Eley 40-60

Hi All, i am new to the forum. I am Jonathan from South Africa and will be known by some SA members. I am a new collector and have been getting identifications from your threads for a while. There are a few posts mentioning the Eley 40-60 for the Colt lightning magazine rifles but only by name. Pete seems to know something about them??? Please can you help with more information regarding year of manufacture, why Eley manufactured and American cartridge etc? A good friend and my mentor has a few boxes of this ammo.



Hello Jonathan,
That is an absolutely beautiful Eley box.
I have never seen one before.

The .40-60 Colt was also known as the .40-65 Winchester. Colt chambered it in their large frame Colt Lightning pump action repeating rifle.

The .40-65 WCF cartridge was introduced in 1887 for the 1876 Winchester rifle. Marlin adopted the cartridge for their Model 1895 rifle in 1895. The .40-65 WCF made the transition from the black powder era to smokeless high velocity loads in the early 1900’s.
Cartridges were loaded by Winchester, Remington - UMC and Peters. UMC also loaded wooden saboted shot cartridges.

Frank Barnes states that the .40-60 Colt has a slight neck. Any sample I have seen has no neck. It is dimensionally the same as the .40-65 Winchester and .40-60 Marlin. The .40-60 Colt appears on a Winchester cartridge board but is not listed in any of their catalogs. UMC seems to be the only manufacturer listing the cartridge.

British manufactured cartridges were preferred and given special preference in the British Commonwealth and possessions which is one reason Eley manufactured traditionally “American” cartridges.

Others will be able to add more or correct any of my mistakes.

Could you post a image of the cartridge and the head stamp please?

Thanks for showing such an interesting box.
All the best,

Hi Brian, it really is a beautiful box thank you for the information. I will post some more pictures as requested.

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The cartridge does have a slight neck if you put a ruler against it. trying to figure out how to take a picture to show you.

This cartridge was listed in the 1904 catalogue, not had chance to look through other catalogues.
It was listed under Center Fire Cartridges for Savage, Winchester, Marlin, Stevens and similar Rifles, as;

40-60-210, Gauge .400"; Powder 47 grains; Bullet 210 grains.
40-60-260 (which is your box), Gauge .400"; Powder 47 grains; Bullet 260 grains.
So I wonder why they state 60 for the load but only 47 in the catalogue?

Not sure if that helps you or not but it does give you one date to work from.


EDIT, typo on weight of second bullet weight, it should have read 260 grains (note to self, don’t copy and paste without checking what you have pasted [idiot])

Thanks Mike, it does help but now more questions…

Hi Jonathan, see Edit note to my reply…

Eley Cartridges by C.W.Harding, Ref: Page 175

40-60-210 Winchester Model 1876: Listed from 1889-1911
40-60-260 Colt Lightning Rifle: Listed from 1889-1919


Thank you Gentleman, as they say if you don’t ask you don’t learn.

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Howdy Jonathan
GREAT box.
A number of facts have been posted about the box & rnds. So I can only add that Colt marketed this rifle in a number of areas. Australia / NZ was a big market and I believe Sount America had a goodly share.
There is a threat from a bit back athat has been recently posted on about the MAGIC headstamp in .44-40 or .44 W.C.F. This was also a CLMR ‘nameed’ marketing ploy.

The .40-60 is probably too much gun for most of the needs in OZ, NZ & S. America, but not in Africa. So that brings us to the fact that there might be a market for this CLMR in Africa . Eley was no different than any other maker in that if they saw a market and it was cost effective to produce it , they produced it.
As John Scott used to say “Everyone made Everything”

Also a hint on ‘seeing’ necks. Try using thumb & forefinger & run a cartridge between them.

PS were you in the photos Will posted on facebook of the SA miltaria show

Hi Pete, no unfortunately was not able to be there a bit too far for me.

I have been reading the threads here trying to get this figured out and you have mentioned these Eley 40-60’s once or twice but never in detail…

Thank you for the reply, if I look at the amount of cartridges my mentor has, there must have been a market for them in Africa. But maybe the person he got them from bought the whole shipment!!!

Hello Jonathan,
Thanks for posting the additional images.
I forgot to add that this cartridge is also known as the .40-60 Marlin.
Here is a Dominion Cartridge Company headstamp showing the D.C.Co. 40-60 M headstamp.
Winchester had two .40-60 Colt headstamps, W.R.A.Co. 40-60 COLT and W.R.A.Co. 40-60 COLTS
image image

Thanks all for the additional information.
All the best,

Brain I might be mistaken but didn’t i read that the Marlin 40-60 and the 40-65 Winchester were the same?

Hello Jonathan,
Yes, the .40-65 Winchester, the .40-60 Colt and the .40-60 Marlin are the same cartridge.

Keeping the forties straight is a nearly hopeless task. The 40-65 Winchester was based on the 45-70 and was chambered in the firm’s 1886 rifle; the equivalent round for the '76 was the shorter 40-60 Winchester. I’m not even going to try to recite what the versions adopted by Colt and Marlin were. Jack

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