A basic question about 450 Martini Henry Rounds


#1

Folks,

I collect only military cartridges. I have this group of commercially head stamped MH rounds and was wondering if any of them may have been commercial contracts for military use. Can anyone shed some light on this subject for me? The other question I have is, are any of them any good? I apologize for the poor photography, but it as about as well as I can do with my cell phone!

Thanks!
Dave


#2

dak21

I CAN’T HELP ON YOUR FIRST QUESTION. ON YOUR SECOND QUESTION, THE REM-UMC 45 MH HEADSTAMP RATES A 3 ON A 1 TO 5 RARITY SCALE. REMINGTON-UMC ONLY SHOW THE CARTRIDGE BEING AVAILABLE FROM 1916 TO 1924. ACTUAL MANUFACTURE OF THE CARTRIDGE LIKELY CEASED WELL BEFORE THE 1924 DATE.


#3

Hi GWB

can you tell me where you can find this rarity scale, its something I have not come across before…thanks…paul


#4

timeout

IN 1996, DICK FRASER COMPILED A LIST OF KNOWN REM-UMC HEADSTAMPED CARTRIDGES. HE CREATED A SCALE, NUMBERS 1 THRU 5 TO GIVE COLLECTORS AN IDEA OF THE RARITY OF EACH HEADSTAMP. NUMBER 1 WOULD BE, “COMMON” AND NUMBER 5 WOULD BE, “QUITE RARE.” DICK DID NOT LIST DESIGNATIONS FOR NUMBERS 2, 3, OR 4 SO THE COLLECTOR IS LEFT TO GIVE THESE NUMBERS WHATEVER DESIGNATION THEY WANT. I HAPPEN TO LIKE THE SCALE BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLE AND IT WORKS WELL WITH MOST CARTRIDGES THE COLLECTOR IS GOING TO ENCOUNTER.

YEARS AGO, CIRCA 1966, BERKELEY R. LEWIS CREATED A SCALE USING NUMBERS 1 THRU 10. HIS SCALE USED NUMBER 1 FOR COMMON CARTRIDGES AND NUMBER 10 FOR THE TRUELY RARE ITEMS. THE SCALE WAS ACTUALLY FAR MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT NEEDED TO BE. YOU ALMOST HAVE TO HAVE THE SCALE HANDY IN YOUR POCKET TO DECIDE WHERE THE CARTRIDGE YOU HAD IN YOUR HAND FIT.

IN HIS VOLUMES ON W.R.A.Co. HEADSTAMPED CARTRIDGES, DANIEL L. SHUEY USED A SCALE WITH NUMBERS 1 THRU 6, NUMBER 1, “VERY COMMOM”, NUMBER 2, “COMMON”, NUMBER 3, “UNCOMMON”, NUMBER 4, “SCARCE”, NUMBER 5, “RARE”, AND NUMBER 6, “VERY RARE.”

THE HIGH NUMBER IN ALL OF THESE VARIOUS SCALES NORMALLY INDICATES THAT KNOWN SPECIMENS OF THE CARTRIDGE ASSIGNED THAT NUMBER ARE, 10 OR LESS KNOWN SPECIMENS.


#5

The 1916 date for the Rem-UMC ctg might indicate a military contract connection. It would not be worthwhile for a UK manufacturer to divert resources for a probably relatively small small production run at that time.


#6

GWB… thanks for taking the time to answer, Do you know of a scale for WW1 and WWII German 7.92 rounds, I see a lot for sale some at low prices and others with a different lot number through the roof in value! …paul.


#7

timeout

I’M SORRY I CAN’T BE OF MUCH ASSISTANCE ON THIS QUESTION. I HAVE AN INTEREST SCALE, NUMBERS 1 THRU 100, THE CARTRIDGE YOU WANT INFORMATION ON GETS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 0 AND 1 ON MY INTEREST SCALE.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SERIOUSLY COLLECT 7.9MM MAUSER YOU NEED TO BUY A COPY OF DANIEL W. KENT’S BOOK, [u]GERMAN 7,9MM MILITARY AMMUNITION 1888-1945.[u] COLLECTING ANYTHING, WITHOUT HAVING READ AT LEAST 1 BOOK ON YOUR INTEREST DOESN’T WORK WELL. YOU CAN LIKELY FIND THE BOOK ON AMAZON.COM BUT IT WILL NOT BE CHEAP LIKELY AROUND A $100.00.

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR COLLECTING.


#8

Paul,

Collecting 7,92 is a very complicated topic. Rounds vary in rarity from ultra common to ultra rare depending on some very slight differences that even a trained eye may miss. This remains true even if you’ve read every book out there. PM me some time and I will share information with you on the topic. 7,92 from 1945 and earlier is my #1 priority in collecting.

Dave


#9

I am still really hoping someone out there with some knowledge on the 450 MH can shed some light for me. Any information on contract MH rounds made for military use would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

Dave


#10

By 1914, the .450 MH cartridge was obsolete in British regular Military Service, but out in the Empire, various Colonies and Dominions still had stocks of MH Rifles and Maxims in at least Reserve service, if not in actual (“Police”)use. Britain had converted a lot of its Pre-1890 Maxims from .450 to .303. Contract supplies of the solid drawn cartridge were still being made by Kynock and Eley to cover such usage. When the Germans introduced the Zeppelin raids, and the use of Aerostats (Tethered Balloons) over the trenches, there was a call for a MG of suitable capacity to knock them down…The British immediately resurrected some of the Early .450 Maxims, and Vickers in conjunction with the French, built an 11x59R (Gras) calibre Vickers Gun, to meet the need. Suitable explosive Projectiles etc were also developed. The French also had earlier Hotchkiss guns in 11mm available.

Those African colonies still with .450 Maxims and MH rifles had to rely on pre-war supplies of ammo, and the wartime Remington Contract could be part of making up this shortfall. ( Remington had also supplies a “Mark VI” .303 cartridge in 1914, for Both British and Colonial use.

Some colonies, such as Burma, still had .450 Martinis on service late into WW II ( Movie newsreels of Kachin and Karen Guerrillas with US and British advisors, the irregulars being armed with M-H rifles of both .303 and .450 calibre, fighting the Japanese.)

Remington had by far the largest contribution to British Small arms ammo contracts during WW Ii, closely followed by Winchester and Western; these also had very large French and Russian contracts as well.

Doc AV


#11

The MH rifle enjoyed a very long second life for many decades after its military service was over as a civilian rifle. So big was the Empire market that you could say it overshadowed its rather brief military career.

I don’t have figures or dates to hand but I could easily believe more civilian than military ammunition was made for the calibre over its extended life cycle which actually runs to the present day. Certainly Kynoch was still making MH ammunition occasionally up to about the 60s ( I don’t have any catalogues to be more precise on dates, maybe even into the early 70s?). The present reincarnation of the Kynoch name still makes and sells it today.

It still has a very big enthusiast following, we have clubs and competitions in the UK with similar organisations in Canada, US, Australia and NZ. People still hunt with them.

For about a decade around the 70s-80s it looked as though the non existent ammunition supply would kill off the interest because there was no source of new cases. A back yard operation by a company called NDFS kept things going with hand turned brass cases. Later Bertram came on stream with their range of previously obsolete cases and interest surged again.

The question of military ammunition contracts for administrations that were given rifles after the ceased to be issued to British troops would be complicated and I think we are going to miss TonyE’s input on these matters.

My impression is that a lot of these rifles were carried but seldom fired by what would now be non PC to describe as native troops. Batches of these rifles are still trickling back from armouries in out of the way corners of the empire. Most are in remarkably good condition.
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