Name of two tone GM & CN bullet


What is the name of the two toned bullets, as seen on a W R (dot) 425 over K headstamped cartridge? It’s copper colored RN with wide knurled cannlure, and CN below that to the case mouth. I’ve seen it before, and first though it might be a talented cartridge cleaner.


The bullet in your .425 Westley Richards is one of a series of projectiles referred to as “Westley-Richards Capped bullets.” According to “British Sporting Rifle Cartridges,” by Bill Fleming, the .425 is known loaded with four different styles of the capped bullet, and in his key to abbreviations for bullets, he shows a total of six styles. I have no way to know which one you have from your description. I could find nothing explaining the function of this bullet in Fleming’s book, which is an excellent work suffering from the total lack of any sort of index. Still, I don’t think that information is there, after a cursory examination of the book while trying to answer this question. While evidently unique to Westley Richards, the capped bullet is not unique to the .425. As an example, I was just discussing a very rare .30 Mauser pistol version containing this type of bullet with John Pople-Crump. Maybe John will pick up on this partial answer and enlighten us as to the perceived advantage and function of these capped projectiles.


I may be talking out of my hat here, but the “capped” types are, I thought, fairly common in rifle loadings (less so with handgun rounds) well into the modern age, and not just with WR loadings - the purported advantages being to prevent deformation of soft lead noses and and better penetration. The paradigm for Americans would be the Winchester “Silver Tip” with variations on the theme seen with other American and English makers, Central European loadings, etc.

The caps may be a contrasting metal such as aluminum over GM or GM over CuNi; I’ve seen others in which both parts are GM or at least a combo in conjunction with GMCS.

Basically many different proprietary styles (and a variety of brand names), but a common theme to address the issues of deformation and penetration with soft nose projectiles.

Am I missing something in this, John?



Thanks Guys,
So if I just call them Westley Richards Capped bullets, most people in the know, will know they are the two toned bullets?


Without seeing the bullet in the flesh I’d make my usual SWAG and say it is similar to, if not identical to, all of the other patented protected point compound hunting bullets that were introduced in the first half of the last Century and were popular in all parts of the world.

Basically, it consists of a GM, CN, or steel jacket with a lead core fitted with a hollow copper cap. When the bullet strikes a game animal the copper tip collapses and in so doing the jacket is split causing the entire bullet to mushroom.

Issue #445 of the IAA JOURNAL contains a very good article (if I must say so myself) that describes and illustrates the protected point bullets developed in the USA.



Iconoclast - I answered this earlier, but it seems that my answer did not register on the Forum. I must have done something wrong.

The capped bullets probably are fairly common in British Sporting cartridges - way out of my field so I don’t know for sure. Fleming lists six different types, and four of those types he shows as having been loaded in the .425 WR cartridge alone, so that probably tells that story. However, this bullet type is extremely rare in auto pistol. I do not have a specimen in any caliber in my own collection, after having collected auto pistol rounds for 45 years. I have a picture of a .30 Mauser round with capped bullet - the same as described - GM over CN with a heavy knurled cannelure evidently joining the two parts. I recently had a discussion about this round with John Pople-Crump, and he also indicates it is very, very rare in pistol cartridges.


Thanks Ray, I found issue 445, and see what you mean about the cap. These WR caps are just a lot larger, as is the bullet in this .425, jusging by where the bullet seating crimps are. For now, I’ll call the two toned bullets, Westley Richards capped bullets. (In the British calibers, anyway.) So lets get looking for those pistol cartridges!

And John, No problem if the system bucks, and you enter your answers twice. They are usualy so interesting, I have to read them two or three times anyway.