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REPRODUCTION FRANKFORD ARSENAL, WINCHESTER, UMC, AND COLT AMMUNITION PACKETS – EXACTING REPRODUCTIONS GREAT FOR DISPLAY:  These packets, acquired with a large collection, were the work of a well known artist from Idaho, Robert Auth, who was also a collector of 19th century cartridges.  When he became aware of a rare packet that he was unable to find, he made one - simple as that.  And his work is/was (he passed, in 2009 I believe) amazingly accurate and much of it was done freehand - he must have had an incredibly steady hand.   

With the collection I received Auth's notes regarding these reproduction packets and he kept accurate records as to what he used to fill these boxes.  Unless otherwise noted in the individual descriptions below, the packets are filled with modern .45-70 cartridges in order to give the packets the proper weight and feel.  Since I have no way of knowing if the cartridges are factory loads or reloads, these packets are sold as display pieces only, and in no way are they intended to shoot.   

I have a limited quantity and selection of these packets and when they are sold, that’s it – there won’t be any more available.   

Each packet is listed below with individual descriptions and photographs. 

NOTE:  For individual cartridges in these calibers and by these civilian manufacturers, click on this link for available offerings:  INDIVIDUAL CIVILIAN CARTRIDGES

NOTE:  For individual cartridges in these calibers and by these civilian manufacturers, click on this link for available offerings:  INDIVIDUAL MILITARY CONTRACT  CARTRIDGES


NATIONAL ARMORY .45-70 RIFLE BALL CARTRIDGE PACKET – DATED 1875 FOR THE MODEL 1875 OFFICERS SPORTING RIFLE:  As stated above, Mr. Auth made these packets to substitute for those he could not obtain for his collection.  And too, on occasion, he decided there were packets of ammunition that should have been produced, and given his artistic talent, he wasn’t going to be deterred by the fact that it never occurred to the army to make such a packet.   

This packet is solely the creation and product of Auth’s imagination and from what I was told, his sense was that such an important firearm as the Springfield Officer’s Rifle should have been accompanied by a special packet of ammunition.  As I understand it, he made a very limited number of these packets and I have just this one, so in a convoluted way, it is a collector’s piece in its own right.   

As the label states, this packet is purported to have been made at the National Armory at Springfield in 1875, loaded with “Solid head – Experimental” cartridges.  It should be noted that the National Armory was out of the ammunition business by 1871 and no such packet could have been, nor ever was, produced by the armory.   

In addition to the information on the front of this packet, what really sets it apart is the image in broadside form of the Officers Model Rifle with the tang sight extended drawn on the reverse of the packet.   

The packet is loaded with cartridges – from all appearances and weight, they are 45-70 rounds, but I do not know what type.   

This is a pure fantasy piece, no question, but if you own an Officers Model Rifle, for the sake of conversation and one-upmanship with your fellow collectors, this packet will be a fun addition to your collection and display.    (0137)  $175


FRANKFORD ARSENAL 1875 DATED .45/70 CARBINE CARTRIDGE PACKET - EXCELLENT REPRODUCTION:  These are incredible reproductions, which are of such a quality as to have fooled many collectors familiar with the originals. It is believed these were made coincidental to the filming of the now classic film, Geronimo, an American Legend in 1993.  In fact, one of these packets is visible on a shelf in the background of one of scenes set in General Crook’s office.  At one time I had a few for sale, but sold the last of those years ago, with no more to be found.  I recently discovered another small quantity of these packets and am able to offer them here. 

Manufactured using the original arsenal ammunition paste board boxes which were used to repackage .45-70 cartridges in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, complete with the original pull strings, these packets are sealed with aged, reprinted labels bearing the printed legend, "20 U.S. Springfield Carbine Cartridges Calibre .45: Charge, 55 Grains Musket Powder, Bullet, 45 Grains September 1875".  Each box is filled with .45-70 cartridges to give the correct weight and feel. 

This packet is perfect for display with your carbine at far less than an original packet would cost.  I have only three of these packets.  (0531) $75


UNION METALLIC CARTRIDGE COMPANY CONTRACT .45-70 PACKET PRODUCED FOR THE STATE OF IDAHO:  Robert Auth was a loyal son of Idaho and dearly loved his state.  Having read that the federal government provided arms and ammunition to the state militias, Mr. Auth again assumed that the absence of such a packet bearing the name of the state was nothing more than an oversight on the part of the army, and he set about to create this remedy – specifically for the State of Idaho.   

All tongue in cheek aside, Auth produced these packets as a tribute to the State of Idaho and from what I was able to learn, he made a limited number of them for friends and fellow collectors.   

The packet bears all of the information one would find on a UMC packet with not only the front label, but the top label as well.  This sealed packet has the full coverage wrapper with all the seams intact and the label is clean and distinct.  These packets are filled with UMC .45-70 Solid Head cartridges and according to Auth’s notes, they are original factory loads. 

Certainly a fantasy packet, but an interesting piece nonetheless and given the limited number produced, would be a fun piece for an Idaho collector.  (0135)  $75


FRANKFORD ARSENAL MODEL 1886 CARBINE CARTRIDGE PACKET:  Very nice packets with a clear authentic label, these packets were made up after Auth acquired  a quantity of copper case, externally primed Frankford Arsenal Carbine cartridges dated July, 1886.  Annotated in handwritten pencil on the top and bottom of the packet is the legend  “July 1886”.  Full and sealed, this would be a very nice packet to display with your carbine at a substantial savings.  (0408)  $75


FRANKFORD ARSENAL MULTIBALL 1877 CARTRIDGE PACKET:  Dated April, 1877, this packet for the Multiball Cartridge has all of the Frankford Arsenal information on a very clear label.  The multiball cartridge is probably one of the most under-recognized cartridges in use by the army – one that saw use from the “buck and ball” cartridges of the revolution through the “guard” cartridges of the Model 1903 Springfield Rifle period.  In this case, loaded with three .45 caliber round balls, each cartridge provided an increased number of projectiles fired down range at a massed formation, theoretically increasing the number of hits and casualties.  There are some handwritten notations on the top and bottom panels of the packet that I cannot decipher, probably notes Auth made to himself as to what was in this packet.  Original specimens of these particular packets are hard to come by, and this well done packet featuring a very historic cartridge, would be a nice addition to fill in a gap in your collection. (0409)  $65


WINCHESTER CONTRACT .45-70 RIFLE CARTRIDGE PACKET – DATED 1876:  A considerable amount of ammunition was made under contract for the army in order to keep up with the demand from the field, meet the supply requirements to the state militias, and continue to supply ammunition to settlers on the frontier as was done on occasion.  This also would have been made by Winchester to sell to civilian customers such as the hide hunters who wanted to buy the same quality of ammunition supplied to the army, and who would be reassured by the label including the reference to the Springfield rifle.  According to Auth’s notes, this packet is loaded with Winchester-Western .45-70 cartridges with a 405 grain lead bullet.  A good frontier style packet for display with either a Springfield, Sharps or Remington rifle.  (0410)  $75


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