Source of .577/.450 boxer cartridge case


#1

Can the .577/.450 boxer-type cases marked with a pair of facing broad arrows on the battery cup be associated with specific makers? Jack


#2

Broad Arrows (2 of) signify Gov’t acquisition from a Contractor ( in Britain).
Given that the primer was inserted into the Loaded Cartridge AFTER assembly of the Powder charge and Wads and Projectile,
( Photos and description of the special machine exist)
and that the Iron base of the case would not “take” an indication of “Gov’t Ownership”, I can’t say whether the mark was stamped by the Maker or on acceptance by the Gov’t…more likely done by the Maker.

Who actually “made” the cartridge would only be known from the packet(Wrapper) Label.

It will remain a Mystery (there were several makers besides Kynoch, Eley, BSA&Amm, and several other smaller makers of cases, as well as Royal Laboratories, Woolwich. The Cases may have been made outside, and filled at RL.

Regrads,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#3

Doc: Thanks for the information. I guess I knew that would probably be the answer, but I thought maybe just one of my old British military rifle cartridges would have a known maker. Oddly enough, of the several .577 and .577/.450s I have this is the only one with the arrows. Jack


#4

Another pesky question about the 577/450 and 577 cartridges is ; what were the brass cases with the belt just about the rim for ? These exist in 577/450 and 577. Opinions have been 1) base wad , 2) seating in Boxer chamber. Are rifles designed for the colied Boxer cases chambered to seat the base cup ? Is there an actual inset which would require a brass case to have the belt ? If not; why the belt ?


#5

The Best Source on the .450 ( and .577 & others)) Rolled Foil “Boxer” cartridges is a little volume called “The Boxer Cartridge in British Service” by Barry Temple. (Long time friend)
Briefly, the Cartridge body consists of the coiled brass foil Tube lined with paper, the Base Cup,The Inner Wad, the Iron Washer rim, and the Battery cup which acts as a rivet to hold the Four components together. The Battery cup is not yet fitted with anvil or primer cup. (These are placed in a separate operation in a special Vented machine --Vent points upwards.)

The Connection between tube, base wad,base cup and rim is much the same as a modern Shotshell is assembled, the Base cup adding extra strenght to the base of the case, .

The Chamber is not “rebated” for the base cup, but allows the forward lesser diameter Coiled tube clear the diameter of the Base cup in the chamber, allowing for accumulation of Fouling, etc…for ease of extraction…Fouling will eventually prevent seating a cartridge, a known problem for all BP rifles.

The Solid Drawn cartridge cases solved some of the fragility problems of the Coiled case, and the eventual use of Cordite in .450 cartridges removed the Fouling problems ( For MGs at least); BP was also loaded in Solid drawn cases.

The Book noted above is a wealth of information.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#6

I am familiar with the book and yes it is excellent. Maybe I missed the answer to my question implicit in your answer. For some period the drawn brass cases were made with an obvios belt just above the rim. Why. It was not done for long but I have several of them in 577/450 and 577 and I have them in an early Kynoch catalogue without comment. Did you say that the chamber for a distance beyond the length of the base cup is larger than the coiled brass case in these guns for Boxer coiled cartridge?


#7

[quote=“DocAV”]Broad Arrows (2 of) signify Gov’t acquisition from a Contractor ( in Britain).
Given that the primer was inserted into the Loaded Cartridge AFTER assembly of the Powder charge and Wads and Projectile,
( Photos and description of the special machine exist)
and that the Iron base of the case would not “take” an indication of “Gov’t Ownership”, I can’t say whether the mark was stamped by the Maker or on acceptance by the Gov’t…more likely done by the Maker.

Who actually “made” the cartridge would only be known from the packet(Wrapper) Label.

It will remain a Mystery (there were several makers besides Kynoch, Eley, BSA&Amm, and several other smaller makers of cases, as well as Royal Laboratories, Woolwich. The Cases may have been made outside, and filled at RL.

Regrads,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.[/quote]

Whilst what you say about the two Broad Arrows on contractor’s ammunition is basically true, it does not apply in the case of the .577/450 Martini. The practice of stamping the two arrows to signify acceptance by the government was not introduced until 1907/8 and the arrows were at right angles to each other.

