U.M.C. Primer Diameters


#1

U.M.C. Boxer primers come in 3 diameters.

A-No. 00-A quite small diameter primer

B-No 1, 1 1/2, 6, 6 1/2 & 10 all all the same diameter.

C-No. 2, 2 1/2, 7, 7 1/2, 8 1/2, 9, & 9 1/2 are all the same diameter.

I need to know the diameter of each of the 3 sizes in inches.

The same for Berdan #1, #1 1/2 and #2 primers.

The same for Wesson #1 & #2 primers. How can you tell a Wesson Primer from a Berdan?

The same for U.M.C. Colt’s Primer. This is not the same as the Colt’s Percussion Caps. This is, I think, a special size for Colt Pistol Cartridges.

Thanks for the help.


#2

Ron…

Here is the info I have…

A = .125"
B = .175"
C = .210"
#1 and 1-1/2 Berdan = .255"
#2 Berdan = .210"

Ron, I believe the Wesson primers were the .175" size, but I seem to remember they were of lesser height than the ones above. The Wesson primer is a Boxer type, not Berdan. I’ll try to do some more digging on this. I used to have tins of them, but not anymore.

Randy


#3

Randy–Thanks a lot for the information. I need this information to illustrate the revised edition of my my U.M.C. CD. I would like a shaded line drawing of the Wesson #1 and #2 as well as the Colt’s Pistol Primer if possible. I have used nice drawings from the U.M.C. catalogs to illustrate all the other types of primers. I’ll use a B&W photo or scan if I need to, but a line drawing would be nicer if someone could find one.


#4

Randy–When I went to add those diameters to the U.M.C. database, I see I missed 3 primers that I need the diameters of: #3, #33 and #5. These were all for shotshells. Do you know what their diameters were?


#5

Ron,
I was not aware that the Wesson primers came in more than one size. I have a UMC tin of these primers, but the labeling makes no mention of the size that I can make out through the rust stains. I have the patent drawing for the Wesson primer on the August 2005 picture page on my web site at oldammo.com/august05.htm if anyone has an interest.


#6

I’m going from memory here–always a chancy business–but I think the primer UMC introduced as the Wesson, with no numerical identifer, later became the Wesson no. 0. It was a thinner version of the usual Winchester no. 1 (.175 in.) primer. Later UMC adopted the Winchester 1 and 2 Boxer-type primers (.175 and .210 respectively) and called them Wesson no. 1 and no. 2. Later the “Wesson” was dropped from their description. Jack


#7

Guy–Thanks. Nice picture. Now we know one of the Wesson primers was 0.173 diameter, but which one. Here is a page from the 1 May 1882 U.M.C. catalog that lists the 2 sizes of the Wesson primer. In fact, it seems to indicate there are 3 sizes.


#8

Jack–What you said sounds reasonable. Can you come up with any documentation. I really do not what to include your information in my U.M.C. CD based on a “if I remember correctly”.


#9

Ron: I’ll look through my notes tonight, but maybe Guy can help sooner. I think that if any of the Wesson primers was .173 it was likely the first one that later carried the 0 designation. I think the 1 and 2 were interchangeable with the Winchester-type primers with those designations and thus .175 and .210. Jack
(p.s. on his web site I see Guy says the UMC no. 0 primer came out in 1883, so I believe that’s the date the Wesson without a number identifier became the UMC no. 0. It would have been a headache having Wesson no. 1 and Wesson no. 2 and just plain “Wesson” available for confused purchasers)


#10

Jack–Thanks. I have tentatively added that information to the database with a “?” until we come up with some more documentation. BTW the way, I got the 0.173 diameter from Guy’s link from above.