Skinny 16 Gauge

I had the attached images sent to me (I mention this in case some of you might worry that I’m about to collect shothells!).

The headstamp clearly indicates a Gustav Genschow 16-gauge and the rim diameter (0.771”) seems OK for a 16 gauge but the head diameter of 0.643” is way too small, being closer to a 24 gauge. I would have thought that dramatically resizing the case head would have distorted the paper case – which looks undamaged?

Can anyone enlighten me on this low-calorie, extra slim “16-gauge”?

GECO 16 gauge

Chris P.

Hi Chris,

It looks like a cigarette lighter. Can you ask the owner to try to dismount the front section?



I agree with Fede, the red painted body should just pull straight apart from the base. Should be just friction fitted.

Thanks Fede – I passed on the request to the current owner and the results are below.

GECO 16 gauge lighter

You’re right as usual: it is a lighter !! Now why didn’t I think of that….?

I can’t help but smile at the irony – the word “Rauchlos” – “Smokeless” – “Smoke Less” on a cigarette lighter !!!
Ok maybe I’m the only one who thinks that’s funny!

Chris P

1 Like

Nice! I have seen these post-war examples in Geco catalogs from the 1950’s but I don’t have any at hand to post scans. However, here is one from the 1929 catalog:



Chris - You ain’t the only one who thinks its funny,
pardner. I think it is downright hilarious! :-) :-)

Regarding the item itself though, a very nice collectable
for those who save novelty “cartridges.” I am envious. No
sarcasm there - I love these things.

John Moss

Here are 2 and a half more. The Sequoia from John Moss’s home town, The Eley from Chris P.'s old stomping grounds & the half apparently made for an Egyptian gunsmith.
The smoke -less comment was pretty good Chris.

lighter tawlighter hs

Pete - thanks. I have a Sequoia-marked box of 20 rounds,
on chargers, of 7.63 mm Mauser ammunition, made in Italy,
as I recall.

They are from a time when San Francisco was loaded with gun
shops. In fact, on the street the SF Gun Exchange was on, Second
Street (In SF the numbered streets are by custom spelled out while
the number avenues are numerically written (ie: 24th Avenue), many
of the major arms companies, like Winchester and Remington, had
offices. I do not know of a single gun shop or even pawn shop selling
guns existing in San Francisco today.

I’ll have to keep my eyes out for one of those SEQUOIA SAN FRANCISCO
shotgun shells. The only thing we ever had an S.F. Gun Exchange headstamp
on was British-made shotgun chromed-metal snap-cap dummies, in .410, 20, 16,
and 12 gauge. Not applicable here, but we also had our “Brand name” on a line
of holsters, although they were made by the now-defunct Nelson Leather Company,
as I recall in Oregon.

John Moss

John Moss

Here is a Norwegian one,from Nitedal.
This one is also stamped 16 but the diameter is almost exactly 20 GA.

There also exist a red one marked Nitedals Spesial on the side.
Regards Finn


A few more lighters.!



I have been messing about with collectable cartridges since the 1950s and have never before seen anything like that. Dummy .50 Browning MG lighters are quite common, but never before saw shotgun shells.

Here are some more shot gun shell types & one on a German 15mm case.


Pete, this is a 15mm case.
The headstamp looks most interesting. Could you post a better image of it or put it on a scanner at highest dpi setting?

Thanks Alex edited to correct.
No scanner here so perhaps this is a better photo.

Pete, thanks a lot, an extraordinary headstamp you got there!