Nickel plated cases

The nickel plated cases that I see for various Sharps and Ballard cartridges, were those sold originaly as empties or loaded at the factory. also any idea as to who made them

Carolyn–The nickel plated Sharps and Ballard cases were normally sold as unprimed empties and were referred to as “Everlasting” cases. If you check it out, most of the cases have a thicker casewall than the standard brass case. Also, to use the “Everlasting” cases the gun required a special “Everlasting” chamber due to the thicker case wall. For many calibers, both Sharps and Ballard, as well as Stevens offered their guns reamed for either "“Standard” or “Everlasting” cases. You can shoot “Standard” rounds in either chamber, but you can not use “Everlasting” cases in a gun reamed for “Standard” cases.

Weren’t everlasting cases also lathe turned rather than drawn?

Falcon–I believe you are correct for some of the larger cases. Not sure if they all were as I have some of the smaller calibers that do not show any indication of being lathe turned.

Can I jump in here and ask about a specific nickle plated case that I have? Thank you.

It was quite a while ago that I asked about this and I never got a reply. Maybe somebody now knows.

It is a 40 Sharps 1 11/16" BN. A rounded base and standard size LR primer. Loaded with a Paper-patched flat nose bullet. Does not appear to have ever been fired. It’s not an Everlasting.



40-50 Sharps necked?


Yes. The 40 Sharps 1 11/16" BN is also known as the 40-50 Sharps (necked).


So in other words the bullet style could be anything that the reloader could get his hands on.


Ron or others have more of those cases than I do and they can probably answer better, but in my experience the answer is yes. Hunters and other shooters used whatever bullet was available. Many were cast by the hunter using recovered slugs. The cases themselves saw a lot of use. I have one 40-90 Ballard that has been around the block several times. A lot of scratches and even knife marks on the rim where it was obviously pried from the chamber.

So, are these Everlasting cases as valuable as a factory made Sharps cartridge? That’s a rhetorical question. ;)


The 3 that I have (2 Sharps & 1 Ballard) I paid about 15 to 20 dollars more that the standard brass case versions.

I find that the reloaded Sharps and other single shot cartridges tend to sell for not much less than the factory loaded cartridges sell for, if loaded with a correct bullet and in good, clean condition. This is likely for the very reason that so many of these cases were sold empty, and in many cases, where there is no corrosion or other signs that a cartridge has been reloaded, you really can’t tell the difference unless the factory load is fresh out of the box. I tend to appreciate the ones that show a little history more so than the pristine examples.

In addition to the thick-mouthed everlasting cartridge cases Marlin used in conjunction with certain of its calibers (.38-50, for example) other firms, most particularly J.H. Barlow’s Ideal company, supplied everlasting-type cases for other Marlin-Ballard calibers and also the .45-70. While the early Marlin-supplied everlasting cases are often nickeled and adapted to small Berdan primers, these Ideal products are generally found unplated and with standard large Boxer primer pockets.
The Ideal everlastings externally resemble a regular .38-55 (to pick a typical example) case in external appearance but are significantly heavier in the head and lower case body area. Note that the .38-50 and other everlasting calibers originally offered by Marlin were (as far as I can tell) available only as unprimed cases, whereas the Ideal everlastings were sold in calibers ordinarily to be had as fixed ammunition. JG