UMC New Club Shot Shell Headstamp Question


Hi All,

I am new here and have a question on a shot shell headstamp. I collect and research excavated shot shell heads. One that I recently received is a UMC New Club. I am very familiar with this line of shells. This one is a bit different though. It has SS in an oval stamped in it. I cannot find any reference to it in any vintage catalogs, magazines, examples for sale, boxes with this headstamp, etc. If anyone has any information on this headstamp or can tell me what the SS in the oval stands for, I would really appreciate your help.



Hi Doug, my absurdly thorough Google searching managed only to find your forum post from Dec 24th on this same topic, and no other mention anywhere on the internet can be found (in text form). So yes… I would say Very rare. Aside from the possibilities you had mentioned on the metal detecting forum:

Sponsored Shooter
Single Shot
Special Strong (primer)
Shot Shell (as opposed to similarly sized large bore gatling loads with solid projectiles)

I would also throw “Salesman Sample” into the mix as a possibility, which would be discernible if the state of the hull were known, which would normally include a window or section cut into it to show the contents for display. Since there are very few salesman samples made, this might explain the relative scarcity of this headstamp, but the other options are all logical candidates as well.

If nobody on the forum here knows, then the only other recourse might be a “whatzit” type display with a large printed photo near the entrance of the St Louis International Cartridge show in April where there are dozens of IAA members in attendance without computers / forum-exposure who might recognize it.


How about Semi Smokeless?



[quote=“xjda68”]How about Semi Smokeless?
Also a good guess. Things like King’s or Schultze’s semi-smokless powder would have been that era.


S.S. was also a brand of shot shell powder they offered custom loading of there there shells in 1896, but “New Club” shells were only loaded with Black powder as far as I know. Take a magnet to it, maybe by wild guess it is steel shot, but I seriously doubt it.



How do you explain the dented primer on a salesman sample?
As far as I know they all have unstuck primers.

Just an idea.

regards rené


How do you explain the dented primer on a salesman sample?
As far as I know they all have unstuck primers.
Just an idea.
regards rené[/quote]
That would typically be the case, but perhaps someone loaded it and tried to fire it anyway? If it did not have a window, then maybe they would not have known. I only mention that in case the hull is there to examine, but only the headstamp is shown so far.

There is also “Shur Shot” that crossed my mind, but I believe that was later than when this headstamp is from.


Unfortunately all I have is the shot shell head. This is an excavated sample and the “paper” hull is long gone. Found in the same vicinity were several other of these headstamps (with the SS), some UMC New Club shot shell heads (normal) and Club shots shell heads. With the amount of shot shell heads being found in the one location, it makes me think that there was some sort of sporting event or exhibition being held there.

I really appreciate the guesses, ideas and other venues of research that has been given so far. PLEASE keep them coming.



If there are plenty of others, then forget the salesman sample guess. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have too many sporting shotshell collectors here in the forum, but there are some in the IAA. A photo of the headstamp in the next IAA journal would be a good idea. We could forward the photo to Chris Punnett if you want.


There were a total of four of the SS headstamps found at this site.

PLEASE forward the image to whomever you need to. I can get more images, closer images, whatever is needed. Can you tell me how I can see any responses that might come from this journal? I would appreciate it. I can PM you or post an email address here, or whatever is recommended.



I think it was loaded with powder from the Smokeless Powder Co. See the logos on the can. Although not oval it is SS in a border.


Doug, I forwarded the image of the headstamp along with a brief description about it to the journal editor Chris Punnett. It will hopefully make it either into the next journal or the journal after that. I put your email with it for anyone to email a response to… If that’s ok?

It’s pretty rare that we get a headstamp or headstamp marking in the forum here that nobody knows anything about, so this should be interesting.


Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate the help. I will also continue my research and will start with the Smokeless Powder Company.



[quote=“PetedeCoux”]I think it was loaded with powder from the Smokeless Powder Co. See the logos on the can. Although not oval it is SS in a border.

Good picture Pete, thats what I am referring to (“Smokeless Sporting” brand made by The Smokeless Powder Company limited, London England). The only thing is, like I stated earlier, “New Club” shells were only loaded with Black Powder as far as I know, but this headstamp may be a rare find.



I’m sure this was loaded with Smokeless Powder Co. powder, but not here, the Smokeless Powder Co. very likely imported the hulls, loaded & marked them. A common practice, both here and in England.

The Krider Phila. - Eley shell is one example of the other way. Hull Cartridge imported Peters hulls but didn’t mark them, Remington had a plant & not all of their product was marked as loaded in England.


The “New Club” shell has an interesting story because, when introduced late in 1891, it was actually adapted for smokeless powders like American Wood, E. C., Schultze and S. S., as well as black powder. Early in 1892, it was advertised as loaded with S. S. smokeless powder only, and a few months later it was also offered loaded with E. C. and Schultze smokeless powders.

Then, in mid-1892 the “Smokeless” shell was announced as adapted to American Wood, E. C., Schultze and S. S. smokeless powder only. Its introduction evidently modified the powder type intended for the “New Club” shell, because by 1894 it was described as “designed for use with black powders” and offered loaded with black powder only. It seems that the shotshell line was revised around this date, because some shells like the “Smokeless” are described as “reinforced after June 1st, 1894”, for example.

Considering that when introduced it was loaded with S. S. powder only, I am of the same opinion as Pete. If this is correct, the reason of the scarcity of this headstamp may have been caused by the sudden introduction of the “Smokeless” shell just a few months later.




Fede, I am in no way questioning you. Please don’t take it that I am. Do you have anything period that shows the New Club being loaded with anything but black powder? All of my 1891 resource material shows only the Club line of shells and the earliest 1892 material that I have is from July 1891 and it lists the New Club as being black powder only (this was after the introduction of the Smokeless line of shells). If you can lead me to any original (period) articles, catalogs, advertisements, etc. that show the New Club being sold as a “smokeless” shell, I would so greatly appreciate it. It would help me with verification and in my research.



Doug, as an example, here you can see its description in the following ad published in April 1892:

P.S.: Do you actually mean to say “July 1891”?




July 1892 is what I meant. I am indebted to you for this advertisement. I has already helped me and will greatly help me with revising some of my data. Thank you so much.



Here is information of July 1, 1892 as “NEW CLUB” hulls only being utilised for Black Powder ONLY.

Next page, bottom right corner.

Center top states. (“New Club” and other lower grade shells being only suitable for Black Powder)

Fede, nice picture of add, it is in mint condition, but I feel they certainly changed there mind of using for other than Black Powder before 1894.


PS: These come directly from our free information on IAA front page.