Brass & Metal Manufacturing Co


#1

Is there any information available on cartridges made by the “Brass & Metal Manufacturing Co.”. In particular military cartridges and such for export like 10.4mm Vetterli during WWI.
Any info would be much appreciated.


#2

Are you sure the “B” stands for brass and not Birmingham?


#3

Vince, this is all I got and as all know I am clueless when it comes to these details, hence the question.


#4

BM&MCo
Birmingham Metal & Munitions Co. Adderley Park Mills, Birmingham. 1897-1921
Pages 70-87 in ‘The Birmingham Cartridge Manufacturers’ by C W Harding ISBN 978 1 84689 064 2

page 80 lists ammunition production during WW1, but there’s nothing mentioned about Vetterli. Their WW1 order for 8mm Lebel from the French Government was passed on to Kings Norton Metal Co. (on 20% commission) due to existing workloads on .303 production.


#5

In the short book on the Vetterli; 'The Italian Vetterli System" by R Wilsey there is mention on page 37 of a contract for 100 million rounds placed by the Italian Government with the Brass and Metal Manufacturing Co of Kansas City. On the same page it says;

“Only 10,163,000 rounds of the 100 million contracted were ever delivered by the Brass and Metal Manufacturing Co. and in 1917 the contract was cancelled and the firm went into liquidation”.

These cartridges were for the use of the Russian Government.

Happy collecting, Peter Mackinven

Edited once; tidying idiotic oversights caused by too much haste.


#6

The headstamps on the Kansas City Brass & Metal found on the 10.4 are raised: “B&M . (12) K C (9 & 3) 17 (6)” and impressed: with the same layout but without the large dot after the M and a 16 date. I believe there are other headstamps perhaps not dates but layout or size of the letters. Both have the jacketed bullet.
This is the company Peter notes above, and the rounds are hard to find / scarce here in the US.


#7

Gentlemen, thank you very much!!!
This is exactly what I was looking for!


#8

I thought the order to the Brass and Metal Company was placed by the British on behalf of the Russian government, since Britain was the paymaster for most of the Russian purchases in WWI. Whether this was the case or not, it is doubtful that very much of the American made ammunition ever reached the Russian army.

Although Russia did eventually receive some 300,000 Vetterli rifles and ammunition from Italy via France there had been long negotiations by Britain on behalf of the Russians to obtain over 400,000 rifles from ther Italians. There was even some discussion in 1915 about arming British troops with Vetterlis and sending Arisakas to Russia but that came to nothing, although of course the Arisakas were sent. Many millions of rounds of Italian made ammunition, destined for Russia but never shipped was left rotting on the harbourside at the French port of Brest and eventually returned to Woolwich post war for scrap.

Picture shows Kansas made round from the British/Russian contract.

Regards
TonyE


#9

So a 7x57 Mauser round with a BM&MCo headstamp would be a WWI contract round for somebody? If so, does anyone know who that contract might have been for?


#10

I don’t know about that one jonny, but if I were to make an educated guess I would say probably a British placed order for Serbia.

We also supplied Serbia with 7x57mm ammo made by Remington and chargers made in the UK.

The subject of the various contracts for ammunition for the allies in WWI is one that I find very interesting, from the millions of rounds of 8mm Lebel and 7.62x54mm Russian made in Britain and the US to the 6.5mm Mannlicher made for Roumania by Kings Norton.

Regards
TonyE


#11

Thanks for that.

"the 6.5mm Mannlicher made for Roumania by Kings Norton"
What would the headstamp on these rounds be?


#12

Tony,

On subjects such as this I know not of what I write, I can only throw myself upon the source which states;

“This shortage of ammunition caused considerable unease in London and three contracts were signed in November 1915 with ammunition manufacturers for the production of 10,35mm rounds; two signed by the War Office on behalf of the Russian Government with the Societa Metallurgica Italiana of Bardelone in Tuscany for 50 million and 150 million rounds and one signed by the Italian Government with the Brass & Metal Manufacturing Company of Kansas City in the USA for 100 million rounds.”

Further on in the text we find;

“Most of the negotiations in Italy concerning the supply of ammunition were conducted by Brigadier Delme- Radcliffe, head of the British Mission to the Comando Supremo in Rome. Payment was made by the British Government to the Italian Under Secretary for Arms and Ammunition at the Italian War Office and debited to the ‘Russian Suspense Account’”.

