European Berdan primer?

Have this shell with large copper .254’’ dia. primer.
Made for Austin Cartridge Co. for black powder in 1896.
Need to identify the primer and shell manufacturer.


Primer is /was a common European size .254"/ 6.45mm
Used in shotgun shells ( thin cup) and Rifle Brass, both BP and Smokeless, the best example is the 7.62x54R Mosin Nagant Cartridge, which used this size
From 1891 to today.
CBC Brazil made a similar copper primer for its Brass shotshells ( “6.45”) until they changed to Boxer primers
Under MagTec (US sales).

Doc AV

Thank you so much.


Please note changes to inch - metric conversions
Doc AV

Will do

Austin was an American maker (Ohio) and as far as I’m aware didn’t make a brass shall, only paper, so I seriously doubt this has a Berdan primer.

Thanks Pete

Not sure if this applies to shotshells, but UMC was still making its no. 1 Berdan primer in this period. That primer is usually referred to as having a diameter of .250 but I’ve never had a specimen on the loose to mike. It’s worth checking into to see if it’s a possibility. Jack


This paper shell has a copper primer .250’’ diameter

Jack, & Sig2710 My problem is yes, brass shells were made for both Berdan and Boxer, but with a paper shell, there is no support for an anvil, unless it is built into the brass head. The brass head is basically a cup that holds the body and coiled paper 'web" or inside base. This primer / cap support was solved with the use of a cup holder which we now see in modern shotgun shells

I may be wrong here but I can recall seeing a Berdan primer pocket in a paper-hulled US shell

As an aside the various corrugation styles we see on the brass heads of shells was to prevent this brass cup from separating from the body when fired & ejected.

Austin used other makers hulls to load / sell & those and Austin shells can sometimes be identified by the topwad and the use of a single punch “dot” on the side of the head.

Pete: I checked out my primer notes and the Berdan 1-1/2 (one and a half) primer was intended, as you say, for brass shells pocketed for the Berdan primer. This Berdan 1-1/2 was produced by WRA and Rem-UMC up to about WW.I. Is there any version of UMC’s Orcutt primer used for shotshells that has this large diameter? The Orcutt is a de facto Boxer, but I have no idea if a version of this dimension was ever produced. Jack

I’m only aware of the smaller size Orcott, not anything the size of a Berdan, even the small Berdan.

Sizes of a Kynoch cap, these fit their “reloadable” brass cases.

Pete, ICI did many trials for using stand caps No 1B in normal paper cases but without the cup. I have a series of test cases produced in the 1950/60’s, with various heads, i.e. brass, zinc plated steel, aluminium, etc. Unfortunately I do not have any sectioned ones, (must look to see if I have a NPE to look inside).


Interesting Mike.