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FRANKFORD ARSENAL FULL PACKETS OF EXTERNALLY PRIMED .45/70 CARTRIDGES – SPECIAL OFFERING:  This special offering applies to all of the boxes of  Frankford Arsenal .45-70 Trapdoor Carbine and Rifle ammunition listed below, the result of good purchases I have been able to make from old ammunition collections and can therefore, in turn, pass the savings along to you.  This quality and selection is only available in the older long established collections, and these packets are becoming more difficult to find.  

These boxes are very displayable, are complete with the original Frankford Arsenal cartridges (unless otherwise noted), and all date from the middle to late Indian Wars and into the Spanish American War.  These packets would be correct to display with your Springfield Trapdoor Rifles and Carbines, as well as the various woven cartridge belts and cartridge boxes.     

Each of the boxes is described individually below, followed by photographs of that particular box. 

 

NO. 1  FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 CARBINE BALL CARTRIDGES – EXCELLENT UNOPENED PACKET - LITERALLY "LIKE NEW":  This unopened packet of Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Carbine ammunition is in exceptional condition, of the type not seen any more.  In pristine condition with no signs of handling or age, none of the seams have split, an excellent bright label, no misshaping to the box as is often seen and the opening string is still present.  The bottom of the box is ink stamped with a partially legible “Initial Velocity 1163 Feet, Mar 3 1891”.  While this legend is not completely legible on this particular packet, I originally had four of these packets, all out of the same crate, and all bear the same ink stamped information.  These packets do not come any better than this.  Should you want more than one while they last, I have two more of these Carbine packets in identical condition.  (0950)  $265  

 

NO. 2   FRANKFORD ARSENAL 45/70 AMMUNITION CARTON – DATED 1877 – FIRST PRODUCTION OF THE RELOADING CARTRIDGES – SCARCE BOX:  This 20 round box of .45-70 Rifle ammunition was manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal in April of 1877, and is from the first production run of the newly adopted “RELOADING CARTRIDGE”.  A notable specimen, these Reloading – or externally primed – cartridges were produced while the arsenal was still producing the internally primed cartridges which could not be reloaded, and which would continue to be produced by the arsenal for another six years.  Likely produced in comparatively limited amounts, this was the army’s first effort to provide a cartridge that could be reloaded by the soldiers at the unit level and is a significant milestone in the evolution of the US military cartridge.  

The box was carefully opened and the cartridges were removed, but the label is still fully present and legible, and the interior dividers are intact and present.  I have located one cartridge with a copper case, externally primed Frankford Arsenal cartridge – again, this particular loading is quite rare – with the correct headstamp, “R 4 77 F” that is included with this carton.  The box is still in very good, clean condition with solid seams, no misshaping, and the top is still present and attached.  The top of the rear panel is missing and one end of the carton has been replaced with a nicely matching panel from another carton.  The label is still present and fully legible, to include “20 U.S. SPRINGFIELD RIFLE RELOADING CARTRIDGES, CALIBER .45”, and an explanation of the headstamp characters on the cartridges, as well as the powder charge and bullet weight information.  This style of label is very similar to the label on the packets of internally primed cartridges produced during this same period.  The cartridge provided with this carton is in excellent condition with a fully legible headstamp, a clean cartridge case and a full form lead bullet.   

This is a very scarce, early Indian War box and cartridge, and would be a significant addition to a display of your early production Trapdoor rifle or your ammunition collection. SOLD

 

NO. 3  FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 MORSE MODEL 1886 RIFLE CARTRIDGES – A VERY RARE PACKET:  This rare Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Morse MODEL 1886 Rifle Cartridge Packet is in very good condition in spite of having been opened.  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.   

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, individual Morse Cartridges are quite scarce today in their own right, and the packets such as the one offered here are almost unheard of, making the Morse cartridge one of the more interesting variants to add to your Indian War Cartridge collection. 

