Unknown RF ctge

What is this RF ctge ?

Rim diameter 16.25
base diameter 14.25
neck diameter 12.65
bullet diameter 12.40
case length 36.70
total length 56.25
no hstp


That’s a real stumper. It bears a visual resemblance to a .56-46 Spencer. The rim and base diameters match the .56-46 Spencer Extra Long Case. The case length is somewhere between the Long and Extra Long case. Neck diameter is a fair bit bigger on your example then on the Spencer Extra Long. The overall length is a tad bit shorter than an Extra Long Spencer as well.

Measurements it is very close to the 45-60 Peabody but the bullet has me stumped…

there is a 12.4 x 36 rimfire in the Minne listing with the reference unknown (Muller)
I don’t know which book this Muller wrote.


You thought Peabody too? I used your website and found you said it was close to the Peabody. Then I thought of the Spencer and forgot about the Peabody altogether.

  1. you say 45-60 Peabody

  2. in the Ecra base they say 50 Frankford Arsenal Peabody Experimental (and not 45).

They have a case length going from 26.8 to 38.5 mm. isn’t it too much ??

  1. a friend told me Swedish or Norvegian

  2. another friend told me Danish or Swiss

What is the good designation ??


Something to look at, Small Arms Ammunition at the International Exposition Philadelphia, 1876 sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontri … T-0011.pdf

See page 21, the description of cartridge #122, caliber 50 bottle neck rimfire. Also see page 59, photo plate #27, item k which is a picture of a sectioned cartridge #122.


Hi JP.
This is definately of European origin based on where it originated from. The US government sold off excess rimfire manufacturing equipment in the late 1860’s and early 1870’s. Some of there were purchased by Norway, Sweden, and others. With the machinery came dies for manufacturing rimfire ammunition that the US arsenals (National and Frankford) had used or experimented with. As a result, there are some European production rounds and experimentals which look very similar to US Frankford Arsenal and National Arsenal round of that time period. A good example is the 50 Lund carbine round with the smaller calibre bullets (I think they tried at least 2 sizes before settling on the 50 calibre or 12 x 28.6R). Also, the 11.7 x 27R Danish Remington Carbine may have also been tested in a Spencer carbine (from conversations back in the early 1980’s). I know this just confuses the issue. However, I am very comfortable in saying that it is definately of European manufacture. We may never know how made it or for what arm.

During the 1860 & early 1870 period there were many trials by various counrtries of various arms from different countries. The Swiss even tried a 10.5mm Crispin rimfire (?), which was just a 50 Crispin cartridge necked down to 10.5 calibre. The English also tried a .577 Snider rimfire cartridge. The gun for this exists at the Leeds ‘Firepower’ Museum.

I will be able to tell you more when I compare the round to other European rimfires in my collection.


The measurements of this unknown are very close to a bottlenecked .50-60-370 cartridge that was tested by the State of New York in 1867. This cartridge was clearly described as having a case with a .56 cylindrical body suddenly necked to .50 (it was not the same as the .50-60 Peabody, that was also tested). Regretably, its use was not listed.

NY Trials vs. Unknown:

Rim diameter: .65 vs. .638" (16.51 vs. 16.22 mm)
Head diameter: .56 vs. .558" (14.22 vs. 14.18 mm)
Shoulder diameter: .56 vs. 555" (14.22 vs. 14.10 mm)
Neck diameter: .50 vs .496" (12.70 vs. 12.60 mm)
Bullet diameter: .49 vs. 488" (12.44 vs. 12.42 mm)
Case length: 1.46 vs. 1.436" (37.08 vs. 36.48 mm)
Total length: 2.20 vs. 2.17" (55.88 vs. 55.16 mm)
Total weight: 535 vs. 540 gr (34.66 vs. 35 g)
Bullet weight: 370 gr (23.97 g)
Powder weigth: 60 gr (3.88 g)
Number of grooves: 3
Rim thickness: 0.6" (1.52 mm)

An example of this unknown cartridge was reported in 1966 by Henri Muller of Mons, Belgium.



Hi Fede.

Where did you find the dimensions of the N.Y. Trail cartridge? Were these taken from Henri Muller’s specimen? I remember seeing some measurements of chamber casts from Rifles and Carbines from the Andy Listiuk collection about the late 1970’s, but don’t remember the source (the gun report maybe?). He was collecting in the 1950’s and 60’s and was long gone by the time I came along. He lived in Upstate New York if I remember correctly and had amassed a very large collection of issued and experimental US Civil War and slighly after guns.

I am trying to remember where I saw these. If I remember and can find them again, I will post the source. Time to go digging in the dungeon (library in the basement). I hope I kept it…


Will, a partial copy of the report was published in ICCA Bulletin No. 313 p. 20-21 and the measurement of Muller’s specimen in ECCC Bullerin No. 24 p. 69. Below you can see a copy of the full table of cartridges tested by the State of NY in 1867 (see cartridge identified as “O”). Regards, Fede.


Thank you. I knew I had seen them somewhere.