Wire Cage shot gun cartridges


I recently picked up a 16 gauge eley wire cage cartridge, when were they in use ?


Is wire cage a variation on the origin of the word “trap” when used for live bird shooting?
If so, I would imagine there will be a few old catalogues around on various people’s shelves.

PM me about your interest in Eley .22 boxes


wraco50100450–The Eley Wire Cage cartridges were used in the period about 1900 or so. They were used in Muzzle-Loading guns. The shot is actually contained inside a wire cage to keep it together.


Sorry but some wrong information has been posted.

The Eley wire basket shot concentrator was patented in 1827. Charles Eley started advertising their sales in 1828. There are several color variations and different types. Without seeing the mentioned concentrator, I will mention the most commonly encountered type. It is the green long distance, it is for loading into shot shells. Other types were specific to muzzle loading. By 1888 they started to be phased out because of choke boring. They continued to be listed up to 1919. The more recent ones will be marked Eley Bros or Eley Bros Limited and are quite uncommon as opposed to the earlier ones.

Shot concentrators and spreaders are covered in my book, “Early Shotgun Concentrators and Spreaders, the first one hundred years of invention to control the flight of shot.” by Gary B. Muckel. The Eley concentrators are also covered in “Eley Cartridges, a History of the Silversmith and Ammunition Manufacturers” by C.W. Harding.


GaryM–I assume you are referring to my post when you say some “wrong information has been posted.” I thank you for correcting what I thought was accurate information.


Sorry Ron,
I came across a little harsh and I was referring to your comments. I got too excited hearing someone mention a shot concentrator. I think they are really pretty clever devices and quite diverse in type. Many concentrators are quite similar to the plastic shot cups of today yet they were used 150 years ago. Even though the book is published, I am still trying to learn more and several additional bits of information and types have surfaced.

The wire basket (or cage) cartridges actually have a wire net or cage for the shot. The holes in the weave are larger than the shot to allow the shot to be held together for a while but not totally to contain it. Bone meal was used to fill the interstices between the shot. I don’t believe the wire basket had anything to do with the trap used to hold and release the live pigeons.