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SCARCE ca. 1870’s BOXES OF .41-100 RIMFIRE (LONG) –  WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS COMPANY & UNITED STATES CARTRIDGE COMPANY ORIGINAL PACKETS:  These are very scarce circa 1870’s packets of .41-100 Rimfire Cartridges, also known as the .41 Rimfire Long. 

Introduced about 1873, this caliber was offered in many of the small frame revolvers and derringers of the frontier era such as were produced by Ethan Allen, Colt, Marlin, Remington, Stevens, and many of the manufacturers of the so-called “Suicide Specials” of the day made by such companies as American Arms, Ballard, Brown, Forehand & Wadsworth, Merrimack, Moore, National Arms, and Prescott to name a few.   

These two packets were manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the United States Cartridge Company, and both date from the mid 1870’s – quite early and very difficult to find on today’s market.  These two are fresh from an old Texas collection, where they have been held for many decades.  Gems such as these two packets seldom surface on the open market, normally passing quietly from one collection to another, and this is a unique opportunity to add them to your collection or to display with your pistol. 

The packets are individually described below with accompanying photographs.    

 

NO. 1  WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS COMPANY .41-100 RIMFIRE (LONG) – SCARCE ca. 1870’s BOX:  This is a scarce, early box dating from the mid to late 1870’s, featuring the “METALLIC CARTRIDGES” callout.  The early production of this box is further confirmed by the use of the incorrect Stetson’s Patent date of “Oct. 24th, 1871”, the correct date being October 31st.     

The box has been opened, and has experienced wear commensurate with its age.  The top label is 98% complete, all of the printed text is legible, and still retains the bright label coloring.  The label wear to the top label is restricted to the right end edge and the minimal loss does not affect any of the label’s text.  The top lid of the box is missing both end panels and one side panel.  These could be restored if the new owner so decides, with very minimal effort.  The remaining side panel retains the top half of the “41. LONG RF” callout.  The bottom portion of the box is fully intact and all the edges and seams are intact.  The box is very solid and retains its shape with sharp edges. 

The box contains 42 of the original 50 cartridges.  Each is headstamped with the early raised “H” in a circle, and all appear to be original to this box.   

Even these partially full boxes from the Frontier era with nice front labels and the original cartridges are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and in spite of the wear this box has experienced, it is still a respectable specimen of a scarce early Winchester box which will still display well with one of the small pocket pistols of the era.  (0422)  $295

 

NO. 2  UNITED STATES CARTRIDGE COMPANY .41-100 RIMFIRE (LONG) – SCARCE ca. 1870’s – SEALED FULL BOX:  This very desirable and highly collectible unopened “woodcut” box, ca. 1870’s is in excellent condition.  This box has never been opened and all the edges, seams and side wrappers are fully intact. 

The label graphics feature two wildlife and hunting scenes, pistols and stacked long guns, and the central United States Cartridge Company shield emblem.  Within the two ovals on each side of the shield, the red ink “50 METALLIC CARTRIDGES” and “No. 41 Long 41/100 CALIBRE” callouts have experienced some of the characteristic fading typical on these early USC Co. packets, but the text in both ovals is still completely legible, and all of the other label graphics are fully legible.  The top label is fully intact save for a very small sliver of the label which is missing from the bottom left hand edge.  This loss does not impact the graphics or text in any way.   

The side wrapper on these USC Co. packets had no caliber callouts, however “41 Long” is handwritten period script in ink – likely applied by the merchant who sold this box as a means of identifying the box by caliber as it sat on the store shelf.       

As this box is sealed and the cartridges cannot be viewed, I am including a single United States Cartridge Company.41-100 Rimfire cartridge, the exact type of cartridge which is in this box.  The cartridge is full form and features the “raised ‘US’ in a circle” headstamp.   

Finding examples of these early boxes which are still sealed and which retain their full legible labels is almost becoming a thing of the distant past, and this is a particularly nice specimen in a very desirable and difficult to find caliber.  (0421) $495

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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