450 short revolver


It is a job to tell from your first photo but I don’t think it is a 450 Adams, the MkI adams had a seperate Iron head,much like the Sniders and MHs,the MkII adams had a seperate brass head and the MkIII was of the conventional formed type of head,most of the MkIIIs were commercially manufactured by Eley and were overstamped with two broad arrows if taken into service.

From the photograph it looks, from the dimensions, like a .450 Adams.
I’ve eight inert examples of .450 Adams…Mk I to Mk III.

Manufacturers are: Eley, Kynoch, FIOCCHI, and with no headstamp (probably RL).

There are no broad arrow marks on any of my examples.


I found it in Chris’ book.

S&B Sellier & Bellot

It looks like they made quite a few different length cartriges.

So it might not be “Adams” per say. What’s the generally accepted way to log these?

.450 adams AKA .450 Boxer Mk I , and also known variously as the .450 Revolver, .450 Colt, .450 Short, .450 Corto and .450 Mark III, and in America as the .45 Webley

Hi Sam3,
photo of a commercial MkIII Adams with the two ‘taken into service’ broad arrows


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The Eley Mk III with the broad-arrow over-stamps is not, strictly speaking, a “commercial” round. It was the official service-issue Mk III. While it does conform to the Royal Laboratory drawing ( No. 16333-1) entitled “Cartridge S.A. Ball Pistol Adams (Mark III)” you will note that the packet label does not mention “Mk III” or even “Adams”!! Your round came from a packet like this…

The only other official government-issue Mk III round was a small batch made by Royal Laboratory just prior to WWI which have the “R /\ L III” headstamp which is very rare though I suspect that there are some examples existing where people have them confused with the .455.

Your SB round is a “.450 Revolver” or “.450 Short Revolver” if you wish to distinguish it from the original .450 Adams which it does not resemble.

Gentlemen (and any Ladies reading this),
There remains a lot of confusion regarding the Adams Mk I and Adams Mk II cartridges and their contemporary commercial equivalents.

The Adams Mk I cartridge had a Boxer-designed case with an IRON rim. Eley made an almost identical commercial version which should be called (and is on some early boxes) – the “.450 Boxer”. The service-issue Adams Mk I differs from its commercial version by the placement of the bullet crimps and some internal design differences including a paper coil. The vast majority of .450 rounds with iron-base boxer cases I have encountered are not actually Adams Mk I cartridges but rather the “.450 Boxer” round.

The Adams Mk II cartridge also had a Boxer-designed case but with a BRASS rim and it had NO HEADSTAMP (ref: RL drawing No.1706). Eley made an almost identical commercial version which should also be called (and is on some early boxes) – the “.450 Boxer”. These differ from the military issue rounds by the placement (and sometime the number) of bullet crimps AND the use of a headstamp.

I know this sounds pedantic but calling any and all .450 Short revolver rounds a “.450 Adams” is tantamount to calling all .303 commercial rounds a “.303 MK VII” !!!

Chris P.

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For info, an image of the Royal Laboratory Mk.lll as supplied to the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC)

Hi Chris,
Have gone back over my .450’s with a new magnifying glass and light…and using Munición, it seems that I have:

One: Adams Mk I
Three: Adams Mk II
Four: .450 Short Revolver

Unfortunately; not an Adams Mk III to be found.

The Kynoch man-stopper, that I believed to be a Mk III…(“Versión Mk 3 del .450 Adams. Vaina de latón de una sola pieza, bala de plomo con un fuerte crimpado.”) turns out to be a .450 Short Revolver.

I have to look carefully, in future, for the very big; “crimpado.”


Hey Chris, dunno if you might want to get this taken down?