E. Remington & Sons .50-70 case - folded head?

Since the thread that dealt with the Farrington primed .50-70, I have found myself looking at (and into) my accumulation of empty cases. I had always assumed the cases with the raised E. Remington & Sons headstamps were solid head cases. That appears not to be true, as the three empties I have (two .44-77s and a .50-70) appear to have the donut-shaped reinforcing cups in the heads like those used by UMC and perhaps others to prevent the folds of the case heads from blowing out. The two pictures include a shot looking inside the case and the headstamp.


Are you positive that’s not a ballon-head, or semi ballon-head, depending on what the accepted venacular of the day is. In olden times, both of those terms were used to describe a “solid-head” construction.


[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Guy

Are positive that’s not a ballon-head, or semi ballon-head, depending on what the accepted venacular of the day is. In olden times, both of those terms were used to describe a “solid-head” construction.


Guy & Ray, I have an NPE raised Rem h/s case that I examined closely.
The inside of the case is as new ( nice and shiny ) so it is easy to see that the case is indeed SOLID not folded. Also no added collar reinforcement.
M. Rea

I have a .45 Sharps straight 2.6 in. Boxer primed empty case with an unheadstamped rounded base that certainly looks like a solid-head type, but it clearly has an inner cup. The case is either folded head or of the balloon solid head type, but the presence of the cup makes an exact identification difficult. The early cartridge makers certainly didn’t make things easy for cartridge collectors! JG

GH and JG

In the pursuit of knowledge you need to section those cases. ;)


Ray: Sectioning would answer the question, but as the years advance, I find I increasingly would rather have something and be uncertain as to what I have than to be sure what it had been after I’ve cut it in two. My hope is someone on this forum actually knows what this case (and Guy’s) are and can tell us without my having a go at it with a hacksaw. I continue to be amazed at how arcane some of this knowledge really is. JG

It may be a balloon head, but it definately appears to have the reinforcing cup. I have to agree with JG - those E. Remington raised headstamps have always been tough for me to find. I’d hate to cut one up.

I also have several of the unheadstamped rounded head .45 - 2.6" cases
that appear to have the reinforcing cups. I may be forced to sacrifice one this weekend.

Here’s a picture of sectioned E. Remington .40-50 cartridge that was sent to me which reveals the case has the solid balloon style head. The minimal amount of metal in the head is obviously the reason for the reinforcing cup being added.


Interesting photo. Thanks for posting it. I’d guess that the reinforcing cup was an intermediate step between Ballon Head and Semi-Ballon Head construction?


Guy: If, six months ago, anyone had told me any cartridge case looked like that inside I’d have said “no way,”–my thanks to you and to the kind soul who provided the image. JG

I’d also venture a guess that the cup was sometimes blown out the end of the barrel along with the bullet. People having a fired case without the cup probably would never guess what the inside looked like originally.

Anyone finding a cup with a metal detector would not have any idea what it was and probably toss it. When I was metal detecting I used to find the Benet primer cups that came out of 50-70 and 45-70 cartridges. I knew what they were and would save them but others thought they were junk and threw them away. It pays to know what the guts of a cartridge look like.


As per Ray Meketa would be interesting to see a fired Remington case with the insert to see if the cup was forced back into the base cavity or blown out with the bullet. Its hard to imagine the Benet primer cups were blown out of the case even with the crimp to hold them in but it was common. Ray do you have any fired Benet cases that show the primer crimp completely smoothed out? I have one from the Modoc fight that is but the primer cup is still in the case.



Those old copper cases were very soft and I’ve found quite a few where the crimp is mostly ironed out. At first, you get excited and think you’ve found something unusual - until you clean it up and can see the vestiges of the crimp and realize it’s just another plain old 45-70. But you never know. Sometimes the crimp can be as deep and clear as the day it was made.

The same for the Benet cup. I’ve found cases where the cup was loose but still inside the case. For the 45-55-405 cartridges that had the cardboard tube inside, I’ve found them both with the tube still in the case and others where it was gone.


I’d be surprised if the reinforcing cups on these had a tendency to be blown out of the cases; I’d expect just the opposite - for them to be forced back into the head. I have a couple of these that have been fired, and the cups are still present an accounted for. I realize two is not a valid sample to base any conclusions on, but those two are all I have to sample. Does anyone know if these were ever produced without the cup??

Incidently - that sectioned case was courtesy of Gourd.