Information About Peters 25 Short Stevens Box


Edit: I used natural lighting and got a much better photo. I have replaced the original photo in this edit.

I am curious about he box below because I know nothing about it or generally about complete boxes. I couldn’t find anything on the internet either. Could someone please provide information about date of manufacture, how long was this box used, and approximate value?

It is a two piece box. I believe it has a box code (?) 30C. The box is full. The new photo gives a good indication of condition.

Thanks for any information.



Your photo looks as if it has some flash reflection near the centre of the label. If you cannot take the photo with natural light then try taking the photo from an angle so that the flash bounces off to the side of the camera. This works particularly well when photographing through glass too.


Thanks for the advice Gravelbelly. I updated the photo.

Doesn’t anyone have information about these?


Would ‘Semi Smokeless’ be the Peters version of Lesmok? According to Shuey, Winchester used Lesmok from 1911ish to 1918ish. Would this timeframe be about the same for the Peters box?

Semi-smokeless powder was made by the King Powder Company, which shared a common location with the Peters Cartridge Co. factory in Kings Mills, Ohio in the early days. I have never read anything authoritative on exactly what King Semi-smokeless powder (or Lesmok) was, except it has been presumed to be nitrocellulose incorporated with black powder or black powder ingredients. Some references indicate the King product went on the market first in 1897, while Lesmok came later. Lesmok was presumed to be ballistically similar and more or less interchangeable with Semi-smokeless, mainly, if not entirely, in revolver and shotshell loads. Peters supposedly replaced black powder with the King SS powder for their older BP loadings. I have not seen a reference to who actually manufactured Lesmok - maybe it came from King and was simply their same product with another name, or more likely, was made by duPont. In any event, I doubt it was manufactured by Winchester as I’ve read that Remington and UMC also used Lesmok. Both were used in the manufacture of match-grade .22 RF cartridges. I’d like to know myself just what King Semi-smokeless powder consisted of, and if Lesmok powder was anything different.

Back in my boyhood, in the 1950s, King Semi-smokeless powder was still available, and was very popular among the sizeable muzzle loading clan in Southern Ohio where I grew up (which was the original home of the NMLRA back in the 1930s), even though its manufacture had ceased during the Great Depression. I even shot up a couple of cans of it myself, but unfortunately I did not save the cans.

I’d say your Peters .25 box appears to be from the general WWI era but could be a bit earlier. I have a color picture of boxed Peters cartridges from a 1914 catalog with essentially the same label design.

Lesmok was made by DuPont and was brought out to compete with Kings Semi Smokeless.
According to Philip Sharpe, Kings Semi Smokeless was comprised of:
20 parts nitrated wood cellulose
60 parts saltpeter
12 parts charcoal
8 parts sulpher

Both powders were loaded like b.p. and gave much less fouling due to their makeup.

I have been fortunate enough to work with both powders in the 44-40.
Kings SS is heavier by volume than Lesmok (32 grs vs 27 grs in a 40 gr b.p.measure)
Both gave similar ballistics that were about 10% greater than black powder.


If your interested is seeing the old peters plant.

Thank you all for the excellent information. That is much more than I knew before.

Does anyone have an idea of date ranges when Peters used this particular box? From the comments, it appears to be circa early 1900’s? I was hoping the box number would pin it down.

Thanks again for all the information.


There are several comprehensive pictorial references showing what older Remington and Winchester ammunition boxes looked like at various dates, but I have not seen one for Peters or Western boxes. Is there one?

I don’t know about the 25 Stevens box but on the new .22 Box Identification web site based on Tony Dunn’s work, the Peters 22 Multi-Colored box series came out about 1915 and in about 1920 the box labels changed from “Cincinnati O” to Cincinnati, Ohio". This could indicate your box was somewhere in that period.


Dennis–There is a partial answer to your question about a Peters box dating site on the IAA Homepage. It is based on .30-40 Krag boxes, but it does have some good dating information.

Yes, I have seen that. By comprehensive, I was thinking of something along the lines of what Giles and Shuey did for Winchester cartridge boxes (but that book concentrated mainly on rifle ammunition boxes, and little to no information was provided regarding .22, handgun, and shotshell boxes). There are some references that I have seen which show Peters boxes, but no dates are provided.

Very seldom do I see any old Peters boxes, and even then most of those are .22 boxes.

By the way, my 1914 Peters picture is the back cover of IAAJ #466. Several shotshell, .22, and metallic box label designs of that period are shown and it may assist in dating of some boxes.