Collath Horizontal Pinfire No. 5

Recently picked this one up along with a few other pinfires, I’ve read a few forum posts about them and thought it was really neat! This one appears to be a primed empty and looks to be in alright shape.

No. 5 sohuld be roughly 18 gauge and the green hull is supposed to denote black powder, correct?

How long were these manufactured?

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Very nice case but I don’t know much about them. Decided a little while back I wanted a couple so I have been looking for a few to add to the collection. They are not what I collect but they look too good not to have an example or two.
Thanks for sharing the pictures.

You know it. My job deals with marketing, so any kind of markings/advertisement/packaging interest me and I just couldn’t pass this one up. I really want to find out what the black part is made of and its purpose.

That has been added to my wish list!!! Really nice

Here’s a couple more shots focusing on the mouth and showing the top of the mechanism.
20180806_161423 20180806_161442

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There was a really good article on these in an IAA journal, awhile back and I think other posts have been made.
I crudely sectioned one several years ago so here’s what that looks like.
It’s just a regular old nail & a percussion cap being used needle-fire style

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I did look into some previous threads here about these cartridges, the idea behind them seems really interesting.


Wilhelm Collath. Frankfurt, gunmaker and cartridge manufacturer. headstamps seen on unique, patented central/horizontal pinfire shotshells from circa 1860s.
These shotshells use a unique gauging system, seen in numbers 0, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. No number 2 has been seen ?.
This company also later supplied ordinary shotshells and ceased trading in 1941.
I have several, brass heads with thin paper cases, coloured either buff or green and one with the Cwp. “TESCO” Collath - Patrone"
Collath Horizontal Pinfire shells seen #88 to #93 Butt.XII/3. #81Butt.XII/2. - Collath metallic rifle rounds also seen, one 9.3x65R. #219Butt.2/2. one 9.3x80R. #228Butt.2/2. The headstamp usually includes the name “TESCO”. *articles IAA/451 - NZCC/365. - *Full article in IAA/500. *UKCC.2/17.
Jim Buchanan

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Here are some more and a little post I made on my website about them:

Wilhelm Collath invented a shotshell variation that had a small pin that rested in a percussion cap half an inch into the case. The wider centerfire hammer would hit the pin which knocked it into the cap to set it off. The reasoning was to make the ignition travel backwards first so that it would have a little more time to burn the powder before building up the pressure to propel the shot. This allowed for less burning powder to travel down the barrel.

He also came up with his own size numbering system. They roughly equate like this:
0 -> 10g
1 -> 12g
3 -> 14g
4 -> 16g
5 -> 18g
6 -> 20g
7 -> 24g
8 -> 28g

As shown in the picture, they were also, but not commonly, made in a couple of the regular English gauges.


Why was this so important that less powder travelled forward, towards the muzzle?

Decrease in wear and tear, increase in velocity/consistency of loads, etc.