Old Winchester box and headstamp


A friend and gun dealer got an old box… 2 piece cardboard… green label… 45-70 extra heavy solid head … Central Fire Cartridges … manuf. by Winchester Repeating Arms Company . 70 Gr. powder… on bottom part of box has reloading instructions incl. type primer, which powders, and even how to cast the proper bullet…
Inside were a couple live cartridges… and the rest were cartridges that the bullets and powder were removed, but the primer is live and matches the complete ones (doesn’t look like newer primers)…
There is no marking on the cartridges… no headstamp at all
He is wondering if these are the original cartridges to the box. Did Winchester put out ammo with no headstamps on them?
Best I can do to show the box and cartridge, if need be, is to take my camera up to his shop… I’m hoping someone understands what I’m describing though.
I never saw a box with reloading directions… I don’t think he’ll sell me the box (not in the greatest shape, but still interesting).


Well…No one else has ventured a stab at this one so here goes…Winchester did make many many cartridges from about 1873 or 4, when they first began making centerfire cartridges in quantity, until about 1886 or 7, when headstamping became common, without headstamp. I can’t say whether the cartridges in the “Extra Heavy Solid Head” box should be headstamped. Perhaps a person more well-versed in the .45-70 cartridge will chime in. Reloading directions can be found on some of the early .45-70 boxes, especially those produced for government use.



Thank you for the dating… I’m still working on the dealer who has this box to get it from him, but he has a few ammo boxes (2 piece) that he won’t part with! I did get a wooden Western “crate” from him…minus the top… he said it’s too bad I didn’t know him years back, he had the old crates with dovetails (the one I got is nailed)… his dad used to run a hardware/gunshop years ago and he had a bunch of the old wooden crates the ammo was shipped in!


I would expect the Extra Heavy Solid Head boxes to all have headstamped cartridges. Does the box have the cartridge pictured on the label? If so, and if it is headstamped, the cartridges in the box were probably headstamped.


I was going to venture a guess on this originally, but decided to wait for other replies…more than likely, as Guy said, the cartridges would be headstamped…and, I have seen this with other boxes of this type…W.R.A.Co. 45-70



I’ll have to look at the box again when I go up this week.