.450 No.1 Express

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miroflex
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by miroflex » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:06 pm

miroflex wrote:Hello,

I wonder if anyone on this forum has loaded and/or fired this cartridge. It is also known as the .500/450 No.1 Express. What have been the results? I would love to hear about them. Any information about rifles chambered for this cartridge would be welcome.

I believe the the round was developed by Holland and Holland towards the end of the nineteenth century from a black powder cartridge of the same dimensions.

Regards
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by TwoRivers » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:51 pm

Well, there was a black powder 500/.450 Express from which H&H developed the 500/.450 NE in response to Rigby's .450 NE. Ballistically all the British .450 NEs are pretty much the same, with a 480 grain bullet around 2100 to 2200 fps, regardless of the size of the case. I have never before seen the 500/.450 NE referred to as a No.1.

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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by captrakshitsharma » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:51 pm

Mr. Sondhi shed some light pls
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by miroflex » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:43 am

TwoRivers wrote:Well, there was a black powder 500/.450 Express from which H&H developed the 500/.450 NE in response to Rigby's .450 NE. Ballistically all the British .450 NEs are pretty much the same, with a 480 grain bullet around 2100 to 2200 fps, regardless of the size of the case. I have never before seen the 500/.450 NE referred to as a No.1.
The cartridge is headstamped "ELEY .450 NO.1 EXPRESS". Barnes in his "Cartridges of the World" gives the following very helpful information:

"Perhaps no cartridges in the world are more abundant or more confusing than those of British origin labelled .500/450 and followed by one or another designator. There are no less than 19 listings of individually identified cartridges in Bill Fleming's British Sporting Rifle Cartridges. Many of these cartridges were loaded with a great variety of bullet weights. All of these were bottleneck cartridges, and all originated with blackpowder loadings. The No.1 Carbine was Westley Richards' first drawn brass case, which appeared just before 1880. W-R was also responsible for the Musket and the 2 3/4-inch No.1 Express, and possibly others of this lot. The oldest of the .500/450s used a coiled brass case of 2 1/2-inch length, dating to 1871. Some of these cartridges were loaded well into the twentieth century."

In his general comments, Barnes adds: " Because of the great variations in designs, the handloader should be careful to determine exactly which of the many variants he has before attempting to build cartridges for it."

Barnes goes on to list the .500/450 No.1 Express Factory Ballistics for the black powder version but not for the nitro express. The Wikipedia entry is slightly more forthcoming about the latter version, but not very much more so.

I do not have access to Bill Fleming's book and am seeking more information to clear up the confusion.

Regards.
"To the man who loves art for its own sake, it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived." Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by Grumpy » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:11 pm

The .500/.450 No.1 was a BPE cartridge first produced by Eley in the early 1870s using a 2.75 inch case with a 270 gr bullet.
Because of the limited powder capacity due to the short case a nitro express version was never developed although nitro for black loads have been created in more recent times.
It was produced primarily as a domestic ( ie, within the UK ) hunting calibre but never became popular because better cartridges were developed very rapidly, including, obviously, alternative versions of the .500/.450.
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by miroflex » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:56 am

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19797/lot/69/

If you go to the Bonhams' site through the above hyperlink you will see a rifle made by WW Greener in 1898. The description mentions that it is proved for 50 grains of cordite and a 310 grain bullet. It gives one food for thought.
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by Grumpy » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:01 am

Yes, an interesting find. I presume that load was actually developed by Greeners. One wonders just why that rifle was built c.1898 when the choice of calibres available was somewhat wider than when the .500/.450 No.1 was first produced - H&H`s .500/450 Nitro Express was developed in the late 1890s and would have absolutely creamed a .500/.450 No. 1 nitro load.
When you consider that the .450/.400 3 1/4" standard nitro load was 60 gr cordite with a 400 gr bullet you can see how puny the .500/.450 No 1 load was.
One day someone will write the definitive book on British cartridges of the Victorian, Edwardian and early George V era .... and as soon as it`s published people will start finding exceptions to the definitive text. LOL.
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by miroflex » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:47 pm

Grumpy, do you have a copy of Bill Fleming's book on British Sporting Rifle Cartridges? If so I would be grateful if you could scan and email or photocopy and mail me the pages on .500-450 cartridges.

Regards.
"To the man who loves art for its own sake, it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived." Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by miroflex » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:59 pm

Grumpy wrote:Yes, an interesting find. I presume that load was actually developed by Greeners. One wonders just why that rifle was built c.1898 when the choice of calibres available was somewhat wider than when the .500/.450 No.1 was first produced - H&H`s .500/450 Nitro Express was developed in the late 1890s and would have absolutely creamed a .500/.450 No. 1 nitro load.
When you consider that the .450/.400 3 1/4" standard nitro load was 60 gr cordite with a 400 gr bullet you can see how puny the .500/.450 No 1 load was.
It certainly makes one think.

