New collector with a cartridge question (38-40 kynoch shot"

Hello, My name is Kyle. I am new to cartridge collecting and have about 50 cartridges, Most are common rounds. Im just trying to see how many differents calibers/chamberings I can come up with from friends and family. I just ordered a few cartridges online aswell. I was at a gun show a while back and bought a box of junk for $10. Inside the box was a few older, odd shells, but one I cannot find any info on. The headstamp reads " KYNOCH 38-40". But, it is a shotshell cartridge crimped at the top. Any info would help. Thank you in advance for your responses and the informative site as I’m sure Ill be using it frequently.

-Kyle Sawyer

Howdy Kyle & welcome to the IAA forum.

You might also want to join the IAA for the Journal (and it’s past issues) which also offers lots of very interesting information about the wonderful world of ammunition in all its many various forms & uses.

Regarding your Kynoch headstamped 38-40, it could be either a shot loading or a blank. The weight should tell you, or perhaps if gently shaken you can feel the shot move or hear it. A bulleted load (lead or jacketed) for a comparison weight would also be of help (the case maker doesn’t likely mater) as the shot loading would likely be the same or heavier while a blank should be much lighter. This said, it seems you already feel it’s a shot load. My, somewhat educated, guess is that it would be loaded with #8 size shot, at least that is what I usually see on uncommon British shot boxes in 44 WCF or 38-40 boxes.

A number of companies made shot loads, for the XL chambered guns (usually, but not always, found with a long paper sabot usually with the paper color noting the shot size. Red, red with a black band, green, white, yellow & blue are the common colors, plus the normal length for Marlin’s, Colt Lighting’s, Winchesters & others.

As you perhaps know, Kynoch was a British maker & made quite a large number of US caliber / case types over the course of it’s history 1882 till the late 1960’s.

I think one of the back issues (perhaps early 1990’s?) of the IAA journal had a pretty complete list compiled by Don Amesbury of British loaded US calibers.

Hope this is of help.

Also please check out the show listings found on this site, then come meet other collectors & get some new specimens for your collection.
Lots of us have lots of extras in the inexpensive price range.

Thank you so much for the response.

I never considered the possibility of it being a blank. (what would the intended purpose be?)
I will try to fond someone who has one for weight comparison at the local gun shop, and ill post the weights of each.
I cannot hear anything moving inside…

I will take a picture and see if this helps also.

Again, thank you for the warm welcome. I live in SW Missouri and I am going to try to make it to the next SLICS show.

Howdy Kyle
blanks have a number or uses. the two most common are to make noise, (4th of July, a salute or to signal, for use in making movies [flash or smoke variations are known], and as a tool cartridge for propelling something. Now not all those are likely in .38-40, so most likely as noise.

I most likely have this but don’t remember if I have it as a blank or a shot or both & am now away from the collection.

see you in St. Louis!

With the headstamp of KYNOCH .38-40 I have a lead bulleted example weighing 310.4 grains while my same headstamped pie-crimped example weighs 222.3 grains & it is a shot loading.
hope this is of help as I don’t have a Kynoch made blank.