Hey-New Member

I am Mtman714; new to IAA, but have been a handloader, and collector for many years, I how want to get it organized, I am small potato’s compared to many of you, but would appreciate any insight or help. The question are why write on the cartridge and pricing, where do you come up with real world prices, and am I getting a fair deal when I purchase a cartridge, and a note book, you draw the head and write down the head stamp markings ? Why? I also thought that it was better to have a live round, uncleaned, but I’ve read about drilling holes for a display board. Thanks for any insight you can offer.


Welcome to the Forum and Welcome to the IAA. I hope you will thoroughly enjoy both. Lots of different opinions on polishing/cleaning cartridges. Cartridges in their original state are widely preferred to ones that have been polished or obviously cleaned. Some people, like me, never clean a cartridge unless it is necessary for preservation like when our old friend the greenish corrosion shows up. In these case it is wise to empty the powder-usually a contributor to the corrosion, and clean the case. Where there is active rust, I will also treat it to prevent further pitting.

Some also prefer to clean their cartridges a bit is they are particularly dirty or aged. If this is kept light, and doesn’t make the cartridge look polished or newish looking, I don’t mind that in a specimen.

Making display boards is a different subject and I will leave that to those who make such boards.


Prices, the IAA Journal has a running updated “Collector Cartridge Prices” section about every issue. So if you receive the journal there is some pricing information in there for members. You can also purchase past auction catalogs from a few sources that have realized price sheets with them, but those prices can vary much as how desirable a particular cartridge was to the eventual winner.

I do not know if it is still for sale, but the IAA put out “A Guide to Ammunition Collecting (3rd edition)” for $15. There is also pertinent information at this link (cartridgecollectors.org/?page=guide).

Hope this helps,


Also the “A Guide to Ammunition Collecting (3rd edition)” is free with your paid membership to the IAA.

Also the “A Guide to Ammunition Collecting (3rd edition)” is free with your paid membership to the IAA.[/quote]

Very good point!