45 Government cartridge identification

I am hoping that someone can shed some light on this cartridge I have. It looks to me like a 45-70 Government, but I have never seen a bullet like this one. The bullet is lead and has what appears to be a hollow point on the end with a lead ball in it. The ball doesn’t come out and it does not look like it was forced into the bullet, so I am guessing it was made that way. The headstamp says “U.M.C. 45 Govt.” I have been researching it on the internet and am just at a loss as to what it is or its age.


Dan–This round is NOT a U.M.C. product, or at least if it is, it was never listed in any U.M.C. catalog. Also, William Dibbern in his book “.45-70 Cartridge Variations” does not list it. It has somewhat of the look of a Hoxie Bullet, but I have never seen a Hoxie in .45-70. In my opinion this is a home brew reload.

Ron, I don’t think the manufacturers made Hoxie cartridges. As I understand it, Hoxie used loaded factory cartridges and inserted the ball hisself. So, they probably would not show up in acatalogs.

It could be a Garage/Hoxie. I can make you a dozen of them in less than half an hour. I don’t think it’s a reload, however.


I’m in agreement with Ray. Hoxie rounds are made from (normally ) round nose lead bullets, with the lead spun over the steel ball. Most times you need a magnet to determine that it is a Hoxie.
M. Rea

Ray–yes, you are correct that Hoxie just modified factory loaded cartridges. I did not mean to imply that U.M.C. or W.R.A.Co., etc. would have listed a Hoxie as one of the loads they provided. The Hoxie rounds were made from 1907 to the 1930’s and could have used U.M.C. cartridges, but, and I could be wrong, I don’t think Hoxie ever made .45-70’s. At least I have never seen one or seen that caliber listed in an ad by Hoxie. As for my comment about it being a “Home Brew Reload”, let me modify that to just “Home Brew” as I agree that it appears to be a modified factory load.

Thanks for responding so quick! I thought that it might be a Hoxie round, but I tried using a magnet on it again and the ball is definitely not steel. I can’t imagine that a lead ball in a lead bullet would be of much use though. Do you think it was just modified by someone or done more professionally?


Just let me add…IIRC…Hoxie also supplied bullets only,for handloaders, and I believe they would “alter” cartridges for the individual if supplied to them by that individual…


Hoxie loaded bullets exist in 45-70. I have one in a WRACo 45-70 WHV stamped case with the seating cannelure and a nickel half-jacketed bullet showing an impressed “W” on the jacket. I’ve seen others like it and it exhibits a typical Hoxie shape.
my checklist, an advert from Hoxie shows a 45-70-405 bullet and the WHV bullet being offered at .80¢ for a box of 10

Professional loads with comparable bullets exist. The Danish firefighters used them for cattle killing at stable burnings with Remington rolling block carbines.
The calibers in service were 11x45R and 11x51R. The bullet was called ‘expanding projectile’.

From another angle…any chance this is a factory-loaded Gould hollow point with “something” inserted into the hollow?

Richb, exactly ! M.Rea

I don’t know if this changes anything or not, but the lead ball is free to rotate and actually can sink into the bullet a bit yet does not in anyway come out. One of the first things I thought is that it was a hollow point with a ball jammed in it, but it really looks like it was designed into it.

I don’t know much about Hoxies . Did he have a factory set up that would do this process or was it done by hand? I have three .25 ACP cartridges with the hoxie bullet inserted into Winchester-Western cases.

frogbert, I believe they are a W-W bullet, and not Hoxie.


Frogbert–That modern W-W headstamped .25 ACP load is the X25AXP, .25 Automatic Expanding Point. It came out about the mid-1980’s if I remember correctly. The Hoxie bullets were made from 1903 to the mid-1930’s. If there was a .25 ACP Hoxie, and I’m not sure there was, the headstamp would have been W.R.A.Co., not W-W. The W-W headstamp was introduced in 1960.