When did Remington change from Brass to Nickel

I was working on early Remington 9mm boxes and noticed all but one of mine have cartridges with nickel primers with a U stamp. The exception is a box of HP loads with . The copper primers with the U. it is the earliest 9x19mm box style I have documented. The date code is difficult to make out but I believe it is January 1916. The earliest Remington box I have with nickel primers is dated April 1917. I also have, boxes with nickel primers dated Sep 1917, April 1918, three in 1919 and two in 1920.

If anyone had a date when Remington changed from copper to brass primers, please share that information with us.

I am also interested in the date codes on any early Remington boxes that have a first letter of the date code with the first later from C through K and the type of primer used for the cartridges in the box. Since the change in pistol primers, perhaps all primers, likely occurred about the same time, caliber is not important, though I’d like to know it just for reference.

All help will be appreciated.


PS: Here is a copy of the box.

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Greetings, Lew,
Probably telling you what you already know, here :) Looking at the catalog scans in the ‘components’ section the 1913-1914 shows only copper and brass. 1923 offers nickel. Unfortunately there are no intervening catalogs. Also, no doubt the loaded ammo was out before putting out components - who knows the lag time? Maybe someone out there has catalogs of the missing years…

Lew another factor in this is as you know, the long time it took Remington to fully absorb UMC & the componts made by them may have supplied Remington for a considerablte time?
Usually a nickel primer cap noted a smokeless load & as we know the 9mm was never a BP load.

Is it possible the copper (normally noting BP use) for the HP loads was an infactory device for identifing the load?

Sorry not more help.

Very good info! Thanks…The first Remington 9x19 can’t date before about 1912 or even 1913 as they used up UMC cases and boxes. The info on the 1913-1914 catalog is an important data point.

I have the Oct 1910 UMC box Pictured below. I opened it and it has copper primers.
This is the only UMC 9x19mm box I have run across. Do any of you know of others??? I’d sure like their date codes and photos.

I didn’t realize that copper primers were for Black Powder!

I don’t think the copper primers were to identify HP loads since I have 1917 and 1918 HP boxes with nickel primers.

I appreciate the info!


Hi Lew
A guy sent me a correction on my above via PM, but he will not post for some reason. Anyhow below in quotes, is his letter to me.
My comment about copper primers were relating mainly to the paper patched sporting rifle loads & thought they might have carried over into pistol / revolver loads. Sorry for the mistake.

“Remington did not “absorb” U.M.C. As you may remember Remington and U.M.C. were merged into one company in 1911. The two companies had the same owner for may years previous to the merger and at the time of the merger, U.M.C. was 10 times the size of Remington. At the time of the merger, all ammunition and components were made in the U.M.C. plant in Bridgeport, Conn. and this continued to be the case until the plant was shut down and moved to Lonoke, AR. Usually, a monogrammed primer indicated a smokeless load, not a nickeled primer. U.M.C. loaded both copper and brass primers in both black and smokeless loads and continued to do so post-merger. My research indicates nickeled primer use began in the late teens of the last century although I have nothing absolutely “concrete” on that.”

Thanks for the info Pete, In spite of this collector studying rifle loads, his date is close to mine with the change in 1917. I think my HP box dates from 1916.

I just bothered to check my collection and I have the Remington copper primer truncated full patch cartridge, but I do not have the HP copper primer in my collection, which surprised me. Perhaps it is a variation I just overlooked. I have a couple of collections I bought and I will have to look at them to see if they have this round.
I really appreciate the info provided.

Now I hope some guys can turn up some photos of UMC boxes. Particularly the HP version.


Found a reference on the REM-UMC path. 1902 UMC purchased Winchester’s shares in Remington. By 1910-1911 they were coming together as a joint company. From my notes on 22 boxes, the interim was the period of the “split logo”. A PDF of a letter announcing the final incorporation was once in the IAA site with Ron’s catalogs - but I can’t access it now. Here’s a link, though, from some info Ron sent me. https://cartridgecollectors.org/content/catalogs/REMINGTON/0000%20Remington%20History.pdf

A thought toward the nickel primer, stemming from my Winchester research, is that Winchester went to the nickel primer around the time they introduced their “Staynless” priming (and the first Super-Speed offerings) - for smokeless only. Could that give a lead on Remington? Like when they went with “Kleanbore” or some other branding that might add light?

Thanks for the info!

The box below and HP box in the top post are the two earliest Remington box styles in 9mm Luger that I know of. Later boxes that I know of have a somewhat smaller red circle logos and a much smaller company name under the cartridge drawing (see second box below).

Later label:

I anyone has either the “Metal Case” or Hollow Point boxes with the large country labels please post or let me know the code on the back. If you can’t read the code, then send me a image of it and I’ll see what I can do.

Many thanks!


PS: I understand that the very first boxes made after UMC and Remington merged had the round red UMC logo on the left like the UMC box above. But, to the right of the bullet drawing, instead of the bullet description, was “Remington” written in red. I have never heard of this label on a 9mm Luger box or any other autopistol caliber. Has anyone seen this type label on anything but .22 cartridges???

My only early-ish box has 3 rnds with a nickel primer with an underlined impressed U,

PS just noticed the box with “BRIDGPORT WORKS”. Don’t recall seeing that before?

For whatever it’s worth a couple of .45 boxes with Bridgeport Works. One {plaid} a 200 gr would have originally been a M-1905 box.

Great info! The code I13W DU is 13 Aug 1917. This supports the introduction of the Nickel primers at least as early as 1917

The 45ACP box probably dates from about 1923 or a bit later sine that is about when they used the text on the trademark in place of the bullet description to the right of the bullet drawing.

The plaid box is interesting since it predates Rem-UMC by a some years. Does it have a code on the back??? My guess is that it is pre-1919. Are the primers copper or nickel???

Again, Thanks.


Plaid box is something of an enigma to me, the back label is an over label & has no code I can find. The single round in the box is headstamped REM-UMC 18 has a copper primer with a very dark red annulus & 6 (or two sets of three) dot crimps at the mouth.
With the low velocity, the case mouth crimps & the stamp on the back I wonder if this was perhaps a helmut test box?

My own experience is that REM-UMC was using nickeled primers in various rifle and pistol calibers by mid WW.I. I have gone through my collection (of modest dimensions) and found some specific examples: 30 Pedersen M1918 ‘RA 18’, 8 m/m Lebel ‘REMINGTON ART D 2 16’ and ‘7MM REM-UMC’ with ‘U’ marked nickeled primer (this last isn’t dated of course). Note that this use of plated primers so early was unusual among the U.S. SAA producers. Jack

It is likely that the different size primers changed from copper to nickel at different times as the older primers were used up. Still, it looks like the change was made in 1916 or 1917!!!

Any other information is appreciated from anyone out there. Particularly information that supports or disproves the 1916-1917 date.