Stumped with Identification

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This cartridge had been misidentified and sitting in my collection for eons. I have consulted COTW, this forum, and websites, without success. The bullet measures 0.380 inches in diameter, dimensionally the cartridge is 9.7x57Rmm. There are no headstamp markings.

I am too embarrassed to say how I had cataloged it, other than to admit, once upon a time, I occasionally accepted vendors’ descriptions at point of sale without verifying. Pending identification, the good news is that I don’t have a similar cartridge elsewhere in my collection!

Any help would be appreciated.

What is the body, shoulder, and neck/case mouth diameter?

Body 13.1mm - 0.515"
Shoulder 12.87mm - 0.511"
Neck 11.64mm - 0.458"

(Rim 16.08mm - 0.590")

The bullet seems heavy for the size of the cartridge case.

All but the bullet and rim…looks like .43 Spanish.
See what others think.

It is one of the Mauser M71 derivatives used for target shooting in appropriate rifles from 1870s to 1900s.
On another post here, I just saw a long list of different short rounds made with 11x60 R cases for such use.
The thread is titled 11mm Mauser M71 etc.???

Doc AV

Looks like a regular .43 Spanish Remington made by UMC. Bullet diameter of this variant with crimped mouth would be around .425-.429" (10.85-10.90 mm), but not .380" (9.65 mm).

Fede, the bullet diameter seems to be the one dimension that excludes the mystery cartridge as a .43 Spanish.

It does bear a strong “family resemblance” to two other cartridges I have compared to it:

10.75 x 58Rmm Russian Berdan
11.15 x 58Rmm Austrian Werndl M77

The placement of the sloping shoulder on all three is identical. Still, the big difference is the bullet diameter (9.7mm), and the fact that both the Berdan and Werndl rims are recessed around the circumference, while the unknown cartridge has a lightly ridged but otherwise flat base surface.

Please, can you verify the diameter? Sorry to insist, but I doesn’t look like a 9.7 mm bullet.

9.62 to 9.74mm. The bullet isn’t perfectly round, even though it shows no signs of damage. Is this normal for the load?

If the neck is 11.64mm and the bullet 9.7mm (measured down against the case mouth), then the metal in the neck would have to be unusually thick.

I confirmed that both measurements - upper edge of the neck (11.64mm) and the bullet down against the case mouth (9.62 - 9.74mm) - are accurate. The difference in diameter is 1.9 to 2.02mm since the bullet isn’t perfectly round. It’s a significant difference, as shown in the photo.

Is the white substance around the neck the remnants of a paper patch?

That case thickness at the mouth is unrealistic and should be closer to 0.7-0.8mm

I believe that this may be an example of “smaller apparent bullet diameter” and the measurement of the bullet above the case mouth is likely smaller than it actually is. If the bullet were to be removed you would likely find that it is another c1.2mm larger in diameter. It may be the top diagram in the following:


I also believe that this is the 11mm Spanish Remington.

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It was poor lighting. No paper remnant. I checked with a good magnifying glass. There’s no sign of a paper patch, or that someone had cut it off at the mouth.

I think you may have nailed it. The measurements are accurate. On a non-scientific basis, I can say that the difference between the “apparent bullet diameter” and the case mouth is thicker than my thumbnail on all sides. Yours is a sensible explanation, that the bullet diameter is wider inside than outside the mouth.

Looks like a 43 Spanish with heavy crimp.

I wonder if that bullet could have been severely oxidized at one time and was cleaned. That could account for the lack of symmetry of the bullet, the white material in the neck that was mistaken for the remnants of a paper patch, and the uncharacteristically small diameter of the bullet at the case mouth.

Again, the “white material” was due to harsh lighting. There is no residue.

The possibility of doctoring the bullet cannot be ruled out. Previously this had crossed my mind. If that’s what it was, the perp was adroit because there are no signs of this, other than the asymmetrical diameter.

I was doing some tired-thinking… mayhap someone had damaged the bullet about half a lifetime ago, and “shaved” it, or “turned” it, or some such to it, with the intent to make it “round” again?

That is a possibility, although turning or shaving the bullet seems to be a lot of work for a modestly-priced cartridge. There are no tell-tale signs of the lead surface having been “worked.” In the alternative, poor quality control at time of manufacture.

It’s a bit of an oddity I am glad to have in my collection.

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