hello to all. first post on these boards.

a friend of mine has just purchased an old breach-loading sporting Snider, and the dealer has informed him that it’s chambered in 450CF. I have not been able to find any info on this case, only that a lot of tranter revolvers were made in this cartridge.

However, i am wondering whether the 450CF is actually the same case as the 450 Adams (also known as the 450 Revolver or 450 Short Colt)? Does anyone know if this is in fact true? i found a mention on a headstamp reference page that grouped the 450CF and 450 Adams together.

If it is the 450 Adams, i believe that cases can be made from 455 webley brass?

Anyway, many thanks in advance for any help / advice offered.

cheers, jason.

The .450 CF = 450 Adams = 450 Short Colt = 450 Boxer = 450 Short.

Fiocchi still load it in ball and you can turn down the rim of a 455 and shorten the case if you have too much time on your hands.

I would double-check the caliber of the “Snider” before you go to all that trouble. The .450 also came in a “.450 Long” and “.450 Rook”. It is also possible the dealer confused 450Cf with 450 Martini-Henry (I’ve been offered “.450CF” rounds that turned out to be 450MH !).
Chris P.

thanks chris. yeah, i’ve already mentioned to him that when the rifle arrives we may need to take a casting to be sure what it is. but thanks for confirming that the CF and Adams are one and the same.

cheers, jason.

I would have thought .450MH was the more probable given all the possibilities. Its in the “family line” for the Snider and the pistol round would have been so weak in a rifle I cant see any practical use for it.

I have a 45 caliber center fire in my collection that came out of Australia with the information that it was a popular round to use on kangaroos back in black powder days and it is called the .450 #1 Carbine. Your gunsmith may have been refering to this cartridge. Anyway it is another tree to bark up until you get a definitive chamber cast.

There is one for sale here: gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt … =116973137 Three days to go on this auction so the link wont be much good after the end of November 2008.

There is a very confusing little cluster of British .450 calibre rifle cartridges of that era, all very similar sounding calibres/names. Even worse, some gunmakers called identical cartridges different names or gave them different designations in an attempt to make them their own.
Rather than me try to list them, have a look in COTW.

The Snider conversion is not strong and would not take a big game round so you can rule them out.

Personally, I still favour the possibility its a military 577/.450 which is just a necked down .577 Snider case anyway so it would require less work to convert things like extractors etc. All they would need to do do is sleeve the barrel. I suspect it may even have been a military conversion although I have never seen one. Anything more than a resleeve would probably have been more than the rifle was worth in those days.
A lot of these types of rifles (cheap) would have gone out to “The Empire” where the settlers provided a market for something they could not sell at home.

Please let us know the outcome

[quote=“Vince Green”]
…its a military 577/.450 which is just a necked down .577 Snider case [/quote]

Not sure thats correct. The MH round started life as a coiled case and is longer than the Snider.

[quote=“Armourer”][quote=“Vince Green”]
…its a military 577/.450 which is just a necked down .577 Snider case [/quote]

Not sure thats correct. The MH round started life as a coiled case and is longer than the Snider.[/quote]

The .577/450" cartridge was developed from the .577" Snider, using the same components and construction but with longer foil to extend the neck length. You cannot make a .577/450 case from a .577" Snider. The way the calibre was designated shows its origin from the .577 predecessor.

The tricky part was the necking operation, done with four jaws initially to reduce diameter but with four protruding ribs between the jaws. Then these ribs were folded down, I would love to have seen the machine which performed that operation.


There is no need to go to the trouble of casting the chamber if this Snider is a 577/.450. Just open the breech and look at the chamber, if it is big enough to stick your thumb part way in, then it is probably a 577/.450. The 577/.450 is one of the largest rounds you will find in .45 caliber. I checked this rough method on my Martini Henry and my thumb will fit in the length of the nail without a problem, but if you happen to be one of the folks that that get carried away, squirt some dish soap on you thumb before hand. That will make it easier for the paramedics to extradite you digit!

The trouble is it could be a 500/.450 (Musket) which would look almost identical from the chamber end to a 577/.450. Not quite so big but you have to be able to tell the difference bu feel.
If the rifle was converted by Wesley Richards or a company associated with Wesley Richards they would have used the 500/.450 because that was “their” calibre.

This sort of conversion was just the sort of thing I could imagine Weley Richards doing.

I think most of the other .450 varients would have been too powerful for the gun.

I can’t really understand the logic in WR introducing a cartridge like the 500/.450 so similar to the national military calibre when the only market for those rifles would have been far flung corners of the empire. They even made and sold new martini rifles in the calibre.
If you are an early settler sitting at the end of a supply chain that involves weeks at sea you want a rifle with simple easy to get ammunition.

Actually, I have been thinking about this all day since my last post and I think I have worked it out.

I was curious about the reason for the Wesley Richards 500/.450 no2 cartridge (musket) having the name “musket”. That drew my attention, it seemed a funny name but then I realised. The musket it refers to is the Snider which is a second generation Enfield musket.

Also, it would be impossible to sleeve a Snider to take the 577/.450 because all they could do is skim out the rifling and braze in a sleeve that would be the same diameter as the Sniders chamber and therefore the same diameter as the back end of a 577/.450.

There wasn’t sufficient metal in the barrel to machine out any more. To chamber a Snider for 577/.450 would require a rebarrel which would have been more expensive than just sleeving the old one.

Therefore they needed a thinner cartridge so they could cut the chamber within the available metal of the sleeve which would have been nominally .577" plus a bit for the skim.

In my last post I said I didn’t understand the logic of Wesley Richards introducing a cartridge so similar to the 577/.450 but I was wrong. It differed in one key detail, its diameter. And it was introduced just at the time when the military would have been getting rid of their Sniders.

So my great theory, and its up to you to decide whether its brilliant deduction or the ramblings of an old fool is this. The 500/.450 no2 (musket) was quite probably introduced by Wesley Richards for the purpose of converting old Sniders back into sellable rifles.

If you want to vote on this theory please write your vote on the back of a $50 note and send it to the following address…