3 1/2 inch 20 guage


#1

I have a 3 1/2 inch long 20 Ga NPE. The headstamp is “ELEY . LONDON No 20 GASTIGHT”.
On the side of the red/orange paper case it’s stamped "ELEY’S Patent Gastight Cartridge.“
Why 3 1/2 inches? I would think even with a crimp it would be too long for a 3” chambered shotgun.
Any ideas of age?

Thanks

Paul


#2

[quote=“Rimfire”]I have a 3 1/2 inch long 20 Ga NPE. The headstamp is “ELEY . LONDON No 20 GASTIGHT”.
On the side of the red/orange paper case it’s stamped "ELEY’S Patent Gastight Cartridge.“
Why 3 1/2 inches? I would think even with a crimp it would be too long for a 3” chambered shotgun.
Any ideas of age?

Thanks

Paul[/quote]
Hi Paul,
I have checked and found no trace of such a length in my Eley documentation (but I don’t have all the Eley catalogues!).
But this length is not unusual among the french ctges.
Anyway I would be interested if you have a duplicate

JP


#3

Ballpark guess on age would be 1920s or there abouts. My only theory on the length is that it was may have been intended to be trimmed before loading.
The color is a bit unusual, most Eley 20ga were a creamy light yellow. That might make yours a bit more collectable.

Even 3" Eley 20ga cartridges of this age would be unusual in Britain. The 20g was considered a ladies gun and ammo was of standard length. In fact 20ga shotguns were far from common and almost exclusively made by the better gunsmiths for titled ladies to accompany their husbands on formal driven game shoots.

We didn’t really start to see longer chamberings until the 50s when US made shotguns started being imported in small numbers. Really the Remington 1100 was the first 3" 20ga I remember ever seeing and that was when the skeet shooters started to see its potential.

If Eley made them before that date it may have been intented for export, which may explain how it found its way to you.


#4

I must admit I have not seen any of these cases, the longest Eley 20 gauge cartridge I have is a live loaded 3" cartridge which is a rolled turnover but I have re-measured it and it would only be 3" when fired so you have got me on this one as well I will keep looking and see what I can find.

Richard.


#5

Thanks for all your responses. If you find out anything else please let me know.

Paul

JP, I only have one but if you make it to St Louis sometime maybe we can work out a trade for some Floberts.


#6

[quote=“VinceGreen”]Ballpark guess on age would be 1920s or there abouts. My only theory on the length is that it was may have been intended to be trimmed before loading.
The color is a bit unusual, most Eley 20ga were a creamy light yellow. That might make yours a bit more collectable.

Even 3" Eley 20ga cartridges of this age would be unusual in Britain. The 20g was considered a ladies gun and ammo was of standard length. In fact 20ga shotguns were far from common and almost exclusively made by the better gunsmiths for titled ladies to accompany their husbands on formal driven game shoots.

We didn’t really start to see longer chamberings until the 50s when US made shotguns started being imported in small numbers. Really the Remington 1100 was the first 3" 20ga I remember ever seeing and that was when the skeet shooters started to see its potential.

If Eley made them before that date it may have been intented for export, which may explain how it found its way to you.[/quote]

Hello Vince,

From 1878 to 1914 all the Eley catalogues and after ICI catalogues till 1938 show 20 gauge 3 inches long shotshells.
These catalogues are not for export.
Therfore 20 gauge 3 inches shotshells have never been unusual in England and this fom the oldest days.

About the color now :
Green, brown, orange, blue, light brown were the standard Eley colors till 1914.

I have exactly the same shotshell as Rimfire but it was badly cut to 3.07 inches

jp


#7

[quote=“Rimfire”]Thanks for all your responses. If you find out anything else please let me know.

Paul

JP, I only have one but if you make it to St Louis sometime maybe we can work out a trade for some Floberts.[/quote]

ok I 'll send you some e-mail soon
jp