In 1866, when the manufacture of the service-cartridge was commenced at Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, Pa., little or nothing was known as to how a good reliable cartridge could be made. To explain the difficulties which had to be overcome at every step, the machines to be invented to do the work uniformly, accurately and economically, would fill a large volume. It can be said, however, that through the combined efforts of the officers in command of Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, and the National Armory, Springfield, Mass., a cartridge was produced which would reflect credit upon any nation. Up to the present time this cartridge, perfected and modified, has been the service cartridge for breech-loading small-arms and machine guns. With the invention and adoption of breech-loading small-arms and metallic cartridge shells, heavier and more uniform charges of powder were introduced, giving greater range and accuracy. This was followed by a desire and necessity for soldiers becoming trained marksmen. To meet economically the demand for an increased expenditure of ammunition thus produced, reloading shells were used. Until this demand came such shells had not been made to any extent at Frankford Arsenal, although a plan for making them had been worked up at that post which has since been quite generally adopted by all manufacturers, of reloading shells in this country, and also abroad by several nations, viz., making a pocket in the head of the shell formed in the continuous metal from which it is drawn, and into which a primer could be inserted from the exterior. Reloading shells have generally been made of brass, and are now so made to a great extent. This metal possesses sufficient elasticity, but is wanting in durability, as experience has proved.
Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.
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