Star Wads (metal) by UMC?


This box belongs to another party who asked about it on another forum. I apologize for the picture quality; he couldn’t transmit them directly, so all I had to use was somewhat grainy prints and additional quality was lost in scanning those. The patent dates on the box are November 30, 1875 and January 30, 1883.

The first photo shows the box. The wads were packed in horizontal stacks . . . originally (probably) two layers of three stacks or two over three. Hard to tell because the majority are gone.

The second photo shows a close up of the wads. These are cup-shaped and, given the use instructions (see third photo), I would presume the seating process expanded them to grip the interior walls of the tube (?).

Can anyone shed any further light on these or guesstimate a value? They seem really NEAT!

Top wads - little summary from IAA forum

Teak–The two patents are as follows:

Patent #170,643 by George Smith, November 30, 1875

Patent # 271,527 by Otto F. Seibold, January 30, 1883

You can view both of these patents by using Google’s new FREE patent search engine. Go to Google, click on “More” select “Patents”. Type in the number (or whatever information you have) and it reteives the patent complete with drawings, etc.


Hi, Teak…They were also made in 10 Gauge…and possibly others…probably packed loose in the box, as I had a full box of the 10’s at one time…yes…made so the “fingers” of the star would “grab” the case wall…NOT COMMON !!!..If I was selling the box you picture…$50.00 minimum !!..although…it would probably take a specialist in shotshell wad boxes to bite…Randy


Thanks for the replies, gentlemen!

Are these a carry over from the techniques of loading brass shells? The specificity of “for PAPER SHOTSHELLS” suggests (like “A” and “B” sized brass cases) that these were made earlier / simultaneously for brass shells.

Any ideas of when these were in vogue (or at least in use)?

Randy, I could be wrong, but I would swear one couldn’t pack 250 in this container unless they were organized.



The side sealing label states “The METAL STAR WADS will hold the charge in place without closing the ends of the shells.” I believe they were loose pack as there is lots of “lost” space if you arrange them in columns 2x2 but not enough space to arrange them 3x3. A rough count says the box I have is full and there is probably room for a third more of the wads.


Thanks, Rich. I don’t have the box in hand, just the photos provided.


Teak–Did you go look at the patents I listed above? The Seibold Patent of Jan. 30 1883 #271,527 is the specific patent covering the wads you show. The patent description states in lines 25-30 that they can be used in both paper and brass shotshells.

Based on the box I would say these were made about 1885-1890. This was during the hayday of home reloding of shotshells and topwad retention, especially in cases that had been fired 2-3 times was a problem.