Sellier & Bellot History?


#1

Hi everybody,
I was lucky to get the following case.
It mentions Austria, Germany and Russia as places were they have factories.
Can anybody give me any idea of how old this case might be.

Also they have a patented primer.
Any info on that is also welcome.

many regards rené


#2

The Indication mentioning all three of Austria, Germany and Russia puts the case in Pre-WW I time period. ( after 1918, the Factory in Russia was gone ( expropriated by the Bolsheviks) and Czechoslovakia had been founded ( both Prague ( German “Prag”, Czech Praha) and Vlasim are in Bohemia( Then part of Austro-Hungarian Empire) but German was the “National Language”.)

The mention of “Correct Primer for Schultze Powder” would place it in the 1890-1910 period. (Schultze Powder was a Lignin-Nitrate and BP mix , a Transitional Powder from pure BP to Smokeless).

Sellier and Bellot were originally French industrialists, requested by the Hapsburg Empire (Austria) to set up a Percussion Cap factory in Prague, to service the growing use of Percussion Caps in the Post Napoleonic Period (1825)…From here, the Company expanded into Factory-prepared Paper Cartridges, then Breechloading (Pinfire) Shotshells, Metallic and Paper Breechloading Centre-Fire Cartridges, etc. etc. By WW I, they had subsidiary Factories in Schoenebeck-am-Elbe (Germany) and also in Imperial Russia ( unknown). By the Mid 1920s, They had moved their Manufacturing Facilities from Prague to Vlasim, some 60 km south of Prague, in a heavily wooded area. Prague remained the “Executive Office” and Registered Address of the Company. From 1939 to 1945, the Factopry was taken over by the Germans, under the control of the Reichsprotectorat Bohmen ( Heydrich, SS, commanding) and became a major supplier to the Waffen SS of SAA ( as well as continuinbg contracts to the Wehrmacht. S&B also covered a lot of Export Orders (Sweden, Romania, etc. during the War Years. Earlier, in the 1930s, they had set up a factory in Riga (Latvia) ) “SB-R” to supply the Baltic States with both 7,9mm and .303 ammunition. This Factory fell to the Soviets in 1939-40 (Annexation) and ammunition from there was used during the Seige of Moscow (December 1941)

After WW II, the Schoenebeck Factory became part of the VEB ( People’s Enterprises of DDR) whilst the Vlasim Factory became an “AS” ( corporation) till 1948, when it became a “Narodny Podnik” ( People’s Enterprise) under the Communists…Still maintaining its Western-Looking marketing, and producing both Military (Domestic and Export) ammo, as well as Various Sporting Loads not seen elsewhere…in 1990, with the Velvet Revolution, S&B became a “Joint-Stock Enterprise” ( Capitalist Corporation) owned mostly by the Former Staff.

Headquarters is still maintained in Prague, with the Major Manufactory in Vlasim. When I visited in 1993, they still had staff who remembered the German Occupation, and Machinery which dated to after WW I ( a Lot of the Machinery was made by ZB Brno, although there was quite a lot of German (III Reich) and Latterly, Soviet-made Machinery (for the Warsaw Pact ammo in Steel case).

In the Early 2000s, the S&B Corporation was taken over by the Brazilian CBC ( known to Americans as “MagTech”), reducing once more the independence of one of the many, old world Makers of Ammo. Probably due to this infusion of Capital, S&B has expanded its world wide Marketing.

Very nice Examples…"?Factory Empty cases for Small Gunshop loading? ( common practice even now…).

Doc AV


#3

Hi DocAv,

Many thanks for this great info!!!

Regards rené


#4

According to Wikipedia S & B opened the Riga facility in 1884; Municion.org gives credence to this assertion with a picture of an S & B headstamp written in the pre-revolutionary Russian cyrillic alphabet and including the word Riga. Jack


#5

S&B also has a site. Here is a link to the company history page.
http://www.sellier-bellot.cz/sellier-bellot-history.php


#6

If the S&B Riga factory is of such an early date (1884) that would make it the “Russian” Factory (The Baltic States were all Russian Provinces, and only became independent in 1918/9).

I don’t know what happened to it from 1940-45 (Russian first then German Occupation, then Soviets again…any info on its existence after 1945?

Doc AV


#7

Actually the plant was in Krusenhof near Riga. In 1937 it got subsidized by “Rīgas Vagonbūves Rūpnīca” (RVR).

RVR then became well known to the cartridge community as “Vairogs”.
Here the excerpt from my database:
Rīgas Vagonbūves Rūpnīca, RigaFounded in 1895 as factory for train cars “Feniks”, in 1915 evacuated to Rybinsk and plant there was renamed in 1918 to “Proletariy” and kept on as factory #808 after nationalization, factoy was reestablished in Riga before 1919, by 1930 the German “Linke-Hofmann-Busch-Werke” (part of the Flick concern) were the sole share holder of the company, in 1936 sold to “Riga Credit Bank” and renamed to “Vairogs”, in 1937 obtained the ammunition factory of S&B Riga, after Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 renamed to Factory #520, in 1941 evacuated to Sverdlovsk and returned in 1943/1944, the remaining facilities were put under German administration of the “Bautzener Waggon- und Maschinefabrik” (also part of the Flick concern), in 1946 renamed to “Riga Train Car Factory” (RVZ), in 1991 factory became an independent enterprise and got renamed to “Rīgas Vagonbūves Rūpnīca” (RVR).

RVR website:
rvr.lv/en/1_2.html


#8

Then its WW2 German factory code was “llf” for Rigaer Waggonfabrik Vairogs (address Dorpater Landstrasse 14).


#9

JPeelen, thanks a lot for reminding me! I did not think of checking on the Wehrmacht codes as I did with Polish factories.