Holland & Holland 12b 'Paradox' projectile


#1

As little as I know about ammo, I know less about old bullets. Help, pleeez. It is about 0.725 inches in diametre, and about 1 inch tall.


#2

Perhaps it is for one of the 12 Bore Paradox guns?


#3

Vlad

Try this.

Ray


#4

Posted with Ray’s permission.

Vlad

I copied that page from the book THE GUN by W. W.Greener. From the late 1800s. It doesn’t give any more details or a photo of the rifle that used that particular bullet.

In reading other parts of the book, Greener uses the term “Choke-Bore” to describe what we know today as a shotgun choke. He also describes a method of stabilizing shot and slugs by straight, shallow channels in the barrel. I think that is what is meant by the “grooving”. He also said that sometimes the barrel is both grooved and choked.

So I’m guessing that the Choke-Bore rifle is actually a shotgun with a slight choke and those very shallow grooves to impart some stability to the bullets or spherical ball. I would also guess that the bullets are loaded in a brass case very much like a shotshell or big-bore rifle.

Your particular bullet was probably also loaded in a standard double barrelled rifle meant for very large game shooting in Africa and Asia.

Why not ask on the Forum if anyone knows the details of a “choke-bore” rifle? Maybe some of the shotshell collectors will know.

Or just copy and paste my comments.

Ray


#5

Vlad - I would say this is a Holland & Holland 12b ‘Paradox’ projectile - though other gunmakers such as Greener’s brought out their own versions of rifled shotgun to shoot them. The ‘Paradox’ ball & shot gun was patented by Colonel Fosberry in 1885 and patent assigned to Holland & Holland. I have attached the following info:
a) Excerpt from ‘Land & Water’ trials of ‘Paradox’ gun & ammo (1886)
b) Diagram of ‘Paradox’ rifling design from British Provisional Patent 7568 of 20th June 1885.
c) Page from Holland & Holland catalogue 1910-12.
d) Kynoch Limited drawing of 12b ‘Paradox’ projectile (1924)
Unable to post sample pics of ‘Paradox’ bullets - mine are all packed away at present.
Regards JohnP-C




#6

Am I wrong in summing up the last two great entries by saying that both are correct - that the Paradox bullet IS the one picture in the article on “choke bore rifle” in the Greener publication? Both the Greener rendition and the one in the Kynoch spec drawing appear to be essentially identical to me.

I ask because John’s answer doesn’t really say anything about that, although it sure gives us every other detail, normal for his great replies to questions.

Interesting bullet, even for those of us who don’t collect in that field!


#7

‘Ay there’s the rub’ as Shakespeare once pen’d. How can we be certain it’s a H&H 12 bore ‘Paradox’ without benefit of cartridge case and box label?
H&H’s ‘Paradox’ had lots of imitators, e.g. Greener and Charles Lancaster used the same type of projectile - but with a different form of rifling.
The ‘Paradox’ patent of 1885 was for the design of rifling, not the design of bullet. H&H however are associated with the copper-tubed bullet posted by Vlad. Regards JohnP-C


#8

John P-C

For discussion only, not meant to be argumentive - but who’s to say that H&H did not imitate Greener or Lancaster, rather than the reverse?? Greener’s bullet was also a copper -tubed “Express” type design.

Ray


#9

John - the Greener ad shows that the bullet in their ad has a copper tube. Did Greener actually make bullets? Perhaps they were just selling the same bullet, made by Kynoch, that went into the Paradoz cartridges?

As I said on a previous recent posting, not challenging, just trying to learn something out of my field. this is a great thread and more easy-to-understand information on this subject than I have seen before. Important for a dummy like me.

John Moss


#10

There is nothing unique to Greener, H&H, Lancaster, Webley & other gun-makers about the bullet tentatively identified as a ‘12b H&H Paradox’ & posted by Vlad. As I mentioned earlier - it’s not possible to ascertain whose bullet this is without cartridge case and box label. These bullets were factory made by Eley & Kynoch and kits could be bought to make your own. There was nothing unique or unusual about this bullet - it was common currency up until WW1. However H&H were the first to use this type of bullet in a Ball & Shot Gun - and probably the last British gunmaker to do so - note the 1924 Kynoch drawing of the 12 bore ‘Paradox’ - solidly associated by that date with H&H.
The naming of this bullet is associated with the weapon used - after H&H brought out their ‘Paradox’ Ball & Shot Gun in 1886 - Webley brought out a rival system in 1888 and Greener brought out their own Ball & Shot Gun rifling system in 1889. All used similar projectiles - which have become collectively known as ‘Paradox’ bullets. I ventured earlier that I’m 90% sure this bullet was probably of H&H origin - that’s informed conjecture. However we can be 100% sure that this bullet - whatever it’s title - was used in a 12 bore Ball & Shot gun.