For Ball Mark III Martini rounds, the two small opposing arrows on the primer cup signify production at Royal Laboratory Woolwich. See Labbett “British Small Arms Ammunition” page 43.

For Indian production the identifier, “DF”, “KF” etc., was stamped in the side ot the case.

Contractors ammunition was generally unmarked, although the Eley “Contract E” rounds can be recognised by lack of a sight hole in the case.

Regards
TonyE


#8

Near the back of that excellent book there is a drawing of the chamber for the “Short Chamber Martini-Henry Rifle”. This drawing shows that the mouth of the chamber is .673", reducing to .656" over the initial .262" and then tapering to .638" at the shoulder. Could this enlargement at the mouth, which Tony mentioned above, accommodate the belt that you mention?

gravelbelly


#9

I will put up some photos and maybe someone can figure it out.


#10

Tony: Thanks for the additional information. It will be nice to assign the round with the arrows to Woolwich. I knew about the Indian cartridges with manufacturer’s mark on the side, but, alas, I don’t have one. Jack


#11

The first picture shows .577/450 ball rounds with an Indian stamped one on the right. The second shows .476 spherical ball and buckshot with Indian side stamps.

last is the label for the .476. Note the date, 1929!

REgards
TonyE


#12

These are 577 and 577/450 brass drawn cases with belt next to Boxer case types. why the belt ? They are scarce but not rare. I have about a dozen of them. Bottom photo; 577/450s with various belts.


#13

I think the belt or step is to create a better fit in a chamber that was cut for a boxer case.
Some of the boxer cases with multiple cups can be quite a bit larger in diameter in front of the rim.
A brass case fired in the same chamber may not have enough support???


#14

That has always made sense to me but then why did they stop making this style?


#15

Here are a couple of interesting drawings. The first is from the Kynoch 1884 catalogue and shows a drawn case with the belt.
The case diameter above the rim is .665 and the shoulder diameter is .630. The belt is shown as .340 high.

The second drawing is a Kynoch factory drawing for the Drawn case mark II round. In this, the diameter above the rim is shown as H .672, L .660, reducing to H .6525, L .642 at a point H .353, L .342 from the base. It seems that the dimensions of the later case are essentially the same as the belted type, except that the change in diameter has been “smoothed”. It follows that the weapon chamber must have had a smooth transition in diameter and not been stepped.

Regards
TonyE


#16

The interesting thing about Tony’s drawing is the vast difference between the maximum (H) dimension and the mimimum (L) dimension for each of the key points on the cartridge. A tenth of an inch give or take for most dimensions. Its a very good drawing from that point of view. It serves to illustrate their lack of concern.


#17

Vince, I think you will find that the difference between high and low dimensions is about ten thou, or one hundreth of an inch, not a tenth.

Regards
tonyE


#18

Tony: Was the .577/.450 ever prodouced in Canada with rolled cases? I have a Canadian .577 but have never seen a reference to the smaller cartridge there. Jack


#19

[quote=“TonyE”]Here are a couple of interesting drawings. The first is from the Kynoch 1884 catalogue and shows a drawn case with the belt.
The case diameter above the rim is .665 and the shoulder diameter is .630. The belt is shown as .340 high.

The second drawing is a Kynoch factory drawing for the Drawn case mark II round. In this, the diameter above the rim is shown as H .672, L .660, reducing to H .6525, L .642 at a point H .353, L .342 from the base. It seems that the dimensions of the later case are essentially the same as the belted type, except that the change in diameter has been “smoothed”. It follows that the weapon chamber must have had a smooth transition in diameter and not been stepped.

Regards
TonyE

[/quote]

INTERESTING THAT THEY CALL THIS GOVERNMENT PATTERN. I have never seen a packet for these. All I have ever seen have been loose.

Has anyone seen a Govt. packet with these stepped cases?

Canada produced both calibers of Boxer Cartridges . I have packets from Dominion of both coiled types.

It looks like they thought that this was necessary and found out that it was an unnecessary additional forming step. Seems like there would be reference to this in some British publication.


#20

If you look at my last photo of a group of 577/450s you might notice that the belt gradually fades away .

The 577s are much rarer. I have only seen 2.