Last of unknown cases dug at fort


This is the last case that I can not ID. It is 19mm long,rim base is 11mm and looks to be a .41 caliber. No external primer, and can not see an internal one. No strike mark from a pin. Perhaps brass needed to be loaded by the troops ?
Thank you once again for all your help.


John–It is most likely a rimfire case. Does it have any headstamp (H, U, etc.)? Is it brass or copper?


Hi Ron,
It is brass, and no head stamp.



Perhaps a .38 Short Rimfire?



I 2nd the .38 Short.

Close to 11mm rim, and right over 19mm case length

Here is a .38 Short with no headstamp:


Once again I thank you for your rapid response to my unknowns. I really appreciate your help. We are going to try a look around another camp site, I hope to have more of a selection.
Kind regards,


John–There is a problem with the .38 Short Rimfire as the proper identification of your cartridge.

If it is brass (are you positive it is not copper?) then it is made no earlier than about 1930 and would have a headstamp. I am not aware of any unheadstamped brass .38 Short Rimfire.


I’ve added photos to John’s original post.



The rim seems very thin to me. I wonder if it’s not actually a metal cap for something or the other. A measurement of the rim thickness would help here. Jack


To my bad eyes it looks like a IP that has had it’s primer blown out. Not only the rim thickness, but the discolored ring above the rim


The photo shows a brass case (?) with an unexpectedly tiny rim.

This may not be a real “cartridge case” but perhaps something similar, as with the toy “cartridge” made for kid’s cap guns in the 1950s-60s. (Mattel “Fanner 50” sounds vaguely familiar for that sort of stuff, but not sure).

Also, it may be a cap for some sort of tube, along the lines of a small lipstick or something.

Not everything that looks like ammunition is actually ammunition!

And, I may be wrong and this might be some really exotic cartridge!


The case is “as close as I can measure” .029 ". Very thin hard to get a grip on it. The burned area is .249 from the bottom rim. I picked up a 30X loop and took another look at the base, there is a slight dent in the center where a primer should be.
Thank You,


I would not think that a firing pin impression, even blown out a bit, would need a 30x loop to be seen. I am way out in space here, since I know nothing about machining, but don’t lathes sometimes leave a center mark or slight dimple at the end of a piece turned on it? If this brass is turned, not drawn (it looks drawn in the nice photo of it, but sometimes it is hard to tell from a picture), maybe its not a firing pin mark. Just exploring avenues as this “case” doesn’t look like it has ever had a bullet crimp at the mouth - fired cases seldom lose all of a rolled crimp - even if the case espands pretty straight there is often a 'shadow line" where the crimp was that “rim” is really small. I don’t recall ever seeing a fired case that looked so much like a cap for a tube.


This one seems to be way out of the usual ring of known cases. I would gladly ship it to any one who would like to take a closer look , and include return shipping and packaging.
If it turns out to be an “Avon” product, there will be no need to return it :)
Thank you,


John: I think JohnS’s suggestion this is a component of a cap-firing cartridge for a cap pistol is correct & I think I have the “bullet” that was originally the other part. I had such a cap pistol in the early 1950s and now have only the bullet. It’s 1.625 in. overall, of aluminum, and its major diameter runs .438 in. The lower .745 in. of the bullet fits into the cartridge case and is of smaller size than the upper part. This lower part is .404 in. where it joins the upper part and .388 in. at the bottom, or cap, end. Note the lateral dimensions of the lower part and its length are apparently consistent with your case’s measurements. If you’d like to send the case to me I’d be glad to see if they do fit together, but alternatively I’d be glad to send you a sketch with measurements for a comparison. I have no way to obtain an image of my bullet. Jack


This is a toy cartridge for the “Hubley Colt .45” and “Hubley Texan .45”.

It was made by The Hubley Manufacturing Company, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

U.S. Patent No. 2,912,780 from november 17, 1959 filled by John H. Weimer and assigned to The Hubley Mnaufacturing Company (applied december 17, 1957).