2 X 450 Revolver questions


#1

Howdy all, I have 2 rounds with puzzling questions I need answers on , the first is a blank short cased round with the headstamp E .45 I guess the E is for ELEY but the .45 has me stumped ,this round has the thin rim of the 450 revolver rounds and not ,say the .45 Colt rounds, so if it is for the Adams type revolver why not .450 in the headsatmp? or is it for some other revolver ? Rim dia. is .501 OL is .620 and Head is .477 it is roll crimped with white wad…my second question is that I have ball and blank rounds headstamped KYNOCH .450 with what appears to me to be primer securing overkill , they both have copper primers that are ringed in AND have 6 stab crimps as well why??? thanks randy


#2

Randy,
The “E 45” is probably NOT Eley. It comes in a number of variations (roll crimp and rose-crimp case-mouth closures) and also can be found in “E 450” (rarely).

The reason I say “not Eley” is that I have broken several of these blanks down. They are loaded with Brown powder (circa 1885-1892) and have small BERDAN primers of a sort not associated with Eley.

That said, I have never found out any other info and would be delighted to hear from someone - even if it proves me wrong !!

The Kynoch blanks with the primer crimp “overkill” are normal blanks but I have no clue why they chose to crimp the primers in such a way. They were marketed in normal blank boxes which date from the late 1950s (date stamp example: “3 J H”.) I have seen nothing in Kynoch records that explain why they chose this type of crimp - especially on blanks. There is a theory that blank firing pistols of the era had sealed barrels to prevent conversion and the blanks would blow out the primer if it wasn’t crimped in. However, I stress that I haven’t seen anything to prove this, so it remains a theory only… Chris P.


#3

Chris - it is possible that the .450 blanks in question did not generate enough pressure to set the cartridge back firmly against the inner-rear frame of a revolver (is that still called the “flash shield,” when it is around an unbushed firing pin hole?), allowing the primers to back out. A six-stab crimp like that would be only because of failure without such a crimp of the primer to stay in place when the round is fired. You can see this kind of crimp on some Czech proof loads, notably pre-war 9mm Short (.380 Auto) and some blanks, again Czech, for the Tokarev pistol.

In the case of the revolver, if the primer backs out, it seizes up the gun making it difficult or impossible to cock, since the revolver’s hand cannot turn the the cylinder. The first time I experienced that was when I was first reloading. I was asked by a friend to make some dummy .38 Specials out of brand new ammo for him. I pulled the bullets, dumped the powder, and then put them in my Model 15 Smith & Wesson and fired the first primer. It locked the gun up solidly. I had to figure out the problem, and then solve it by putting a wood dowel down the barrel and into the cylinder and fired case, and then hitting it a couple of times with a mallet to seat the case back down around the primer. I then could open the cylinder and clear the firearm without any problem.

I can’t think of any other reason for the much primer crimping.

I suspect that primers backing out in a semi-auto pistol being proofed, or fired with blanks, might cause some problems, although it would stirke me at those pressures to be only a minor annoyance. I could be wrong about that, of course.


#4

Hi John and Chris , yup they are my 2 rounds in question Chris, thanks for photos , I guess its a wait and see if anyone can come up with more info ,I will take the blank out of the Eley draw and put it in the ? draw until all is revealed ,thanks for your help Randy


#5

Chris - found your comments on this hst interesting. Same style can be found on other calibres - but always on BLANKS. Why? I don’t know. Your idea they may not be Eley manu interesting. I suppose they could have sub-contracted to Joyce or other manufacturer. Was it unusual for Eley to use Berdan priming in pistol ctgs?


#6

John,
I was not aware that style (E .45) came in other calibers - that’s interesting. I have only seen it on blanks - roll crimp and rose crimp case-mouths and two sizes of primer, plus with/without a primer crimp. There is also an “E .450” blank but these seem to only turn up in Australia (why?).

It is possible that Eley subcontracted. The early Eley small primer (0.175 in) was boxer (shown below) and subsequent 0.215 dia primers (“Cap No 31”) and 0.241 dia (“Cap No 36”) were, as you know, Berdan. I’ve tried sectioning the E .45 blanks but they are so poorly made and badly corroded that they just fall apart. They are definitely Berdan primed. They actually look “European” in construction but that’s a guess of course.

As to whether Eley used Berdan priming in other early-manufacture calibers I cannot comment - my life revolves around the .450 !!!

Hopefuly someone will turn up a box and answer the question once and for all.


#7

Hi Chris - The ‘E .450’ is new to me. I have ‘E .320’ & ‘E .38’ roll crimp blanks. Don’t have them in Greece yet so can’t check primer sizes etc. Somebody out there must have a box!!!


#8

The most common manner of converting british Service Revolvers to “Starting Guns” (Athletic events) both post WW I and much more so post WW II, was to fill the barrel completely with a Welded in Steel rod(press fit first, and also turn off part of the cylinder at the front, leaving a large “Flash-gap”. It was found that with this system, occasionally the primers would set back sufficiently to “Lock-Up” the revolver, and render it useless until the revolver was broken and cleared.

The heavy crimping, and a slight modification to the Forward part of the Frame (Milling two angles on either ised of the sealled barrell, to make a wedge, which allowed the wad to sepaprate outwards, and prevent dangerous side blast to the operator) was also introduced.

The primer setback problem is also common to Light loads in Movie Blanks. Heavy, star crimped mouth loads don’t have this problem.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#9

[quote=“Chris P”]
The Kynoch blanks with the primer crimp “overkill” are normal blanks but I have no clue why they chose to crimp the primers in such a way. They were marketed in normal blank boxes which date from the late 1950s (date stamp example: “3 J H”.) I have seen nothing in Kynoch records that explain why they chose this type of crimp - especially on blanks. There is a theory that blank firing pistols of the era had sealed barrels to prevent conversion and the blanks would blow out the primer if it wasn’t crimped in. However, I stress that I haven’t seen anything to prove this, so it remains a theory only… Chris P.

[/quote]

I thought I would post this in 2 places as it is relevant to this thread.

Here are some photos of a box I got today, containing 34 of these blanks with the “overkill” primer crimps. These have 6 instead of 8 stabs to each crimp. Headstamp is still “KYNOCH .450”. Box date code is “3 K N”. Followed by a thing looking like a double broad arrow.

TOP:

INTERIOR:

BOTTOM:

Yes this box is a bit messy, but I’m not complaining as it was free.