A couple of years ago I bought one of the proverbial “cigar box” full of miscellaneous cartridges. After dumping the contents on my workbench my eyes were immediately drawn to a big brass cartridge with a long paper-patched bullet. My first reaction was “What Cheer”. But a closer examination and some measurements revealed that it appeared to be the more common 577x450 Martini-Henry, albeit in commercial dressing. Not exactly like hitting the lottery but a good find none-the-less.
Some time later I was reading about arms maker Frank Wesson (later to become Wesson & Harrington and then Harrington & Richardson). I couldn’t help but notice that the writer referred to Wesson as “one of the first cartridge wildcatters” since many of his rifles were chambered for cartridges known only to Wesson. But one reference caught my eye. Wesson supposedly chambered his No.1 Long Range Creedmoor model for a cartridge very similar, if not identical, to the 577x450 MH. Ammunition, supposedly, was manufactured by Remington to Wesson’s specifications.
Since then, I’ve not been able to find any additional information about the rifle or the cartridge. I’m familiar with the 45 What Cheer cartridge that is slightly shorter than the 577x450, so this is not one of them. Anyone have any ideas? Or is this cartridge simply a plain jane 577x450 Martini Henry?
577x450 MH on left. Mystery cartridge, nhs, on right.