"CODOMINIUM" cartridges?

A friend of mine would like to send me this empty box. Never heard of this factory, any info really welcome…

Well, probably not from a native English-speaking country, “Ordnance” is spelled incorrectly.

My guess is that it is a prop, or homemade fantasy item of some sort as it relates to the science fiction world of “Codominium” as authored by Jerry Pournelle. It’s a future-history line of books, sort of like MadMax, where you would find some odd sci-fi themes, mixed with old-world relics (Renaissance themes, turn-of-the-century government styles, a .30 Luger pistol, etc…).

Interesting box Pivi. Thanks for posting.

I agree with Jonnyc-probably not from an English speaking country. Ordinance looked good and the spell checker would like it. The only Ordinance Factories I know of are government bureaucracies. Us guys are only interested in Ordnance factories.

The picture on the front is interesting and kinda supports that it was a prop in a sci-fi or fantasy movie. Thinking about it a movie type prop guy, even nominally English speaking (like in Hollywood), may not know the difference between Ordinance and Ordnance. The info on the back seems reasonably precise and the reference to Winchester 231 ball powder may imply a US source since this appears to be the most commonly used pistol powder for US reloaders. Perhaps some of our non-US members can comment on if it is commonly used outside the US.

Pivi, when you get the box, let us know if it has any other markings or stamps, and please post an image of the cartridge tray.

Again, thanks for an interesting item. Please ask your friend if he has one in 9mm Luger!!! I wish…


Be careful when you use the term “English speaking country”. Ordnance, as used here in the Colonies, is derived from the British archaic Ordinance which may be entirely appropriate across the pond (and in Canada).

Unless I’m wrong. Any English experts out there? I never paid much attention to English in school. I was usually day-dreaming.


“Ordinance” is a perfectly good English word, as implied above, that essentially means some kind of law or regulation. We in the IAA tend to prefer “Ordnance”, stuff that goes BOOM!

Ray, even in Canada (at least me anyways), “ordnance” means artillery.

I would also presume the box to be made from a non-fluent English speaking country. Although as Lew had pointed out, the mistake could have been overlooked through the spell check easily. It’s a neat box none the less.


Definately looks home made / made up. The box appears to have been made out of heavy paper, probably thin enought to go through a desk top printer but stiff enough to form into a box. Proper capitalization is missing as is " gr. " after the powder charge weight, which would likely be there on a legitimate box. Plus the addition of " ball powder " is odd.

I once examined some captured Iraqi army equipment that was labeled in English as being property of the “Ministry of Ordonance”.


Pivi, I agree with AKMS, it looks like something made at home. The illustration shows a Celtic oak tree image found on the web. Regards, Fede.

Got to remember, even big companies make mistakes. I have a photo of a box from a major German company from the 1930s and PARABELLUM is misspelled. There is even a 7.65mm Luger cartridge out these with the headstamp marked “LUGAR”.


Ordinance Eng. By Law, Regulation, etc. Ordnance “The ordnance”, the Master-General of Ordnance, etc Related to Gunnery ( large Bore). Mortar tubes were (Up to WW II ) marked “Ordnance 2 inch or Ordnance 3 inch” etc.

French “:Ordonnance” ( Cannonry)

Italy:“Ordinanza” Rules or lawful regulations; ALSO Military Ordnance/Artillery/Firearms as in “Ex-Ordinanza” (Military surplus), ie, outside of the Military Rules of Design or Use ( again, a Legal term for Firearms allowed to be held by qualified civilians.

The two word are related, by their ethymological origin, relating to “Order” and “regularity” Latin Ordo and Regulus, both relating to sets of “rules” ( ie, a set of Specifications, for comnmonality of manufacture and use, and most importantly, cannon ball supply. First time really applied by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and Count Wallenstien,of Bohemia (Thirty Years War 1618-1648), both of whom standardised their Artillery into a few designs, and Wallenstien also founded the first modern “Quartermaster” system ( Uniforms, food, weaponry, etc with controlled and centralised sources and designs ( Cromwell took up Wallenstein’s Ideas with his “New Model Army” with standardised Armour, Rifles, Cannon etc.)

The Mistaken use of "Ordinance for “Ordnance” is common in Anglo-speaking countries, usually by Journalists who should have got an F- for their English courses at college. And Computer spellcheck does not work with context, just “spelling” : EG: “The Ordinance on the use and disposal of Ordnance”…how would this come out of a present day College Journalism ( or other degree) graduate???

O Tempore, O Mores ! ( lament by a Latin writer on the standards of the times)

Doc AV