Pottet case construction...who was Pottet, anyway?


#1

This is probably a question for the French members out there:

I have always thought of the style of case construction used for Mittraileuse and Tabatiere rounds - cardboard or paper-and-foil riveted to a single-piece brass head via the primer pocket - as “Pottet” style cases. That was what a knowledgeable collector told me, and I have called them that ever since. For examples, see Hoyem Vol. 2, pg 131-132 and 142-143.

However, in examining the French patents listed in Berkley Lewis’ book, “Small Arms and Ammunition in the United States Service, 1776-1865” (see pages 267-275) it seems this style of case construction has nothing to do with Pottet at all. The closest patent listed is No. 12603 by Gevelot (1855), which covers a “paper tube and reinforce, metallic base cup. A wad of wound paper surrounds priming pocket”

So, it would appear Gevelot - not Pottet - should be given credit for this. Which makes sense, because most of the Tabatiere rounds I’ve ever examined have a raised “G” on the primer.

Am I correct? How would Pottet have been involved in this? Was he part of Gevelot, or was he an independent gun-maker? If any of you European collectors can help, I would greatly appreciate it. My French is, unfortunately, limited to ordering a beer and calling a taxi.


#2

Here’s a 18x35r Tabatiere Rifle cartridge, to illustrate what I mean by the “Pottet” construction:


#3

[quote=“Cyberwombat”]This is probably a question for the French members out there:

I have always thought of the style of case construction used for Mittraileuse and Tabatiere rounds - cardboard or paper-and-foil riveted to a single-piece brass head via the primer pocket - as “Pottet” style cases. That was what a knowledgeable collector told me, and I have called them that ever since. For examples, see Hoyem Vol. 2, pg 131-132 and 142-143.

However, in examining the French patents listed in Berkley Lewis’ book, “Small Arms and Ammunition in the United States Service, 1776-1865” (see pages 267-275) it seems this style of case construction has nothing to do with Pottet at all. The closest patent listed is No. 12603 by Gevelot (1855), which covers a “paper tube and reinforce, metallic base cup. A wad of wound paper surrounds priming pocket”

So, it would appear Gevelot - not Pottet - should be given credit for this. Which makes sense, because most of the Tabatiere rounds I’ve ever examined have a raised “G” on the primer.

Am I correct? How would Pottet have been involved in this? Was he part of Gevelot, or was he an independent gun-maker? If any of you European collectors can help, I would greatly appreciate it. My French is, unfortunately, limited to ordering a beer and calling a taxi.[/quote]

Hi !

  1. Sorry to say that, but the book of Berkley Lewis is more or less false about French patents TILL 1860.
    Indeed when he gives a number, it is not the patent number but the publication number.
    The patent you talk about (N

#4

The French invented the first practical fixed cartridges; Flobert and Pottet. The S&W # 1 “American” rimfire was an extension of the Florbert according to Smith and the Pottet- Schneider-Snider-Daw-Boxer history has lots of color but ends up back in France whichever way you take it.

Why France ? Napoleon created a virtually fully armed nation during his many military adventures. France was the most heavily armed nation in the world for a couple of decades and this provided a very furtile ground for gun and ammo development. There were as many firearms as people in France at times.

The arms race between France and the German states and later the country of Germany laid down most of the technology of weapons used still today.


#5

JP - thanks for clearing that up for me.


#6

In genral “Pottet style case” refers to a paper or paper covered case with an attached shotgun style base. The base can be internal or external primed but is made of 1 piece as opposed to the “Boxer” style head which is made of a disk and a cup draw and is external primed.
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