Here are a few answers to some of the questions we get asked.
How should I clean my Collectable Cartridges?
The short answer is DON'T. 100 year old cartridges are allowed to look as if they're 100 yrs old. If you need to clean something that's really dirty, put it in your pocket and forget about it for a few days. This will take off dirt without destroying any of the natural patina. This method is not recommended for Pinfire cartridges, though.
What's the best way to store them?
There are many ways. In cabinets or drawers. It's really up to you. Just be careful of the type of storage media as some types of wood, felt and cardboard can be corrosive or emit acidic fumes that can slowly eat away at your prized collection.
How many different types are there?
There are many. As far as collecting is concerned, you can collect British, American, European, Pinfire, Rimfire, Headstamp variants, packets, cartridge boards, loading equipment, etc. etc. There are a few selected types shown in our gallery pages.
What's the difference between one and another?
They can vary greatly in size and shape. Different priming methods. Metallic and non-metallic. Shotshells, rifle, pistol. This is part of why they can be so fascinating.
Are my old cartridges valuable?
It all depends on what they are. Some will only be worth a few dollars and others may well be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars. As with most collectable items, it all depends on supply and demand.
Where can I find more information?
Come to a club meeting, ask at gunshows, the internet, the local Library. There are many resources out there and many people willing to help.
Are they safe to collect?
There are more dangerous things around the house than ammunition. In a fire, cartridges just tend to burst and burn. The powder in them is a propellant, not an explosive. They do not 'shoot' as such. Aerosols such as hairspray, deodorant, spray paint and other such cleaning fluids, LPG bottles, etc, are much more likely to explode and cause major damage.
What do some of the markings mean??
The writing on the base of a cartridge is called a headstamp. This can tell us something about the cartridge like where it was made, the calibre, when it was made, etc. Other marks like coloured tips, coloured bands or primers all mean something. Just what, can vary greatly from type to type but can often help with identifying the item.
As you can see, there can be many more variations and many more questions. Don't be afraid to ask someone. You can also checkout our links page here for more internet resources.