Arsenal records and other stuff found

A buddy of mine got a hold of a large lot of 8mm Kropatchek blanks dating from the early part of the last century. The latest date found was 1905 they are packed in 10 round paper packets but what I find interesting is the arsenal records and other “trash” used as packaging material. Found was one document dated 1812 and a wrapper from a British packet of 577 Snyder. Almost all of the paper records were torn with each half in different cases of blanks. If there is anyone who wants to take the time to try to piece these back I will gladly send them on.

Hi Gerald, this is a wonderful packet! It is for .450 Westley Richards Musket paper cartridges (70 gr load) made by the Officina Pyrotechnica of the Real Arsenal do Exercito at Lisbon.

The Caçadores (Hunters) was a light infantry elite force of the Portuguese Army that was armed with Westley Richards short rifles (carabinas) using the same cartridge as the musket (4.5 g = 69.446 gr). Between 1866 and 1867 they also bought Westley Richards carbines (clavinas) using a cartridge loaded with 55 gr and pistols using a cartridge loaded with only 25 gr. Surviving examples of the latter must be extremely rare as none are reported to exist.

On February 1878 a modification of this firearm was proposed by 2nd lieutenant Guédes but it was not adopted. These were finally replaced in 1886 with the adoption of the 8 mm caliber Kropatschek repeating rifle.

What an amazing find! Thanks a lot for sharing this.



Back in the mid 80-s, when the 8mm Kropatschek blanks hit the market in Australia, I visited the importer in Sydney, to get a larger quantity, and also to get some other rifles; one of the assistents asked me to interpret some “packing paper” ( scrunched up sheets of paper found in the crate of 8mm Blanks)…they were Ledger Pagers, handwritten ( quill and inkwell) in both French and Portuguese…from the Peninsular War ( Napoleonic France had occupied Spain in 1808, and then had a “Vietnam” style war against Spanish Guerilleros and the British troops of Wellesly, the Future Duke of Wellington. Wellesly based himself in Portugal, and by Masterful field-craft, defended Portugal from the French, and eventually forced the French to leave Spain. Names Like Badajos,Talavera, Salamanca, etc. will spring to mind.

The Papers I saw included French written letters ( or copies of them) to the Arsenal at Toulon ( southern France) ordering Muskets, Musket Flints, rolled cartridges, Powder, Ball etc. and the Portuguese ones included lists of “Pay Sheets” giving the rates of Pay of various Arsenal Workers, such as “filers”, stockers, Lock makers, apprentices, labourers, cartridge rollers, etc.etc.

Sadly, the owner happened by, and decided to keep the Papers for his own collection…Many were actually dated (eg, 1808, 1810, etc).

Another country which used old Ledgers was Iraq, in packing .303 Ammo in the 1950s, they used paper from pre-WW II ledgers…in English and Arabic, to separate the layers in 48 round Boxes.

Doc AV

Some years ago collector George Patten turned up a bunch of packing material in this same situation.

We took some of it to SLICS & showed the cartridge carriers [a typical shown to the right] to Herbie Woodend & he identified the carrier as for the Westley’s Monkey Tail Carbine.

We sold a big bunch of these carriers several years ago in one of our sales.

Gerald, send them on & I’ll have a go connecting them. Also if you have an extra of that label, I’d sure like one. So perhaps we can do a deal for it?

Edited to add the carriers I have date from 1871 to 1875

That would make sense George got was there when I opened a crate and talked me out of all the packing. I have found a few of the packets while getting some of the trash separated as this is all going to Argentina.

Good evening. If there is still some of this material, please get in touch with me. Thank you

Wow Gerry, I live a mile from you, bought my Kropatschek from you, and told you several times I’m interested in that packing material. Now my feelings are hurt :o ;)