.450 MH Line Throwing Blank

I’m hoping someone can jog my [failing] memory: Some years ago, the late John Belton wrote a short article on the Canadian 450 MH Line Throwing blank, an un-necked case usually headstamped “D.C.Co. 45 M.H.”. I thought (but I’m not 100% sure) the article was published in the Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting but I cannot locate it in those copies of this publication that I have.

Can anyone remember where it was published and in which issue, please? This IAA editor would greatly appreciate the help!!

Chris P.


For what it is worth, the old Texas cartridge club did a series of line drawings of MH cartridge types back in 1977 and the only Dominion cartridge included in the series of drawings was a drawn case ball load.

But they did include a drawing of the Kynoch made line throwing blank, see photo below.


The straight case D.C.Co. 45 M.H. is a saluting blank, last I’d heard as per Mr B.
here is the box for the blanks illustrated in Brin’s above post. However I have both the dummy and live versions and neither is copper plated./ washedBSA%20line%20trrowing%20box

The index I have goes through the 1st 20 years & looking at the 577.450 heading listings I found nothing relating to this. sorry

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I am looking for the ARTICLE the Canadian version by John Belton. I believe he initially thought it was a line-throwing blank. My question isn’t its identity - I’m trying to locate the article.
Chris P.

The index I looked through was the Canadian Arms Journal index for the 1st 20 years.
My copies of the journal after that are hit or miss.

I cannot help with the Belton article but since I pulled these items from my collection and did a photo at 2AM in the morning I still wish to post it.
The headstamp is : KYNOCH 577/450. with green wax or paint on the crimp.
Shows a different Line Throwing box dated 12 O M (12 August 1964?)

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Interesting cartridges. Thanks to everyone who posted. (Sorry, Chris, I cannot help with your initial inquiry.)

I would be VERY interested in learning more about what line throwing guns these were used in, and any reference material related to the line throwing guns or cartridges or projectiles, or photos showing them in use, catalogs, newspaper accounts, etc.

I have seen reports of a Japanese Navy marked .577/450 Martini style line throwing gun. There are also some images of British fire department or Royal National Lifeboat Institute use, but mainly as “cigarette cards.” The only .577-450 line throwing gun I have encountered is one with cast iron butt, presumably used by one of the fire fighting units.

My research on line throwing guns of all types suggests that they were probably available for use by firefighters nearly as much as in the maritime life-saving or replenishment at sea operations.


Do you have a date of manufacture for the box marked for BSA Line Throwing Gun?


Alan David

Howdy Alan
I have two boxes & the codes on them are: 7 L ? on the one upper & "7 L A " on the belowDSCN4124 DSCN4125


I just found another packet of line throwers in the collection.
Light tan paper dated 16 M N (1965). String tied. Never opened. Ron.

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What does the straight case DCCo look like, what is the hs?

The case from our sale 16 & the HS from another example. We listed it as a saluting blank but could be wrong. The HS’ed one has a white topwad at the case cannelure and the total weight is 385 gr.


Looking at the wording on my packet above I think it may be earlier than 1964 so it may be 26 years earlier so 1938 (not 1964?) What do you think? 16 M N

I’ve has this in my collection listed as a regular blank. However, having seen the OP, I wonder if it is a line throwing blank?


This straight case as shown is a special item I have one and I got it from the late John Belton
The explanation he gave was that these case as they are were found in St Vincent de Paul
Penetentiary and were the failure attempt of making a given cartridge by D.C.C.o.evidently
there is no rime or reason connected to that case a curiosity.

My original inquiry regarding the article on this blank (the one from DCCo with the large letters) was to try and find out what source John Belton was quoting for his information. I do not believe it was a line-throwing blank but, more likely, a regular blank, perhaps used for saluting. Any line-throwing blank is going to have to be used over water which implies that the blank would have to be waterproofed. The blank in question has no waterproof seal on the wad.

Chris P.

Chris- While most line throwing applications are nautical, there is a very significant level of use of line throwing guns by fire fighters, especially in urban areas. It appears that the .577-450 Martini line throwers were being considered by London and other UK Fire Brigades as early as 1921. Later cigarette cards show both nautical and fire fighting versions of line throwing guns in use.

Comparable line throwing guns based Remington rolling blocks were in use by the New York Fire Department by 1889 and while later replaced with the top-break Naval Company “Bridger” models they were still in use as of 2015.

As a practical matter, all line throwing blanks are likely to be sealed/waterproofed in some way, but not due to exclusive maritime use of line throwing guns.

Here is what the late John Belton had to say about this cartridge.I reprint what he send me in his sales
Cal…62" BLANK is an enigma representing an application not contemplated orignally.The headstamp
has never surfaced on a577/450 Martini ctg.By the Dominion Cartridge Company.Evidently in1898-99 a
production error left unfinished (.M.H.) cases wich were in part made into a blank on some required
contract.The known were found in Montreals ST Vincent de Paul Federal Prison.What lead to that
remains inconclusive.Known “LINE THROWING” Blanks in various sizes resemble this general case
type.It is to long to chamber in a Snider Rifle action…even if the chambers were enlarged.Then it is
possible a Martini Henryaction rebarelled could have been employed…if it was a line throwing device.
Lastly,it is possible that same was loaded with buckshot’ for guard purposes.Great Britain,India,and New Zealand used loads of 577 Snider size developed in 1898 by Royal Lab.For what ever purpose
it appears to have been made in a small quantity it is rare today.

This is what the late John Belton had to say


Chris - I checked all the “Contents” sheets I had for the CJAC and the very few issues I have, perhaps 15 or so, and found mention of only one article by John Belton dealing with the .450 M-H cartridge. It sounds too general to be the one you want but it is:

Vol.10, No. 1, Feb. 1972: The .577-.450 Martini Henry Manufactured by the Dominion Cartridge Factory, Quebec.

Actually, rereading it, it does not even mention the author. It is likely NOT the one you want. I don’t have that issue to look at it.

Sorry I couldn’t come up with the info. My little sheets, folded into very narrow eight page pamphlet Bibliographies of this magazine cover a lot of issues, but no other entry seemed to be even possibly the article.

John Moss