Multiball in .320, .442, .455 or other old revolvers?


Does anyone know of any old multiball / duplex loads in the old British or any old European revolver calibers? They would likely be from the black powder era and might have a paper hull similar to a shot load, but have 2 or 3 small lead balls within. Phoenix Cartridge in the U.S. made loads like this in the 1870’s & 1880’s for .44 Russian, .38 long rimfire, and .32 long rimfire. I was hoping there might be some sort of British or European equivalent?


I believe there was a suspected .450 Revolver in multiball. Chris P. would be the guy to ask about that.



No known multiball in .450 Revolver. There is one that looks like a multiball (green paper sabot with round ball) but an xray dashed my hopes. I’ll keep looking.

I’ve not heard of one in .442 or .455 but I don’t pay close attention to those calibers.

Chris P.


I have found in the store room of the old products at the ISSY les Moulineaux plant a sample of multiball for the 11 mm/73 revolver. It was a cross cut bullet from top to bottom so 4 independant parts . I am aware of the existence of a factory dwg but I have not been able to find it out …lost or destroyed. I think I have somewhere a picture of the loaded cartridge but the 4 parts are so closely pressed together that it is not very visible.Note that it was not a sawed bullet but 4 compressed elements giving the exact measures of the ordinary ball.


Phil - Do you mean cut horizontally when you say “cross cut”, or vertically when you say “top to bottom”? If vertically, then what you describe sounds like a Rice patent bullet, where there are 3 or four vertical sections of the bullet that press together to make a standard projectile shape when loaded into a case, but which fly into separate pieces upon being fired.
The patent number is: 216,974 and the link is:

I wonder if that is what it was?

.44S&W Russian w/ Rice bullet:


Exactly corresponding to the patent , Jules Gévelot all along his activity has tested and sometimes bought foreign patents to manufacture in his factory. Rice has not patented his idea in France but Gévelot has certainly heard of the project and has made a few samples for testing


Very interesting - Thanks!


The only mutiballs I have encountered have been in .38 Spec. and the like and were modern loadings. The old cases were too short to accomodate them and it wasn’t a fad that seems to have struck our grandfathers.