This packet is in very good condition, with minimal signs of handling or age, none of the seams have split, an excellent bright label with no content loss due to having been opened, and no misshaping to the box as is often seen. One original Frankford Arsenal Model 1886 Morse Rifle Cartridge is included with the packet to enhance the display.  (0609)  $175

 

NO. 4   FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 RIFLE BALL CARTRIDGES – EXCELLENT FULL PACKET:  This packet of Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Rifle ammunition has been opened, but it was done so carefully that when the top is in place, the label mates up perfectly and appears sealed.  The packet is in otherwise excellent condition, with no split seams, the label is fully legible, there is no misshaping to the box as is often seen and the opening string is still present.  The top of the box is ink stamped very clearly “REPACKED DEC 14 1901”, indicating a process where the arsenals opened older packets, inspected the contents, and when determined to be serviceable, repacked the cartridges for issue.  The packet is full, with all 20 cartridges bearing the proper Frankford Arsenal headstamp - several different months all in 1897 - and all the cartridges in excellent condition.  A very nice packet to display with your Trapdoor rifle.  SOLD

 

NO. 5   FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 RIFLE BALL CARTRIDGES – VERY GOOD UNOPENED PACKET:  This unopened packet of Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Rifle ammunition is in very good condition.  The front label is intact and legible, however due to the weight of other boxes stacked on top of each other, the label has developed the classic wrinkle across the right side.  The pull string is present and intact and none of the edges are split.  The right corner of the top lid and the right lower corner of the bottom section have both been lifted by a previous owner in order to take a peak at the contents, but the box integrity was not affected and the packet was not substantially damaged.  The pull string is present, has not been pulled, and this packet has never been  opened.  Other than as described, this is a very presentable packet.  SOLD

 

NO. 6   FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 CARBINE BALL CARTRIDGE PACKET:  This packet of Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Carbine ammunition has been opened but still retains all 20 carbine rounds.  The packet is very solid with no split seams, no misshaping to the box as is often seen, the opening string is still present, and the the label is 95% complete.  The top of the box is ink stamped with the velocity data and date stamped Mar 16, 1905”.  In spite of being opened, this is still a very respectable packet at a very good price.  (0660)  $130

 

NO. 7  FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 CARBINE BALL CARTRIDGE PACKET:  This packet of Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Carbine ammunition has been opened but still retains all 20 carbine rounds - all with matching headstamps “F 3 95” indicating they were manufactured in March of 1895.  All of the cartridges are in very good condition with full form bullets, full tin plating with no corrosion, and showing only minor surface wear.  This packet has been opened, however it is still in very good, clean condition with solid sides and seams, no misshaping, and the top still retains the remnants of the original opening pull string.  Some of the text was lost from the label when the opening string was pulled through it to open the box, but the majority of the label is still present and legible.  In spite of being opened, this is still a very respectable packet at a very good price.  (1034)  $130

 

NO. 8   FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 RIFLE BALL CARTRIDGES – FULL PACKET:  This packet of Frankford Arsenal .45/70 Rifle ammunition has been opened, however the packet is full, with all 20 cartridges bearing the Frankford Arsenal headstamp and all the cartridges in excellent condition.  The top panel of the packet is a well executed replacement, the original having been lost after the packet was opened.  Otherwise, the packet is in very good solid condition with no split seams, and a fully legible label.  A respectable packet at a good price.  SOLD

 

NO. 9  ca. 1880's FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 RIFLE BALL CARTRIDGES PACKET - FOR THE COPPER CASED CARTRIDGES:  Manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal, this 20 round, .45-70 Rifle ammunition packet contained the externally primed, copper cased rounds of the 1880's.

The packet wrapper was cut through on the rear edge of the top panel so as not to deface the label which is still intact and fortunately completely legible, as it includes the scarce call-out, "Bloomfield Gilding Metal" and "Folded Head, Cup Anvil" referring to the copper cases with the external primer.  The labels on this period of box also included the headstamp translation, to include the month and year, and they were ink stamped on the top panel to provide the ballistic information.  The year date on this packet - on both the front label and the ink stamp on the top was partially rubbed off, and this was probably an intentional effort by a dealer such as Bannerman in an effort to conceal the age of the ammunition as was their practice.  There is enough of the date remaining on the front label that it appears to be "86" or "88".  The velocity and manufacture date data is ink stamped on the top panel. 

The box is still in very good, clean condition with solid sides and seams, no misshaping, the top is still present and attached, and the interior dividers are intact and present.  I have included one 405 grain Frankford Arsenal Rifle Cartridge that is appropriate to the period of manufacture of this packet as an example of the cartridges the packet would have contained. 

