S&B 12GA "Mark II"

Does anybody happen to know what a S&B 12GA “Mark II” cartridge is?
Is the designation of any significance for a product line, special feature, customer, purpose etc.?

As far as I know it’s just a newer version of S&B’s ‘standard’ base line production shell, but as noted for loading on their automated machinery.

Otherwise just a shell for hunting / skeet / trap or whatever it’s loaded for.

I may be wrong, but I think that is all it is

Pete, thanks a lot! So it is just a regular cartridge with a somewhat unusual name.

So it seems to me, again I could be wrong.
For what it’s worth, I have two of these MK II but nothing marked “Mark I”, Both are low base, one has a pie crimp & the other a topwad held with a roll crimp. #6 & #5 shot respectively.
Photo below is on another S&B brand, again with a paper, not plastic hull & both are pie crimped.

I agree with Pete, I used these a lot as a teenager and I can’t remember a mark 1 either. I do have another for the same time though, pictures of the cartridges and the box attached (sorry about the flash). I know I have more somewhere but can’t just seem to place them.
Notice the picture on the box is of a roll turn over but the box states “star crimped” and they did come as both types.


I have some more but at a quick look they are all ones made in Germany @ Schoenebeck.

Guys, thanks again! So it is just a commercial designation without special background.

Back 40-50 years ago S&B Mk2 was a hugely popular cartridge in UK. Something like 20% cheaper than Eley Grand Prix which was the benchmark cartridge by which all things were judged in those days.

Quality wise it stood up to good comparision with Grand Prix, I bought thousands of them.

You have to remember this was at the height of the cold war and the real purpose of exporting these cartridges from East to West at a subsidised price was a cynical need to earn hard currency for the East. There wasn’t much the East had worth exporting but they had more ammunition making capability than they knew what to do with.

The name Mk 11 was, as far as I know, was just an English sounding name to make them look less foreign. I don’t believe there ever was a Mk1 or a Mk111 or that it had any significance as to the load within the cartridge. But to a cartridge buying British male, who probably had some contact with British military ammunition in the not too distant past, it would have seemed a comfortably familiar name. Clever marketing.

Other things to note from a marketing point of view, the Mk11 cartridges are more or less identical in colour to Eley orange/brown (coincidence? I doubt it) and the MARK 11 typeface is very ‘British’, similar to that used by both Eley and British military. Very clever!

Vince, that sounds plausible as marketing is a key in such common items. Thanks for pointing this out.

Alex, I just realized that I have some information about this cartridge but just couldn’t find it. Long ago I subdivided my “Sellier & Bellot” folder into so many company designations that now I can’t even remember their names! This sporting cartridge is mentioned in a Merkuria brochure from the mid to late 1980’s, when the company designation was ZVS-Blanické strojírny Sellier and Bellot, koncernový podnik. The “Mark II” was made for Edgar Brothers, a well known wholesaler and importer located in Macclesfield, Chesire, England, but I can’t say if this brand was exclusive of this company.

This shotshell was part of the “Orange” line using a varnished paper tube, which also included other brands like “Lord”, “Titan II”, “Brno Penetra”, etc. Later, when the paper line was replaced with a new one made of plastic, the equivalent cartridge was designated Mark III.



Fede, great info! I guess it can’t be any better.

Just to add, it was unique to Edgar Bros, in fact I am pretty sure it was printed on the box. For the box guys it also should be noted that the packaging was unique (at least within my sphere of experience).
It was a flat pack ten, two rows of five, which you sliced in the middle and folded back on itself to reveal the cartridges.

Pictures of both sides the box (the manufacturer designation used is Blanické strojírny, národní podnik):



Guys, thanks again!

What is perhaps a newer box than Fede shows as the Edgar Bros. is printed on the box, but with a “Vale Road Liverpool 25” address.
it also shows the “B. S. n. p.”& the “V” in a box {primer shaped} logo on both sides.

Edited to add; no child warning anywhere on mine.

For your edification about 10 size flat packs, They are reasonably common. The 4 Eley brands I show actually have perforations to break the box for easy opening but neither the BSA nor the two French, C.F. Eley have this easy open feature.

The other photo of a drawer (I had to get up on a ladder to take it) shows other similar 10-size flat pack boxes, Argentina, the U.S. (Navy Arms) & a good bit of Europe are represented. Unfortunately most of the below are empty, but still interesting. The Magic I just found at SLICS this year & it was full…

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]What is perhaps a newer box than Fede shows as the Edgar Bros. is printed on the box, but with a “Vale Road Liverpool 25” address.
it also shows the “B. S. n. p.”& the “V” in a box {primer shaped} logo on both sides.

Edited to add; no child warning anywhere on mine.[/quote]

Pete, your box and Fede’s are like a trip down memory lane for me. The evidence of the postcode (zipcode) on your box would make it older than Fedes. Your box has an old two digit code which only breaks it down to postal depot level.
Fede’s has a later 6-7 digit code which would break it down to street level and perhaps a couple of blocks on that street depending how densely built up the street was.

The Catherine St address was certainly the address I remember from my formative years. I think the Liverpool address may have been their registered office. Vale Rd L25 comes up on Google Earth as a residential street. Probably the home of one of the two brothers, this is a fairly common practice in British law.

I only realised that they were no longer at the Catherine St address when checking them out today to reply to this thread. I wanted to see if they gave a Liverpool address as their registered office. Today they give their address as an industrial park but still in Macclesfield.

Edgar Bros were (still are) an importer/distributor and to the best of my knowledge never sold direct to the public. They are still very much engaged in that role today

The child warning is an interesting one, if this ammo was intended only for UK consumption it wouldn’t require one. Although pretty much an industry standard world wide AFAIK it has never been mandatory here under UK law, just wise practice. So you can’t set a date by it.