Hey guys, newbie here


#1

Just wondering if anyone knows anything about this Spanish ammo. I found a few boxes of it while helping the neighbor sort through some military stuff in the basement. Her husband passed away a couple months ago.

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#2

Made for export to most probably South America, by UMC, about 1905, as near as I can recollect from my days of collecting UMC stuff. The Red Herald" UMC in circle came along about 1905, but this caliber was around long before then, since 1871. Many, many Remington Rolling Block and Peabody rifles were made in this caliber and exported to countries in South America, as well as Spain at one time. There were also Gatling Guns chambered for this round, if I remember correctly. Metric designation is 11.15 x 58R. Boxes like this are not rare, but not dead common either.


#3

Thanks for responding Randy. IIRC, there are 4 or 5 (un-opened) boxes of this ammo. If I were to sell this stuff, what would be a fair price per box? I’d like to look inside, but the boxes are sealed and I’d have to tear the box to get it open. Thanks!

Mike


#4

Mike…You are right, leave the boxes sealed…the cartridges inside look just like what’s on the label. These seem to vary alot in price depending on who’s selling…and most of them sit around quite awhile on the auction sites…you could check Gunbroker or Auction Arms to get an idea…


#5

These boxes may “sit around awhile” because at one time, it was one of the more common UMC boxes you could find here. I have a hunch that at one time or another, there might have been a big reimporation of this ammo into the United States. Years ago at our store, we had about twenty boxes of this stuff. I have had a couple of empty ones, or with one or two cartridges, myself over the years. We broke them up and sold the ammo as singles, although occasionally a collector or even shooter would buy a full box. I don’t recall us selling them for much - perhaps seven or eight dollars a box. Of course, even just twenty years ago, prices were nothing compared to what they are now. I don’t know where our boxes came from because they were at the store when I went to work there, although we didn’t do anything much with them until we set up a real cartridge collectors cabinet quite a number of years later. Some people on this Forum that were in our store probably remember the cabinet that was right near our front door. Once in awhile, we got some pretty interesting stuff in there.


#6

One of these full boxes sold in Ward’s auction this week for $38; typically, they sell in the range of $25 to $35.


#7

Guy - that’s interesting. Considering we were getting between five and ten dollars for a box in the 1960s or 1970s, that is way less than the rampant inflation on most “collector’s” cartridges. Another good indication that there were a lot of boxes of that ammo in the U.S. Things we were selling for 5.00 then are anywhere from 50.00 to 100.00 now. That is about the same inflation as guns. I paid $125.00 for my first new Colt SAA revolver and now they are way over 1,000.00 retail. Slightly more than ten times the price they were in the 60s. The same for the Colt Python, and the original Colt AR15 types got to that level, although it seems now you can buy an AR15 type rifle for less than they were ten years ago.

I bought my first Mars Cartridge, a .45 Long Case, around 1965 for twenty dollars. I guess it is well over ten times that now.

Of course it cuts both ways. I paid a hundred bucks for my first 5.45 x 18mm Russian pistol cartridge. I now have about ten or 12 different specimens, and with the exception of a coupld of colored solid aluminum dummies that I am sure were made for the sole purpose of selling to collectors, I have not paid much over a couple of bucks for any of them since the first one, and several were simply given to me. Many things common years ago are rare now, but many things rare years ago are common now!

There is the famous story of a 9mm Para made by Geco for the Austrian Gendarmerie and so marked GEND on the headstamp. There were three rounds at a Chicago show the year they were made, selling for fifty bucks apiece. I refused one of the three. It was a failed contract - the truth, some politics of some sort caused Austria to refuse the contract - and "you would never see another rounds of it. A few weeks later, RWS America called us, since we were known for buying good ammo in quantity and offered some 9mm at about 5.00 a box delivered, and we took it all. A couple of weeks later we had 11,000 boxes of this “rare” 9mm. It is always a big decision whether to buy relative current ammunition at fancy collector prices. Often they show up in quantity later for pennies, but in truth, occasionally you really do “never see one again.” Part of the game, I suppose.


#8

John,
I picked up several of these 43 Spanish boxes with a Remington carbine and tried to sell the boxes at our local gun shows for over a year, but couldn’t sell them at $25 per box. I ended up having them auctioned. There are just too many of them floating around to have any real collector value. They are pretty boxes, though.


#9

Can anyone explain the letters in red to the right of the red UMC dot on the box label? I can almost, but not quite, make 'em out. JG


#10

The letters are M. de F.E.; I believe it is a Spanish abreviation for trade mark or something similar; perhaps marka de fabricacion exclusivo???


#11

That marking F de M.E. was just covered recently on a thread. I can’t find it, and while I probably printed it out, I am so far behind in my filing now that I can’t find it there either. Perhaps someone better at searching this Forum can find it. Every search title I try brings up half the threads on the Forum.


#12

Any chance that F de ME on the box could have anything to do with the National Ammunition Factory, Mexico as that was their headstamp.


#13

John and all…I started the thread you refer to…the mark is actually M de F R, and I believe we came to the conclusion that it has to do with the UMC Trademark being a registered mark and not to be copied or infinged upon in any way…it is like saying “Registered Trademark” in Spanish, although we could not decipher the actual meaning of the letters in the M de F R abbreviation.
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#14

I looked back at the earlier thread and found that one of the suggestions John made–Marca de fabrica registrada–does seem to appear in Spanish-English online business dictionaries. In our situation I suspect “registrada” modifies the entire phrase “marca de fabrica” rather than just the single word “fabrica.” I make this suggestion without the endorsement of my high school Spanish teacher. Thanks to all. JG


#15

Gill - you may be correct in your assumption. While I can write understandable Spanish (not good Spanish) and speak and understand some, it is all self-taught. I have no education in the language and probably misunderstood what was being modified by the word “Registrada.” (Registered). Probably a good translation would be “Registered Factory Trade Mark.”


#16

Again, thanks to all. This is interesting stuff. JG