"Unknown" British 45 Rifle Round

In the late 1970s or early 1980s I picked up this round in a trade. Gordon Conway called it an unknown. His price is written on the side along with a ECCC reference which is, I think, a query he sent in to the ECCC. I can’t find my copy of #220.

I have no idea what this is, it has been in my trading stock since I acquired it. Always available for a really nice 9mm Para!

Rim Dia: 16.53 mm
Base Dia: 14.54 mm
Neck Dia:12.37mm
CL: 69.71 mm
Blt Dia: 11.72 mm

Would appreciate knowing what this actually is.


Hi Lew,

There is a round with the same “ELEY G N° 1 Express” HS on the spanish municion.org pages: http://www.municion.org/Gibbs/461Gibbs.htm

there it’s classified as a .461 gibbs #2 roud…

That makes sense. The bullet diameter including the paper is 0.462" so .461 Gibbs sounds right. What is a Gibbs #2??? What rifles was it used with?


Lew, its dimensions are indistinguishable from the .461 Gibbs No. 2, but it has been reported by some collectors that this could be actually a “.450 Greener No. 1 Express”. Another variation is known with a KYNOCH 450 No. 1 EXP headstamp, which is not the same as the .450 Westley Richards No. 1 Express as it has the same longer neck found in this Eley example. Also, one of the Eley cartridges auctioned by Buttweiler came through Val Forgett from the W. W. Greener state.

However, I have not seen any documentation supporting the “.450 Greener No. 1 Express” identification.



A Gibbs No. 2 is a Gibbs No.1 with a longer neck (to be blunt / quick / easy) & a Gibbs No. 3 was a .36 caliber. I’ve heard there was a No 4 & 5 but ???
Exactly what rifle ? A lot (not all by any means) of George Gibbs production during this time was single shot falling block rifles & he had a great reputation making or accurate match rifles. Some even used jacketed bullets in his No. 1 & 2 case types.

He had at the time a lot of trouble with others making ammunition so he actually used his trade mark on ammunition he had manufactured. Several headstamps are known without the trademark & are obviously what he would have called fakes. I think this was one of the rounds Gibbs was competing against. Even though it is thought Eley made the trademarked rounds for him, this would have been another market for Eley to sell their product.

Lew I would suggest you have a find there if we can pin it down. It was an unbearably complicated market at that time, I always start with WR because I am a WR buff but I don’t think it was unless it was very early in which case you can sell up and retire. The slimness of the case shouts ‘sleeved snider’ but hey!
The curator of the Birmingham proof house museum would my starting point but I would have got Tony to ask for me because he had the contacts.

The ‘unknown’ the the right of a trade marked No. 2 Gibbs, with a lavender patched Deeley & Edge match bullet

[quote=“Lew”]That makes sense. The bullet diameter including the paper is 0.462" so .461 Gibbs sounds right. What is a Gibbs #2??? What rifles was it used with?


George c Gibbs was in Bristol and bought the patent to make Farqueson single shot falling block rifles. (think of the Ruger no1) which he did until the patent ran out. The rifle was a contender in the trials which saw the Martini adopted.

Gibbs hand made his rifles to a very high standard but only around 1000 were made in all calibres. I’ve no idea what the number sequence signifies, I would speculate it might be loading / intended use as the .461 had a double life as a target and a big game calibre but only in small numbers. That would make your round quite rare I would imagine.

The rifles achieved some considerable success in the target shooting world, as did Gibbs himself, and the No1 was the favoured round among the highest level shooters apparently for some time.

The name still exists today gibbsgunmakers.com/?page_id=9
I drive past Marlborough on the way to my son’s house, I might go and look him up.