Identifing No-Headstamp Cases

I think it would help a lot of beginners (and maybe even a few non-beginners!!) if someone could post nice pictures of a non-headstamped U.M.C., W.R.A.Co., E.Remington and U.S.C.Co. (and maybe other common Pre-1900 U.S. companies) along with some pointers on how to recognize each company.

The same for different primers, such as No.1 Berdan, Keene, Boxer, Winchester, Farrington, etc.

Ron, have both paper and CD indexes to the Journal but could not find an article on this. My foggy brain cell remembers something on this subject. Must have been within another article. It had drawings of the main features of the heads of all the manufacturers.


Gourd–There was an article a while back on how to ID Rimfire companies without headstamps. Maybe that is what you remember. I don’t recall that there was anything like I purpose on centerfires. But then, my memory is not what it used to be, so maybe there was.

I think the late John Barber

Pepper–Yes, John covered the subject of no-headstamp company ID quite well in his book. But it only applies to Rimfire. We need similar information on Centerfires. It should not be a difficult thing for one of us older collectors to do. I would do it, but I do not have a digital camera and my old scanner does not do an adequate job either.

I don’t believe identifying the unheadstamped centerfire cartridges is so straight forward as Ron makes it sound, as cases with very similar characteristics were produced by a number of companies. Examples would be the Berdan primed, folded head, raised ring heads of Winchester, Remington and UMC, and the flat headed Sharps cartridges made by Sharps and Winchester. The high copper content Farrington primed cartridges by USC CO are easy to identify, but others of their unheadstamped cartridges are not so easy to identify without the box they came out of. A number of companies used a beveled-rim case, including American Metallic Cartridge Co, Remington, and Winchester. I sure have a tough time with these, so if someone has them figured out, please let us all know.