What can turn up when boxes are opened?
Anything, my friends, anything.
In this case, a stash of ancient RWS .22 rimfire BB caps. Tucked away amidst other oddities and conundrums, a few tins of these came to light as I was unpacking some ammunition brought home from storage.
Made by RWS of Nuremberg Germany, this ammunition might date from the 1920's. It's difficult to tell since it was repackaged for sale by J.L Galef and Sons of New York City.
Driven solely by the priming compound, it has a 19 grain round lead pellet driven at a nominal 750 FPS (an optimistic estimate in my opinion). Used for a gallery round, indoor target shooting, and garden pest control, the BB cap has power about equal to an older, and anemic, air rifle.
Here the RWS BB cap is lined up in comparison with a .22 short and a .22 long rifle. It won't feed through most .22 firearms and must be single fed. For someone with large paws (like me) it's a fiddly round to load.
Firing the BB cap was interesting, and required help from a trusted old jack knife. It took a while to load each tiny round, and once fired the 'case' had to be pried out of the chamber as the extractor would not grip the oddly shaped rim. It was while quietly growling my way through prying out yet one more case that I recalled the Flobert rifles and their little flip open ejectors. Those would work a treat with these odd cases.
In shooting the BB caps through a modern rifle, I found their accuracy on par with tossing a rock over the shoulder while blind folded. There was a small chance the little lead ball would strike someplace in the general direction of the intended target... sometimes. When it did strike the target (a pine board) the tiny lead ball managed to penetrate and make a small hole. Small game killing potential is there, provided the wascally wabbit sits around long enough to actually get hit, and even then might just pass away from emotional distress more than the actual wound.
A fun bit of history, and shows we are not alone in our follies. Our grandparents enjoyed theirs as well!