Another collection ruined by a wooden box

Today I went to have a look at a collection that a non-collector friend is trying to sell for someone else (also a non-collector). The owner has had this valued by a general antique valuer at £1000, which is far too high for the condition it is in. The current owner bought this collection at an antique fair.

This collection has been stored in a wooden chest with drawers that was probably meant to be an engineer’s tool chest. This is obviously a mistake for well-known reasons. As a result of this, all of the lead bullets are completely destroyed. They have oxidised and turned to clumps of white powder. There are some rounds in there, like 10mm+ pinfires which are now completely destroyed.

I estimate that this collection was probably assembled some time before the 1970s, due to the lack of modern rounds. The original collector put stickers on each round with an index number, but unfortunately there was no list included. All of the rounds have been inerted by drilling holes in the cases. This obviously takes down their value as far as the US collectors are concerned. However, in a country where live rounds are illegal for probably 99.9% of the population, this is the only option for many. The collection ranges from 2mm Pinfire blanks up to 20mm Hispano. There are examples from many collecting areas including a few paper shotshells.

However, there are some nice rounds in the larger calibre stuff with no exposed lead. There are a couple of 13 x 92SR T-Gewehr, a 7.92 x 94 PzB, an Italian WW2 13.2 x 99 Hotchkiss, and a British 15 x 104 Besa to name a few.

The owner will not split the collection, even though most of the rounds are now junk. Some may be worth saving if they are rare calibres or headstamps. I haven’t yet had time to go through the whole thing individually.

I hope you pointed out that those rounds are still Section 5 Prohibited armour piercing rounds even though they are inert.

I also disagree that inerting ammunition is the “only option”. Jointhe IAA or ECRA and establish a bona fide reason for collecting and apply for an FAC.


I know it’s all possible, but most people wouldn’t even make the effort of researching into it.

It also makes the collection available to a much wider market if everything is inerted.

Falcon, the wooden chest you describe is probably a printers type cabinet sold by a company called ADANA in the 50s to 70s. They were popular with shotgun cartridge collectors.
But its not necessarily a fault of the case. All lead bullets corrode to white very quickly. I have to store my pure lead cast muzzle loaders bullets in coffee jars filled with kerosene to stop it happening. I think its air pollution.