.450 British Match controvesry


Years ago I started out to make a display board of each of the chapters of CARTRIDGES OF THE WORLD. I did most of these before getting side tracked off to other things. On my British sport board I had a blank for the .450 2.4 inch Match shell for years. Some said that Barnes made it up and there was no such thing, I think that Amber (publisher) told me that, don’t remember now. I do have one on my board now and don’t remember getting it or putting it there.

Does anyone else have the 450 2.4 inch match which Barnes described ?


Its not in the current edition of Barnes although they list the various .450 2-3/8 necked down to .400 varients. Its not a calibre that figures on my radar although if you want to gain any information the curator of the NRA museum at Bisley would be a starting point.
From the .450/400 ballistics it would appear weak as a target load. Low velocity and a trajectory like a rainbow. British target shooting always embraced 600yds as a benchmark. This is not a 600yd round. I wonder if it was an upgraded Cadet round. that would have some merit.Cadet shooting was more common at 200yds and the common cadet rounds were not up to the distance. Whatever, it must have been short lived.


7th Ed COTW, P.315 lists a “.450 Rigby Match (2.4”)". Story there is that John Amber had such a rifle along with a dozen cases headstamped “J. Rigby & Co. 1881” It also states that it is interchangeable with the .45-90. Also gives the load as a 480 grain lead bullet with 85 grains of black powder. Is that it? It is also listed in Donnelly’s book, “Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions,” P. 623. Instructions there state it can be made from the .45 Basic brass, trimmed to 2.40". Bullet diameter given as 0.461". No problem in making up a round for a board display, but it probably would be much more difficult to find one with the correct J. Rigby headstamp. Or maybe the cases Amber had were the only ones ever made.

If you want a shooter in this caliber, see this: 19thcenturyweapons.com/410/e … nmart.html Therefore, it appears this cartridge is not a hoax. I’d almost like to buy that rifle myself, very attractive in appearance and price. But I don’t understand why a match rifle would have a bayonet stud on it.


Thanks. I remember now. I got mine from John.


I still dont see what advantage a .450 2.4" match cartridge would have over the standard round for target shooting. It all seems a bit strange really. I suspect it has something to do with the banning of military calibres in India.

And I would place that rifle as very interesting but a bit overpriced. Although described as custom built thats stretching it a bit. Its only a military martini bought in by Rigbys and given a workover. Wesley Richards did the same because the military rifles were not officially sold to the public.