Which all seems rather a roundabout way of going about things although I suppose there might have been reasons of national amour-propre.

It also says;

The American manufactured ammunition was delivered later and shipped from the West Coast to Vladivostok".

By ‘later’ it must mean after the deliveries of rifles and ammunition from Italy, via France and onto Archangel, which happened between November 1915 and January 1916.

Happy collecting, Peter Mackinven


#13

Jonny - The headstamp on my example is “KN 17 6.5”. They are pretty scarce, it took me about forty years to find that one. The only other ones I know are at the Woodin Lab and the Imperial War Museum.

Peter - Thanks, I have a copy of Robert’s book. He and I talked about the WWI Vetterli connection at length before it was published. There is actually a lot more to the story than in the book, including some very dodgy attempted dealings by a group of American businessmen to sell the rifles (which they did not own) to Britain. The records in the National Archives of the despatches between the Foreign Office and the British Ambassador in Rome contain some wonderful phrases, for example “We know nothing of Stevens but Allison is unfavourably known to His Majesty’s Government and entirely untrustworthy” and “…the sudden arrival in Rome of a lady said to be Stevens’ wife and whose cosmopolitan talents and conversation are not altogether calculated to inspire confidence…”.

Regards
TonyE


#14

[quote=“TonyE”]Jonny - The headstamp on my example is “KN 17 6.5”. They are pretty scarce, it took me about forty years to find that one. The only other ones I know are at the Woodin Lab and the Imperial War Museum.
[/quote]
Is that one of those two new, never loaded cases that were found by myself in a box of fired 7.62x51 cases?

Do you have a loaded round as well?


#15

Yes, I have a loaded round, and that was what I was talking about.

Cheers
TonyE


#16

[quote=“TonyE”]Jonny - The headstamp on my example is “KN 17 6.5”. They are pretty scarce, it took me about forty years to find that one. The only other ones I know are at the Woodin Lab and the Imperial War Museum.
TonyE[/quote]

Some cases and cartridges 6.5mm Mannlicher with headstamp “KN 17 6.5” as well as 10.4mm Vetterli with headstamp “K B&M C 16” also existed in Ukrainian collections:)


#17

Years ago, Tillinghast’s Auctions had a complete set of 6,5x53R Mannlicher Cartridge Tools and Gauges, by the USCCo. for their large contract to the Roumanian (sic) Govt, 1916-7. The order was never delivered, as the Germans quickly over-ran the country in 1917. Headstamp USCCo 17. I never found out what the Tool and Gauge set went for.

Another diverted order was for around 40 ALCO Locomotives ( American Locomotive Company) in 4-6-0 configuration, for fast Passenger trains ( and Troop trains) These ended up in Italy by 1918, and were used till the 1950s, with the soubriquet “le Rumene” and were known for their turn of speed on light passenger direct services.

There was also an order for “Components” for the 10,4 Vetterli Cartridge, from the USA ( possibly thru Remington) to be loaded in Italy or England…Not much has surfaced ( even here) regarding this order.

regards,
Doc AV


#18

[quote]Years ago, Tillinghast’s Auctions had a complete set of 6,5x53R Mannlicher Cartridge Tools and Gauges, by the USCCo. for their large contract to the Roumanian (sic) Govt, 1916-7. The order was never delivered, as the Germans quickly over-ran the country in 1917. Headstamp USCCo 17. I never found out what the Tool and Gauge set went for.

Another diverted order was for around 40 ALCO Locomotives ( American Locomotive Company) in 4-6-0 configuration, for fast Passenger trains ( and Troop trains) These ended up in Italy by 1918, and were used till the 1950s, with the soubriquet “le Rumene” and were known for their turn of speed on light passenger direct services.

There was also an order for “Components” for the 10,4 Vetterli Cartridge, from the USA ( possibly thru Remington) to be loaded in Italy or England…Not much has surfaced ( even here) regarding this order.

regards,
Doc AV[/quote]

The USCCo boxed set contained inspectors gauges and was actually made for the Netherlands (1.6+0.1 rim thickness) in 1917. Many of the pieces are dated from March to May 1917, but no headstamp is noted. The order called for 1,000,000 cartridges and by May 1917 a total of 100,000 was shipped.

Does anyone have more information or examples of these cartridges?