J. B. Wise Ammunition Company

Pardon me if the questions I am about to ask are common knowledge among artillery ammo collectors. I know exactly zero about artillery ammunition.

I have been researching, among others, the J. B. Wise Co. I know that they make at least one artilley primer, one the called “THE 49” evidently because it contains 49 grains of black powder.
Some other questions have come up though.

Did they every make cases for artillery ammunition, and if so, what calibers, and what is a typical headstamp? (A headstamp photo suitable for reproduction in an article, along with permission to use it, would be very helpful).

If they made cases, did they load them as well?

Did they make any size or type of Artillery primer other than “the 49?”

Any help will be appreciated. I am hoping this will culminate in an article for IAA, although the thrust of the article will not be, admittedly, their artillery ammunition.

I need answers to the specific questions above. I already have a great deal of background information on the company and the remaining parts of the proposed article. So, I don’t need background on the history of the company or biographical information on Wise himself. I have sufficient for my needs.

Thanks for any help I can get on my questions.

Edited for spelling only.

John, this company also made a 21 grain artillery primer which is by far the most common of the Wise products. The only known headstamp style used is WISE 1718-?, where the “?” symbol represent a number between 1 and 106 (I can provide you a checklist of confirmed lot numbers but I’m not sure if it will be of any use). I believe that the “1718” figure is a contract number.

I couldn’t find a picture sharp enough for an article but others may help you with this, these primers are not that rare.

By the way, did you get pictures of the 7x57, 7.62x54R, .30-06 and .30-30 headstamps? There are more? Sorry, can’t wait to read the article.



Fede - While I have the pictures of the headstamps and a primer of unknown size, they are not pictures that I probably can use very well. I will have to scan them from an article and by then,
I think they will be too poor for use. I would rather draw them than use them that way.

If you if photos of any WISE Item, and ones that I can reproduce in an IAA Journal article, I would like to receive them. Thank you for the information on the 21 grain primer. I did not have that - only about the 49 grain primer.

John, here is 21 grain Mark IIA percussion primer as made by Wise and others companies. Is this your “primer of unknown size”?

The 49 grains primer was discussed here:


PM sent

Hi Everyone, I am new to the forum and am hoping to contribute what little info I can. I recently came into a number of old rounds and I am hoping to identify some of them. Here is a pic of a WISE cartridge. I had never seen such an unusual piece before, and the thought of artillery never even crossed my mind.

Here’s a pic of it

Hello Kevin, that is a nice example of a Wise made 21 grain Mk IIA primer for igniting the charge of separate loading ammunition of 155 mm, 8 inch, 9.2 inch and 240 mm caliber guns.

Outstanding! Thanks for your help.