ID Copper cased Rimfire


Today I was given 2 identical copper cased rimfire rounds by someone from the club where I shoot, he had inerted them by drilling the cases. I cannot identify the calibre. There is no headstamp. The bullets are lead, and are a heeled type. The ogive is similar to the pointed end of an egg. The bullets have one grease groove. Measurements are:

Bullet dia. at mouth: 0.435" (11.04mm)
Case length: 0.630" (16mm)
Case dia. at rim: 0.438" (11.12mm)
Case dia. at mouth: 0.438" (11.12mm)
Rim thickness: 0.05" (1.34mm)
Rim dia.: 0.5" (12.66mm)

What calibre are these from the measurements? Also, information like era and manufacturer would also help if you can tell from the information.
I can post a photo if necessary.

These both have a centrefire firing pin dent in the base, it looks as if someone tried firing these in a .410 Shotgun or something similar!


I can’t answer all your questions, but it sure sounds like a 44 short RF.


I agree, it sounds like a 44 Short RF or a .440 rimfire. A photo would help.



So far two matching opinions on what they are. Here is a photo of on of the rounds, shown next to a 9mm Para for scale.


just some short notes if you start to collect RF;

You have two RF families :

  1. The American one with calibers like 32, 38, 44, and so non
  2. The British one with calibers like 320, 380, 440 and so on.

The dimensions are not the same. A 320 for example is different from a 32.
You need therefore make accurante measurements.

England was not alone to make the British family, French manufacturers made British rounds also and SFM even made a lot of American ctges.

And to finish, when you find copper cases, always check if it is not a copper washed brass case (SFM made a lot of them)



JP, I am fairly sure this is solid copper as they have holes drilled in them where they were deactivated. Thanks for your advice on collecting rimfire calibres.


The bullet looks more similar to some British .440 than an American made 44S rimfire. All the .440’s I in my collection have slightly longer cases. However in John Barber’s rimfire book he states the .440 can have a case lenght of from 0.638 to 0.671. I would guess it’s a .440 but it’s only a guess.



A British .440 RF would seem likely in the UK. If it was British I suppose it would be made by Eley. When did the “E” headstamp on rimfires come into use?


Eley used various “E” headstamps both impressed and raises. The earliest ones, from the 1860’s, were raised. The impressed “E” came into use in the mid 1870’s. They also produced numerous unheadstamped rounds and a raised “440” as well as other calibers. I’m not sure when these rounds were made or for how long. My information on British and European rimfires is rather limited. Sorry!



Thanks, if this is proven to be a British .440 RF, I will put it in my files as Eley, as as far as I know it is unlikely to be anything else.


Because you found this round in England it is 90 % sure it must be Eley.

But it coulod also be from other manufacrturers.

As soon as I have time I will try to find you the SFM drawing (SFM made also copper cases 440 RF).

Anyway it will surely interest “Rimfire”.


The bullets on these look very similar to a copper cased Eley .32 RF round in my collection, so I think I will list these in my records as Eley .440 RF.


Keep it up ! We get far too little rimfire participation on the forum. Although invented in FRANCE the rimfire is known as the AMERICAN CARTRIDGE most likely because S&W was first to promote the rimfire revolver and set off a generation of rimfire practical repeating weapons.

Don’t all scream at once.

Smith admitted in court that he based his #1 22rf on FLOBERT caps which he bought. Sad but true. read the excellent book series by Dean Thomas " Round ball to rim fire".

Yes , my family made the first rimfire cartridges for S&W and for most if not all of the early US gun makers. CRITTENDEN AND TIBBALS. SOUTH COVENTRY CT.- CTM and CTM CO.

1849 till today. Cartridges in mind all the time !

The earliest known .44 HENRY rf box type made by CTM