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FRANKFORD ARSENAL COPPER EXTERNALLY PRIMED .45/70 CARTRIDGES - CARBINE AND RIFLE - HEADSTAMPED "C" AND "R":  These externally primed copper .45/70 cartridges were manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal and have clear, legible headstamps.  Depending on the date of manufacture, the earlier dated versions are stamped "C" or "R" in the “F R or C Month Year” format, while in the production of the later dated cartridges in this series the arsenal omitted the "C" and "R" due to the obvious difference in the cartridges.  These very nice early Indian War era cartridges will add significantly when displayed in a Prairie Belt, Woven Mills Belt, or a Cartridge Box in your collection.  

I have the following cartridges in stock, and each is listed and priced individually below with accompanying photographs.

 

No. 1  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED CARBINE CARTRIDGE -  HEADSTAMPED "C" - VARIOUS DATES:  Externally primed Frankford Arsenal .45/70 copper cartridge with the scarce "C" carbine headstamp.  In excellent condition, with various headstamp dates.  $28

 

No. 2  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED CARBINE CARTRIDGE -  W/O "C" HEADSTAMP - VARIOUS DATES:  Externally primed Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Carbine copper cartridge without the "C" headstamp which was omitted as unnecessary due to the obvious difference between the rifle and carbine cartridges.  In excellent condition, with various headstamp dates.  $20

 

No. 3  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED LONG RANGE RIFLE 2.4" 45-80 CARTRIDGE -  VERY SCARCE:  These externally primed Frankford Arsenal .45-80 cartridges were loaded in a 2.4" long case to allow for a larger powder charge in order to provide a long range cartridge for the soldiers.  Manufactured and issued in limited quantities, these Long Range cartridges are fairly scarce.  In excellent condition, with various headstamp dates.  $50

No. 4  FRANKFORD ARSENAL PACKET FOR THE EXTERNALLY PRIMED LONG RANGE RIFLE 2.4" 45-80 CARTRIDGES -  VERY RARE PACKET w/ FULL LABELS:  The Frankford Arsenal packet for the externally primed Frankford Arsenal .45-80 cartridges.  The 2.4" long case accommodated the a larger powder charge in order to provide a long range cartridge for the soldiers.  Manufactured and issued in limited quantities, the Long Range cartridges are fairly scarce, and these packets are almost non-existent on the collector's market. 

This is one of several different styles of packets of these long range cartridges produced by Frankford Arsenal.  The top and front labels are fully legible.  The packet has seen some wear through the years, but both top and bottom sections are complete.  Several of the edges have been nicely repaired, but not in such a way as to detract from the appearance and there is none of the dreaded clear tape so often seen.  The internal dividers are intact and one of the Frankford Arsenal Long Range .45-80 Cartridges is included with the packet. 

Given the rarity of these packets and the scarcity of the cartridges themselves, this would be a nice packet to add to your Indian War collection.  (0617)  $175

 

No. 5  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED RIFLE CARTRIDGE -  HEADSTAMPED "R" - VARIOUS DATES:  Externally primed Frankford Arsenal .45/70 copper cartridge with the earlier "R" carbine headstamp.  In excellent condition, with various headstamp dates.  $25

 

No. 6  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED RIFLE CARTRIDGE -  W/O "R" HEADSTAMP - VARIOUS DATES:  Externally primed Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Rifle copper cartridge without the "R" headstamp which was omitted as unnecessary due to the obvious difference between the rifle and carbine cartridges.  In excellent condition, with various headstamp dates.  $20

 

No. 7  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED .45/70 CARBINE AND RIFLE "PATTERN 1886" MORSE CARTRIDGE:  The Morse Cartridge is one of the scarcer, and certainly one of, if not the most, unusual of the Indian Wars Era Frankford Arsenal .45-70 cartridges. 

Also known within the Ordnance Department as the Pattern 1886 Cartridge, this cartridge was developed and patented by George W. Morse.  The outstanding feature was a separate base insert or plug held in place with a pressure fit black rubber gasket.  The plug included the primer and this cartridge case was intended to be reloaded by the soldiers at the local unit level, employing the standard issue Frankford Arsenal reloading set with the addition of some supplemental tools.  The cartridge was loaded with the standard 500 grain bullet and 70 grains of powder.   

The "Pattern 1886" Morse Cartridge was subsequently replaced in 1887 with - strangely enough - the "Pattern 1887" Morse Cartridge.  The change in the designation was the result of a slight modification of the cartridge which is believed to have resulted in a minor increase in the thickness of the wall of the removable base.  This was strictly an internal alteration and from all external appearances, save for the headstamp, the Pattern 1886 and Pattern 1887 cartridges are identical.  The Pattern 1887 Cartridges are headstamped "F 2 87". 

Just why this design caught the attention of the Ordnance Department, and why it was considered a viable alternative to the standard externally primed, reloadable cartridges being produced at Frankford at the same time, is frankly beyond me.  The fact is, the design was adopted – concurrent with other cartridge designs – and a considerable number were produced during the following two years.  In spite of the production, these are quite scarce today and do not show up very often, making these Morse Cartridges an interesting variant to add to your Indian War Cartridge collection.  (0608)  $55

I currently have cartridges with the 1886 and 1887 headstamps in stock - please specify your preference when ordering. 

 

No. 8  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED .45/70 CARBINE AND RIFLE BLANK CARTRIDGE:  During the Indian Wars period blank ammunition was regularly provided to the Cavalry troops, used to accustom the horses to gun fire, and to the Infantry for ceremonial occasions and funerals. The same blank cartridge was used in both the carbines and rifles, with no regard for the headstamps.  Manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal, these blanks were an integral component of the standard issue of ammunition to the frontier soldier and have a rightful place in any Indian War ammunition display.  In excellent condition, headstamped "F 2 85".  $20

 

No. 9  FRANKFORD ARSENAL EXTERNALLY PRIMED RIFLE CARTRIDGE -  W/O "R" HEADSTAMP - FIRING PIN STRUCK:  Externally primed Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Rifle copper cartridge without the "R" headstamp.  An attempt was made to fire this cartridge, evidenced by the firing pin strike.  Headstamped as shown in the photo below, this would still make good cartridges for a display.  $12  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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