ID Remington brass on old Philippines spear?


#1

I just acquired an old Philippines spear, probably from the Igarot area. I noticed it has a brass band that has “Remington” stamped. The band is about 70mm or the size of a current 12ga shotgun. and maybe 85mm long.

It was a common practice for natives to adorn their weapons with devices made by powerful enemies. It is possible that when he saw the impressive firepower of metallic cartridge weapons, he picked up the brass and made a band for his spear. Hopeing it would make his spear more powerful.

The metal is quite thin, similar to the brass on a modern shotgun shell. There seem to be no other markings outside or inside. While I have seen headstamps on cartridges, I have not seen stamping on the outside. Possibly this is a cartridge or something else.

Close inspection does not show a seam. It appears to have been made as some kind of tube or band.

Would sure appreciate your opinions.

Thanks in advance,
Bill
Atlanta



#2

Welcome to the forum Bill.

That appears to be the upper portion of a Remington shotshell cup, as you seem to suspect. It’s part of the metal base of the shell and the word “REMINGTON” stamped into the upper portion helped bond the brass to the paper sleeve or case of the shell.


#3

Thanks. Any idea when Remington begin making shotgun shells like this?
Bill


#4

Your pictures don’t show it but the printing should read “REMINGTON-UMC”. This marking began to appear on headstamps and boxes, either as above, or “REM-UMC”, around 1916 but it continued to be used until the 1950’s, though not exclusively. I have never seen a shell cup marked at the top with simply “REMINGTON”, as I indicated in my 1st post.


#5

Looking carefully around the band, it does say “REMINGTON - UMC”. So that would place it between 1916 and 1950. By the width of the band, it would appear to be a “high brass.” Possibly some version of buckshot.

Thanks for the information, Shotmeister!


#6

Just to round out the story on the marking a bit. Winchester (through assignment from one of their employees, John Gardner) received a U.S. patent in 1896 (25611) for a method of preventing paper case separation at the junction of the brass head. It involved circumferential grooves in the brass to grip the case more tightly, also acting as a shock absorber. In order to circumvent the Winchester patent, which covered only grooves, other shotshell manufacturers simply stamped their names or other designs into the brass which worked as well as the grooves, thereby rendering the Gardner patent moot. I don’t know the patent protection period back then, but I think it was 14 years, in which case it would have been legal for anyone to use circumferential rings after 1910.

Regarding the shell loading, it could have been about any size shot, including buck shot.

Maybe someone who knows about the superstitions of the Philippine tribes could address the weapon power enhancement theory. I’d say it was purely decorative in nature.


#7

[quote=“DennisK”]
Maybe someone who knows about the superstitions of the Philippine tribes could address the weapon power enhancement theory. I’d say it was purely decorative in nature.[/quote]

It would only be decorative if it was made specifically for “people who travel,” ie. tourists. It was a common concept to use power symbols on weapons to enhance their capabilities.

Primitive societies did not understand “decorations.” Masks, drawings, shields, fetishes, weapons were tools and the more powerful symbols associated with these tools, the more powerful the tools.

These “tools” were made specifically for fertility, protection, passages, ancestor communication, etc. Artists/craftsmen who made these power objects were venerated because they could see into the invisible kingdoms and bring back these power symbols.

We are the ones who call them decorations.

Since, often, literacy is uncommon, cartoons are “read”. One of the more popular cartoons was “The Phantom.” They could not read the associated words, but they saw his power. I saw a shield, recently that had the “Phantom” painted on it, it also had a front license plate from an armored personnel carrier.

The natives saw the personnel carrier magically crash through obstacles, bullets, and achieve objectives. The front license plate was the first thing through, so, obviously it had great power. Put that on your shield and you can do the same.

Find one of your people killed by a shotgun and the only evidence was a Remington shotgun shell, he might make a band for his spear, hoping that he could have the same power that killed his person.


#8

I have read stories like this on the internet before. It is said that after WW2, the native people on remote Pacific Islands tried to attract aircraft down again after US forces left. If the stories are to be believed, they created replica airfields (and aircraft) from wood and lit lines of torches in the style of runway lights at night. They hoped that the planes carrying “people from the gods” would appear again.


#9

youtube.com/watch?v=c7RA4UnEuQ0
Yes, this was noted originally in the movie/documentary “Mondo Cane.” New Guinea and Xanatu.

Don’t remember the Filipinos doing this.

The Filipinos were responsible for us getting more powerful sidearms. Though a small, wiry people, they would work themselves up into a “berserker” stage, and were unstoppable with much less than a .45 ACP. It was an unfortunately too common experience to find an American serviceman cut nearly in two, next to a dead Filipino with 6 .38 bullets in his chest. He still had enough left to kill the serviceman.

This would be an excellent place for a shotgun. Hence the brass band.

Also the typical tactics of the Filipinos, particularly the southern Filipinos, the Moro, was to hide in the jungle and attack swiftly from ambush, then hurriedly retreat. Tactics that worked very well against the Spanish for about 400 years.

Up close and personal these guys were almost unstoppable. So we began using artillery…


#10

Thanks for that, that’s an interesting film. It was obviously made before the age of political correctness (not that I’m saying that’s a problem with it).