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Author Topic: Colt's Combustible Paper Cartridge  (Read 140 times)

Night Owl

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Colt's Combustible Paper Cartridge
« on: March 04, 2018, 05:42:20 PM »
Hello everyone,

I've been looking around on this site for a little while now and figured I would register.  I have a question/mystery I am attempting to solve in regards to Colt's combustible paper cartridges, and was hoping a kind person here on the site might have some more information.

On pages 43 & 44 of Round Ball to Rim Fire Vol. II, it describes the process which Colt made their combustible paper cartridges, in that a "flap" of paper was folded over the one end to close off the envelope, and a bullet was glued in the other.  On page 44 there is an actual sketch by a Mr. Terry White showing a flattened paper template/envelope with mandrel, and shaded lines where the glue went.

Based on reading this, it seems to me the die cut paper had the "circle" shown on the sketch attached to the paper.  This then would create a unique shaped piece of paper to cut out, which simply needs to be rolled and the end "folded over" and glued.  Is my thinking on this correct?  The only other option would be for the bottom circle to be a separate piece which was glued to the bottom of the rolled envelope much like a cap is placed onto a bottle.

I've never been able to inspect an original one in hand, but many of the on-line photos I've seen support the idea that the paper circle which formed the bottom of the cartridge was indeed attached as part of the overall cut, and acted like a hinge.  In looking at pictures of originals, it looks very smooth and seamless on one side at the bottom, with an obvious edge on the opposite side.

I have searched on-line and through every book I can find over the years looks for a template of what the Colt paper combustible cartridge looked like, but to no avail.  The short reference in RBTRF Vol. II is the ONLY source I have ever seen describing this, but I am not sure I am reading it correctly.  I even went so far as to contact the Colt Company to inquire if they had any records or drawings going back that far, but was advised they did not.

All the modern day instructions and videos out there show various ways to close the end of the combustible envelope by gluing on a "separate" round piece at the bottom, or simply folding the bottom into the center in three pie shape folds.  While these methods certainly work for reproductions cartridges, I would like to find out how they really were constructed.  I'm aware of how the Bartholow and compressed cartridges were done, but not how the bottom was finished on the combustible cartridges.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!
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Jim T

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Re: Colt's Combustible Paper Cartridge
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 11:36:34 AM »
Hi Night Owl,
What you describe in your third paragraph is the correct method of manufacture.  I'll post up a few pics as soon as I can.


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Re: Colt's Combustible Paper Cartridge
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 08:45:46 PM »
Nice, a direct reply from the author. Very Nice.
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