Rimfire casing ID

While out “treasure hunting” with my son, we uncovered a cartridge case that I had never seen before. It’s a spent case with L&K raised on the headstamp and double firing pin marks. I don’t have good calipers, but it is roughly 21mm tall, neck diameter roughly 11mm, rim diameter roughly 13mm. My best guess is that it’s a .44 Henry L&K. Liddle and Kaeding is the only hit I got researching the initials and there isn’t a lot of information out there for ammo with their mark. I did find one citation for a .44 Henry L&K, so at least I know it’s possible. Here is where it gets interesting… later that day, we were a little way up the hill and we uncovered a bullet. Two groove, slightly flattened from impact but the base of the bullet and the bottom groove are still round. I placed the bullet in the case and I could get it in to the end of the taper on the base of the bullet and it could be pressed in with a tool for sure. Obviously, I don’t know for sure if this bullet came from this case, but circumstantial evidence is telling me at least it’s a matching bullet and case by caliber. We live near a well-known wagon road in the gold country/Sierra foothills of California that is now a highway and have found many late-1800’s to early 1900’s cases and bases, including WRACO Repeater No. 12, Winchester No. 20 and WRACO 30 W CF. If anyone has any more insight on the bullet and case, I would really like some information. My opinion is that it’s a .44 Henry from either a Henry or Winchester 1866 rifle, but I could be way off. That’s why I’m here. I look forward to finding out what we have around here.


With the double firing pin marks, it’s likely to have been fired in a Henry or maybe a Win 1866 (I think they also had ths same firing pin redundancy as the Henry). There were some early Colt and S&W revolvers chambered in .44 RF, but I think they left only one firing pin impression, and are quite unusual. Many went to Mexico. I don’t know the headstamp.

the two firing pin strikes at 180º apart are very likely from a Henry or 66 Winchester rifle, so likely a Henry cartridge.

But the bullet who knows & it would be very wrong to put them together. Keep them together, yes no problem, but not put them together.

Oh, I would never actually put them together permanently. I just wanted to see if it was even possible they could’ve been from the same cartridge. They will be very happy apart. If I can figure out how to get pictures on here, I will give you all a look at them. The firing pin marks are perfectly 180’.

I think there were two different case lengths for the .44 Henry RF cartridge, but I’d have to look it up for the exact lengths.

If the rifling of the firearm in which the bullet was fired is clearly intact it might be possible to determine if that pattern is consistent with the Henry/Winchester 1866. If not, then the bullet and the case aren’t a pair. Even if the rifling was consistent with that arm, still no proof they go together. Many American firearms of the period 1865-1900 were .44 caliber, and I vote with Pete to avoid a shotgun marriage in this case. Very nice find. Jack

From some internet research, I see that .44 Henry RF cases have been found in lengths from 0.805" to 0.903". Whether this length range is intentional or exists as a result of differences in manufacturing tolerances, I do not know. 0.875" seems to be the most accepted case length. I have only two specimens of the .44 RF, and that’s not much of a sample for me to draw conclusions.

Cartridge collectors have traditionally described .44 Henry cartridges as short case (13/16 in. nominal) and (the typically later) long case (7/8 in. nominal). According to Barber’s The Rimfire Cartridge in the United States and Canada the Liddle and Kaeding round was of the short case type and was produced for them by the Phoenix Metallic Cartridge Co. Jack