W.R.A. New #4 Primer s

An archaeologist is asking about “W.R.A. New #4 Primers” recovered at a dig in Missouri.

Can someone give me date these were introduced and typical calibers they were used in?


According to “W.R.A.CO., Volume I,” by Shuey, the New Number 4 Primer was first offered in 1904, and was the old Number 4-1/2 Primer under a new name. It was a .227" diameter shotshell primer, and was used until 1933, when it was replaced by the well-known Winchester 209, pretty standard today in shotshells.

Hope this helps. Shuey is a very good reference for this kind of info.

John Moss

Don’t know if this is relavent, but as far as later use of the “New No.4” primer, it found application as late as this 1944 37mm flare.


I would say it is relevent. Thanks for posting that. Winchester, or someone, must have had plenty of these primers left to find on being used so late.

John Moss