U.S.C.Co. questions

I have 2 questions about the U.S.C.CO. hopefully someone can answer

  1. I have a 32-20 with a flat nose tinned bullet which has a small S stamped near the neck ( smokeless ? ) what does it mean and what other codes did U.S.C.Co. use

  2. U.S.C.Co. primers stamped US (underlined and not entwined) do we know what years they were used ? thanks Randy [/u]

I would like to add to Randy’s questions what happened to the headstamp after USC Co was bought, out did it change right away or was there a transitional period where the headstamp was an altered form of USC Co? Vic

Vic: It’s my impression that the ammunition manufactured by WRA for USC in the years 1926-1935, give or take, bore headstamps similar or identical to those used by USC at the time production was wound up at Lowell, Mass. Perhaps a USC maven will sort this out for us. JG

I’ll add my two cents…in my experience, U.S.C.Co. headstamps remained the same after USC came under the wing of Winchester. I believe, from what I have observed, that USC headstamped ammunition was manufactured up until about 1941. The year 1936 has been tossed around as the final year of production for USCCo headstamped cartridges, but I have a 1938 list that shows it still being made. As to primers, my best guess is that the monogrammed primers were used from, say…1905 until sometime in the 20’s. My belief is that the “S” on the bullet jacket stood for “States”, in United States Cartridge Co. but I may be incorrect. If we bring the .30 Krag into the picture, the earliest cartridges made by USCCo do not have the “S” on the bullet…why add it later, for “Smokeless”, when everyone knew the cartridge was smokeless? They could have used a “US” stamp on the bullet, but the dies would have been expensive and complicated to stamp two letters at once…Randy

I was always told that the “S” on bullets used by U.S.C.Co. stod for “Savage” as in “Savage Arms.” Savage Arms made their own ammunition from 1900 to 1927, at which time U.S.C.Co. started making it for Savage, from 1928 to 1934. I assumed when told the “S” stood for Savage, that U.S.C.Co. was using bullets left from the Savage ammo manufacturing era. I know that Savage used “S” marked primers for a time.

I could be completely wrong here. You don’t see the “S” marked bullets much in my field. Someone must have a definitive answer to the meaning of the “S” on bullets???

I have several different U.S.C.Co. .30 Army cartridges with 220 grain bullet, all with the “S” on the bullet. To my knowlecge, no Savage cartridge used a 220 grain bullet ? Perhaps Gary Muckel could chime in here with his vast knowledge of U.S.C.Co. products…Randy

Hello Gary, can you help ? thanks Randy