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Help with ID of old 45-70

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11 November 2002, 13:40
Help with ID of old 45-70
Hi folks. I don't have reference books in which to look up this info, maybe you could help? I have an old 45-70 loaded round with roundnose lead bullet. Headstamp is as follows, clockwise from "top":

R at 12 oclock
82 at 3 oclock
F at 6 oclock
3 at 9 oclock

is this old military issue as a friend has suggested?


11 November 2002, 22:19
I suspect the "R" in the headstamp is actually an "A" , and the cartridge is a product of Frankford Arsenal , manufactured during March , 1882. The standard Military Issue 45-70 Ball cartridge
12 November 2002, 02:38
Krazy Kiwi, keep to your Martini-Henry stuff and leave the American military alone . . . you won't ever see an "A" on military .45-70 . . . sheesh! [Smile] [Razz] Hehehehe

DJ, it is indeed a military .45-70 loaded by Frankfort Arsenal in March of 1882. However, the "R" denotes a rifle loading as opposed to the far less common "C" for a carbine. Later production dropped these letters as the loads became standardized.
12 November 2002, 09:39
My humble apologies for making an error , I guess that shatters the clever illusion that I know everything . But hey - I dont collect this stuff , and my Martini actioned 45-70 rifle doesnt like that old ammo anyway...

I was 75% right , that isnt bad for a krazy kiwi...
12 November 2002, 12:39
Thanks, guys. That may make it the oldest cartridge whose date I can verify. I find the old stuff way more interesting than the new wildcats and factory "performance" rounds, even though I've got them in the collection as well. Shame it's so wicked expensive to get the old stuff. There was a gentleman who used to periodically show up at the local small gunshows and had some of his collection avail for sale, probably culling out the lesser condition or extra examples. Great for me, since I could show up and go home with a bunch of new stuff without breaking the bank. He's been MIA for a couple years now, though.

12 November 2002, 22:06
Maybe you should think about joining a Collector Club. There are plenty in the US and others covering most all of the World. Most have a newsletter of some nature , the majority are in English too , which helps if that is your only language...

A piece of advice that an older and wiser collector gave me when I started was to buy one hundred dollar cartridge rather than one hundred one dollar cartridges - the expensive cartridge will appreciate in value , in ten years time the one dollar items will still be worth one dollar. Todays piece of free advice from a guy with a huge collection of one dollar cartridges.....
13 November 2002, 06:10
DJ, the lad from the land of the Warrior Princess is giving some good advice here. The one you buy today for $50 will be even harder to find in 20 years for $200 in constant dollars. When I go to shows, I try to concentrate on the better stuff when it is available because I know I can always find the more common material when there's none of the former about. And yeah, I have a fair number of $1 rounds myself! I don't find the good items all that often.
13 November 2002, 09:04
now I am scared - Iconoclast and I agreeing on something! I suspect that he may well be a closet Xena fan too , something about heaving bosums encased in tight leather does that to late middle aged men - or so my wife tells me.....
13 November 2002, 17:22
I'll have to begin a search for a collector's club. Seems simple enough... a group of guys (or gals) that exchange cartridge "want lists", deal honestly with each other, buy,sell,trade to get what they want/lack....... everyone wins.

hmmm what are the odds I'll find such a group?
17 November 2002, 06:08
dej, check out the International Ammunition Association. They have a website, a monthly journal and some true experts in the subject. They even accept members from overseas who have daydreams about leather-clad bosoms, although they try not to advertise the fact. Depending on your locale, there may be a club in your region.
19 November 2002, 08:51
and for those of you resident in New Hampshire , over fifty and with a leather fetish - you might like to check out this non - cartridge related site -

Not remotely related to unusual 45-70 cartridges , in fact it predates ammunition by generations , but the elderly collector may find it stimulating....