"E.b.London 12" pin fire shell

Municion.org has the same headstamp but with a zero above “12” and between “N” and “D”. What’s the meaning of that zero? Or, reversely, what is the shell without that zero? The shell is alive and bb’s move when shaken.
London%2012%20gUploading: DSCF7923.JPG…DSCF7923 DSCF7922

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I cannot find the picture you mean, can you give a direct link to it please.

Go to “escopeta”, then “Cal. 12 marcajes E a L”, then look at the 3rd one from the top.


A good question to which there is NO definitive answer.
These shells of that period can be found with various letters stamped in that area and they have been a subject of query as long as I have been collecting (nearly fifty years).
Various theories have been out forward but none can be proved.
My favourite as told to me by a previous proofmaster of Eley was that they indicated different machines within the factory, but others have suggest it could refer to the date or even a change of bunter as these did wear out. Attached one with the letter F.

Jim Buchanan!



About half way down on the page (at least on my computer screen)

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Pretty much as Jim said, no real answer. I go with date as the reason but we will never know unless somebody finds it recorded.

They also come lower down the headstamp.

But still between the N & D…



Also seen on regular Shot shells.




I dont think my last pic loaded so I am trying again with some more pics of various letters seen.

Jim Buchanan3x%20Eley%20small%20raised%20letters%20 %20London%2016%20raised%20J%20

%2016ga%20pinfire%20raised%201%20 Eley%20BrosLondon%208 EleyBros14PinfRaisedH


Wow!!! What a variety

Yes, a variety and I have seen more different letters, but cant currently locate my pictures,
These letters continued into the early centrefire period, see attached pics.




Oddly I can not recall seeing any letters higher (alphabetically) than I before, so the O is new to me! I am assuming “O” as I have never seen any numbers used in that position before?

You can find the same on SFM shotshells, meaning additionnal letters on the hstp;
Regarding SFM it is the indication of the year.

Eightbore, do you have a picture of the O headstamp? I had not seen one past J, which was new to me.
Jeanpierre, would you have a picture of a SFM headstamp with the extra letter?
If you get time guys. Thanks, And thank you Jim.

I do not think it relates to the date on these Eley shells, as letters up to I and J are seen on early pinfires and later letters like B and G are found on later centrefires. ?


If you follow bdgreen’s link above and scroll abouthalfway down the page you will come to it. It looks like it may be a metal detector find but quite easy to see.


Hello Jim,

you can find I and J on early shotshells and B and G on more recent shotshells if the code of the years is cyclic.

For SFM the code is cyclic, meaning starting at A and finishing to Z, then starting to A again and finishing to Z, and so on

First serie : From A : 1891 to Z : 1907
Second serie :from A 1908 to Z : 1929
Third serie : from A : 1930 to Z : 1953


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Thanks Eightbore, found it. E.B. with an O
Rene has an ELEY BRO? with something on it, and there is another ELEY BROs. with a 5

hello Dan
here are some pictures
jp0 A B N%20-%20Copie U V


Alright, I get an idea, everyone has more pinfires than me. But mine (the 1st photo in this topic) has NO extra letters. Does it mean that it has been manufactured before this “extra letter” system? What’s approximate age?

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Very nice. Thanks JP.
Vlad, I have no idea on the Eley dates. Now we have a half dozen different headstamps with the letters, more new letters showing up, an no good explanation. At least JP has the SFM’s narrowed down.
Thanks for your post!

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