50-45 IP Iron Bar Anvil Help

I just came across a .50-45 inside primed, iron bar anvil round that has me stumped, so I need some help form the experts out there. The only difference between a standard IP, iron bar anvil cartridge and this cartridge is the base which has a shallow circular ring cut into it around where the primer would be. This is NOT a Martin primed case which has the definitive fold in the base which holds the primer in place. I hope the attached pictures will help in identifying exactly what this is. THANKS!!

I like the bullet and the case patina, but I don’t like the rings. Too new looking; bright and shiny like they were done yesterday, and a bit uneven. I vote for it being a dingbat.

Listed here but no attribution-

I agree with Mel; it probably started out as a legit specimen but has been meddled with. Jack

My first thought it was slipped tooth marks as often seen on rimfires when being spun to put the priming compound into the rim, but on a closer look I’ll also vote meddled with.

I think it is one of the many experimental rounds developed and tested in the late 1860’s and 1870’s

Examples below-

1 Like

What this is,is a 50 Cal Springfield Cadet Carbine round Bar anvil primed all original
except the grooved ring in the bottem someone had fun on a lath.

Another example-

Pitman Notes- .50 Carbine bar anvil primed


IAA Journal Issue 516, July/Aug. ’17, page 24

I’m going to stick my neck out and go so far as to say that in the Pitman photograph, due to the angle of the camera when the photo was take, one can just begin to see the base of the cartridge and there is a disturbance of the cartridge base. The outside edges of the disturbance are marked in the image below. Possibly indicating an impressed ring in the base of the cartridge.


1 Like

I think we all agree on the caliber and priming. However, at the risk of being branded a heretic, I think the grooves in the base are original. I have cartridges with similar marks in the same and other calibers, Spencers are frequent offenders. Just don’t ask for a photo right now as it will be months before I can dig these cartridges out. If you look closely you can see the coloration in the groove varies, some matching the remainder of the cartridge. You can also see remnants of the mark made by the tool that slipped, also with even patina. Some of the brightness may be in part due to the camera/lighting, there are similar brighter highlights in the base of the crimp. Finally, there is the matter of motivation. The culprit would be much better served trying to make a rare Maynard or create an interesting headstamp. The number of obsessive nutcases (self included) who even look at tool marks are a fairly small percentage of the collecting community and while I can’t speak for the others I can say that I don’t pay a premium for such things. If anything, I think many collectors would perceive this as damage and seek a different example.
Such judgements are difficult to make online and are much better made with cartridge in hand. It would be great fun to discuss this in St. Louis or some gunshow with you guys.


This example I have shows (4) marks on the head that look to have either imparted or prevented rotation of the case about its long axis. These are about .325" dia. around the case center.

I do not know if these marks are original to the manufacture of this cartridge or what manufacturing processes were used but can see that whatever made these marks would make a groove if the case spun relative to them.

_MG_8436 _MG_8442


1 Like

I have to agree with Troy that it is original, but the groove may not be due to a slipping tool in this instance. I have a .50 Cadet cartridge, identified as ‘iron bar-primed, disc anvil. I’d need to research where i got the identification from. Mine has patina in the groove. I would be interested in what the diameter of the groove on the subject cartridge is, measured where it’s deepest. It was difficult for me to measure at the inner and outer edges. Mine groove is about .290” to .294” in diameter at it’s deepest point.



Guy, the circular ring is appx .299 at the “primer” and appx .344 at it’s widest…very difficult to get a precise measurement, so these are very approximate measurements. Fred

Here are photos of three from my collection, one shows the groove with the built-up stops where the tool ended it’s slippery journey and two with the 4-position tool & showing somewhat different clatter marks.
So I will go back to my original 1st impression that the groove was created by tool slippage. Lesson - look before answering,


So, are these marks found on bar-primed .50-45 cases only or also on the bar primed .50-70s? Jack

I wonder if a rim fire shell holder was used on these because it was handy. Also on the Bar primed why would the spin them?

Chaplain: In some applications the cartridge case was rotated as part of the case mouth crimping procedure. Jack

For whatever it’s worth I have three slight variations of the Bar Primed .50-70 & none have tick / tool marks on the base.

Pete: Thanks for the comments. Jack

Here are close ups of the .50-45 Bar Primed in question and another one from my collection. Almost, if not, identical to the ones that Pete showed us.

Is there any chance that the grooves were made on purpose? It seems that there might be at least some examples with partial slippage (4 grooves only part way around, not a full circle). I will admit that Pete’s specimen looks like the tool slipped and stopped just short of 90 degrees, leaving a small “finger” around the 4:00 position in the groove.

Also, just my impression, but don’t the grooves look like they are significantly deeper than the tool marks on the flat samples? Maybe just an optical illusion, but this might point to the grooves being made with a different tool.

Could the groove possibly be an attempt to confine the primer compound to the center area of the head?

I could just be seeing what I want to see, so just my 2 cents worth.