Unknown foil cartridge


I have had this cartridge in my collection for some time and don’t know what it is. Any info would be great.
OAL 2.567" case length 2.251" rim dia. .484 paper patch bullet .359" no head stamp
hp bullet with wood plug in bullet tip.


The dimensions and appearance closely match a .360 2 1/4 inch coiled black powder express. See Fleming page 55. Bill


Any knowledge of who made it?


Apparently most of these were made by Eley. See Fleming page 54. Bill


Eley usually liked to headstamp their cases but its not guaranteed. The calibre was popular and used by many gunmakers. So the implication would be several possible makers of ammunition. Many gunmakers of this era had backstreet factories churning out ammunition for them. This is a very early one so I don’t think there is much chance of identifying the maker. Unless you can match it with a picture in an Eley catalogue circa 1880.

The wooden tipped bullet might be a givaway


Fleming attributed the coiled case with a LPPRNWPHP bullet to be made by Eley, but you are correct, it may have been anyone.


How very inconsiderate of these people not to headstamp their cartridges!


If it helps, I have a 360 with a headstamp that has a wood plug in the bullet. I also have the same one you have with no headstamp. Is the bullet a identifier of Eley?


This is something new to me. I knew the gun trade often had actioners, lock makers, stockers, barrel makers & browners/bluers & etc, & etc, not “in house” but not ammunition makers, who I thought was pretty much limited to Eley, Kynoch, BSA, N.A.&A.Co. plus G&A & perhaps one or two more? (not considering the Arsenals) I understood, the ammunition companies would & could label or headstamp their product for any gunmaker who ordered the base amount, but not that their were “backstreet factories”. Am I wrong?

For a “backstreet factory” to invest in the tooling & machinery to produce this ammo would require a sizable investment. Lets just take the base cup, 1-piece - not your typical Boxer Iron base-disc but a drawn cup with a formed rim & correct height. Then the bullet is swaged not cast. How about primers, are they buying at retail from Eley or Kynoch or producing “in house”. Then you have the brass foil investment, you have to buy enough to produce the contract, or do you buy more & hope for future contracts? Pretty soon your competing with the long established firms.

As to the round in question it is Eley manufacture, & he wood peg is typical Eley production for this caliber/case type.


At that time many / most gunmakers loaded shotgun cartridges in house. Think of the hardwood loading blocks. It would be wrong to think of these places as factories more like sheds and outhouses. You are certainly right about the outworkers. The whole of the London and Birmingham gun trade was a network of outworkers who basically made the guns and delivered them back for sale.

They also loaded a certain amount of other ammo as well although probably using bought in cases, but from where? as with the shotgun cases. The reason for this in part was the plethora of gunmakers who had their own range of unique calibres which wouldn’t have sold in large amounts individually. I would imagine this follows on from having to do a lot of the development work themselves and new calibres were appearing all over the place. You can see evidence later on when the patent bullets came into prominence that there must have been outworkers making these individual styles for people like H&H.

I was not suggesting that they were making the cases or that it would be economical for them to do so. What I was alluding to was that there is no way of knowing the route by which it came into being.