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FRANKFORD ARSENAL 44 CALIBER “MARTIN PRIMED” AMMUNITION PACKET FOR THE SMITH & WESSON ARMY REVOLVER – DATED AUGUST 1871 – EARLY FRONTIER ARMY PACKET:  Manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal in August of 1871, this 12 round box of .44 caliber "Martin Primed" ammunition was produced for the Smith & Wesson “American” Revolvers in use by the army.  As Smith & Wesson American revolvers were in use for a relatively brief period, these early Indian War packets are fairly rare and are not regularly available on the collector’s market.    

This packet was opened at some time in the past and the cartridges removed.  In years gone by, the practice of collecting a single representative cartridge far outweighed the importance of full, unopened packets.  From the stories that have survived the years describing the sales at the cartridge collector shows of the 1960's and 1970's, not only were full, mint condition packets opened to sell the individual cartridges - to add insult to injury the empty packets were then discarded as so much trash by the 55 gallon drum-full.  Its a wonder any packets from the Indian War era and before exist at all.  Hard to believe, isn't it............

Someone saved this packet from the trash heap and reassembled it in its original form.  While showing some evidence of age, the packet is in full form, is now resealed, and the pull string is still intact.  The label is 99% legible, with only some loss of the word "MARTIN" which indicated the cartridges were Martin primed. 

The edges are sharp, all of the seams are intact, and the packet is very solid.   The packet is not fragile, is very tight, retains the proper form and shape, and the paper wrapper is in very good condition.  It appears the part of the wrapper which covered the top panel was lost, but this is not readily apparent and the original packet wall still survives and does not detract from the overall appearance of the packet.  Once this packet was reassembled, it was given a coat of the same lacquer which was used to coat the packets when they were originally produced.     

While this packet is empty, this is a scarce opportunity to acquire a representative example of these early packets at a much lower price than the cost of a full packet.  And too, if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or overseas, it is impossible to ship a full packet, so this packet would be a good alternative to fill a hole in your collection.  Whether you own a Smith & Wesson revolver at this time or not, this .44 Caliber pistol cartridge packet from the early Indian Wars period is a key Frankford Arsenal specimen to add to your collection.  (0213)  $250












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