A large collection which is currently being auctioned off on Gunbroker.com has quite a few STUFFERS.
What is a STUFFER?
If you collect small arms ammo you may not be familiar with this term which is used widely in the world of collecting BIG ammo.
A STUFFER is a cartridge which has the wrong projectile in it just because the projectile fits.
This is quite common in sales of collections by heirs and their agents who look over a collection and stick any projectile into any similar size hole which they find. This can also be quite a problem for GUN AUCTIONEERS who tend to do the same thing.
A 20mm projectile made in Sweden fits nicely into a 20mm case made in Japan and so that is where it goes.
The current collection in mention has had some real flagrant STUFFERS. One inch Nordenfelt with 25mm Italian projectile . No problem that the Italian was made nearly half a century after the Nordenfelt became obsolete. The case for the Italian was sold in a later lot with another wrong projectile in it.
STUFFERS are a real problem for new collectors or buyers who are in the market outside of their field of knowledge.
I have seen many “RARE” items purchased which were STUFFERS.
Knowledge is the best investment in any kind of collecting.
There is a maxim in science that “nature abhors a vaccuum”.
There is a maxim in collecting ammo that “collectors abhor a case without a projectile” .
Best advice for collecting anything; buy the reference materials first. That will save you plenty of money and face. Nothing quite so unpleasant in collecting as showing your collection to someone who you are intent on impressing and having misidentified items and stuffers pointed out. A bad time all around.
In any collector cartridge there are at least 2 holes which when empty stare at you and mock you until you put something in. The big hole at the front is the really bad one but the primer hole is also something in need of attention and these are often the hardest to fill.
Some shells like the German side primed recoiless shells have 3 holes; the front, the rear and the side primer.
The US multi-hole case recoiless are really bad. The entire case is full of holes which after firing look terrible.
It is no surprise that anyone fills these mocking holes with whatever fits.
I have modified my collectors maxim to " ammunition collectors abhor an empty hole". I know I do ! Man, its hard to find 17 and 29mm projectiles !