A very common practice in those days by British gunsmiths. Virtually plagarism in many instances. I assume Lancaster lost interest in the idea early on.
Dimensions of rimmed black powder cases were always variable in that era. As long as it was small enough to chamber there was no averse consequence in making them comfortably slim in order to ensure they fitted all available weapons.

Many low budget “garden guns” or "Rook rifles"were sold, mainly from Belgium, in these calibres usually by hardware stores and mail order with ammunition coming through the same sources. Today in Britain the are classed as obsolete calibres which means you can own a rifle (but not ammunition) without a licence.

They did linger, albeit in a very limited way, in target shooting BSA Martini rifles up to the 1950s. Many of the Martinis were later rechambered to .22 Hornet but the higher velocities and jacketed bullets ripped the life out of the barrels ( soft steel or too fast a twist?) ensuring that they are now also rarely seen. They also left the .22 Hornet cartridge with an unjustified reputation for poor accuracy which lasts to this day in Britain.


#10

I have been aware of a brass cased Lancaster, but have never seen one. The copper is the more common (if you can call what those sell for common) variation. Mine has a copper primer in a brass battery cup, as does the one you show. Although I’m not sure exactly why you call it solid brass. To me that implies a dummy made from solid brass, but I know that is not the case here. Brass cased is a great find!
& Welcome back!
Liked your catch with the large rimmed Morris cartridges. Great stuff!


#11

Thanks Pete.

Sorry, what I mean to say was “Solid Head”.


#12

The battery cup primer in the copper case is a shotgun primer (.410?) is it not?

I have seen whole boxloads of Morris ammunition thrown away. The one I still have was only kept as a keepsake.