What is this?

HI Guys;
This item was in a cartridge collection that I acquired about 20 years ago. I have been taking it to gun shows for that many years trying to find out what it is. From looking at the ends it appears to be a roll of thin foil. Markings are:

Yards, 50
Gauge, 10

Patented, November 10, 1874


I can find nothing under this company on the web but there was a patent on November 10, 1874 (RE6130) to S. W. Paine for Improvement in shot-cartridges.
Maybe this item has nothing to do with cartridges, but hope someone can give me some info. Thanks & Happy New Year!!

I believe that is a shot concentrator - intended to keep the shot patten tighter at longer distances out from the gun. Yours appears to be in 10 gauge and intended for distances out to 50 yards.


I think Guy has it right; someone would pack their shot charge into this tube while they were reloading their shotshells for duck/geese hunting, and this would slow down the spread of that shot charge until quite a ways out past the point where your pattern was normally too sparse to do anything useful. Today, you also see the OPPOSITE for sale to reloaders, usually for skeet shooters or upland bird hunters who want as wide a pattern as possible, close in to the shooter; the ones I’ve seen usually look like a big plastic thumbtack that you’d push into the top of the shot charge before you crimped the shell.

Schlebers come in three colors, each for a different distance, 50, 70, or 90 yards, red, yellow, and blue respectively. They are found most commonly in 10 and 12 gauge but company ads state they would make any size. In 1882 they did add 8 and 14 gauge in their ads. I haven’t seen a 14 gauge but each 8 gauge is wrapped in a label for a 12 gauge but obviously larger. They were the third release of three types. Paine’s patent of 1873 led the way to the thread wound concentrator. It was preloaded with shot and did not have the outside wrapper. The Barnard and Miller type followed and also did not have a wrapper but had stampings on the top to indicate the distance and gauge. They were prefilled with shot. Schlebers were produced from 1879 to 1885. The Schleber was used by filling the base with shot, then inserting a wooden dowel. The boxes also includes purple pieces of gummed ribbon to adhere the concentrator to the paper shell in the second barrel of a shotgun. The outside wrapper was removed before loading into a shell. Each of these three styles of thread wound concentrators worked on the basis of having two half cylinders tied held together with thread. When fired the thread stayed attached to the paper cover and unwound from the metal cylinder halves in flight. The more thread used governed the distance that the halves stayed together. There were changes and patents to shorten the thread pieces to lessen the tangles when shooting through brush but generally they all worked reasonably well, or so go the many testimonials. There are many, many patents and types of concentrators used in the 1900th century. Hopefully I will finish my book on them and spreaders within this century. They are interesting, colorful, and innovative field of cartridge collecting.
Gary Muckel