Old collector's list

I am sort of getting into the notion of having a type-set of cartridges to expand into a general collection for things like displays at gun shows, etc. and I came across a hand-written list from a collector who collected from the 40’s to the late 70’s. I was wondering if the below list would warrant a price of over $300 for the lot? I don’t know much about most of the calibers listed in terms of rarity, but I have a feel that the price wanted by the seller on this estate lot is right at retail anyway:

Not to my mind. Only thing worth much is the Volcanic, otherwise .50cents each

Thanks Pete. Sounds more like the lot may be worth $100. I’ll have to ask the seller if there is anything more than the list shown that is included.

I have lots of old price lists from that time period that I could bring to SLICS you want me to? I could also scan a few and email them to you.


Sorry Pete…but I have never seen a Spencer cartridge sold for .50 $!

Each of us who have collecting specialties will also have a basic collection of the common cartridges, to be used as references and to show and tell the non-collectors.

If I could get $300 for mine, I’d gladly let it go right now.

Pivi - I agree that some of the cartridges on the list are worth more than 50 cents, but most of them are worth 10 cents or less. Stuff like that can usually be sold by the pound rather than trying to put a price on each one. So, it all evens out and a general rule of thumb of 50 cents each is a good number when selling in bulk. Even 50 cents may be too much to ask.


Right after we formed our club we had a member who dropped out because his suggestion that the club adopt a policy that no cartridge could be priced more than 15 cents. Just the opposite happened at one of our early shows when a collector came and tried to sell his collection piecemeal in his hotel room for exorbitant prices. He was asked to come to the show room which he did but never got the prices he was asking.

Yeah, Pete. I haven’t seen any 50 cent Spencers or Burnsides lately. I’ll come buy all of yours at SLICS. ;)


Nice list of U.S. items that might make a great starter set for your new general collection. Interesting to note the center fires are all below .45 caliber, but some good coverage otherwise. Now the price…

Out of curiosity I grabbed a handful of the most recent issues of the IAA Journal and referenced the Cartridge Prices sections. I was able to find a listing for all of the first row (assuming common types) and for what it’s worth, it totaled at $312 ($40 for a .40-110 WCF!). The second row had a couple items that noted type and the with a few items and the Spencers, it totaled $121. Four items in the third row were found listed totaling $85. Grand total of that is $518.

Here I’ll venture into some guessing and would enjoy the comments of others, but I would consider those prices at the high end of retail for pristine examples. Take off 40% and your around the $300 mark with a bunch of other stuff to boot. As you said earlier, you’re looking at retail (for individual cartridges) and here you are buying a small lot. Just some thoughts…

The one item I can’t say I am familiar with is the .32 Dardick though there may be plenty out there!


Dardick made a number of calibres back in te 60s or 70s which he called a “Tround”. The specimen I had was a triangular plastic case with the bullet seated completely in the case. From distant memory it was a .32 and the case colour was either green or blue.

Thanks all

I heard from the seller that there are another 190+ cartridges in the lot not shown, so approximately 2 more pages worth. I think I’m a buyer… Will bring some stuff to SLICS for identification help if I receive it all in time.

Note that no headstamp is listed. Even the most common cartridge in the list would be worth much more if headstamped with a rare/strange hds

Yeah, ok it know no .50 cent Spencer’s, but the three listed are not going to bring that bunch of dirt common stuff up to $300 even at $30 each.
And yes one of the common items might have a great head stamp like a 32 s&w with a Phoenix metallic raised headstamp, but what are the odds?

An accumulation of cartridges like that has only two potential buyers. 1) A beginner wanting to start a collection, who has no idea where his collecting may take him, and 2) An experienced collector looking to mine a few jewels.

In either case I think $300 is far to much to pay.

That’s just my own ignorant opinion.


Wow, did I miss understand the original question.


An individual item, or a collection, is only worth what someone is willing to pay, and the fair market value is whatever a willing buyer and seller can agree on. If the seller wants to hold out for more, it may be a long time, or a VERY long time before finding an eager (or gullible) buyer to meet his price. Or, a “thrifty” buyer may have to look for a long time before finding a seller willing to get rid of his (trash or treasures) at what the buyer offers.

Perhaps a disinterested heir, or buyer of storage units may have one idea on values (whatever they can get) while a collector who patiently acquired individual cartridges (hard to find in their small geographic circle of travel) over a long time may think they are worth more.

To me, the listed items plus 190 more sound like they could be (eventually) retailed for that $300 or more. Certainly not a screaming bargain for someone with thousands of rounds for bin sales, but someone looking to cull the few desirable and maybe a few dozen uncommon rounds can make it break even.

Moral of the story is, collectors should buy stuff for the pleasure it gives them, not as an investment. You may get your money back, make some, or lose some. Hopefully the fun you have doing it all will make the financial cost or profit a minor consideration.