Variations on the 2mm Pinfire Cartridge


Ok, I have put together a little post to show some variations on the 2mm pinfire cartridges. A lot of people I talk to do not even know that there is more than one variation; especially those with who collect the 2mm pinfire guns. Descriptions of each picture are immediately under the picture.

This is the 2mm Xythos pinfire blank. It is made by ADK (Andres & Dworsky of Karlstein, Austria.) This is the newer style cartridge and to my knowledge, ADK is the only company still producing pinfires. It has a rounded base and is made specifically for the Berloque Xythos pinfire revolvers. These guns often have a 9mm flare shooter that attaches to the end of the barrel. They are sold as novelties and for hikers to be able to carry a very small flare launcher. They have a yellow wad near the top of the case. They have more gun powder than most of the other blanks to ensure the flare ignites if the flare attachment is on. They also seem to have a louder report from they few others I have tried.

These are similar to the Xythos blanks but do not have quite as dramatically rounded base. These samples are probably hand loaded and not factory loaded with a cylindrical piece of lead (kind of like a wadcutter.) Made in Germany.

These have a slightly rounded base, but not so round where they will not stand up like the last two. They have a very shiny silvery wad halfway down the case.

These have a tan wad 3/4 of the way up the case. These all have a very noticeably different base that protrudes slightly to a point as if they were lathe turned.

The top two are the ones sold for the Little Atom pistols. The original capsule and box of capsules for these is just below in the next picture. They were rebranded for sale in the US as Little Atom cartridges.
The bottom two are a couple other variations

This is discussed under the previous picture ^

I believe these are factory dummies, but they could just be mistakes.

This one does not have a hole or pin anywhere on it. Maybe a mistake, or maybe some kind of oddly long 2mm percussion cap?

These are all homemade ball cartridges with #9 shot shoved in a blank cartridge. Notice that the ball is either slightly too big and hangs over the rim of the cartridge, or pushes the cartridge case outward when shoved in.

Here are a few original containers they came in. Two capsule variations with different cartridges inside, and two cardboard boxes. The one is stamped GERMANY on the bottom and the other is stamped AUSTRIA on the bottom. The box on the left has a grey fibery, cottony wad shoved above the cartridges inside in the box.

drum roll…

This is the only variety of a genuine factory loaded 2mm cartridge that I think exists. (I would LOVE to be proved wrong on this though as I would like more official live variations) Below are its specifications from an SFM(Societe Francaise des Munitions) Factory Drawing dated September 1900. It shows their specifications for their cartridge for the antique “Pistolet-Mouche” revolver. Notice too that the diameter of the cartridge is slightly smaller at 1.9mm than most 2mm cartridges which are normally right over 2mm in diameter. Also, notice that the ball is 1.7mm. The #9 shot shoved into blank cartridges that most people find and think is a live cartridge is 2.03mm.

Internal SFM factory drawing discussed under previous picture.


Interesting selection of cartridges Aaron.

Do you have any photos of the revolver that fired the last one?


I have a blank and a ball load in my collection, both are unheadstamped and have copper case with slightly flat base ( they stand up)

Ball load has a 4.22 mm case and round lead ball. OAL is 4.75 mm

Blank load has a 3.72 mm case and is closed by a silver wad at approx 3/4 from the base. They are the same that the ones in your picture #3

I think that these are recent rounds from Switzerland, but not sure about that


Sadly I do not.


No problem. I suppose it was intended as a novelty item as there would be no practical use for it.


Falcon, You (and others) might find it interesting to Google 2mm pinfire revolver there are some pictures and videos



I put together a few pictures of the antique 2mm pinfires from the late 1800s that were meant to actually fire a bullet rather than just be a capgun like the newer ones.

The last two were made - I believe - by the gun maker, Victor Bovy. A news article once said this about his guns:

And his ad:


Does anyone have headstamped examples of the 2mm pinfire?


Nice photos. I always hope to find something like that for sale where someone thinks it’s just a toy or keychain gun of some kind.