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UNITED STATES CARTRIDGE COMPANY PACKET OF .50-70 CARTRIDGES – PRODUCED IN 1874 – SCARCE EARLY PACKET THAT WOULD BE A GREAT ADDITION DISPLAYED WITH AN EARLY SHARPS OR REMINGTON BUFFALO RIFLE:  Manufactured by the United States Cartridge Company, this full packet bears the company applied inked date stamp indicating it was produced in 1874 under a patent issued in 1872 – an excellent period ammunition packet to display with an early Sharps or Remington Rifle that would have been used on western plains during the great buffalo hunts.    

Founded in 1869 by General Benjamin Butler, The United States Cartridge Company  located in Lowell, Massachusetts was one of the premier ammunition manufacturers of the period.  Well thought of, and equal to the other brands, the presence of US Cartridge Company ammunition on the frontier has often been overshadowed by the other well known brands of the time.  Well established by the early 1880s, the company employed 250 workers producing cartridges, paper-shot-shells, and primers, and with the outbreak of World War One the company expanded to 15,000 employees, producing ammunition for the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands,  France, and the United States.   The company was absorbed by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in the 1920’s after the death of the general’s son, Paul.    

The packet has been opened on the left top corner, exposing the heads of five cartridges, however the balance of the packet is still sealed and intact, including the pull string.  The front label is complete and fully legible.  The box is very solid with no open seams, retaining its shape with sharp edges, and no disfiguring or crushing. 

The design of the label is very similar to the style and content of the Frankford Arsenal labels on their 50-70 ammunition packets of the same period, and it is reasonable to think the US Cartridge Company did this intentionally either to vie for government contracts or to capitalize on the association with the arsenal produced packets.  The back panel of the packet retains the lightly struck, but fully legible oval ink stamp that was standard on US Cartridge Company packets of the period, and it includes the date of manufacture – February 20, 1874 – a very desirable early date.   

The packet contains the twenty original 50-70 cartridges, all without headstamps as is proper for cartridges produced by the company in this period.  The cartridges are in excellent condition and all are unfired.      

This is a relatively scarce offering of a very desirable early full packet in one of the primary calibers in use on the early buffalo ranges, and one that would the perfect addition to display with one of the early buffalo rifles.  (0520)  $550



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