45 Govt Smoot Primer

Hello, i am have been unable to properly identify these two 45 Govt . And do not have the accurate measurement tool only a machinist rule for measurement ways . I am waiting on a digital caliper . Starret straight rule. For time being. But when compared to dimensions it seems to be the same. But this is where that stops. From left to right top to bottom heavily stained tinned case headstamp R/84/F/4 wgt 754 gr , 2-3/4 " total length.

2nd cartridge is 664 gn at 2-1/2" domed head, no headstamp and a rounded ? brass primer primer. Brass Case Is this a Remington Sons and Lee with a Keene primer?

Bottom cartridge is the fun one. 680gn at 2-7/8" , not headstamp, brass cased , domed head and the brass primer that appears to be flat .
This primer is MAGNETIC . Only the primer maybe a tiny bit of the head , slightest attraction at the base near the primer bit not at the rim.
At head to the case , nothing. Using strong multiple magnets of different strength’s
There are no base crimps or stake crimp the way benets are done.

What are these two cartridges without headstamps and what are these types of primers? Help me identify these . No where near my area of interest.

This primer hold the magnet but is not enough to stay if i jiggle it.

I’m no expert on this but here is a starting point-

I search and search before I finally post when I cannot find what I am looking for for. I seen this topic but it doesn’t mention a magnetic primer for center fire in a sense that a primer that is visually on outside of case head. I know of the primer cups inside the case and crimped on outside of case sometimes very close to the extractor rim.
This one no crimps , pinches, stab crimps to indicate a primer cup is inside the case. Right, because it’s a center fire. Only the primer is magnetic. Thinking to myself is Berdan or Keene primers magnetic. I checked other known to be and they did not attract a magnet. Am I over thinking this?

No, you are not over thinking this. The magnetic prime is interesting and we just need some of people who know early primers to respond to your question.


I was asked to post this information by a person extremely knowledgeable on early black powder cartridges, primers, etc.
"The slightly magnetic cartridge was manufactured by E. Remington & Sons and has a Smoot’s patent primer with an iron bar anvil."


I tried to do a quick search probably wrong search titles but I unable to locate . I will keep looking. A couple of questions . We’re the Smoot primers used across the spectrum or just Remington & Sons? What time frame were these used in?
So as I can get a roundabout in years to better learn about.
Randy, thanks for passing this along to me. Friend of Randy thank you so kindly for assisting me !
Proper measurements are to come when tool is available.

William Smoot primer patent, 1882.

US255822.pdf (138.2 KB)

Cartridge case patent, 1871.

US120338.pdf (101.4 KB)

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Wow, thanks, much appreciated!
Somewhere I am certain I have one cartridge that attracted a magnet to the base, which I now think was the primer, if I can just find it again.

Does anyone have a patent number or picture for the SMOOT “iron bar anvil” primer. The two patents bdgreen posted by Smoot are the only two I know of for him, and neither uses IRON BAR ANVILS in there description. Paper, unknown sheet metal and zinc, but no Iron Bars for Anvils mentioned in the patents. Also the only “iron bar anvil” primer patent I know of is patented by E.H.Martin’s, USP #48,820 from 1865 in which a short bar of iron is transverse to the base of the cartridge and secured by distinctive crimps.
Please educate further…

1.pdf (17.4 KB)

Smoot’s bar anvil is described in this patent:


Thanks Fede.