Billy Cartridge

New board member here. I hope none of these are dupes. I’ve ready about 80 pages so far.

Question 1

I know it’s some sort of tear gas cartridge, but is there any more info?

I will give you info on this round…but busy at work right now


PS…welcome to the IAA Forum


Sorry for the delay.

The short answer is that your round is for a Federal M29 spray billy club. (“spray” as opposed to “blast”)

There are pages ( & pages) written in Thomas Swearengen’s 1966 “Tear Gas Muntions” which is the bible of such items of that era.

I could write paragraphs about the billys.

First their perceived value on auction sites are all over the map because people look at the 1920’s era patent dates and immediately value them in the hundreds of dollars. In my opinion…more like $75-$125 each.

Secondly, the nose (big muzzle hole, “nickel sized”, is the blast billy; small muzzle, “pencil sized”, is the spray version).

Lastly, you need to unscrew the billy (in half) for inspect the breech block and the shape will clue you the type of cartridge that seats to engage the firing pin. A safety feature as to not allow folks to mistakenly (or intentionally) seat a “shot shell”…although there are versions that can chamber a 10 gauge casing (could be a ugly event if successfully fired!). The thin ring on the breechblock seats the M-29 cartridge (shorter red boxes in the lower right of my photo)(or left in the second photo)…the thick ring is in the M-49 and accepts the hard cased aluminum round as you see in second photo (long orange boxes)

There are electrically fired rounds as well…and the breach block will give that away as well (much more scarce).
The far right billy in my photo shows the two hole “electric gizmo” in the breech block. (and an old “C” battery sit s next to it)

Cartridges ?

Your example looks to be a “hard cased” round (or I assume I am not discerning the classic foil wrapped structure) as you will see the bottom right example in my messy drawer.

Again, the other more common billy round to encounter is for the M-49 with the longer aluminum case.

PS the pistol is a little tear gas version too…so no jumping to conclusions !!

Lots of info, thanks!

How to value the cartridge?

supply and demand

the supply is getting smaller (as they are somewhat fragile and kinda fall apart)

the demand (??) I don’t know anyone else who collects tear gas “stuff” other than yours truly

I think at our big show (SLICS in March) you might find that round for $5-$20 but yours is without its box…so…lower end