Eley 500 Tin

Hi all, new to this forum but have been collecting for over 20 years. Has anyone recently seen an original, un-altered Eley 500 count tin anywhere? If so, can you please let me know? Thanks!

Tin of what or do you mean 500 of anything?

Thanks for the quick response. I mean an antique Eley percussion cap tin, to hold a count of 500 percussion caps. I’m attaching a picture.


Thought you might be talking about caps & looked at mine. here are 4@ 250 size, with a 500 size on the top, but it is not marked for Colt. The tin you show looks OK from here. What exactly do you want to know?

Eley 500 #10 primer tin

Nice collection!! I’m trying to find one so I can complete my London Navy casing, but having trouble finding one. Just wondering if anyone has seen one offered in any display case out there (bricks-and-mortar, or virtual).

I love your Eley tin with the tan label (middle row, left side), nice!

Hi Colt Collector.
If you collect cased percussion pistols, them you already know how tough the are to find. If you are able to find one in really nice condition then you already know that they are pricey even if not in perfect condition.

I am always on the lookout for these and have only added one Colt 500 count tin in the last 3 or 4 years. Good luck!

Pete: Nice Holster tin and the 30 gauge tin is no slouch either. I don’t have either. Great selection. Thanks for posting them.


Hi Will, yes, definitely, I know the 500-count Eleys are hard to find and pricey. I’d like to find one but it seems like all of them are sitting pretty inside cases. I suppose what is happening is that once in a while, a London Navy case comes to the market, and then gets stripped from its pricey contents (the tin and the flask) and those are replaced with who-know-whats, so as to maximize the value, but that’s a shame. I’d rather return cases to original contents, but it’s getting tough.

Great tins Pete!

Here is another 500 count variant from a Pocket cased set:

Metal-Lined Caps Made expressly for Colt's Pt. Belt and Pocket Pistols (x500) - 7



Thanks guys I guess my favorite is the Repeating Rifle & the cap are enormous.

There are a couple more types of Eley 500 tins, other than the two above. One with a raised edge, and large label, and another with a raised edge, and small label. And quite a few others (non Eley) that would be appropriate to be put in a London Colt case.


Here’s the one with a raised edge, smaller cut


Are those photos out of Robin’s book?

As the size is not on the top label how do you know they are 500-size? Size of the type of cap in relation to the size of the tin?

Thinking the 2@ W. & C. Eley I showed might be 500 size.

Hi Pete.
The large W & C tins don’t have the quantity on the label. The 250 and 100 count tins do have quantity specified. In cased sets, it’s easy to tell which size the tin is by looking at the pistol and accoutrements. Four of your tins are 500 and the other is marked 250. Most of the cased sets either have 250 or 500 count tins. Many of the London Colts have w&C tins. Robins book has quite a number of 500 count tins. There are many in his book that I’d like to own. If you don’t know what’s out there you don’t know what to look for. Sadly Colt tins are for those with deep pockets these days.

Ta Will,
but I beg to differ on the size as the repeating rifle notes 250 & just for grins. One at random measures 6.88mm / .270" across the mouth.

Pete: A percussion cap running .270 across the mouth is enormous. I just miked a Civil War era top hat cap that is .255 or so in this dimension, not measuring the brim of course. Maybe the corrugations on your caps make up the extra .015. Jack

The caps might not be original to the tin, or they might be original. Is there a size designation on the side or bottom of the tin?

The cap box says 30 gauge, which equates to about .54 caliber. About right for the Colt Root-type rifle-musket and shotgun I think. Jack

These b/w photos I uploaded earlier are from Joe Rosa’s book, “Colonel Colt London”. A great book, lots of photos of London Colts. They are photos of Colt’s 1851 Navy cases. They are large tins, 500-count.

Hi Coltcollector and Pete.

I googled an image of a Colt Root Rifle and was amazed at the size of the nipples. I had never looked at this before. So in short, I may be wrong Pete. Your 30 Gauge tin might indeed be a 250 count tin. The only way to be sure would be to actually do a cap count.

To quote Plato (or at least I think it was Plato or perhaps Aristotle) “The one thing that I do know is that I know nothing”.

Every day I learn new info about cartridges and realize how little I actually know.


Hi Will
Here is a perhaps better photo of the label & the count area is not the best but it sure looks like “250” (actually looks like 259).
The inside of a cap at the mouth is .239" / 6.07mm & .another is 016" / 0.41mm thick at the mouth as best as I can measure.
No other labels or impressions on / in the tin