"Special" shotshell

Does anyone know the origins of this headstamp on a full brass shotshell?Skann_20200328 (2)

I see it on a number of British shells, but who actually made it I do not know.

Description of primer would help.

It certainly would, but all I have is a blurry image from another forum. I’ll try to contact the owner.

Wrong about the British, Those are marked SPECIAL SMOKELESS. Sorry about that.
But did find this one which is not exactly the same but perhaps of help.
It has a large copper primer with D&C in the triangular logo which is also marked ROSTFRFI.

I should learn to read, your talking of a brass shell.


I think that should read ROSTFREI, meaning Stain less or Stainless, meaning non-corrosive priming, yea?

Hi vidar

No proof and just an idea, but for some reason I think it is American
On the other hand I cannot find it in iverson’s book.
I know, not much help but maybe a direction.

Regards rené

Hi Pete,
A very nice shotshell you have there.
Thanks for the pictures!!

OK knew I had one & I got it at John Wilkes (London) when I worked there, I now have in in with my Belgian shells for some reason I can’t recall. But perhaps because at one time so many British makers were prone to buy Continental shells because of price.
It is 2.5:" long all brass, nothing magnetic & Boxer primed.

BadgerJack you are correct but that is how it is on the primer. Evidently a bad bunter.

Rene Thanks , I agree it is a neat shell.


Thanks guys,
I’m not too interested in shotshells, but I’m fascinated by cartridge history. The shell that started all this belongs to a person here in Norway, and it’s the same full brass shotshell that Pete shows. Yesterday the fellow here in Norway announced that he had the answer. According to Curtis Steinhauer of “cartridge-corner” the SPECIAL 12 headstamp is British, but no other information or documentation.According to the owner, the mystery has been solved and he is happy. However, it’s not that simple. In the book “Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers”, by John Walter it says: “Special” (The) A mark reported on a 12.bore shotgun cartridge made by Eley Bros. prior to the First World War for W. Metcalf of Catterick. Ken J. Rutterford shows the headstamp SPECIAL 12 in his book “The Cartridge Collection from the Pen of Ken” and without anything about the case being brass or paper, lists it as of German origin. I wasn’t able to find anything in C.W.Harding’s three books on British cartridge manufacturers, nor in Manfred Beutter’s publications on shotshells. The Buttweiler auction catalogs don’t mention this brass case, and the same in the Beutter auction catalogs. Now Pete says it might be of Belgian origin! Historical cartridge research isn’t easy! Here is an interesting item in the 1910 German ALFA catalog.

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As noted by Vidar I can’t really say it is Belgium made and I did get it in a British gun shop that was established in 1830 & the 4th & 5th generation of gun makers were working there at that time, It came to me in this condition, but perhaps a bit brighter 50 plus years ago?
I could never find anything definite on it & the primer size or the look of the case did not seem to be British. So only a feeling that I put it with the my other Belgium made shells. And believe it or not, I have been wrong before.
Sorry a not very good answer.
Thanks for the interest in this Vidar.

As an aside I obtained the above “Koenig” shell from Manfred at a SLICS.

The name “SPECIAL” was used by many companies