#11

The illustration of this bullet brings back fond memories for me. When I was in college about 35 years ago, I had a friend who had been stationed in England in the U.S. Air Force during the 1950’s. He spent much of his spare time and money going to auctions and buying old British military and civilian guns, especially double rifles.

We went shooting one day and took an example of every caliber rifle he had, from a .303 Martini carbine to a 12-bore double rifle built by Henry Holland. It had full rifled bores, not paradox, and absolutely kicked the hell out of you. I fired 5 rounds from it that day along with many more from the .577 Nitro Express, .577-.450, and the others. By the end of the day, my shoulder was a rainbow of yellow and blue colors but we sure had fun.

The bullets he molded for the 12-bore were configured like the ones in these illustrations with a hollow point, but without the copper center tube, and weighed 750 grains. In the center space, my friend inserted a .22 round with the bullet pulled and the extra space to the bottom of the hole filled with guncotton to make explosive bullets. I recall most of them functioning well with a noticible “whack” when they hit the target. I still have one of the fired bullets I recovered from a dirt bank, nicely flattened into a disc shape. Great fun and one of my favorite shooting memories. At the price of those types of guns and their ammo, I don’t know anyone to shoot double rifles with anymore.


#12

[quote=“JohnMoss”]
Interesting bullet, even for those of us who don’t collect in that field![/quote]

Yes interesting, but pretty simple design.

What do you think of this one ?
Explosive 12 gauge bullet manufactured in 1897 by the French gunmaker Arthur Nouvelle.
JP


#13

JP

Interesting. Does the advertising say what the bullet was used for??

Ray


#14

J-P - Interesting isn’t the right word for that French projectile. “Incredible” says it better. What a wild looking thing. Just in a picture, it looks dangerous! Wow!

John M.


#15

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]JP

Interesting. Does the advertising say what the bullet was used for??

Ray[/quote]
It is one of the many bullets designed by this gunmaker.

  • different explosive bullets : either with or without delay
  • different poisonnous bullets
  • different armor piercing bullets

All made for big animals hunting
JP


#16

JP

My first reaction was, “I wonder if those bullets were designed for hunting large dangerous animals?” It appears that they were.

That seems to be at odds with what most heavy rifles and bullets were designed to do. That is, deep penetration. It would seem to me that a bullet exploding or fragmenting upon contact would result in a lot of sportsmen being “stomped”.

Ray


#17

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]JP

My first reaction was, “I wonder if those bullets were designed for hunting large dangerous animals?” It appears that they were.

That seems to be at odds with what most heavy rifles and bullets were designed to do. That is, deep penetration. It would seem to me that a bullet exploding or fragmenting upon contact would result in a lot of sportsmen being “stomped”.

Ray[/quote]
Hi Ray !

  1. I do not understand your last sentence with “stomped” ??
    Stomped means kicked with the foot , doesn’t it ?

  2. I do not understand the general meaning of your post.
    You want to say that an explosive bullet is the opposite of what we must use on a large dangerous animal ?
    And you think it is better to use an solid bullet making deep penetration.

Is this the meaning of your post ??

JP


#18

JP

I apologise for my choice of words.

Yes, solid bullets penetrate the thick tough skin and bones of the large animals in order to reach the vital organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs. A bullet that mushrooms, fragments, or disintigrates will only cause a superficial wound. Such a wound may prove to be fatal over a period of time but in the case of dangerous animals it is important that death is quick.

Most large caliber ammunition that is loaded today for use in hunting large, thick-skin animals in Africa and Asia has solid, monolithic bullets.

The word “stomped” is an expression that many white hunters used in the glory days of African hunting. It means that the sportsman or white hunter was literally stepped on by an enraged animal that was only wounded. The results were usually fatal.

For example, a white hunter may say, “Did you hear about poor George? His client missed a shot and he was stomped by the elephant.”

Ray


#19

Ray
Not exactly my area of expertese, but some dangerious game is hunted with “fast expansion” bullets, IE the big cats. Thin skinned, light boned, but a strong will to live / punish “he who did the deed”.

JP
In the context used, “kick” is what you do to a soccer ball, “stomp” is what you do to a insect. It’s a toe vs bottom of foot thing.


#20

gunner

Not my area of expertise either. I’ve never been to Africa. As a kid I read every “African Hunting” book I could get my hands on and dreamed of the day I could hunt there. But it was not to be and is certainly too late now. Alaska is the closest I came.

A favorite gun for hunting the thin skinned animals was the combination rifle/shotgun such as the Drilling or Doppelbuchsdrilling. There’s nothing like a load of 00 buck when the shooting distance is measured in feet instead of yards. (Or so I’ve read).

Ray