The Velo-Dog

I have had a discussion recently regarding the little Velodog (aka Velo-Dog). There is a lack of agreement regarding what a Velodog revovler is and what it is not. In my experience only revolvers chambered for the Velo-Dog cartridge should be called Velo-Dogs. However, many people in recent times will lump all small European double action revolver together and call them all Velo-Dogs no matter what they are chamberd to fire. In my experience this is not accurate.

Then the ammo came up. The Velo Dog revolver cartridge is listed in various sources as 5.5mm Velo Dog to 5.75mm Velo-Dog. 9th Ed. Cartridges of the World calls it 5.5 Velo-Dog and the Adolph Frank ALFA catalogue of 1911 lists the round as 5.75 Velo-Dog. A box of F.N. produced ammo in my collection only says “Systeme Velo-Dog” on the label without any numerical designation. It is my opinion that no matter what people called it there was only one Velo-Dog cartridge and it was made to be fired in all Velo-Dog revolvers.

Anyone care to share their thoughts on this?

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My box of Velo-Dog ammo. (Sorry for the damage caused by a past owner using tape.)

Image from the 1911 ALFA arms and ammo catalogue.

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Actually, there is another “Velodog” cartridge, the .22 Velodog C.F. (5.65 x 13 mm) which is a rimless cartridge designed by Gevelot-Paris
for a proposed self-loading “Velodog” pistol. It is described on a factory drawing from SFM dated 4 October 1904. The cases were made
from the normal Velodog revolver case by reworking the brass inside and outside. The rim was turned off and an extractor groove and bevel
created. The cases appear to have been headstamped prior to conversion, and are headstamped * S.F.M. * VELO DOG, with the edges of the letters missing
due to the turning of the rim. My own specimen of this cartridge has that headstamp, which is still quite legible. I have no idea of the pistol, but it is believed to have been for the Galand company of Paris, who are the originators, it seems, of the Velodog revolver and cartridges. The cartridge is covered in Erlmeier-Brand, 1988 edition, catalog number 307A, page 338, and in an article that appeared in bulletin of the Australian Cartridge Collectors Association, number 101, from the year 2005.

I have the cartridge, as mentioned, in my own collection, and the three cited sources in my own library.

John Moss

Sorry for the funny spacing of the paragraphs. This Forum seems to have a problem figuring
out its margins.

John M.

This caliber was manufactured mostly just under its given name “Velodog” But caliber and packings are very widespread., starting with 5,5 to 6mm Velodog.
I show some 25 round old packings from RWS (square 25 rds), same as a flat 25 rds pack in 2 rows, together with a FOMU 25rds pack in the same flat style…and also an inside primed round with a caliber given as 5,8 …and the last an SFM 25rds square pack. Also attached is the drawing of the SFM Velodog-Pistol round.

Have fun

I’m not at all surprised folks will call any small European double action revolver a Velo Dog whether or not it is, in fact, a Velo Dog. People will vote for simplicity over accuracy at just about every opportunity. Jack

A few years ago had the chance to look through a “shooter’s box” belonging to one of the principles (or someone just outside the circle) who were involved in the development of the .22 Hornet in the 1920s. It contained some velo dog components, I don’t recall specifically if they were loaded cartridges or maybe they were primed cases, or maybe just bullets. In any case, they were velo dog components, and in a quantity that made it clear that these were intended for use.

I just have this box, in nice shape, only one round in it.

Is there agreement that with the exception of a rare experimental semi-automatic pistol cartridge, all of the other numerical designations of Velo-Dog such as 5.5, 5.7, 5.75, 5.8, and 6mm Velo-Dog are in fact the same cartridge? That all of the above would work in an actual Velo-Dog revolver?


In 1894, when Galand introduced the “Velo-Dog” or “Velo Dog” revolver and its cartridge, the caliber designation was indicated as “6 mm”. All the other designations came later, and it seems that 5.75 mm is the most popular these days.

Below you can see one of the earliest ads (August 1894) and an excerpt from Galand’s c. 1897 catalog.



Some great images and data here. Many thanks! For what it’s worth, here are some images of a couple of Velo-Dogs:

Modern CIP designation is “5.75 Velodog” and the maximum case length is 29.6 mm. The maximum pressure of 680 bar is really low.

John: I can’t cite you a source, but I have read that the source of the first 22 caliber jacketed bullets used by the Hornet experimenters at (primarily) Springfield Armory in the late 1920s was the Velo Dog. As I recall they ran the bullets into a bullet swage base first to produce a soft point Hornet bullet. Jack