French Dueling Boxed Set

Here is an interesting, boxed set of items you and your friends can use to shoot each other. I was bored with Trounds one day recently and bid in an internet auction, wondering just what this was. I was surprised that my low bid won.

The box is 4.75”/120.7mm long, 2.5” wide/63.6mm wide, and 1.27”/32.32mm deep. The bright steel cartridge case is 0.9410”/23.90mm long, rim diameter 0.5075”/12.92mm, head diameter 0.4530/11.52mm, mouth diameter 0.4440”/11.28mm. The average diameter of 10 black wax balls is 0.4238”/10.76mm. The wax is hard, barely pliable.

The steel cartridge case is marked, around the head: MANUFACTURE FRANCAISE D’ARMES ET CYCLES DE SAINT-ETIENNE, which Google translates as: “French manufacture of arms and cycles of Saint-Etienne.” I already had that simple one figured out. There are 81 balls and 75 primers remaining in the box, which does show moderate wear after what, 150 years?

Here is Google’s translation of the information printed on the box label:

For pistol assault and parlor shooting


With Primers and Dummy Cartridge

Precautions to Take:

  1. Only shoot at 25 meters.

  2. Put on goggles, fencing mask and glove.

  3. Wear a canvas blouse (black).

  4. In winter, do not leave the boxes in jelly. (?)

  5. In summer, refrigerate the balls as much as possible.

Living in hot and humid Florida, I certainly agree with number 5, and I refrigerate my balls as much as possible in the summer.

The brass centerfire primers, which are the sole source of propellant, have a raised “M.G Star Star Star" headstamp (no period after the G). White and Munhall’s Cartridge Headstamp Guide bailed me out on this one with #1283 which, while not identical, says produced by Marcel Gaupillat & Cie., which fits. The primers are 0.3135”/7.96mm long, with a rim diameter of 0.2640”/6.71mm.

The top pic shows a side over-label applied to both sides. Sometimes it’s fun to take something totally outside of your field of interest and see how much you can squeeze out of it. I wonder what the official caliber of the loaded cartridge is.


4.In winter don´t leave the boxes in the frost.

1 Like

Great box Mel.
Another variation with green paper cases loaded with round black wax bullets


Also there were in .44 S & W Russian and by Gastinne Renette.
Great items.


Hello Mel
The name of this cartridge is: 11mm Devillers Mock Duel.



11mm Devillers Mock Duel loaded with a black wax round ball.



So you can experience the thrill of an actual Duel, but nobody dies and nobosy goes to prison!
WAY COOL, and VERY neat!!!

Why can we not have that uch fun today? :wink:

We can - it is called paintball.


Dueling with these pistols was an Olympic sport from 1906 to 1908.

So maybe it will become fashionable again.


I made a mistake in the above post with the bullet style & it is corrected.
I also should like to add photos of three more boxes & contents.
The top “DEVILLERS” box also has a steel, reloadable case but it is unmarked.