Need Information 45-70 Inside Primed with Cup Anvil and Reinforced Head


I am way out of my league here, but I am stuck on this one. I just discovered a box of cartridges sitting in a box in the closet and am now going through it and logging them into the inventory. But I don’t know much about these earlier cartridge types.

I have tentatively ID’d this as an inside primed with cup anvil and reinforced head 45-70. I believe the same type of cartridge appears HWS Vol. 1, page 197. HWS calls it a Caliber .45 Rifle Ball Cartridge. Measurements of the case length, rim diameter, case diameter, and bullet diameter all match up with HWS pretty well.

Is this cartridge what would be considered a patent ignition cartridge?
Is the ID accurate or is there something better to name it?
Has the primer on this already been snapped and is a dud or is this its normal appearance?
I am assuming it is centerfire.
Are its innards similar to the Benet primer?
For my elucidation only, what is the cartridge collector price for something like this? (I like to have some idea in case of a trade or sell and understand the caveats about cartridge values.)

Thank you for any information.


Scroll down to Oct 25-26 posts “Old 45-70 Govt Shell”. You’ll see artifact empties and new ctgs. from 5-78, 2 months prior to your example. The box I posted explains the headstamp markings. Yours has been struck, yes it is a Benet inside primed center fire. and appears to be a mis-fire. Hope this helps, lee

I searched for both “Oct 25-26” and “Old 45-70 Govt Shell”, and both searches brought me back to this page, with the notation “No other results found”.

Yes this is a Benet primed .45-70. As HWS notes it, it is a Cal. .45 Rifle Ball Cartridge. With a reasonably nice early date as the first headstamps were 3 of 77. Before this they were not dated as such but for the most part left plain. Apparently a dud as it certainly was stuck & yes the inside is just as a Benet primer cartridge would be illustrated. basically a cup secured close to the priming compound and held by the two case indents
Where did you get the information the head had inner reinforcing?

I don’t know why you couldn’t consider it a patent ignition type.
A common patent ignition type also found in other case types / calibers.

This is a dud; a fired Benet cartridge case has a characteristic annular setback just inside the edge of the rim always seen in a fired case and lacking in a misfire, with or without a bullet. Jack

Hi Pete,

Thanks for the confirmation. I didn’t know if it could be considered a Benet primer or not. I obtained Some patent ignition cartridges that I have no experience with whatsoever, but I am learning. There were a number of 50-70s that were Benet primed, Farrington primed, and Berdan or Boxer primed. Also some more Benet primed 45-70s with slightly later dates.

I learned the head was reinforced from HWS which stated this cartridge (Fig. 297) with copper (Bloomfield Gilding Metal) inside-primed, rimmed, straight case with what was frequently referred to as a cup anvil, reinforced head. Figure 297 and its dimensions and date match the above cartridge. I was surprised to find the cartridge drawing, dimensions, and material information at the beginning of the chapter.

Thank you all again for the information and help.

Couple of things, Hackley states copper (“ACTUALLY” Bloomfield Gilding Metal) so not really copper, although commonly called that.
Also there is no date stated as that figure 297 notes from “specimen without headstamp”. I’m looking at the revised edition

The Benet cup did reinforce the head, and you have to remember to consider terms from the times are not to be related to with the same meaning we would relate to today. In this case this was part of the revolution from Rim Fires so the head reinforcement was worthy of note, but not perhaps what we today would consider as worth of mention as today a cup of might serve another function. Bit of a weak analogy but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.

Before this there were the Treadwell experiments which also used cups, but those are found in other case types.

If this is something you want to explore look for a copy of the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition by Col. Berkley Lewis. A good hi-res copy can be downloaded from the net.

Hi Pete,

Thanks for your information.

I also downloaded the 1876 Exposition reference. It was helpful since there were a few .50 caliber patent ignition pieces in my collection. I used the reference to help ID and sort those.

Thanks again.

Can you share the link, please?



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bdgreen, THANK YOU!
Much appreciated!!

A couple weeks ago I posted a Gun Show find, and this is one of the cartridges.
It is an inside primed .45-70 Gov’t with two heavy crimps, approximately .216"/5.5mm above the bottom of the rim, holding the primer in place. The slight ridge you can see on the base, which I presume to be the outer edge of the primer, is approximately .446"/11.33mm diameter. The overall length is 1.595"/40.51mm.
Can anyone tell me more of what it is for my records?

I don’t have my references here, but it looks like a 45-70 Benet primed blank for rifles and carbines circa 1880.

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I agree
& t would be helpful to now if it was loaded or not & if so how.

edited to add the crimps are not holding the “primer” as such but the anvil and vent holes cup.

If you downloaded the 1876 Expo book you can see in it several variations and the development leading to the Benet primimg system and the case construction.

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Yes, it is a loaded blank cartridge.
Thanks heavyiron1 & PetedeCoux, much appreciated.

Pete, I did download the Expo book, but that is going to take me a while to go through, and a while longer to remember anything I read there that I also must try to remember…