Rare and Expensive Ammo

Swiss Vetterli Rifle .41 Swiss
Swiss Vetterli Rifle .41 Swiss
     I used to think finding  ammo for my 7.35 Carcano was hard until I recently purchased a Swiss Vetterli  chambered in 10.4x38 Rimfire (.41 Swiss). Now I know what hard to find is really like! I tried my usual haunts like Old Western Scrounger and Graf and Sons finding not a trace of this beyond obsolete round. Best I could find on Google was some guys suggesting it could be converted to a centerfire and custom make the ammo using some strange combination of  .348 Winchester Brass and .44 Magnum Bullets. Sounds great, after several months of work you end up with the firearm equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster.  For me would probably end up with a similarly dangerous and gruesome outcome.

     I finally found some on Ammo-one for the low, low price of $14.95 a round, limit 3 rounds per customer. Guess I won’t be doing any plinking with this one. To make myself feel better I decided to see if there were any other rounds out there that were even more expensive and scarce. Here are some of the results I came up with.

700 Nitro Express Bullet
.700 Nitro Express vs 30/06
700 Nitro Express $99.95 per round (Ammo-one) : This behemoth giant killer shoots a 1,000 grain bullet at 2,000 fps with 9,000-15,000 ft-lb’s of energy. If you really want to get that bull elephants attention this is your round. This is actually a fairly new round developed in the 1980’s by Jim Bell and William Feldstein after Holland and Holland refused to build Feinstein a rifle in .600 Nitro Express. H&H had ceased production of the .600 rifle but was looking for a new big game round.  (Shoulder replacement sold separately.)

.50 Crispin Long Bullet Cartridge
.50 Crispin Long $399.00 a round: Developed and patented by Silas Crispin, a U.S. Army Ordnance officer in the 1860s mainly to circumvent a patent issue. Pistol versions of this cartridge in several calibers were made for pistols manufactured by Smith Arms of New York. The rifle cartridge was patented for use Smith breech-loading carbine manufactured by Ethan Allen. As far as I can tell the rifle never made it off the drawing board so you probably won’t be looking for a box of these any time soon. This is a highly coveted collector round

Pinfire Pistol ammo $20-50 per round: I owned several of these guns and the old European pistols can actually be bought fairly cheap right now. It’s been 100 plus years since any ammo was produced for these in some of these calibers. Quiet often enough ammo to fill the chambers will cost you more than the pistol.

.43 (11x52) Dutch Beaumont Ammo
.43 (11x52) Egyptian Beaumont $25-$78.00 a round: This close cousin to the Dutch Beaumont was one of the first bolt action rifles produced in Europe along with my Vetterli. In fact it looks like the two rifles were close in the size and design of the ammo. I could find very little other than vague references to the Egyptian but the Dutch was sold in small batch production by Buffalo Arms for $78 a round. I will have to look through some of my old gun books for further reference to the Egyptian model; even Google has its limitations!