US 1" M1882 Very flare gun cartridges


Is there anythng known on the US made (?) ammo for the initially adopted 1" M1882 Very pistol?
To what I understood it was used feom 1882 till 1884 and then the gun was adapted for the 10GA flare cartridge.

I am now curious to learn about the original US 1" cartrideg which was used back then.

And docs, images and data available?


Here are two red flares, one fired showing the side of the case joint & one live (top & right) still with most of it’s black paint & a red top wad with a raised bump in the center. Both used a Winchester New No. 4 primer & notice the separate heads.
Thought I had a box but on a quick look can’t lay hands on it.


Pete, to what I understood these are WW1 production when the US had a short revival of the caliber during WW1 in Europe and used French guns. It all ended in 1918 again.


OK Alex, that makes sense. thanks.


Pete, but speaking of these it would be most interesting to see more of these samples and hear what other people have to say about.
Are there maybe documents available or images of packing material?
To what is known some of these cartridges had shown up in Denmark later (WW2 time?). But there I do not know the background.


These are tho only two examples I have Alex, looked again for a box, but no luck.

The first pistol flares were by Coston and those were of US Civil war era (Pat Apr. 5, 1859). (there is an early board pictured on the cover of one of the old ICCA {or earlier} magazines) I have no idea how long they continued in service but as per the label on the below 1.5" dummy, they also had a May 21, 1901 patent. Other patent dates noted on the label: Extended Apr 5, 1873, Pat’d Feb. 1, 1881 and Nov 3, 1896.
The below is 8 3/16" long, has a brass head pinned to the vertical seamed, zinc(?)-plated steel body with red cloth-tape covering the mouth and case mouth. The struck primer is copper with a brass battery cup.


Some info on the Coston signal flare mentioned by Pete (above)-

The International Cartridge Collector, Vol. 3 No.2, Dec. 1974/Jan. 1975

Farrow’s military encyclopedia Vol 1 1885; p. 415




I assume you are interested in the VERY cartridges as fired from a VERY pistol and NOT the hand held Coston types.
The first Very pistols and cartridges for these were supplied by a British Firm “Dyer and Robson”

with a works just south of London.
see attached pic of an original cartridge.



Jim, a very interesting and early cartridge you got there!
You mean the US were using British made cartridges in their M1882 guns?

Would you happen to have a view of the hs and the top closure disc?


Pete, great 1.5" you got there.

You think it would be possible to show the hs and the top clsoure disc of that one?

And maybe also the closure disc of the black steel case for the French WW1 guns?



Yes, The US Navy purchased circa 100 brass pistols in 1882 , see attached pic and a cut from the 1882 catalog of Dyer & Robson.
Sadly there is no headstamp and the topwad is plain unmarked card,


Jim, thanks!
I meant if the US were using British ammo back then and did not make own?



Yes, I have seen copy of an order for the 100 guns and a large qty. of the cartridges in various colours for the US. Navy. If I can find it I will send it on.
I have never seen or heard of an American made cartridge for this gun. I think ? D&R. had probably acquired the Very patent rights.
It makes sense if they were buying the guns, to buy the ammo from the same maker.



Jim, that sounds very interesting!
I was try ing to establish if the US maybe also made own ammo back then.

Any doc regarding these purchases would be great to see.


Alex, nothing to show on the 1.5" head but the struck primer & battery cup & the mouth is more of the red cloth tape, at any rate here are what you asked about plus the head of another Dyer & Robson, whose mouth has a roll crimped plain white topwad.
Black steel 2-piece flare shell mouth



Pete, thanks a lot!

It is about the generasl layout of closures and case heads.

I never saw a loaded one of those black steel cases!

Great reference!


When were these used? Note: small primer on the reinforced one, knurl type rim on the ELEY, and thin rim on the tall one.
Thanks, Dan


Dan, thanks for the images!

Wouldn’t the Gevelot be a hunting case for punt guns?


Probably. The brass base is .01 larger on it but also on the reinforced one. And the brass on the thin rim is .034 smaller than the Flares. Are the flares probably WWI?



The green paper case (3rd from left) with the exterior wrapped paper reinforcement is also a shot gun shell. British unless I miss my guess.

As a minor point a lot of 4 bores were made to be shoulder fired, so calling a 4 ga. a punt guns is a wee bit misleading as a punt is a small boat & the gun was usually fitted to a yoke set into the bow. The hunter would scull out, to the birds thus maintaining a low profile & then shooting into the mass. Most of the known / typical punt gun shells were in larger than 4’s like the long 1.5" or even long 2 ga shells with a large capacity for shot. Often these guns were not fitted with shoulder stocks but just a stock to facilitate handing & re-loading.
Now after all this, I’m not saying a 4 bore couldn’t be used in this manner.