Pottet primer on chaudun shell


Hi all,
I just want to show this very old shotshell.

Any information about this subject would be very welcome.
Regards rené


This old paper I also have to show.


A VERY NEAT shell, but why do you say it has a Pottet primer? I’m sorry but I can’t fully read / understand the article.
My understanding of the Pottet patent was a priming tube which screwed into the concave base of the shell to hold the shell together and it also acted as a nipple, and it was below the base of the shell face as this one is. So is that a percussion cap I’m seeing?


Hi Rene,

Yes, as Pete said, very neat shell indeed. Only seen one before and I believed that the cup (cap chamber) is riveted into the base but Pete may be correct and it is screwed in before being riveted.
I have been through my files and have nothing on it.



Hi Pete,
Sorry, for confusion.
I have absolutely no idea about how a pottet primer should look like.
I had been told that this is a pottet primer ( also his name is in the headstamp ).

I will try to make some better pictures soon.

Regards Rene


Howdy Rene
My problem is that I don’t think, but could well be wrong, that there is a Pottet primer as such. But that Pottet’s patent /name on the shell is / was a method of shell construction.

If that is a percussion cap on a nipple?

Is it magnetic? If so where does the attraction start and end?

great shell, find another for me! PLEASE


HI Pete,
I checked the ‘primer’ and it looks like a percussion cap put in backward.

It is not magnetic at all.

I wished I could check the inside of the case, but since it is loaded I have no idea of how the ‘primer’ looks on the inside.

After more than 25 years of collecting this is the only one I have ever seen, or heard of.
But who knows, maybe there are more to be found.

many regards rené



attached an entry from my database, the pic attached is from an early Greener book and shows one of Pottet’s later improvements on his earlier patent.




Just dug a bit deeper into the manufacture and Greener (11th Edition that was closest to hand) describes the manufacture “as having a riveted base” which I would say means the cap chamber. Although the accompanying drawing (as Jims’ above but not coloured) states as taken from the Schneider modified case and is not as strong as the Pottet case, as yours certainly appears riveted from your picture one has to assume yours is of the true Pottet manufacturing process. Also states that the original design had a screwed base to take the primer compound. He also makes reference to the anvil system and how Daw made an almost direct copy of it.
Also makes reference to “Schneider” and how his modification to the anvil (a rod with 4 grooves down it’s length) should be better but later this turned out not to be the case. This however does not really apply to your cartridge but may be of interest as it is mentioned in Jim notes.

Off out will copy the pages for you when I get home and email them.




the shotshell shown by René has a Pottet primer, very easy to recognize because it is riveted.

The Pottet primer assembly is a tube closed on one end.

it is not screwed into the base of the shell but simply inserted into it.

You have to put someting into the case to avoid this tube to move when you press the other part of the tube (protubering from the base of the shell ).

The inner part of the tube is increasing in diameter and on the other side the tube is riveted to the base.
Therefore the tube cannot move anymore.

After you have to put a primer into this tube.
This design was the first centerfire sytem.

Nothing prevents the fact the primer can go back during firing.

It will be resolved by Gaupillat system which is also a tube inserted into the base except the fact the tube is riveted inwards to keep the primer.



Thanks for the clarification JP.

I do have a question since the primer is set down below the base / head was this a percussion primer ? And would the firearm have a longer than normal firing pin ?


I have the same shotshell as René but with an all brass case.
On my specimen (like on all the other Pottet ctges I have : 9 mm, 12 mm, aso) the primer outcrops the base of the ctge.
Perhaps the primer is missing on the René one ? we do not see very well on his picture




  1. here are pictures of my shotshell (you can see very well the primer)

  2. The picture posted by Jim and coming from Greener’s The gun has nothing to do with the Pottet primer (except the fact there is an anvil)



thanks again JP



Hi Fede,

Very interesting, do you have a date for that pattern drawing?



Hi Mike,

That drawing dates from 1867 (Daw’s “The Central Fire Cartridge”).




patent of 26 th of february 1855


Thanks Both,

My thought was that is was the 1855 patent but have never seen a copy of it so I was not too sure.



February 26th, 1855


Thanks Fede.