45-70


#1

I have 2 questions
Cartridges that are headstamped with the letters RB and the month and year. Who makes them? In HWS they state that they are made by USCCo but every dealer that I see selling them says they are made by UMC.
Was a 500 grain bullet loaded into a Benet primed un-headstamped case I"ve seen a number of these for sale? In HWS the only bullet mentioned is the 405 grain. I can’t imagine someone reloading these.
Thank You for any Help Carolyn


#2

[quote=“carolyn”]I have 2 questions
Cartridges that are headstamped with the letters RB and the month and year. Who makes them? In HWS they state that they are made by USCCo but every dealer that I see selling them says they are made by UMC.
Was a 500 grain bullet loaded into a Benet primed un-headstamped case I"ve seen a number of these for sale? In HWS the only bullet mentioned is the 405 grain. I can’t imagine someone reloading these.
Thank You for any Help Carolyn[/quote]
Carolyn, R= RIFLE, B= BRIDGEPORT These were made by U.M.C. in CT.
M. Rea
P.S.: RL would be, RIFLE, LOWELL by USCCo in MA.


#3

I guess it would help if I would read the whole paragraph


#4

I think that Carolyn acknowledged this, but not clearly so. for the record only, HWS I properly attributes the .45-70 headstamp “R B” to the Bridgeport Works, with further information on the “R L” headstamp from U.S. Cartridge Company’s Lowell, Mass. factory contained in the same paragraph.

HWS Vol I (1st Edition) page 205.


#5

Carolyn: Frankford Arsenal never loaded the 500 gr bullet into unheadstamped inside-primed cases, apart (perhaps) from experiments. A lot of time expired ammo had its bullets pulled & was reissued as blanks. I suspect you have one of these blanks which has had a bullet put into it in recent times. JG


#6

Contract rifle cartridges with the RB (U.M.C.) and RL (U.S.C.Co.) headstamps were only loaded for a short time (1878-1880). On the other hand, RW (W.R.A. Co.) headstamps can be found on 1878 to 1893 cartridges. AFAIK there were no Carbine (45-55-405) cartridges with the RB or RL headstamps.

500 grain bullets made their first appearance in 1879 in cartridges for the Long Range Rifles. Standard issue 45-70-500 rifle cartridges first appeared in 1882.

Ray


#7

FWIW…in all my years of collecting UMC cartridges, the only “RB” 45-70 cartridges I had were: R 9 78 B, R 10 78 B and R 45 70 B


#8

Randy

The good news is that I think those are the only known RB headstamps!

There are 11 RL and 36 RW.

Ray


#9

If you are a serious headstamp variation collector, there are two different sizes of the ‘R 45 70 B’ headstamp.


#10

Yes, and it can also be found as a hollow brass dummy !!


#11

Here’s a picture of the two dated R B headstamps, and the two sizes of the R B 45 70 headstamps.


#12

In a response Ray Meketa mentions USC Co contracted from 1878-1880. I only have listed 1879 and 1880. Can anyone confirm Lowell contracts in 1878, what months? Loads?


#13

Frasca & Hill in The .45-70 Springfield state that the USC contracts started in 1879, with the first month seen on headstamps as May. The produced 11 dated headstamps - May through September, November and December of 1879, and January, March, April, and May of 1880, after which the commercial headstamp was used. They don’t provide an ending date for USC Co, but do show a Model 1898 cartridge box made by them.


#14

Gary

I didn’t mean to confuse. I meant that contract cartridges RB and RL were used from 1878 to 1880.

The Old Ammo Guy got it right.

The M1898 contract cartridges were headstamped U.S.C.Co.

Ray