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WINCHESTER GREEN LABEL BOX OF 25 .45 CALIBER, 300 GRAIN “EXPRESS BULLETS” – ca. 1880:  A scarce and very collectable box of .45 caliber, 300 grain, “Express Bullets” bearing the desirable Winchester Repeating Arms Company green label.   

Winchester introduced the “Express Bullet” in their 1879 catalog, describing the cast lead bullet as “…..having a hollow point that is filled with a copper cup and modeled after the famous English bullets.”  Winchester continued to offer these Express Bullets as an option in their .40-.50 caliber ammunition offerings for the balance of the 19TH century and some continued into the early 20TH Century.  In addition to providing the fully loaded cartridges with the Express Bullet, Winchester also packaged components such as these bullets for sale to the shooters who did their own reloading, such as was practiced on the buffalo hunting range and the far reaches of the western frontier.  Certainly, these boxes of bullets would have been in the inventory of the dealers and hide buyers supplying the last of the commercial buffalo hunters on the Western Frontier.   

According to Giles and Shuey’s excellent reference work Winchester Cartridge Boxes, any of the cartridge boxes with the “Express Bullet” call out are scarce today.  As it is likely that fewer of these bullet boxes would have been produced, and further, as the survival rate of these bullet boxes as the contents were expended is almost unimaginable, it stands to reason that this box of Express Bullets is likely a very rare survivor.    

This box is in excellent condition, retaining its full form with all of the corners and edges intact, and it features a full, legible cover label and side banner as can be seen in the photographs below.  The box has been opened and it retains five of the original .45 caliber grooved Express Bullets of the 25 bullets the box originally contained.   All five of the matching bullets are in excellent condition, are full form, feature the copper cup in the hollow point, and the copper cups are marked with the capital “X”, Winchester’s logo to identify these Express Bullets.    

This is a very nice specimen of a rare box of Express Bullets manufactured for the large caliber rifles on the buffalo range and across the frontier, and one that does not appear on the collector market very often.  This box will make a nice addition to rifle and/or cartridge collection.  SOLD

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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