From George Hoyem’s Vol 2 of History & Development of Small Arms Ammunition:
.450 (11.43 x 60R) Romanian Henry-Martini
bullet - .454"
rim - .665
base - .576
shoulder - .533
mouth - .481
case length - 2.35
.450 (11.43 x 59R) Turkish Peabody-Martini
bullet - .456"
rim - .668
base - .581
shoulder - .561
mouth - .474
case length - 2.32
In addition to the slightly shorter case, the Turkish cartridge has a much more pronounced shoulder than the Romanian.
Note, both of those cartridges used paper patched bullets.
After paper patching, the bullets should be in the .462 to .464 diameter range.
I have also pondered the same problem but I think I have examples of both cartridges although I have to say the difference between them is little if anything. It is possible that these are both the same however the unpatched cartridge is approx 0.5mm longer than the other (although it doesn’t look it in the picture) and it definitely has a smoother feel to the shoulder. The lack of headstamp doesn’t help and whoever made these without stamping something on them needs kicking!
The measurements posted by Guy actually almost match my two cartridges.
On the left is the .45 Turkish and on the right is the .45 Rumanian…I think!
It looks like the cartridge on the right could probably be fired in a chamber for the one on the left without too much trouble.
Thanks jim and falcon, really helpfull!
I have always assumed these to be basically the same round. With old rimmed cases the actual dimensions are fairly uncritical. The Turkish Martinis were made by BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) and I have no reason to think they changed the calibre.
Black powder cartridges produce a lot of chamber fouling and I have seen (and used) martini rifles that become difficult to chamber rounds after as little as twenty rounds fired. This is because the modern cases (NDFS on this occasion) are actually dimensionally too good and shooters tend to just neck size the cases when reloading. For modern target shooters its an inconvenience, in a military engagement its a disaster.
The military solution years ago was to produce ammunition that was deliberately undersize to offset the problem. The practice carried through to the .303 where problems still occoured in WW1 although they had long since gone over to cordite. The problem by then wasn’t fouling but variable chamber dimensions with rifles made in literally dozens of different factories around the World.
Don’t be surprised with old British military or civilian cartridges if you find visibly different dimensions, espescially shoulder profiles, between what are supposed to be examples of the same round.
Thank you vince, really interesting point of vue whith wich I agree, for my part, my round don’t match with the turkish or the romanian round, when I did measurements, there are little difference but they are!