Eley No. 4 London Cartridge


I just came across a paper Eley No. 4 Gastight cartridge case. This one is green and measures 3.75" in length x 1" in diameter. There appears to be a slug in the end of it. Were these gastight cartridges used as elephant rounds or were they for industrial use?


too early for industrial use with an Eley Gastight paper case. The Eley industrials I’m aware of have the Eley-Kynoch headstamp
As to the slug, it could be contemporary to the case or not.


The gastight cartridge would not really have been strong enough for an elephant load, neither would the guns they were fired in, but for other big (ish) game probably yes. No doubt though it would have been used by somebody to try and shoot an elephant at some time in the past. Maybe more for despatching old or sick elephants on a plantation somewhere.

Its power over a conventional 12ga slug would only have been pro-rata to its size.


Please put a picture



I just sent you a pm about the picture.


here are the pictures you sent me

What kind of loading is it ? I don’t know.
But the only thing i am sure is the fact it is not a ball loading used in a riffled gun for elephant.

The case is old and valuable.


I also have some ELEY Gas-tight cartridges.

The tall one has a similar looking loading as the OP’s but it is about halfway down the case.

These all have no headstamp.



What size are your cartridges?



What size are your cartridges?[/quote]


I am not positive what they would have been designated as in a catalog or in a box, but my guess is that the shorter ones would have been labeled as 13mm and the longer one as 12mm.

The longer one has a rim diamater of 11.68mm
The one on the left has a rim diamater of 12.76mm
And the one on the right has a rim diamater of 12.59mm

By the way, welcome to the forums! If you check out my most recent topic I just made (SLICS Display) you will see a few of those excavated pinfire cartridges I bought from you. As well as this topic.



Nice display and pictures! Were you able to decipher what manufaturing marks were on the bottom of those casings?

Also…is there a wide time frame for these Eley gas tight cartridges?

Ian Workman


That is an shell screaming for an X-ray to show the shape of the ball. With only that much showing it could be a round ball or a rounded nose on a grooved, flat base bullet (vs round ball)
The case shows a slight swelling below the mouth which might be the bullet base. If a wad it appears not far enough down for a round ball.

As to Gastight; C. W. Harding Eley Cartridges A history of the silversmiths and ammunition makers lists it from 1869 to a catalog in 1967.

The various forms/variations of that style headstamp from 1874 to 1918

any extras?


The slight swelling of the case you mention looks about the right place to be the widest part of a ball. That could fit, in that era balls were popular with British ammunition makers, probably more so than slugs for smoothbores.

If so, despite its size it wouldn’t be particularly powerful in the context of a big game load.