What is the country of origin of this artillery primer?

What is the country of origin of this artillery primer and, is it electrically fired or striker fired?


TS is, I believe, a U.S. primer. That particular one is a Lock Combination which means it can be fired either electrically or percussion.


look here viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13646&hilit=artillery+primer

Think the PE stands for Proctor Engineering.

I’ve been doing some research on US primers of this period and found some useful information about this one:

Its first designation was “B. L. Combination Primer” (Breech-loading) and was mentioned in a USN Bureau of Ordnance report published in 1899 as being designed and manufactured by the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, Rhode Island (only 550 of these were made and shipped during this year). An undated wooden box of these indicating manufacture at Newport contains examples headstamped T 1902 S P.E. (starting at 9) and with a plunger with two tiny cavities for a pin spanner

A report from 1903 makes mention of a new design of combination primer that is being manufactured at Newport, RI and its designation is now indicated as “B. L. R. Combination Primer” (Breech-loading Rifle).

A textbook of 1910 indicates that this is the only B. L. R. primer now furnished to the navy for service use, and the manufacture of simple electric and simple percussion primers has been discontinued and remaining stocks issued for training. This is a drawing of the same:

Another primer made at the Torpedo Station can be seen here:

Does anyone have a lst of some of the other makers and their codes?

Although it appears from the covnversation that T.S. indicates a lock combination type, what does T.S. stand for?

It is funny that this came up as I have a couple of these on my desk atbome I had been starting to research.



As far as I know, no one has positively determined exactly what the “TS” designates. It could be the primer type, the manufacturer, or something else altogether. I’ve used hundreds of them but never thought about what it meant because I wasn’t really interested in stuff like that back then. To me they were simply a MK 15 primer. Since “TS” is found on primers from the early 1900s through the KW, it’s doubtful it’s a manufacturers code. It’s found on both the rose-petal and wad closure types which makes me think it’s may be something other than the code for a Lock-Combination primer. But, I’m only guessing.

The Lock-Combination primer is also used to test firing circuits in both bag guns and case guns. For case guns, there is a special shortened case that has a hole in the base to take the primer in a snug fit.

It can also be used to clear debris from the bore, but only in an emergency situation because it lacks power to blow out anything bigger than unburned powder kernels or a small amount of water. I’ve also used them to blow the canvas-bag muzzle cover when it was not possible to access the muzzle. But, usually, the gas ejector air system can be used in both of these situations.


The one I have here on my desk had the h/s “T.S HB 42 XV-1”.

Any ideas who “HB” is? What other known makers are out there?


No idea what maker HB might be.

T.S. may be inspector initials, which seem to be used on most Navy ordnance items up until at least WW2.

I would not be surprised to find the same inspector initials on products from several makers, either the same item, or very different items.
While such products may have been in production at the same time, it is also possible that the number of contractors was small, and we could be seeing marks from a single inspector of the same item produced over many years by one contractor after another.

I have a MK IV headstamped T.S. OH 1943 XV-I.

And another headstamped T.S. BJ 36 XV-I.

And one headstamped T.S. AL 43 XV-I


For those of you who may be interested in such stuff, I believe the current DODAC for the MK IV primer is 1390-N535.


My fired one is marked TS ZQ 1918 XV-l
The loaded ones are MK 15 MOD 2 and MOD 3, from 1953 and 57.

Interesting. Too bad there isn’t a listing of U.S. Manufacturer codes like you see for the Germans.

I will be keeping my eyes out for these now. In the past, I tended to ignore them.