Maynard Tape Primer


Would someone know what a roll of Maynard tape primer cost back in the 1860s? How much does a single roll weigh (not much, of course, but I’d like to know exactly ;) ). Many thanks!




Hello Hans,

Maynard 1860 catalog:

Box primers (500) … .50

Maynard 1871 catalog:

Maynard Primers (for old model), per 1000 … 1.00


Fede, many thanks! However, is that per TAPE, or per primer on a tape (each tape had either 25 or 50 primers, as I understand). It’s quite a difference ;)




The price is per primer, not per roll of primers. Jack


Surely, That I guess would have to be per tape. Still pretty expensive for what they were The big problem when living outdoors was to keep the things dry. That was the crippling weakness Those of you who have, through military service or just camping or hunting trips will know, when its wet everything is wet. That was the big failure with the Maynard system.

when I was a kid we had cap guns that used a maynard type system and the rolls were a penny (English) a roll.


I’ve never seen a “BOX”, as such, of Maynard tape primers. Only ones I’ve seen were tins, for whatever that is worth, & I’m a serious primer collector. Tins I’m familiar with either have raised lettering Mass Arms & etc. on the top, or a dated, 500 count, paper label from Frankford Arsenal pasted on the top (brown rolls).

Perhaps the tins came packaged in a box? Fede can you please provide a scan if a box, as such, is pictured?

The tapes are wrapped in a waxed sheet colored brown (for the brown) and this served to separate the rolls in the tin, which had ten rolls when full. A brown roll weighs 19.2 grains in the wrapper, & another brown with the wrapper now long discarded, weighs 20.4 grains, an unwrapped green weighs 16.6 grains as does the red. I don’t think the red or the green were packaged in a wrapper like the brown but were coiled & then had a small “twist tie” to hold / keep them from unraveling & separate in the tin. I just did a rough count of the caps on a red, from it’s tin & got about 30 caps.

Known (to me) colors are Brown; which is commonest, red; said to be for pistols & the green; I THINK, is also for pistols but is VERY, VERY rare.

As to the weight difference in the two browns (actually a light to medium colored tan) I would attribute it the to manufacture at different times with a heavier / lighter coating of shellac or whatever the waterproofing used.

We had a before trim and waterproofing, unfinished strip in our sale 8 [see lot 1060], it was about 14 3/4" long and about 11/16" wide. Price realized was $340, for whatever that is worth.

hope this is of help.


Pete, Maynard’s catalog shows no illustrations but not only list “boxes” for Maynard primers but also for Eley’s double water-proof caps and lubricator for bullets. These were also packed in tin containers so its seems that the term “box” wasn’t very specific during that era.

Maynard’s 1885 catalog still list old model tape primers …1.00


If a “box” (likely meant to say “tin”) holds 500 primers, that would be 10 rolls with 50 primers. The early price of $0.50 would mean $0.05 per tape of 50 primers. Does that sound right? How much were ordinary percussion caps at the time?

PetedeCoux, thanks for putting the things on a scale! How much does a full tin weigh? Many thanks!




Thanks Fede for clearing that up.

interesting thing;
a wrapped roll of brown from a Mass arms tin weighs 27.2 gr and is smaller in diameter than a wrapped foll from a July, 1859 dated FA tin.

So the FA roll will not fit the MA tin but the MA roll will fit the FA tin.

A wrapped roll from the FA tin weighs 25.2 grains.

FA full tin (10 count) weighs 587.8 grains

MA full tin (10 count) weighs 485.0 grains

both tins are close to 2 5/8" tall.
The 1.055" diameter MA is [once] tinned steel or iron with soldered seams and a brass lid.
The 1.107" diameter FA is Japanned steel with soldered seams and a tinned steel or iron top

hope this is of help.