This collection of the flechette in combustible case was assembled by Lyle Snyder who was a test gunner at Edgewood Arsenal for many years.I bought the majority of the Snyder collection many years ago. The combustible flechette is the rarest of US combustibles and this short case type is the rarest of them all. HERE ARE 5 DIFFERENT TYPES. From the left: 5.56 Cylinder type with square shoulded and white base cap 5.56 tapered shoulder type with flush base design 5.8 " " with white cap 5.8 " " with tan cap 5.8 " " with red cap Snyder was instrumental in killing both the combustible and the flechette designs. He fired hundreds of experimental ammunition and gun types over a long career. Shown next to standard 5.56 for scale.


They are excellent!
Thank you!

I have been reading this forum for months and I am wondering.
How can you have all these ctges ??? !!!
Are they yours or Bill ones ?
Do you really have them or do you have only pictures ?

Let me guess it’s only 0.005% of John’s treasure room :) Sure he owns all of them and sells many of them on

[quote=“jean-pierre”]I have been reading this forum for months and I am wondering.
How can you have all these ctges ??? !!!
Are they yours or Bill ones ?
Do you really have them or do you have only pictures ?

I have been collecting ammunition for over 50 years. My family (Great Uncle Ralph Crittenden) started the first ammunition factory in the US in 1849 and our reference collection is over 150 years old. 99% of the ammunition photos which I have posted are items from the CRITTENDEN SCHMITT ARCHIVES collection. I have been selling the collection for over 20 years and still have far too much of this stuff left. You can read more detail if interested by clicking on the “ME” on ebay (same user name CSAEOD) and you can see more items and BUY SOME on and .

In addition I have over 20,000 reference photos of ammunition and explosive ordnance. I post some of these if they answer a question.

So far I have posted only a very small part of photos of the collection. There are many 10,000+ item collections in the US and others worldwide. So far I have not posted more than 500 items.

I try to post items which most people have not seen before.

I have had several requests to see my office. This is a work site and usually looks like the aftermath of a rocket attack. It is mostly reference materials. This is a very small part of the collection of reference materials most are in storage after our move 7 years ago. I moved into a smaller office.

Yes the boxes are all full of ammo reference materials which I packed 7 years ago. Most are in storage.

Those are Soviet aircraft flying about.

This is my ready reference block of drawers containing about 15,000 different items of small arms ammunition.

My major holding are kept in a secure ammo bunker. I only keep items of current interest in my office.


[quote=“jean-pierre”]I have been reading this forum for months and I am wondering.
How can you have all these ctges ??? !!!
Are they yours or Bill ones ?
Do you really have them or do you have only pictures ?

Anything which I post from another collection, either photo or information ,is identified as such.

I KNEW IT! You do have the coolest office!!! Thanks for curing my curiosity with those photos. I totally spy some beautiful artifacts :=) The scope of your collection is mind-boggling! Nothing like a 150 year old collection compiled by historical and current “Connected”, experts. That organization color coded case is impressive by itself!

Thank you. You have a sharp eye. A couple of those APDS items may be coming to your place soon.

I will put up a couple more photos later after I get the classified and/or proprietary items out of sight. I have only had 4 collectors in my office in the last 35 years. More often the visitors are government , industry , entertainment folks.

Only a guy who wrestles with tigers and lemurs would find my office “cool”. It is a perpetual mess much like many primate cages.

Being in the DC area has provided unusual access to industry and government folks who work with these types of items. I have known some of the giants of the ordnance world especially in the ammo end. Most are gone now as they were the generation of WW2.

Well, it looks like a ordnance collector heaven 4 sure! I am clearing out my indoor tiger den for some of those increadible items :-) I am sure the quality of people in the feild you have met and known are off the charts. Your family history with ordnance could probably fill a few books. Thanks so much for posting the pics, just increadible.

PS: Let me know if you want me to send a lemur your way to help organize :-)

Does anyone know the meaning of the various colors of these base caps?

Reply from Col. Frank Hackley the last commander of Frankford Arsenal.

"John: Colored discs, dots and smears were used to identify the different primer and combustible case solvents and compositions by FA. In some cases, colored rings on the outer surface of the case were also used for the same purpose. This was done by hand on the FA caseless line established in the Bldg. 240 area and the placement of the dots, discs, etc. was not uniform, even with rounds from the same batch or lot.

                                                              Frank  "

I asked Col. Frank hackley- last commander of Frankford Arsenal if there was any key to the colors of base caps on the various shrells. His reply;


John: Not that I know of, I am sure at the time it was recorded on the lot or loading records, but these were all transferred to Picatinny Arsenal with the caseless line equipment and to date they have been less than cooperative in allowing access to FA records.

                                                           Frank "

Still loving the office pics! The sectioned 120’s rule!

These rounds were all made in the 1960s. According to Col. Frank Hackley- last commader of Frankford Arsenal- All of the information about the production of combustible ammo at Frankford Arsenal is in storage at Picatinny Arsenal and not available for study.