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Paper Cartridges of Gettysburg makes Authentic U.S. campaigner-quality blank cartridges for the serious reenactor. Painstakingly made to the specifications of the 1861 Ordnance Manual. Available as fully complete "arsenal pack" bundles loaded with 70 grains black powder and ready for your cartridge box. 


While cartridge pack labels are cool, they are not correct for U.S. cartridge bundles after 1861. Most U.S. arsenal-produced ammunition bundles in 1863 contained up to three Williams Patent "cleaner" cartridges in each pack of 10 rounds. 


Most "mainstream" reenactors will not bother with authentic cartridges. For the small percentage of campaigners who demand absolute uncompromising quality, these cartridges will exceed the requirements of the most stringent event guidelines. They are indistinguishable from live cartridges in all aspects, except for being lighter in weight than a cartridge with a real lead Minie in it. The "bullet" is simulated by a hard packed starch-based foam that holds the bullet shape, but will dissolve in water and is biodegradable. After painstaking trial and error searching, Brett at Paper Cartridges has sourced paper that closely matches the texture and strength of 1860s rag paper, and has also found a natural string that is a bang on precise match to the string found on original cartridges in his collection. 


Williams patent cartridges (anachronistically called Williams "cleaners," a term that was not known to Civil War soldiers) are dyed the appropriate shade of blue. Just like the originals, the Williams cartridges will sometimes have mottled color, or blotches where the dye did not completely fix. By mid-1863, Federal arsenals were typically including three Williams patent bullets in every bundle, but some bundles would still be encountered with only one or two Williams cartridges. 

Price for Receding Tide is $12 per pack. Event staff will be tracking how many arsenal packs each participant orders and will be issued on the field at Receding

US Arsenal Packs

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