Help Identifying Shell


Ok, this should be child’s play for most of you. I am an ignorant youth in need of some info on an empty shell I found at a collapsed sawmill in NM.

The shell is exactly 5cm long and the closed end has a 1.2cm diameter. There is a dent in the center of the closed end that has a .5cm circle around it. The engraving on the closed end reads “PETERS 30-30”. About a centimeter from the open end the shell narrows, but I can’t measure the diameter of that end because it’s been crushed slightly. The shell is a dark gray color with brown rusty spots. I have a feeling that it was brass at one point, though I really have no way of knowing.

I’m sorry for the lack of a picture, I’m having technical difficulties.

Does anyone have information on this shell? Dates would be appriciated. =)

Disclaimer: I know litteraly NOTHING about guns. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. I’ll answer any clarifying questions I can.

Thank You.


Common Calibre, 30-30 Winchester, introduced in 1894 with the rifle of the same calibre, for Smokeless Powder. Peters was one of the companies which produced the cartridge, and Peters was eventually absorbed by Remington in the early part of the 20th centure.
I would say that the cartridge is Most Likely from the 1900-1939 period, probably before 1920; The headstamp after 1920 or so would be “Remington-Peters” Peters was one of those companies in the Ammo trade which went bust after WW I and the downturn in ammo making from 1920 onwards left some to be gobbled up by the Big makers (Rem and Winchester).
Other members will have a better Idea exactly when the “Peters” name was dropped, and “Remington Peters”(later shortened to “R-P” as it is today,) was introduced. Soime cases just have “REM” ( for space consierations).

Actual dimensions of the cartridge are as follows: Rim diameter, about .500 inch;Head diameter, .420 inches, length of case 2 inches (51 mm)
Bullet diameter .308 inches ( “.30 calibre”) the case is “bottlenecked”, and uses a charge of roughly “30 grains” of Smokeless Powder.
The round area in the head of the case is the primer cap, diameter .210 inches ( 5,33 mm)(Large Rifle size)

The name “30-30” came about because in Black powder cartridge days (1860s to 1890s) a cartridge was described in the USA by the calibre (Nominal) bore of the rifle diameter and by the weight of Black Powder used in the normal factory loading:::Thus one has the .45/70, the .40/82, the 44/40, and so on. Winchester was one of the main users of this nomenclature system, and it spread to other makers as well.

When Winchester released their first smokeless cartridge, the .30/30, it utilised this system as well. After the introduction of Smokeless Powder, the Numerical equivalence did not match ( ie, smokeless was a lot lighter than Black powder, and more energetic, so the older cartridges did not reflect the actual smokeless content when so loaded.

When the cartridge concerned was used is not certain, as many shops maintained old stocks of ammo for many years between purchase and sale…

Interesting piece of archeology.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.
Down Under.


Thank you, that’s perfect!


I have to disagree with part of DocAV’s otherwise definitive answer - the “PETERS” h/s was used up through our entry into WW2, and - IIRC (I’m far from my references at the moment) afterwards, as well. Further, again with the caveat my references are 1500 miles away, I don’t recall ever seeing a “REMINGTON - PETERS” h/s on a metallic CF (?).


Remington bought Peters Cartridge Co. in 1934, but continued to use the “PETERS” headstamp until the introduction of the “R-P” in 1960. Peters produced the .30-30 Winchester under their name from about 1900 to 1960. To more accurately pin down the year, we need to know more details: what is the style of the letters (large, small, with or without serifs) What does the primer (the round thing in the head) look like: is it copper, brass, nickel-plated? rounded, flat? does it have a “P” stamped on it? is the “P” stright or slanted? All of these details need to be known before more than a general date can be given.