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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Shotguns  |  Topic: Timeline on Shotgun Ammo Developement - reprint 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Timeline on Shotgun Ammo Developement - reprint  (Read 4240 times)
Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« on: October 02, 2014, 11:54:15 pm »


 Timeline on Shotgun Ammo Developement
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:40:00 pm »
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Recently I have been going through my references and noting the dates of key developements in shotguns and their ammo.  I will begin with ammunition. I'll start a separate thread on shotguns.

Shotgun ammo in many ways developed in lock-step with rifle and pistol ammo, but there are certain factors affecting shotgun ammo differently. Specifically the size of the bore pretty well necessitates a composite case construction, and less importantly the requirement for wads and cushions in the load column.  Remember, plastic was not yet invented and drawing brass was in its infancy.

Breach loading and cartridge construction have been around for Centuries but the 19th Century saw many industrial improvements that started making modern cartridges possible. There was better machining tolerences, percussion cap technology, and the gradual improvement in case making materials.

For the period that western action shooting covers, I will start with the pinfire cartridge in 1836 when M. Lefaucheux developed the pinfire cartridge and the break-open double to fire it. I'll spend a bit more time here as Lefaucheux was about twenty years ahead of his time.  From time to time his gun was improved with better locking systems, and is essentially reproduced by the widely available Husqvarna underlever shotguns made in Sweden from 1877 until 1956. (In Sweden, sportsmen & collectors are limited in the number of firearms they own, so the older ones are flogged off to North America.)

In the 1850's in America, several designs of breachloading arms were developed with "transitional technology" generally the priming was separate from the cartidge itself. The best example is the Sharps percussion breachloading shotgun of 1853.  It could be loaded with separate components, but was generally sold with a kit whereby a hunter could roll his own cartridges at home the night before.  Commonly available percussion caps would set off the charge.  Until the ammunition industry caught up, this was a practical system.
The first Parker in 1868, an underlever design still used Maynard style outside primed ammunitiion.

1852; The Lancaster cartridge in England had many of the bassics found in more modern shells.  It had a wrapped paper body and a copper reinforce at the base, but it had an imperfect priming system.

1855; Pottet in France patented a cartridge having most of the elements of modern cartridges.

1861; Daw introduced the Pottet design to England.  Later, Ely broke the patent as Pottet's original patent in France had been allowed to lapse. This same design was manufactured in America by Leet very soon afterwards (1864). So, Pards, shotgun ammo quite like we know today was available in America in the 1860s.  Whether it was common in the West is another question as I don't have access to any catalogues or shipping documents from that early.

1872; First mass produced shotgun shells.

1873; Maynard produced a brass shotshell made of several components with a Berdan primer.

1877; Winchester produced both brass and paper shotshells.  Loaded ammo was not available until 1886.  Remington was making drawn brass shotshells in the 1870's.

I have some photocopied pages from the 1897 Sears Roebuck Co. catalogue.  In 1897 pinfire empty paper shot gun shells were available. (They can still be obtained in France!) Sears also sold double barrel muzzle loaders, and converted Springfield 1853 percussion muskets! In 1897!?
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2014, 02:47:25 pm »


Innerestin Stuff, thanks fer postin

Paladin (What lurvs scattergunz  Grin ) UK
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2014, 03:24:23 pm »

Good stuff.

I'm super enthusiastic on the era of development of the metallic cartridge.

I've owned numerous high grade pinfire double guns and double rifles including a best-grade shotgun from Lefaucheux's Vivian Road shop.
I still run and hunt with a couple of pinfire doible rifles.

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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 12:18:08 pm »

Very nice article. in my research, I found that the earliest breach loaded shotgun and cartridge were developed by Swiss gun maker, Samuel Pauly, the design which he patented in 1812. Fundamentally, the design consisted of a single barrel shotgun with a removable breach block and a paper pin fired shotgun cartridge or shell.  The design was improved upon by the Frenchman, Lefaucheux, in the mid 1830s notably with a hinged breach lock in a SXS double barrel but still with a pin fire cartridge. Cheesy

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Shotgun Franklin
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 04:46:53 pm »

If you've never read 'The Gun and Its Development' by W W Greener you really need to.
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Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 08:52:13 pm »

If you've never read 'The Gun and Its Development' by W W Greener you really need to.

I have "the classic 9th edition of 1910"  I read it, taking thorough notes, and cross referenced it to The American Shotgun, by David f. Butler. I then summarized it a whole lot and focused on the time period just before and throughout the cowboy period.

My purposed was to provide a ready reference to what would have been available at any particular time. It was not to be a comprehensive history. Greener is a great source for that. I also looked at Pollard's History of Firearms, in memory of Maj. Hugh Pollard, General Editor, Claude Blair, keeper of Metalwork, Victoria and Albert Museum. (My copies are very used and formerly public library books.)
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NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Sir Charles deMouton-Black
THE ANCIENT SUBSTANCE ENDURES - ALL LESSER PROPELLANTS SHALL FIZZLE
NCOWS
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Posts: 5813



« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 11:39:59 pm »

btt
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NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
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