Searching for a label…

I am a French collector of American C&B handguns (1836-1890) and a Black Powder shooter. I am not a cartridge collector strictly speaking, but I am deeply interested in some of them and in their boxes. I did some digging about ammunitions and I began with combustible cartridges used during the Civil War, especially those produced by Colt’s Cartridge Works. I recreated very accurate copies of these combustible cartridges (and their wooden boxes) which I used to shot at the range. Afterward, as I bought several Colt conversions and three Smith & Wesson revolvers, I was interested in metallic cartridges and I began to learn reloading of ancient calibers: .44 Colt, .44 S&W American et Russian, .38 Long Colt, .38 S&W, etc.

In order to accompany revolvers in my display cabinet, I wanted to buy some vintage cartridge boxes. I very soon realized that authentic ones which interested me were not only very scarce, but also highly expensive. Then, I tried to search good copies, but once again, I did not find what I was searching (even in the United States…), both in terms of available patterns and historical accuracy.

Therefore, I simply decided to make them by myself. I chose to reproduce the scarcest patterns of the period, mainly the early boxes made by one of the most important american cartridge manufacturers: Union Metallic Cartridge Company.

Concerning Smith & Wesson, I found, in a James D. Julia catalog, good photos of a scarce early cartridge box for the Russian Model, made by U.M.C. and I was able to make a copy of it:

But for the Smith & Wesson American Model cartridge box, I found a single black and white photo of the box in the book of Charles W. Pate, _Smith & Wesson American Mode_l:

So, I am desperately searching for a good color photo of this very rare box: somebody, in this forum, would have one?

Thanks in advance…


Hello enhabdec,

Have you tried looking at Mr. Hildebrand’s website?


Hello Dave,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes I know the so interesting Guy Hildebrand’s website: thank to him, I was able to make a reconstruction of a very scarce box for 44-100 cartridges:

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the label I am searching for…


Hello enhabdec,
I have this photo from the Internet. That is the best and closest I have.


Hello Brian,

Thanks for your reply, but as you can see above, I already have this label: I made a copy of this box…


Would you be willing to share the picture from the catalog? I’ve been looking for a good picture of that exact box! Thank you!!

Hello Wajohnson12,

Please, find below three links which will allow you to download 3 pics of the cartridge box S&W Russian Model :

Best Regards,

Thank you very much! How were you able to clean up the picture to reproduce the lable?

Unless these labels / boxes are permanently marked as reproductions, someone down the road is going to spend BIG bucks for a reproduction, thinking it is a minty original item.

You might say It’s only for my display but I would ask are you going to live forever? And when you pass is this reproduction going to be known as a reproduction to your survivors when they dispose of your collection and is the person who next obtains it going to know it’s a reproduction?


Hello PetedeCoux,

You wrote “I would ask are you going to live for ever?“

You offend me: I am immortal! :-D

Most seriously, don’t worry about that: I don’t want to make counterfeit boxes or facilitate their manufacture or “hacks“. If you want a complete explanation about that, please read the following:

That’s all for the time being, but I am preparing some new boxes for .22 et .32 caliber.

The following link will allow you to download a better quality PDF file of this catalog.

I apologize if my english is not very good, it comes from school, very long time ago…


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Hello Wajohnson 12,

For an answer to your question, read my answer to PetedeCoux, you will get all informations about my work.

Best regards,

Sorry, I forgot to put the link in my last message :

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. Your boxes are beautiful. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend that you consider making one of the US Cartridge Company’s .36/38 Smith & Wesson boxes, a super rare box and in my opinion, one of the prettiest cartridge boxes made.

Your work is truly amazing! I’m assuming you sell your reproduction boxes. If so, I’d like to purchase several if you’re willing. Thank you again for the amazing response and posting your work!


Excellent work, and being more of a “gun guy” than a “cartridge collector” I thoroughly endorse this as a valuable service to gun collectors. Especially since you take several steps to clearly identify them as reproductions.

While some might think this should be in the “buy-sell-trade” section of the forum, it really belongs here for its educational value and to document that these replicas are being made. Eventually, some scoundrel will try to pass one off as an original, and having this available may prevent someone from making a very expensive mistake.

It may even be worth putting in the reference section.

Hello Guy,

Thank you for your compliments but you deserve a lot more than I do!

I’d like to express my real interest after having discovered your website, ‘‘THE CARTRIDGE COLLECTOR’S EXCHANGE’’ such years ago: such a so exciting and so interesting work! A true reference documentation: my respect and my congratulations!

When I discovered so attractive and precious informations about cartridges and their boxes, I was very happy. For my first try of making an ammo carboard box, I choosed the early 44-100 box by UMC showed on your December 2003 Picture Page.

Regarding the US Cartridge Company’s 36/38 Smith & Wesson box, I already began to reproduce it and a part of the job is done, but I have to work again on a drawing of the ‘‘Baby Russian‘‘ because I found a better pic of it:

As far as you know, are there other mentions on the side label?

Best regards,

Thank you for your appreciation. Happy if I was able to help.


If you download this new release of my catalog, you will find my email address on the cover:


I had never seen another photo of the 36/38 box, so I don’t know what is printed on the side label, aside from what your photo above has revealed.

Another picturesque US Cartridge Co box is the one for the .44 Colt cartridge, depicting an early Colt open top revolver. Can’t supply the image but googled one up pretty quickly on one of the auction sites. Jack