October 11, 2017 2 min read

As you get older I think you pay more attention to the past. Lately in some of the estate collections and miscellaneous purchases I’ve noticed an increase in older Dominion Cartridge Co. boxes and ammo, many before the C.I.L. oval logo appeared on the boxes.

The range of calibers loaded by this iconic company is quite amazing. Dominion Cartridge and later C.I.L. enjoyed a lot of protection before Canada entered into free trade. Winchester and Remington did have manufacturing facilities in Canada, due to the duty imposed on non-Canadian companies. C.I.L. enjoyed government and police contracts under this tariff program.

The older Dominion and even many of the first C.I.L. boxes, empty in good condition, are becoming quite collectable but are still within reach, cost wise, to the average or novice collector. The C.I.L. Imperial 22 LR boxes from late 60’s and all of the 70’s have gold and some almost gold foil type covering. Also, made 22 LR C.I.L. pistol match and rifle match in gold foil type boxes which are quite attractive. Whiz Bang .22 boxes come in a variety of calibers from BB Cap to High Velocity 22 LR Mushroom. There were several variations of colours, logos, etc. over the many years that Whiz Bangs were manufactured. Also, C.I.L. and previous Dominion used the Canuck name for various 22, 25 and 32 rimfire. From about the 1930’s thru to the 60’s variations in rimfire ammo was Bisley, Central, Super Clean and many others with their own distinctive box.

The three main brands of shotshells were Canuck usually a standard 1 1/8oz 12ga. 1oz, 16ga., 7/8oz, 20ga. with various dram equivalent loads. Maxium was the midrange 12ga. shot shell load. Imperial was the Cadillac of shotshells with its distinctive dark purplish blue case. Loaded in 12ga. 2 ¾”- 3”, 16ga. 2 ¾, 20ga. 2 ¾”-3”, 28ga. 2 ¾” and .410 2 ½”-3” shotshells. All were loaded in various dram equivalents and shot loads. The Cannuck and Imperial over the years morphed from paper to plastic casings. The Maximum shotshell did not survive the transition. The Imperial 410 shotshell in 2 ¾ & 3” remained a treated paper case till the 80’s.

Canada Brass Dominion CIL Imperial Ammunition

Wayne Goble
Wayne Goble


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