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WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS COMPANY GREEN LABEL BOX OF .40-90 BN (.40 -2 5/8 INCH) CALIBER SHARPS RIFLE CARTRIDGES – 10 ROUND BOX IN VERY GOOD CONDITION:  Bearing the desirable Winchester Repeating Arms Company green label which includes the bold font “FOR SHARPS RIFLES” callout, this is a rare .40 – 2 5/8” Bottleneck caliber Sharps Rifle ammunition ten round cartridge box.  Introduced by the Sharps Rifle Company in May of 1873, this cartridge immediately found popularity with the Western hunters on the buffalo range.    

Giles and Shuey, in their definitive work, Winchester Cartridge Boxes, 1856-1956, describe these particular 40-90 BN boxes as rare and seldom encountered.  They go on to note that when found, these boxes normally contain the .40 – 2 5/8” Bottleneck Cartridge.  Such is the case with this box, found in an old local collection and it contained one .40-2 5/8” BN cartridge loaded with a paper patched bullet.  From all appearances, the cartridge is original to the box.   

The box is in very good condition with a full, legible cover label as can be seen in the photographs below.  The box is full form, and while it has been opened, it shows very little evidence of the normal wear and tear to which these early boxes were subjected.  The end label is still in full form and legible with 99% of the graphics present.  Unfortunately, at some point in the past, a piece of cellophane tape was applied over the end label and some of it is still present, but the graphics under the tape are still legible.  The seams of both the lid and the body are intact and the box holds its full form.   

The box retains the Winchester reloading instruction label pasted on the inside of the lid.  As the instruction sheet includes the advertisement of the Mills Woven Cartridge Belt, this label serves to date this box to the early to mid 1880’s.   

The box contains one of the ten original cartridges – it is a full, complete original load, holding the classic paper patched bullet, and featuring the “W.R.A. Co. 40-90” headstamp.   

This is a very nice specimen of a rare ten round Winchester packet of the .40-2 5/8” BN cartridges bearing the desirable Sharps Rifle reference on the label.  Seldom appearing on the open collector’s market, think twice before passing on this opportunity to add this box to your collection to display with your rifle.  (0419)  $550







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