.45-70 casing, external primer, no headstamp


Hi guys (and girls),
I have quite a few .45-70’'s and thought I knew a little about them… lol.
While metal detecting I recently found a fired .45-70 casing, externally primed, with no head stamp.
Haven’t been able to find anything on the web or in my books about it… Any idea? I’d appreciate your input!!! Thx, A

Strange .45-70 Government

Pics would help here. Assuming you found this in the U.S. the two most common unmarked externally-primed .45-70 cases would be (a) the UMC, which would have a large Berdan primer (it would appear larger than the usual Boxer primer, and if you can see into it, it might have 3 tiny flash holes and not one large one), or (b) a case with a Boxer primer, which could be by any of the three major U.S. makers (UMC, USC, and WRA). Probably the commonest unmarked Boxer primed .45-70 is the Winchester, but I can only say that’s my opinion, not a fact. Pictures really would help. Jack

<img src="/uploads/cartridgecollectors/original/2X/9/931c2807c6042e19377e0e651611ad5779ec48f6.JPG" width="689" height="741">

Thanks so much for your reply, Jack!
Here’s a picture. Found near an old fort in AZ, together with over over 100 more casings and live rounds. No civilian headstamps.
If this is one of the manufacturers you mentioned, would that be a military contract round or civilian?
Thx! A



This is a hard one, at least for me. The rounded head form seen here was used by the United States Cartridge Co. and E. Remington I think, but beyond that I wouldn’t speculate. The date would be pre-1890, and I think the original market would have been civilian rather than military.

The firing pin indent isn’t Sharps, so the government-issue Springfield is the best alternate possibility. Basically falling-block type actions like the Sharps had firing pins which tended to slightly snag the firing pin dent in the primer as the breech-block moved downward as the breech was opened. I think that a better answer than this one is out there, and I hope you receive it. I like the case a lot. Jack


Thanks! Great info!


Best guess here, is U.S.C.Co. & Farrington primed.