Lancaster Case Types

Hello All,
This is a basic question that you experienced collectors could help with.
In both Hoggs book on cartridges and Macks book on cartridge dimensions, both list many Lancaster case types.
These are usually straight rimmed cases that seem to be variations of many of our current shotshell cases.
Were Lancaster cases proprietary, early developments in ammunition or were they something else.
Your explanation on the background of Lancaster cases would be helpful.



Brian, it is hard to give you a definitive answer but here is what I have which may help.

Virtually all German ammunition manufacturers in the 1880-1910 period offered metallic shotshells for Flintlock shotguns which were called “Lancaster” in Germany. In England sometimes they call all the brass cases lancaster. All the German ones were for smoothbore, even the short cases. The short cases were made to shoot balls and were called “Kugelpatronen” and were used for hunting.

They generally corresponded to metallic versions of normal carboard shotshells of the era but each of the manufacturers seemed to have their own unique (propietary ?) calibre/case length combinations. There were an incredible variety of these.

The “LK” sporting series came from these and that abbreviation represents “Lancaster Kugel”.

In W. W. Greener’s classic book, The Gun and its Development, the original Lancaster shell is noted & discussed. Perhaps that might be of use?

You should be able to easily get a re-print of this if you don’t all ready have it.

Macks book on cartridges has a number of mistakes in it, so be careful when using it.

An early Eley advertisement contains this reference to the Lancaster shotshell: “CENTRAL-FIRE CARTRIDGES (as originally made for C. W. Lancaster, in 1857)”. It’s interesting because, although the Lancaster cartridge of 1852 was not what today is described as a center fire, Eley considered him as the originator of the modern center fire shotshell.

Thank you all for your generous responses.
WBD, thanks for the explanation on Lancaster shells. I know nothing about Lancaster so now I have to learn.
I have so much reference material that I have forgotten that I have it or have forgotten what is in it.
Such is the curse of aging (smile) and acquiring lots of reference material.
I have to reread Greeners’ book.

Thanks all again,