Box & 50 cartridges.
Buff cardboard box with buff label printed in black, containing 50 centrefire cartridges loaded with a round nosed externally lubricated lead bullet. The base has a broad purple lacquer stripe running accross its full diameter, the significance of which is unknown. The headstamp indicates that this is commercial, rather than Government contract, ammunition.
This is a commercial box of ammunition. The .442 was adopted for Royal Irish Constabulary service and commercial ammunition was originally procured from the trade. In 1892 a specification for the cartridge was approved by the military as the 'Cartridge SA Ball Pistol .442 inch Mark I', and stocks were then officially contracted for via the Army Contracts Department. Although both Kynoch and the Birmingham Small Arms & Metal Co. received early contracts, Eley became the sole contractor from 1895 to 1910, and may also have supplied ammunition during the First World War. This ammunition used a different headstamp to Eley's commercial production for civilian sale. The cartridge was never manufactured at the Royal Laboratory.
1) printed on top of box
2) stamped in red on base of box
1) 50 ELEY 50 // BLACK POWDER CARTRIDGES FOR THE SOLID BULLET // .442 // REVOLVER // Manufactured by // ELEY BROTHERS, LIMITED, LONDON
2) OO R
3) ELEY // .442