Overall this is a scarce packet and it would display nicely with a Model 1879 or Model 1884 Trapdoor Rifle.  SOLD

 

NO. 10   FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 MULTI BALL CARTRIDGES – VERY NICE FULL PACKET:  One of the more under appreciated US Army cartridges, these Multi Ball rounds were loaded with two or three .45 caliber round balls, and were a continuation of the army’s long standing practice of employing  multiple projectile rounds on the battlefield.  Like the early “buck and ball” paper cartridges that predate the American Revolution, these Multi Ball cartridges were very popular with the individual soldiers.  Several volleys of these rounds delivered by disciplined troops into a mass of attackers at close range would certainly reduce the inertia of the attack.  These cartridges were also issued to guards and sentries enabling them, even in low light or dark situations, to dissuade an intruder that might otherwise escape a single poorly aimed round. 

This packet has not been opened, with the pull string still anchored under the paper wrapper, however as with so many of these packets, the manner in which they were stacked in the wooden crates caused them to press down on each other and in many instances cracked the paper seal.  The front of the paper wrapper is split the width of the packet but the rear panel of the wrapper is intact which holds the top section in place.  The left end panel of the top section is missing, likely the result of someone taking a peek under the flap in order to see the cartridges within.  Otherwise the packet is in very solid condition and it displays very well.  All the other seams and edges are intact and the label is complete and legible. 

This is a Frankford Arsenal manufactured packet, likely packaged on or about the date ink stamped on the cover of the box, “OCT 23 1903”, and it contains all 20 Multi-Ball .45/70 cartridges supplied under government contract from the Union Metallic Cartridge Company.  It appears that UMC provided all the cartridges for these Multi-Ball packets as they are present in every one I have seen.  This is a fairly scarce box of a loading for the Trapdoors that is not often seen on the market and these are getting harder and harder to find in this condition.  SOLD (See next listing)

 

NO. 11  FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 MULTI BALL CARTRIDGES – VERY NICE FULL PACKET: As described in the above listing, this is another of the packets of 20 Multi-Ball .45/70 cartridges that packed at the  Frankford Arsenal with cartridges supplied under government contract from the Union Metallic Cartridge Company and was likely packaged on or about the date ink stamped on the cover of the box, “OCT 26 1903”.   This box has been opened, but still retains all of the original cartridges.  The label is partially torn due to storage and aging, and a couple of the box seams have been nicely reinforced again due to storage wear as the weight of the cartridges and the boxes stacked on top of each other caused some of the seams to open.  Otherwise the box is in very nice condition, with no misshaping to the box as is often seen and the opening string is still present and attached to the lid.   In spite of having two of these packets at this time, they are a fairly scarce packet of a special loading for the Trapdoors that is not often seen on the market, and like so many packets, are getting harder and harder to find.  (C0078) $75

 

NO. 12  FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 RIFLE AND CARBINE BLANK CARTRIDGES – FULL PACKET IN VERY NICE CONDITION:  This is a very nice packet of Frankford Arsenal .45-70 Blanks, very clean with a full legible label and never having been opened. 

Blank ammunition was a regular issue item to the Cavalry troops, used to accustom the horses to gun fire, and to the Infantry for ceremonial occasions and funerals.  Issued during the Indian war period, this full box of .45/70 blank cartridges was manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal. 

The front label is intact and legible, however due to the weight of other boxes stacked on top of each other, the label has cracked along the right hand side of the lower edge of the top lid.  The pull string is still anchored under the label wrapper, it has not been pulled and it is apparent this packet was never opened.  The balance of the packet is in excellent condition, very solid with no open seams and no misshaping to the box.  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.  (0657) $100 

 

NO. 13  FRANKFORD ARSENAL .45/70 RIFLE AND CARBINE BLANK CARTRIDGES – FULL BOX:  Blank ammunition was a regular issue item to the Cavalry troops, used to accustom the horses to gun fire, and to the Infantry for ceremonial occasions and funerals.  Issued during the Indian war period, this full box of .45/70 blank cartridges was manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal. 

The front label is intact and legible, however due to the weight of other boxes stacked on top of each other, the seams of the label have cracked, but the pull string which is present, has not been pulled and I don’t believe this packet was ever opened.  One end panel of the box lid is missing, but this does give you the opportunity to view the contents, so this is a toss up between a curse and a blessing.  Otherwise the box is overall solid with no open seams and no misshaping to the box as is often seen.  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.  SOLD

 

 
 
 

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