Speer Primers


#1

Just acquired a 1000-count sleeve, and additional box of 58, of Speer No. 200M primers.


The primers are brass, flat, and have two-leg anvil. The 100-count boxes inside are plain with only the numbers 1-84 stamped on them. They have wooden trays that, like Federal primer boxes of the early 1950’s, are too short for the box.

Altho the sleeve label is for Speer Cartridges, Inc., it is stamped “SCW BA 7” on one side which someone tried to cover with a black felt tip marker. I presume the SCW is for Speer Cartridge Works.

Previously I’d only seen two other Speer primers boxes.

Both are unopened, covered with a paper label, have no other information printed on them, are the same size and weight as those from the 1000-count sleeve. I presume they also contain wooden trays.
The only indication of age I have is that I bought Remington, Peters, and Winchester boxes of 38 Special from the same estate. The boxes were dated 1953, 1954, and 1957.
Can anybody shed light on their chronological order, their dates, etc.?


#2

I can make some suggestions. The 2 Speer brothers started different munitions related manufacturing in Lewiston. Dick Speer created the Speer Cartridge Works right after WWII (I think in 1948) - that would be the earliest of the two boxes, later just Speer Cartridge, Inc, which then became CCI (Cascade Cartridge Ind.) about 1951 or 52 (don’t remember exactly). That puts these two boxes about 1948 - 1951/52. Military contracts were the mainstay of the business. Brother, Vernon started the bullet business, i have a couple of his first bullet boxes.
Should you decide to part with one or two please let me know as I do not have either example in my CCI - Speer collection.


#3

I now know what the “1-84” represents.
First, now that I’ve had time to think about it, a couple observations. The labels on both the SPEER CARTRIDGE, INC 1000-count sleeve and No. 200 100-count box are both yellow whereas the SPEER CARTRIDGE WORKS (SCW) label is white. Only the military would identify primers as PRIMER, PERCUSSION. I think both the SCW box and 1000-count sleeve are for military contracts, hence the 10 boxes in the sleeve don’t need paper labels because they’re going directly into a hopper at the arsenal. (I wonder if the short wooden trays, like Federal primer trays of the time, are for the same thing – to facilitate loading into a arsenal hopper.) Of course, that doesn’t explain why the SCW box has a paper label.
Second, years ago I talked to a CCI tech rep about dating their primers. She explained that before 1970 they recorded primer lot numbers and production dates in a book which disappeared decades before our conversation. What she did say was those lot numbers began with a 1 for large rifle (No. 200), 3 for large pistol (No. 300), 5 for small pistol (No. 500), etc., followed by a one-up number for the lot. So the 1-84 is the 84th lot of large rifle primers.
I scoured my meager collection for evidence supporting that information and found the following:
1/No. 200 (large rifle) - 1 551 left, 1 1455 right.

15/No. 250 (large rifle magnum, even tho it doesn’t say so) - 15 330 left, 15 494 right.

35/No. 350 (large pistol magnum) - 35 1950

5/No. 500 (small pistol) - 5 128 left, 5 834 right.

6/No. 109 (Winchester 209 size) - 6 262 left, 6 769 right.

7/No. 157 (Remington 57 size) - 7 925.

There is another series of CCI primer boxes with radically different lot numbers, which may mean they were produced by somebody else. They will be the subject of a future reply here.


#4

Hi dArtagan

You photo of the unopened

The yellow box on the right of #200 were the 1st commercial offered ca mid 1950’s. (By Richard A, Speer) There are two quite different size warnings on the back of these. One very big & one quite tiny.

The white one on the left 200M are thought to be his earliest and for possible sales to the US for Cal. .30 ammunition. The “M” is THOUGHT to note this Military use or market.

Hope this is of use & if you have an extra of this new one, please save it for me.


#5

A series of CCI boxes have radically different lot numbers than the others.

Top left is 066 39 1099, top right 077 31 1315, bottom 063 69 2913.