The one that is commonly used in many European (and Asian) made cartridges is the Berdan and the one used in American made cartridges is the Boxer.

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The difference can only be told after the cartridge is fired, because one can look at the base of the cartridge case and see if it has two smaller vent holes (Berdan system) or a larger single hole (Boxer system).

The same weapon can fire cartridges using either system.

However, automated machine manufacturing techniques have completely removed this issue and the cartridge itself is simpler to manufacture even if the priming system is more complex.

Since reloading these cartridges is much easier, this system became more popular in the United States, almost completely replacing the Berdan system.

Most manufacturers sell the anvil and primer cap as one part, even though they are really two different parts.

Cartridges using the Boxer system were originally more complex to manufacture, due to the fact that the primer has two parts (anvil and priming cap).The centerfire cartridge was invented by one Monsieur Clement Pottet of Paris and improvements were made by Monsieur Francois E. The centerfire cartridge was introduced to England in 1861 by Mr. Daw who owned a rifle manufacturing company and bought the English patent rights from Monsieur Schneider. Daw quickly lost the patent rights in a case brought on by Messrs.Eley Brothers, a rival manufacturer of cartridges and small revolvers, owing to the fact that the patent was not kept in force in France, where the invention was originally protected.A new priming cup with the anvil on top is then pushed into the base of the case.Then the gunpowder and bullet are added and the cartridge is ready for re-use.The United States Government does not discourage cartridge reloading and a user can save over 80% of the cost of a cartridge by reloading it.