I agree with Barnes when he says of the .450 3 1/4-inch Nitro Express cartridge, "The .450 Nitro is considered adequate for dangerous African game - or any other game for that matter - under almost any conditions. It would most likely have been the only British cartridge used for big-game hunting, except for a British law that prohibited importation of .45-caliber rifles or cartridges into India. British rifle makers had to come up with something new, so the .425, .470, .476, and others came into being. Nevertheless, the .45 was, and still is, a winner, and a great many double-barrel rifles for this cartridge are still in service". (Cartridges Of The World, 13th Edition, page 421). In such a scenario, the No.1 Express seems, as you say, quite redundant.

The .500/450 No.1 Express in a cordite loading must have, however, been developed to address a felt need. Perhaps it was meant for the heaviest non-dangerous game in brush or thick cover and also in dealing with an occasional bear or a big cat, if the shikari came across one by chance, while out after lesser game. Greener's catalogue of the period should have something to say about this. Maybe Herb can delve into his collection of old catalogues and come up with the answer.

The history of cartridge development is full of interesting highways and byways. That is what makes it so fascinating.

Regards.
"To the man who loves art for its own sake, it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived." Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by TwoRivers » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:05 pm

Grumpy, typo on the bullet weight.

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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by Grumpy » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:22 pm

No, I don`t have the Fleming book ......... I did have years ago but sold it around the same time I gave up gunsmithing along with a good few other books. Stupid really - I thought I had no use for them but didn`t allow for their use as research `tools`.
That Greener nitro load for the .500/.450 No 1 wouldn`t have been any more effective than the original black powder express version as it`s very much a `nitro for black` load and the NFB loads usually made no more energy than the original BPE loads and frequently made LESS energy. The .500/.450 No 1 was primarily a British deer stalking calibre which had a very limited life and wouldn`t have been much use against heavy game ..... A .450" calibre 270/320 grain bullet would have been pretty poor in brush or heavy cover because it isn`t a brush cutter with those light bullets.
You have to remember that the .500/450 No 1 is NOT a .500/450 Nitro Express and makes nothing like as much energy.
Many of the British .350 -.450 Nitro Express calibres were ( are ) very effective and, the smaller calibre cartridges in particular, are generally very much unappreciated nowadays. Unfortunately the .500/.450 No 1. doesn`t make that list because it was pretty feeble.
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by Grumpy » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:36 pm

Sorry, Two Rivers, I somehow manage to miss your post.
If you are referring to the 270 grain bullet, that isn`t a typo - the .500/450 No 1 really was introduced by Eley with a 270 gr bullet. It was an altogether unimpressive BPE calibre - probably because it was mostly intended for useage within the UK for deer stalking. I did some more checking yesterday and discovered that a target load with a much heavier bullet of well over 400 gr appeared later ..... It can`t have done very well in that role either because I know of no successes.
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by TwoRivers » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:58 am

Should have given a reference. Bullet weight for the 3 1/4" Nitro Express should be 480 grain, not 400.

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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by Grumpy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:34 am

Standard load for the .450/.400 3 1/4" Nitro Express was 56-60 gr cordite behind a 400 gr bullet.
The .500/.450 NE ( H&H ) used a 480 gr bullet as did the .450 NE ( Rigby. )
I quoted the .450/.400 NE specs to show that a smaller calibre actually utilised a heavier powder charge and bullet thus indicating how low powered a cartridge the .500/.450 No 1 but have obviously caused some confusion ......... Mind you it is very easy to get confused with all those English necked down `dual diameter` designation BPE and NE calibres.
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Re: .450 No.1 Express

Post by miroflex » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:34 am

Grumpy wrote:No, I don`t have the Fleming book ......... I did have years ago but sold it around the same time I gave up gunsmithing along with a good few other books. Stupid really - I thought I had no use for them but didn`t allow for their use as research `tools`.
That Greener nitro load for the .500/.450 No 1 wouldn`t have been any more effective than the original black powder express version as it`s very much a `nitro for black` load and the NFB loads usually made no more energy than the original BPE loads and frequently made LESS energy. The .500/.450 No 1 was primarily a British deer stalking calibre which had a very limited life and wouldn`t have been much use against heavy game ..... A .450" calibre 270/320 grain bullet would have been pretty poor in brush or heavy cover because it isn`t a brush cutter with those light bullets.
You have to remember that the .500/450 No 1 is NOT a .500/450 Nitro Express and makes nothing like as much energy.
Many of the British .350 -.450 Nitro Express calibres were ( are ) very effective and, the smaller calibre cartridges in particular, are generally very much unappreciated nowadays. Unfortunately the .500/.450 No 1. doesn`t make that list because it was pretty feeble.
I should think than even the .500/450 No.1 Express, firing a lighter bullet through a rifled barrel, would have been more effective at medium ranges than those old standbys, the Holland and Holland "Paradox" or the Westley Richards "Explora" or the "Colindian". The Paradox type gun, though deadly at close range, was less so at medium ranges and pretty ineffective at long ranges.
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