Some New Finds in Shotgun Shells

Didn’t know I had these. Found them in a box waiting to be inventoried.


UMCCo 4-inch all brass 12 gauge


The above 4-inch shell compared to a 3-inch 12 gauge -note the rupture by the base


New primed empty Winchester 8 gauge brass 3.25-inches


Parker Brothers 12 brass 12 gauge 2.53-inches


New primed empty Jack Rabbit from A. A. Co.


A 2-inch 410 from C. C. Co.


A 360 Eley loaded with a round ball


New primed empty 14 gauge UMCCo Club


A 2-inch 410 Remington/13mm


A 2.18-inch 12 Winchester 1901 Leader


A profile view of the 1901 Leader

Thanks for looking.

you may or may not be aware but Winchesters brand of 1901 shells were never sold factory loaded, but only as new primed empties.

The 4 inch brass 12 bore is a goodie, as is the C. C. Co. Mallard!


Thank you for taking your time to look at these shells and your comments. I am in the dark on many aspects of shotgun shells and did not know the 1901 Leaders were sold as NPEs only - good info. The 1901 Leader shown above has a labeled shot card that says “SEELY” or “SELBY SMOKELESS 6” in red ink. I interpret the 6 as #6 shot but don’t know anymore about it.

Do you know anything about the Jack Rabbit 16 gauge by A. A. Co? Is this a good collectible?


The Selby top wad is very likely correct. Selby was a California company who loaded shells into numerous hulls by different makers, like the 1901 series by Winchester. Some of the hulls they used are uncommon, like the yellow US Defiance. The U.S. Cart. Co. was a favorite hull for Selby to load into, but black was the color of most US hulls & so the yellow hull is uncommon.

Yes 6 would be the shot size, if there is a “c” after the shot size it would mean chilled shot (hardened). With Selby & others, often the rest of the load information would have been printed on the box. Powder type, how much powder and weight of the shot. The Leader brand was high-based brass & often used for hard-hitting or heavy loads.

Yes the American Ammunition Jack Rabbit is good, not to my mind as good as the other two I mentioned, but nothing wrong with it & it also exists in a 20 bore.

Yeah, the brass on the 1901 Leader is approximately half the overall length of the shell. This is a short shell so it must have carried a lighter payload of shot -maybe it was supposed to be a high velocity load.

I appreciate your comments (again) because I never heard of Selby. I have lots of reference material for rifle and pistol cartridges, but not shotgun shells. I need to buy one.

Pete, you should write a book or maybe you have already.

Thanks again.



The actual name of “Selby” was “Thomas H. Selby & Co.” At that time,circa 1870, they were primarily importers of metals, with offices at 116-118 California Street, which was right in downtown San Francisco. Their smelting works was in the North Beach Section of Northeast San Francisco. By 1900, the name of the company was “Selby Smelting and Lead Company.” They had a shot tower on the southeast corner of Howard and First Streets, which is also in downtown S.F. In fact, it was about a block and a hlaf from our Gun Shop, although to my knowledge, the tower was gone before I was even born. The Assay and General Office was at 416 Montgomery Street, which was in the area that today is considered the financial district of San Francisco, north of Market Street, which is pretty much the main, downtown street of the city, although in my view, not the most important street by far. In 1900 the smelting works were in Vallejo Junction, in Contra Costa County, which is across the Bay from San Francisco and some distance from it. I honestly don’t know where Vallejo Junction was and have never heard of it in any context other than the Selby Co. The City of Vallejo, in the S.F. Bay Area, is in Solano country, not Contra Costa.

In passing, in the 1870s, Thomas H. Selby was Mayor of San Francisco, an indication of the his standing and that of his company in the city at that time.

There are have been a number of articles in IAA Journals over the years either about or touching on Selby Smelting and Lead Company. The cover of the Journal issue 454, March/April 2007, has a nice picture of a sample box of windown shotshells from Selby. The box indicates that the company had facilities in Seattle, Washington, as well as San Francisco. Check the IAA Index on the website for these articles.

This is just a very small capsule glance of the information in my own files, and I am sure specialists in shotgun ammo have much more than I do on the company.