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Picture Page

June 2010

An uncommon DWM headstamp.........

Here's a cartridge headstamp that I had never seen an example of before, this being a .577/450 Martini-Henry (11.43 x 59R) with the headstamp   DWM  K  167  K. This case number is on the list of DWM case numbers as English, Martini-Henry, but like many of the cartridges on the list, is apparently not a very common item. I recently bought a box of 20 of these along with an assortment of other cartridges that had been stored in unfavorable conditions for the last 30 or so years, resulting in deterioration of the box and oxidation of the lead bullets. Fortunately, these cartridges were coated with grease at the time they were packaged, so the damage was less than it might have been otherwise. Other cartridges in the group fared much worse, exhibiting severe case corrosion and oxidation of their lead bullets.















The box label reads:

         20 Patronen No. 167


Rundkopf-Geschos Nr. 27   11,43-32 

     Ladun: 2,40 gr Scheiben P. D


This translates to:

                  20 Cartridges No 167


Round nose bullet number 27    11.43mm - 32 (grams?)

           Load: 2.4 grams (37 grains) target powder

                                   Normal charge


This portion of the label advises that the cartridges have a normal charge and provides warranty information, as well as suggesting that the ammunition be stored in a dry, cool? area, which seems reasonable.



The rather thick, seemingly  baked-on coating of grease is evident on the bullets in this picture.

It is interesting that these are smokeless cartridges, loaded with a yellow-colored powder; I would have expected them to be black powder.



An all-plastic Winchester-Western shotgun shell.....

.Here is an interesting box of shotgun shells made by Winchester-Western, these being of all-plastic construction, lacking the brass head that is typically found on a shotgun shell. I got these from a former employee of Winchester/US Repeating Arms Company who worked in their product service department. Boxes of these plastic shells were being disposed of, a number of them having been sold to one of the company gunsmiths for use at a trap shooting event he was going to. The employee that I got them from purchased five of the boxes. He was told by a supervisor that at one time the shells were being used to function fire shotguns on the production line.

The company address shown on the side of the box is Winchester-Western Division, Olin-Mathieson Chemical Corporation, which was the company name from 1954 to 1969, after which the name was changed to Winchester-Western Division, Olin Corporation. This box has the 'Keep Out of the Reach of Children' warning on the front, which was required on all ammunition beginning in 1962. So, these plastic shells were most likely made between 1962 and 1969, although it is possible that they were made at a later date, and packed in obsolete pre-1970 boxes.

The box was not originally intended for these all-plastic shells, but rather for standard Double A trap loads, as is obvious from the diagram of the shell on the side panel, which was drawn with a separate head. What does differentiate the box from those that contain standard trap loads is the code E -O-4O12 on the top of the box in the area usually used for indicating the powder charge and the shot size and weight. I suspect the 'E' indicates an experimental product. The lot number on the end flap also starts with the letter 'E', possibly another reference to the experimental nature of the shells. 

The shells do not have headstamps; instead, they are are lightly marked with the letters 'FGC' at the 12 o'clock position on the head and 'AEP' at the 6 o'clock position. The letters appear to be scratched on the heads by hand. Under magnification, however, the the markings can be seen to be slightly raised above the surface of the heads, and they are so consistent from one shell to the next that it is obvious they were hand-scratched onto the inner face of the mold.

All-plastic shells like these also can be found in Winchester boxes labeled Franchised Gun Club, which explains the meaning of the FGC on the head. Two examples of these Franchised Gun Club boxes have recently appeared in the IAA Journal #463 on page 33 and #468 on page 31. The box in issue #468 has the code E-O-4O12 stamped on its top, the same as the AA box shown above. I don't know what the AEP stands for; perhaps it has something to do with the type of plastic used or the production process.