Kynoch 455 MkI Primer Crimping

The images show what I believe to be a Kynoch 455 Mark I Webley cartridge I possess. I am curious about the degree of primer crimping used for this cartridge, being ringed and stabbed. Why would it require such firm crimping? Or is it just the way it is and no real reason?

As an example, in HWS Volume 1 (revised), page 112, they discuss a Cal. .30M 1906 cartridge that used stab and ringed primer crimping in order to prevent the primer blowing out when the cartridge was fired in the Marlin aircraft machine gun because the bolt provided little support the cartridge head.


I’m not getting the images, I don’t know if this is happening to other people. Without seeing the images, I can think of no practical reason for a .455 to have a crimped primer. Its a very low pressure round and the breech is well supported.

However, when contracts are issued things like that can just get blindly carried across from other contracts. The only reason they would have done it would be if it was specified because its an addition process.

I am sorry I have not replied sooner but have had internet problems. Here is the headstamp image. Anything out of the ordinary?

Thank you.

Can we have a picture of the whole round please? i presume it is a ball round?


Here it is. What are your thoughts?

It certainly is well crimped in! Tony would be able to say better than me but I am not even sure it is military. I would not expect to see the word Kynoch in full just the letter K and a date like 16.

The .455 is a bit of a hybrid in this respect. Although it was the official service revolver, officers had to purchase their own revolvers privately and obviously they would buy a box of ammunition at the same time. So at any given time most of the ammo residing in officers ammo pouches could well be civilian rather than military and that ammo would travel round the world with them.

Probably very few officers ever shot their way through that initial box of 50

Whist I apppreciate your faith in me Vince, I have no idea why this round should be crimped like that. It is certainly not military, and in any case the long case Mark I round had been superceded in service by the .455 short case Mark II in July 1897.

.455 inch blanks are normally primer crimped as there is not enough pressure to force the case back against the recoil shield and “caps out” can occur, jamming the revolver. I will check my ball rounds to see if any are crimped.

You also raise another conundrum. Why are WWI period .455 inch revolver cases not dated in the headstamp? Dating was introduced into the headstamp of British military rounds in 1907 and was generally applied to all calibres except it seems .455 inch. Why? .455 inch Self Loading rounds are dated and .455 inch revolver packets are dated but the headstamp continued to be “R/|\L II” or similar.

The earliest dated .455 inch revolver round I have is a drill round headstamped simply “R/|\L 20”.


Thanks Vince and TonyE. Please let us know if you find anything of interest within your collection TonyE.

Thank you
Ian B.

The Lead Bullet Version ( Mark I BP and Mark II Cordite) were considered under Hague Convention 1899 as “Police and Civilian Use” Cartridges ( Only Military had to use Jacketed bullets, such as the Mark VI of the 1920s and WW II.

The “Civilian” style headstamp also was used by Kynoch for Export Use…both for Military and Civilian/Police use; the traditional “K XX Mkxx” was strictly for British Government Issue ammo, even if the .455 did not get the dated headstamp until the 1920s?

So the Question could be answered by when the Mark VI Jacketed .455 was introduced, and when the ammo itself was “Year dated” in British Military service?

It seems that Lead Ball .455 was used in WW I ( but then the Germans used Lead Ball Reichsrevolver ammo as well). So much for Hague.

regards, Doc AV

I have the same Mk I round as shown by IanB, with 6 primer crimps plus a ring crimp & three punch-crimps holding the bullet, however it is headstamped “ELEY .455”

So it seems both Eley & Kynoch produced this for some unknown to us ?? contract ??

A Navy drill (for the MK II) is dated 22.

Another early date is on an Indian, MK II, KF 16 II /|\ {over}I

Our very own C. Punnett has an Introduction to .455 Cartridges in the reference section of the Home Page. I can’t say if it answers the O.P. but anything C.P. writes deserves a look-see.


I’m not sure it can help, however here is a picture of a .455 webley auto MKI dated 1914 made by Eley:


Thanks, but as I mentioned in my previous post, even though .455 inch S.L. were dated, the revolver rounds were not in the UK.

As Pete says, Indian ones were but the earliest UK dated .455 inch revolver I have is a 1920 drill round. The earliest ball round is 1924.

The headstamp up until that time all throgh WWI was simply the manufacturer at 12 o’clock and the Mark “II” at 6 o’clock. The “C” for Cordite in the headstamp had been dropped in 1907.

DocAV - all through WWI the military used the lead bulleted Mark II round. The jacketed Mark VI was not introduced until September 1939. Also, Kynoch frequently used the K(date) headstamp with the Mark number for overseas contracts. Since the vast majority of these were for British colonies and protectorates this counted as military.