Gatling Gun cartridge

Hi all.

I’m a cartridge collector interested ammunition that is in current use, but a few days ago a fellow offered to sell me a Gatling Gun cartridge.

He says that this cartridge was from the Battle of Batoche during the Riel Rebellion in Saskatchewan Canada. He further claims that he is a descendent of a NWMP officer who fought in that battle and that this cartridge was passed down to him by his father who was the grandson of the NWMP officer who first acquired the cartridge.
I haven’t seen it but from what he tells me it is from a Gatling Gun owned by a Lieutenant A.L. Howard of the Connecticut National Guard. As near as I can determine, it is most likely a 30. 03 cartride and the description the present owner gives supports this as does the story of it being used in the Riel rebellion at the Battle of Batoche.

I suspect, from the conversations we have had, that he is telling me the truth. However, he has no documentation to prove the origin of this cartridge. He can however prove that his ancestor was indeed a member of the NWMP and that this Officer was present at Batoche during the battle.

Since this is way out of my field of expertise I was hoping that someone here could tell me what would be a fare offer for this cartridge given it’s history.

He claims it has the Word Gatling as a headstamp.
I did tell him I would pay $50.00 for this cartridge if no one else want it, if I can verify it is indeed a 30. 03 cartridge.
I told him I could not afford to pay for it’s historic value, if it turns out that he could prove that it was used in the Battle of Patoche.

I’m not sure my offer is a fair one, plus, since I know so little about these things I’m a bit afraid I may be offering way tooo much.

What do you folks think.
Remember, this is one of the first chamberings offered in Gatling guns. This is not one of the later 1 inch cartridges.

I do not know much about the historical kinds of ammunition this gun fired but thought you may like seeing this auction. It shows some ammunition cases the seller is claiming as Gatling related.

Jason … 500wt_1413

I’m not an expert on Gatling ammunition nor do I know if your round is genuine, but I do know that the gun first emerged during the ACW and the first successful pattern (using a complete cartridge) came out in the 1870s, while the .30’03 by definition came out in 1903. So .30’03 was one of the last chamberings, not one of the first.

Since the Riel rebellion happened in 1885, there is absolutely no way that a .30’03 calibre Gatling (or even the earlier M1893 in .30 Krag) could have participated.

A Gatling gun in use in 1885 would have used the .45-70 Government cartridge. I know of no cartridge, of any caliber, that has the word “Gatling” as part of the headstamp.

It could be a 30-40 Krag with this headstamp.
"30-40 GATLING M1893 Wm.A.Meyer"
If so $20.00 would be plenty.
It came with two case types, brass and chrome.

I got the photos last night.
This is the cartridge, with a 45 70 for comparison.

And the headstamp, which I can’t read by the way. I can see 45 but the rest is too blurred for my old eyes.

I read that some Gatling guns of that period employed the .450 Henry cartridge. I wonder if that is what this is.

Krag56–Ok, I’ll give you that “30-40 GATLING M1893 Wm.A.Meyer” as having the work Gatling in the headstamp. Those two are modern made reproductions and I was thinking of only contemporary U.S. made cartridges.

I think the cartridge is a .45 Gardner for Gatling and Nordenfelt M.G., Model 1883.

I agree with Ron, but I have never seen a bullet like that on a British Gardner Gatling round.

I think the headstamp says “SIR W.G.A.M.&CO 0.45 INCH ???”, but I don’t think the last word is Gatling, although it may be GARDNER. This of course is Sir W.G.Armstrong Mitchell & Company who had the Gatling manufacturing licence for the British Empire, and it seems to be confirmed as British by the Berdan cap. This would make sense as the Canadian Government would be likely to have purchased their guns and ammunition from the UK.

Attached is a packet label for Armstrong Mitchell’s Gatling rounds.



Be the first on your block to own one.



The Nordenfelt went to Woodin Lab. My Gatling is still for sale. There are 3 known to my current knowledge ; mine , Woodin Lab’s and Vic’s.

I was going to mention the W.R.A.Co. 1" GATLING headstamp but Doc Schmitt beat me to it…


Could you post a clear headstamp photo ? The bullet is unusual. I would like a better look at that as well.

The headstamp of this .45 Gatling cartridge reads SIR.W.G.A.M&CO . 0.45 INCH GATLING and the original load is a full metal jacket made of steel with a round nose and primer cup is brass. Tony, you are showing the label of this same cartridge.

The Gatling used by A. L. Howard in 1885 was made for standard .45 caliber service ammunition (.45-70).

Thanks Fede. I am familiar with the round nosed round that comes with my packet label, but I have never seen the conical pointed bullet in the original picture.

Have you encountered this type of bullet before?


On the subject of provenence. Not with ammo but with guns I have seen quite a few guns go through auction with signed letters, usually from a relative and usually witnessed by a person of suitable stature.

The letter usually takes the form something like.

To whom it may concern
I certify that the (gun) serial no 12345 was owned by my Grandfather Major xxxxx and was used by him at the battle of xxxxx in 1889

A Relative

J Smith Justice of the Peace

I have never seen it with ammo. Unless the person was particularly famous it doesnt add much to the value but it does add interest. Its still up to you whether or not you choose to believe it. Its usually accompanied by other evidence, photo of the man, copies of muster rolls or rolls of Honour if he died in the battle etc

I believe there is a .50-70 with a raised “GATLING” as part of the headstamp. I’ve not seen one but very rare, knew of one for trade years ago, but nothing to trade for it. Also I believe Graham Burnside had one. (perhaps the same one?)

Tony, I’ve never this bullet before. This is a very rare cartridge and guess everything is possible.

Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. supplied two .45 Gatling mounted in the “Esmeralda” cruiser delivered to Chile in 1884 (the first vessel made under this company name). There is also a description of four .45 caliber guns delivered to the Chilean navy by this same firm in 1896 (name changed to Armstrong Whitworth & Co. in 1897). Wish I have details of the ammunition supplied.

The only Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. marked Gatling gun I’ve seen was made in 1884.

Okay, my friend sent me a better photo of the head stamp. Here it is.

I also found a page, it talks about a book that covers these particular Gatling guns.
This book indicates that the …577/45 was employed at this battle.
Here are a couple of pages from that book.

Elsewhere in the book it talks about sending out troop armed with Martini-Henry rifles, so we that the .450 cartridge was used in those battles.

Very nice. How about a look at the bullet ?

The pages you are showing belong to different sources but no caliber is mentioned. The second capture was taken from “The Illustrated War News Vol. I No. 6, May 9, 1885” and only mentions a “musket-calibre ten barrel Gatling gun”.

The Batoche battlefield was already researched and there are detailed descriptions of hundreds of artifacts collected in that area. This is a list of cartridges found:

.45 Revolver
.450 Revolver

12 ga shotshell (centerfire & pinfire)
.22 rimfire

.44-40 Winchester
.45-70 (found in four locations were Gatling guns were placed)
.45-75 W.C.F.
.577/.450 M-H (only one bullet with a partial coiled case neck was found)
.577 Snider

Some sketches:




Fede, are the hs of the 45-70 rounds known?