Japanese ? Snider cartridge


#1

This was in an auction in Japan. The bullet diameter posted in the auction listing equates to .58", the seller described it as Sharps or Snider. I think it could be a Snider round intended for use in the Japanese army’s Albini and Snider rifles.
Paper covered brass foil case, brass head. Can anyone identify it further. Is it Japanese made?


#2

Looks like it could the remains of a MkI Snider ctg. I cannot determine if there is a wood plug in the nose of the bullet and the bt is slightly too big for service Snider spec.


#3

At the end of WW II Lt. Col. John H.Dougherty liberated from the Toko Museum (not sure which as I assume there were probably several museums in Toko) several rounds.

I have two of them in my collection. They both have a typewritten “Prussian Needle Gun Japanese Mfg.” label on the plastic container and are different.

My 2¢ is that these are Prussian made, but because he liberated them from the museum he assumed the Japanese manufactured them. But like the Snider no information (to my knowledge) has turned up of Japanese needle fire cartridge manufacture…

I got these years ago from John Scott & that was also his opinion.

Lt. Col. Dougherty was apparently a cartridge collector & one of his articles about “Cartridge Soap” is in Vol 2, #4 the June 1971 issue of The International Cartridge Collector


#4

In my opinion these are remants of a .577 Snider Pattern I cartridge. Head lenght, rim profile, slight reduction between head and paper covered brass body and battery cup looks correct.


#5

Thank you gentlemen for the information.

Pete, there is mention of manufacturing cartridges for the Snider in ‘Military Industries Of Japan’, certainly around the time of the Satsuma rebellion (1877) when demand increased greatly. I don’t have access to my copy of the book so can’t quote what it says. I don’t recall any mention of needle fire ammunition, only mention of which garrison was equipped with the Dreyse, but I will check when I get the opportunity.


#6

It is the MkI base style but the primer ferrule is larger than the British made ones which I have.

John Belton is the world’s expert on these things but he doesn’t visit the forum as far as I know.


#7

An interesting paragraph about early Japanese Snider ammuniton (Military Industries of Japan, 1922)



#8

It is difficult to state facts about the 577s unless they come from a packet with markings. These shells were made over a period of time by many countries and in many patterns. They were made for military and commercial use by many manufacturers.

This is the base of a British military 577 MK I from a packet.

Japanese ?

I have never seen an identified British military MkI with the large wide flat primer ferrule seen in the “Japanese” photo.

I would not bet against it being Japanese made . Impossible to know if the bullet went with this case OR, if it did , if the Japanese were making the early style bullet when they made this cartridge. Case and bullet technology does not always travel together in time or space.

The following are supposed to be MK II and MK III but since they are not from packets it is not 100% possible to tell. All have the brass bases of these marks.

Images are from left to right.

Marks from I to VI were made with the wood plug in the nose. However the third example from the left has the spun over nose of MkVI and later.

The last one on the right is even more odd. It look quite new, has no case cannelure and the later type bullet.

John Belton told me that he has over 800 different 577s. He is supposed to be writing a book and I look forward to it.


#9

Tanegashi (I hope I’ve got you name right & very sorry if not) & Fede

Great information, thanks for the “learning”! Great stuff.

Looking forward to hear about possible Dryese usage. Have company today & leaving Sunday (cartridge show here in town) but I’ll try to get some photos & measurements of those two needle fires posted on a new thread next week.

As to the cartridge in question, as the original machinery was English I’d think the over-all form & tool marks would be typical English in appearance & be very hard to distinguish between Japanese or English without an unopened Japanese packet to draw information from.

To me the primer pocket / rivet looks typically English as does the rim profile on some of those Potet base, Snider MK I blanks. Can you see/ask if there is any raised number on the base? Almost appears to be something (an 8 ?) at 12:00 in the photograph. Some of the Potet base blanks have raised numbers on the base, 4, 7 & 8 are known to me. And as near as I can see the case in question has paper covering the inner brass reinforcing coil. Yes? That is typical of manufacture although some variations had that inner coil left uncovered.

