Aesthetic headstamp design


I realize it is an almost philosophical question but…how come shotgun shell headstamp designers clearly made an effort in the past to make their design pleasing to one’s eye but the same did not happen to rifle ammo?


Well, of course, there is no real answer to that question - you can’t look into the minds of those guys back then. But, perhaps it was simply that they have more room to work with on a 12 gauge head than perhaps they would on, say for the sake of keeping the era the same, a .25-20 head, or even. for that matter, a .45-70 head. Maybe not, too!?

John Moss


I would guess likewise, more of a canvas for their artistry ;)


Also of course they are bigger and they have more room. A lot of shotgun cartridge design is about aesthetics rather than practical need. Chrome bases, high bases, coloured tubes etc


Shotgun shell designers had more class! Of course, they also had more canvas and so they COULD do nicer stuff. JMO.


right through from the early days shotgun cartridges have been sold on visual appeal. Often more than ballistics. They have to look good to sell and people buy with their eyes. Its part of the mystique.


hello vince,
perhaps in England but not in France

take the best frech ctges and you will see they are not the most colored ones and most of the time they have no picture on them
Same about the old german ctges

In Italy they have beautifull designs but the most important argument is the powder.

And in the US there is no picture and they are ugly !! lol!

But I must admit the British ones are beautifull and the visual aspect must be a part of the marketing



I remember about 35 years ago Gevelot produced some beautiful cartridges. Rich blue plastic tubes (ribbed I think) with a high chrome base. My friend at the time bought loads just because they looked so good. People are swayed by such things.


jp your response about US are ugly hit a nerve synapse or thought! the break open shot gun was not the most popular over here, the home of the pump and semi auto, with these you never see the back of the shell just the side. With a break open double you get to see the base and the hull when you slide them in. Just a wag maybe that is the art format??


I didn’t understand very well your note.

I said the US shotshells are ugly. 99% of them have no picture on the tube, the colors are flat, aso
I was not refering to the back of the shell but to the tube.

(But the remark is true also for the headstamp ! The only one with a little bite of aesthetic research been the Peters one)