"CBC 32SWL" police evidence?

Someone etched “4939”. Would that be a police case #? It looks like a proffesional very even handwriting. In the process I found that I could write with lead on paper.


Inventory number from a collection?

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I don’t think it is a collectable. But if it were, I personally wouldn’t deface it.

Come on Vald. You of all people should know that everything is collectable to someone.

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Even 20 cent cartridges are in reference collections for all sort of purposes.
And there are plenty of such collections right up to LE and official institutions. They do not care for “damage” like this as their scope is way different.

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I have one cartridge in my collection which is similarly marked on the side with a number. I was told that was a specimen from the H.P. White Laboratory collection, and marked by them with their inventory number. They were not, of course, “cartridge collectors” but rather a scientific company working a lot with firearms-related questions and research.

While we all would like all our items to be mint and untouched, the fact is from a study-standpoint, the number harms no feature of the cartridge. It is like drilling a hole in the side of the case to inert a cartridge. That harms no cartridge characteristics, whereas, for example, pulling a bullet to dump the powder, while making a “neater-looking” specimen, but seriously disturbs the form of the bullet crimping. Sometimes, because of laws and other circumstances, a cartridge must be inerted if it is to be kept by a collector.

While I would never engrave an ID number on the side of a cartridge for my purposes, it is a form of specimen identification that cannot be accidentally torn off the cartridge, and thus is useful to some who are interested more in permanent cartridge identification in relation to their reference collections.

John Moss


The number on the cartridge does not correspond to the H.P. White collection number (a 20mm Japanese Type 98) and they would have done it in a different manor.

Writing was done with what is called an Electro-pencil, which H.P. White did use.

Common method of marking various materials in a large number of various industries.

No exact answer for this one but most Forensic labs would I believe, attach a label, or bag the item with ID on the bag / tag. My guess is some collector. It being a relatively modern round ???

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Pete - interesting. Do you have a list of all the HP White Lab Cartridge numbers?

H.P. White was more than just a forensic lab, by the way. Wish I could remember the cartridge I have with the marking that I was told was by HP White. Would like to check it out, and perhaps see if the number corresponds to their list, but unfortunately, it would take me hours and hours to go through the collection to find it, most likely. Not worth the trouble.


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Indeed, the numbers/list would be interesting.

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Yes I do have the list. John Scott sold me a Xerox copy a number of years ago (not cheap $100.00) 15,000 plus cartridges. I also have a number of the data sheets (from C. Yust, through Jim Alley) and some of the data cards. The list is in an inch + thick 3-ring binder with print on both sides of the pages. Some entries are blacked out for a reason unknown to me.

I believe Woodin Labs has the only complete set of cards.

I think I probably have 2% of the H.P. White collection integrated into my collection plus a few of the matchboxes. When Paul VanHee obtained & then sold the collection John apparently priced the items for him when the new owners left the U-haul the original H.P. White cabinets were in (& are now residing in Ohio). After it was over John ended up with a large bunch or rounds & 99% of what I have came from John in the early 1980’s.

To further get away from the origins of this thread are the match boxes. If they had 2 of an item, they ran a pipe-cutter around the dupe. Measured the powder & etc & put the remains in a white match box (sleeve & tray) coded to the collection number. I have a W.R.A.Co. .50-140 EXP. they did that to. $4-500 cartridge today.

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All I have are five or six of the Data Cards for boxes, one of which I recently showed on this forum. They were being sold at one of the first cartridge shows I ever attended, in Mundelein, Illinois (the show that eventually ended up in Oakbrook, Ill, and then became the SLICS. I don’t recall the year, but that was a long, long time ago. I didn’t have much money at the time, and the cards were not priced, so I was timid about what I picked out, and I was early in the line, so other than 9 mm Para Cards (guess who was ahead of me in line), I got a pretty early selection. When I went up to price them and pay for them, I told the fellow handling it that a couple might have to be put back. One was an original label for the 1906/07 U.S. Army Pistol Trials, the M1906 .45 cartridge. The guy looked at it and said, “oh, that’s a really good one. I have to get a dollar for it!” The rest were from 25 cents to 75 cents. Hell, had I known that I would have bought all the remaining cards pertaining to auto pistol rounds. When I turned around to go back to the cabinets, there were then about 35 people in line, so I gave up on it. C’est le Guerre.

Edited to correct typos only.

John Moss

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Hi John
The data cards just had measurements & such 6"x8" or so, Then there were the 8.5"x11" cards that had the box labels glued on them.
I’ve heard it was just as you described.

I have a lot of cartridges in my collection that are directly marked. As for the LE side, goin on 20yrs now, never have I seen any markings, permanent or not, on any cartridge, case, bullet etc. in police evidence, testing, or inventory. As aforementioned, tags/bags/boxes/stickers/photos are what I’ve always seen used.

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I agree with MWinter. This was much more likely marked either by an individual collector (least likely in my view) or by a concern, like a privately owned Lab, or the like (most likely to me), outside of actual law enforcement.

I wish I could remember what cartridge it is that I have that is similarly marked with a number, and was reported to me by my source for the cartridge that it was an H.P.White Laboratory marking. I can’t recall the precise manner in which it was marked - that is, the instrument or method used to permanently mark an inventory number on it.

I realize from Pete that mine is likely differently marked that the cartridge shown. An H.P. White Laboratory document, like the list Pete has, would be definitive, so I am NOT challenging his view that the cartridge shown on this thread is not from that facility.

John Moss

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Well here are a few of the cartridges in my collection that I believe came from the White & Munhall collection. (but I have no proof of that)
11x60R Mauser #8424

470 Nitro Express #14917

470 Nitro Express #10176

244 Holland & Holland Magnum #15400

UMC 12ga, #11075

UMC 12ga, #11058

12ga Pin fire, #10393

The descriptions and numbers match up with the copy of the W&H list that I have.