But all that doesn’t determine if it is Japanese or not. Sorrry!

PS never heard of a Sharps with that sort of construction (OK never say never)


#10

Re. Pete’s post, here is a Mark I from my collection with a raised “4” on the base.

Regards
TonyE


#11

I’ve checked, there is no mention of needlefire cartridges that I can see. There is mention of making bullets for Enfields, and there is mention of Osaka Arsenal making cartridges for the Chassepot.
The reference to garrisons was actually from a different source (sorry that was my error) The information has been quoted recently in ‘Japanese Imported Arms Of The Early Meiji Era’ and in 1870 it was Osaka Garrison that was equipped with Zundnadel (Dreyse) in addition to Enfields. The other garrison’s mentioned are Konoe Garrison; Albini & Enfield. Tokyo Garrison; Snider & Enfield. Infantry First Company; Chassepot. Kumamoto Garrison; Enfield & Snider.

I will do that when it eventually arrives here, (UK), and post my findings. I’ve purchased it with some other items through an agent.

I think the seller was unsure what it is, although he has recently sold a wide range of different Japanese smallarms cartridges, well identified, and is or was obviously a collector with an interesting collection.

Don’t worry it’s just a forum ID, simply indicating an area of interest from tanegashima matchlocks to Murata rifles.

George.


#12

Another fact to keep in mind is that Snider Pattern I ammunition was made for Snider Mk I rifles (breech has rounded rebate for case rim). You can find unmodified Pattern I blanks for Mk I chambers and modified Pattern I blanks with pressed rims for Mk I* chambers (breech rebate altered to square).

A good start would be confirming if Japan actually had “Allumette” or Snider conversions chambered for the Pottet cartridge. Known Japanese Albini-Braendlin rifles were made with Mk I* style chambers for Boxer ammunition.

In my opinion it sounds dubious that England was selling machines for Pottet style ammunition by 1875.

Two more Pattern I headstamps:


#13

[quote=“TonyE”]Re. Pete’s post, here is a Mark I from my collection with a raised “4” on the base.

Regards
TonyE[/quote]

I have these marks on blanks. Is this a ball load ?


#14

[quote=“Fede”]Another fact to keep in mind is that Snider Pattern I ammunition was made for Snider Mk I rifles (breech has rounded rebate for case rim). You can find unmodified Pattern I blanks for Mk I chambers and modified Pattern I blanks with pressed rims for Mk I* chambers (breech rebate altered to square).

A good start would be confirming if Japan actually had “Allumette” or Snider conversions chambered for the Pottet cartridge. Known Japanese Albini-Braendlin rifles were made with Mk I* style chambers for Boxer ammunition.

In my opinion it sounds dubious that England was selling machines for Pottet style ammunition by 1875.

Two more Pattern I headstamps:
[/quote]

These look like printed images rather than photgraphs.


#15

[quote=“DrSchmittCSAEOD”][quote=“TonyE”]Re. Pete’s post, here is a Mark I from my collection with a raised “4” on the base.

Regards
TonyE[/quote]

I have these marks on blanks. Is this a ball load ?[/quote]

Yes, plain white/buff paper covering.

Regards
TonyE


#16

Bullet type ?


#17

“Allumette” only appears in MIOJ and “Albini” is conspicuously absent from MIOJ, so it has been taken on face value by a number of experienced collectors that “Allumette” was a translation error in that one publication and should actually be “Albini”

Your chamber style comment is very valid and I will investgate that further.


#18

Here is a picture of the round. Cannot remember whether it has a wood plug but will check later and let you know.

Regards
TonyE


#19

Very nice. The rim is interesting.


#20

Sorry, but it has a normal rounded rim. It is just my lousy photography! The tripod was too low and the edge of the table got in the way.

Regards
TonyE