12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

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Saffron
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12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

Post by Saffron » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:26 am

Sorry if wrong subforum, but did not seem to fit any of the others any better.

A very simple question.
The other day I found a 12 bore "side pin" cartridge head, which are fairly infrequent finds compared with the modern "centre fire" type which we all find too many of.

I have found 2 or 3 of these and they would have been used between the old "musket ball" flintlock guns and todays "modern" shotguns, but can anybody please give me a likely date range for this.

Thanks in advance.
Evan

Edited after replies to give correct term for these cartridges.
Last edited by Saffron on Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge

Post by bsabill » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:36 am

Hi Saffron
mainly from the mid-1850s until the 1890s
I find quite a few on my permisions
Bill

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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge

Post by Junior » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:01 am

Pin fire cartridges. The primer woz inside the cartridge instead of the later in the end .

Casimir Lefaucheux of Paris decided in 1832[3] to patent a breechloader where the barrel hinged downwards to reveal the breech ends. These still used a separate percussion cap. Though used before this, (as seen in surviving pinfire shotshells that lists the names of early gun makers he signed contracts with in 1833 and 1834,)[1] in 1835[2]he was granted an addition to the 1832 patent for a new type of cartridge in which the cartridge's priming compound is ignited by striking a small pin which protrudes radially from just above the base of the cartridge. These pins fitted into a small groove cut in the top of each barrel-end and made it easy to see if the gun was loaded. The cartridge used metal bases (often brass) with paper tubes which were usually loaded by the shooter or his staff but were not entirely gas-tight. This reduced the force of the charge and allowed powder residue and gas to escape.

The pinfire cartridge was greatly improved by the 1846 patent (number 1963) by Benjamin Houllier of Paris which introduced a base wad and effectively made the cartridge gas-tight which greatly improved the performance. They were cheap and clean shooting. These improved pinfire guns grew in popularity in France and some were imported by British gun makers to overwhelming indifference on the part of the gun users there. They were prejudiced technically against a gun that 'broke' in the middle, despite the much vaunted benefits of breechloading

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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge

Post by Wigeon » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:44 am

Excellent answers above ::g . UK was a bit late in getting started with the pin-fire as the system didn't really get going until after it was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The system's heyday was about twenty years.
Many good quality pin-fire shotguns were subsequently converted to centre-fire too.
There are also numerous pin-fire revolvers, that were mainly made in Belgium, in collections across the world.
Pin-fire ammunition was still made into the middle of the twentieth century by one or two European manufactures, such as Fiocchi of Italy. It has not been manufactured since the 1970s to the best of my knowledge.
Remnants of pin-fire shotgun cartridges, found in the ground are most likely to be from 1850s to 1870 though.
I have owned (and fired) a Westley Richards pin-fire double barrelled twelve bore that was made around 1860, but that's another story =P~
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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge

Post by Lowland » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:34 am

Great thread!
Good info
::g
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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

Post by Saffron » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:06 pm

Very many thanks for the excellent replies, the information is much appreciated. ::g

I will extract some of it and put in the write up for the land owner; shows how unproductive it is when you resort to including old shotties, but it is still part off the history of the land - which is right on my doorstep so handy for a short session every now and again.

I knew "side pin" was not the correct term but was brain dead and just could not think of "pin fire", but posting at 2:30 in the morning is probably not the best time. ;;z

Evan

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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

Post by sweepstick47 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:43 pm

Although I have no reference, some years ago, I was informed that 'pin-fire' cartridges were considered dangerous as they could be discharged unintentionally whilst being carried to and from the 'shoot'. If that is true, it seems probable that it was one of the reason for it's discontinued use? Regards ss47
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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

Post by Wigeon » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:05 pm

sweepstick47 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:43 pm
Although I have no reference, some years ago, I was informed that 'pin-fire' cartridges were considered dangerous as they could be discharged unintentionally whilst being carried to and from the 'shoot'. If that is true, it seems probable that it was one of the reason for it's discontinued use? Regards ss47
I have heard that one too. I think it to be a myth though.
If one reads contemporary accounts, pins causing damage to coat pockets was one cause for grumbles. The main problem with pinfires, particularly the earlier ones, was extracting the fired cartridge case. As the rim was very small a tool was carried, that hooked around the pin to pull the case out.
The centre fire system was a big improvement for a range of reasons, so the pinfire became obsolete.
I have actually made some pinfire cartridges and reloaded them too. Reloading an original pinfire cartridge requires a special tool and is not an easy operation. All Boys Own magazine stuff but great fun when one actually fires.
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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

Post by sweepstick47 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:36 pm

Wigeon wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:05 pm
sweepstick47 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:43 pm
Although I have no reference, some years ago, I was informed that 'pin-fire' cartridges were considered dangerous as they could be discharged unintentionally whilst being carried to and from the 'shoot'. If that is true, it seems probable that it was one of the reason for it's discontinued use? Regards ss47
I have heard that one too. I think it to be a myth though.
If one reads contemporary accounts, pins causing damage to coat pockets was one cause for grumbles. The main problem with pinfires, particularly the earlier ones, was extracting the fired cartridge case. As the rim was very small a tool was carried, that hooked around the pin to pull the case out.
The centre fire system was a big improvement for a range of reasons, so the pinfire became obsolete.
I have actually made some pinfire cartridges and reloaded them too. Reloading an original pinfire cartridge requires a special tool and is not an easy operation. All Boys Own magazine stuff but great fun when one actually fires.
Thanks 'wigeon', Your account of events seems so much more viable than mine ::g
'Boy's Own' - They were great tales of 'daring do' and n'er a warning of 'Don't try this at home'!
Happy New Year - Cheers -=+:-P ss47
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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

Post by Johnnn » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:52 pm

Find them here in
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IMG_2106.JPG
IMG_2107.JPG
Canada too....HH....Johnnn
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Re: 12 bore "side pin" cartridge - correct term is Pin Fire

Post by Jamesey1981 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:37 pm

Just thought I’d join in with this one, I’m a newbie to metal detecting but very interested in old firearms (not an expert though!), I find pinfire to be a very interesting subject, if anyone is interested in learning more about some of the firearms that used that kind of cartridge then I would recommend watching this video, https://youtu.be/5gx1z90Xmas it’s not my video and I’m not gaining anything by sharing it, but Ian is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to old firearms and it may be interesting to you all if you haven’t seen it already.

Have a little search on his channel if you enjoy that one, some of the pinfire guns were amazingly ornate and practically works of art in their own right.

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