Information Needed for Primer Tin



I ended up with this primer tin and don’t know anything at all about primer tins except the obvious - the primers were made by Winchester-Olin in the USA. The primer tin is filled with live primers for what, I don’t know, but am guessing percussion weapons.

Does anyone have an idea as to when this tin was made and what, if any value, may be associated with it?

Thanks for your help.



ca 1945-1955 percussion caps. The side of the tin should have the size. I’m guessing No.11 which would be an average size for muzzle loading pistol/rifle.



It’s a pity Remington wasn’t as forthcoming about the fact their percussion caps were corrosive as WRA was that its were Staynless. Jack


Thanks for the information.

Not that it makes any difference, but is there any value to this item. A friend of mine was cleaning out his hobby room and he gave me this.




I can’t see the value of percussion caps that were made in the 1950s being staynless, since there were no black powder substitutes. If you’re shooting black, why would you worry about the cap being corrosive?


The problem with corrosive caps is Murphy’s Law. Once upon a time a certain shooter intended to shoot his percussion Colt revolver and, in the time-honored way, cleared oil from each nipple by popping a cap on it. At this point he discovered he’d left his black powder at home, so returned the pistol to its zippered pouch, unfired. That night, forgetting he’d even popped the caps (since he did’t actually shoot the gun) returned the revolver to its usual place on the shelf uncleaned. Six months later he got the old dear out for a shoot and got the surprise of his life when he saw his Remington caps had heavily rusted the hammer nose and the nipples. There was enough RIG in the chambers and bore to save them from rusting. He was annoyed with himself at having forgotten to take with powder with him in the first place, but he was also pretty annoyed at Remington at having made percussion caps as late as the 1970s with a corrosive priming compound. If something can go wrong it will. Jack


What is the significance of the words “Centre Fire” on the label? This seems to be at variance with the assumption that they are Muzzle Loading caps.



I think this is an example of American advertising in which the ideal is to “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” It sounds better, but doesn’t really mean anything. The Winchester caps are no more “center fire” than Remington’s or Eley’s. Jack


Jack is correct. The tin and labeling were aimed at nostalgia and sales. I’m sure many of those tins were purchased by unsuspecting buyers thinking they were getting an antique from the 19th Century. You can still find them at gun shows at ridiculous prices.