Is this a cartridge case (from the Solomon Islands)?

Dear friends again,

I have another possible cartridge case, which I found in my excavation at a stone house foundation on a small island in the New Georgia group in the Solomon Islands in 2003. It is of iron and is only bottom part with “rim”-like structure. It measures 28.3 mm in diameter at the body of the case and 28.7 mm in diameter at the “rim”. There seems to be no hole for the primer in the middle of the “rim,” although it is heavily rusted. If it is not of WWII, I assume that it is most probably of the nineteenth century due to the presence of a few historic artifacts (e.g., glass sherds, iron fragments). Do you guys think it is a cartridge case?

Now again, I need someone’s help to post my photo here. Please give me email at, if you are willing to help me on this. I will send you the image.

Thank you for your assistance.


Takuya Nagaoka
PhD Student
Department of Anthropology
University of Auckland

Takuya–I will be glad to post the pictures for you. Just click on my “Email” button below.

But it is really easy to do it your self. Here is a link for instructions. I recommend PhotoBucket.

It could conceivably be the remnant of a shotgun or flare-gun shell, or perhaps even a mortar ignition shell, with the paper portion long since rotted away.

This looks like it could be what is left of an old style screw cap for a bottle or container of some sort. The “rim” would have had a knurl on it.

Thank you for your comments.

SDC: For those possible types of shells, was there no hole for primer in the middle of the rim part?

Falcon: It measures 9 mm high from the bottom part and there is no trace of a knurl. In addition, it is pretty solid (1 mm thick at the body part).


They would’ve all had some form of flash-hole, but with something in as bad a condition as what you’ve posted, it can be pretty hard to even see it, especially after 60-odd years of rust and assorted crud. From the outer side, there should also be part of a primer (including a strike, if fired) visible, but the same problem exists; the mercuric primers that were used at the time also didn’t help.