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Aug 5th, 2016
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Joined: Jul 2012
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AaronN Offline OP
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Some years ago I posted some of these but I’ve acquired a lot more since then and thought you all may like to see some!




Wilhelm Collath invented a shotshell variation that had a small pin that rested in a percussion cap half an inch into the case. The wider centerfire hammer would hit the pin which knocked it into the cap to set it off. The reasoning was to make the ignition travel backwards first so that it would have a little more time to burn the powder before building up the pressure to propel the shot. This allowed for less burning powder to travel down the barrel.

He also came up with his own size numbering system. They roughly equate like this:
0 -> 10g
1 -> 12g
3 -> 14g
4 -> 16g
5 -> 18g
6 -> 20g
7 -> 24g
8 -> 28g

As shown in the picture, they were also, but not commonly, made in a couple of the regular English gauges.

Last edited by AaronN; 07/07/18 11:31 AM.

Clock Guns, Pauly Guns, Pinfire Guns and Pinfire Cartridges
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Aaron, that is interesting. I never understood the "horizontal pinfire" before. The guns I have seen with this system have been of very high quality. Collath had some unique designs, but all I have seen were wonderfully crafted. Thanks

Got your Pinfire Page book on the way from Amazon.

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Aaron, your post prompted me to dig a little into this interesting variation in firearm ignition. It isn't clear to me if this is the same as needle-fire ignition. I see that Collath made some guns with interchangeable firing pins that could be used with needle-fire ammunition, or switched to use conventional center-fire shells. As Darryl notes, the Collath guns I saw on the Internet all seemed to be very well made. I'd assume you acquired most of your shell collection from European sources since the Collath system isn't well known here, and many of the guns I saw were WWII G.I. souvenirs. Thanks for an interesting thread.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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A great collection, thank you for sharing.

Last edited by Steve Nash; 07/07/18 10:37 PM.
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AaronN Offline OP
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Here is an article from a few years ago in the IAA Journal about them that will explain them a little more.













Clock Guns, Pauly Guns, Pinfire Guns and Pinfire Cartridges
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Thank you for the additional information, very informative!

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rtw Offline
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Great information. Thank you.


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