.400/.375 Belted Nitro Express

Just showing off a very lucky find. I picked up two safari tins of .400/.375 Belted Nitro Express at a barn sale in my father’s home town of Hamilton Montana almost ten years ago. I asked the seller if he had any ammo or reloading gear and he replied that he had a couple tins of “military crap” over on the back table,one for ten dollars and the other other for fifteen dollars and that I could take them both for a portrait of Andrew Jackson. I found the tins, they were stamped “.375 Mannlicher/Shoenauer”. I promptly paid the man and took my prizes back to the motel. The $10 tin had quite a bit of corrosion around the solder seal. I figured the seal had already been compromised, so I proceeded to wind off the strip of metal. There was a very slight hiss of air escaping and I could smell pipe tobacco smoke! ( In a non-smoking room) I lifted off the top and found five pristine boxes, I opened one box and found two stripper clips each holding five belted cartridges. The headstamps are all “Holland’s Patent” over “. E .”. The boxes had the distinct smell of pipe tobacco, presumably from the worker that sealed up the tin back in old Blighty sometime before WWII. I sold one box right away and I have another box up for sale at a charity auction now. The second, still sealed tin is going to stay that way, as it is the basis of my retirement fund. Does anyone have an idea about what year these were produced?

1 Like

XPH2USN,

Very nice. Are the stripper clips marked?

Brian

Not in the two boxes that have been opened. The strippers appear to be tinned, or at least it looks like there is a blob of tin smeared on one clip I can get a photo later if you like.

The London postal code “London W.” suggests that the box at least was made no later than the teens of the twentieth century. Jack

Wow, nice box you found here

.[quote=“XPH2USN, post:3, topic:22644”]
I can get a photo later if you like.
[/quote]

Yes, please and a photo of headstamp if possible.

Thanks,

Brian

THANK YOU! That is the kind of detective work that I need,

I’d like to see a photo of those stripper clips too.

More Photos. The tin blob that I mentioned earlier appears to be a perfect circle, probably a manufacturing artifact. I opened the other box and found the same circle on one clip, so it appears on about fifty percent of the clips that were checked. Still no other markings found on clips.

XPH2USN,

Excellent pictures, thanks for posting.

Since sporting cartridges are not my area of collecting I’m asking a basic question: does the " E " in the headstamp identify Eley as the manufacturer?

Thanks,

Brian

Yes. My understanding is that the E stands for Eley. Municion.org says that Kynock picked up production later in the Twenties.

Curt

Curt, great find, congratulations! Thanks a lot for sharing these pictures with us.

These “E” headstamped cartridges were indeed made by Eley but as far as I can tell they are not offered in Eley commercial catalogs, only those by Holland & Holland Ltd. The first Eley drawing is dated March 10, 1905 and titled “Holland & Holland .375 Cartridge Special Rim”, and the first Kynoch drawing is also dated 1905 and the title says “.400/375 Cartridge, Holland’s Patent”. My latest references for the original production of this cartridge are a box by ICI dated 1954 and the H&H price list for 1959.

This “Holland’s Patent” refers to British Patent No. 27,912 applied by Henry William Holland on December 20, 1904 and granted on January 26, 1905. See scans for more information.

More scans from H&H’s c. 1911 catalog:

1 Like

Interesting the markings, or lack thereof, on the clips Curt provided. The one with a what appears to be a raised circle. I have a clip with the same contents as his, but it is stamped D.M.

Blue boxes are very neat!

Post deleted

I am hoping to identify the manufacturer for this round, headstamped:

“Hollands 400.375 Nitro”

Municion.org says made by Eley Bros. of London. http://municion.org/Holland/400-375.htm

Curtis F. Laws

Thanks for the answer, and for the introduction to the Municion.org website.