.450 Nitro Express
.450 Nitro Express designed for the purpose of hunting large game such as elephant. This cartridge is used almost exclusively in single shot and double express rifle
Express rifle
The term express was first applied to hunting rifles and ammunition beginning in the middle 19th century, to indicate a rifle or ammunition capable of higher than typical velocities. The early express cartridges used a heavy charge of black powder to propel a lightweight, often hollow point...

s for hunting at the Tropics or hot climates in general and is a cartridge associated with the Golden Age of African safari
A safari is an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists to Africa. Traditionally, the term is used for a big-game hunt, but today the term often refers to a trip taken not for the purposes of hunting, but to observe and photograph animals and other wildlife.-Etymology:Entering the English...

s and Indian shikars. A prominent user was Frederick Courteney Selous, whom using this cartridge in Farquharson rifle
Farquharson rifle
The Farquharson Rifle is a single shot hammerless falling block action rifle designed and patented by John Farquharson, of Daldhu, Scotland in 1872. George Gibbs, a gun maker in Bristol, became a co-owner of the Farquharson patent in 1875 and was the sole maker of Farquharson rifles until the...

 was the inspiration for the character of Allan Quatermain
Allan Quatermain
Allan Quatermain is the protagonist of H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines and its various prequels and sequels. Allan Quatermain was also the title of a book in this sequence.- History :...


.450 Nitro Express 3.25 in

The .450 Nitro Express 3.25 in (8.3 cm) was the first Nitro Express
Nitro Express
The Nitro Express series of cartridges are used in large-bore hunting rifles, also known as elephant guns or express rifles. They are named after the propellant they use, cordite, which is composed of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine...

, developed around 1898 by John Rigby
John Rigby & Company
John Rigby & Company, gun and rifle makers, is a firm specialising in the building of high-quality sporting rifles and shotguns.-History:The company was founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1775, and is known to have traded as W. & J. Rigby during the period 1820 - 1865 during the flintlock and percussion...

. This cartridge was based on the then popular .450 Black Powder Express case with 70 gr of Cordite
Cordite is a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance...

 and a 480 gr jacketed bullet. Muzzle velocity
Muzzle velocity
Muzzle velocity is the speed a projectile has at the moment it leaves the muzzle of the gun. Muzzle velocities range from approximately to in black powder muskets , to more than in modern rifles with high-performance cartridges such as the .220 Swift and .204 Ruger, all the way to for tank guns...

 is listed at 2,150 feet per second (655 m/s) with 4909 ft.lbf of muzzle energy. This straight case has a length of 3.25 in (8.3 cm) with a 0.67 in (1.7 cm) rim.

Early cartridges used the black powder case that was designed for around 11 tons of pressure per square inch and not the 17 tons of pressure that the Cordite load generated. Case extraction was difficult, especially in warmer climates such as Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 where the cartridge was primarily used. To remedy this problem, a reinforced case was produced and Kynoch
Kynoch was a manufacturer of ammunition, later incorporated into ICI but remaining as a brand name for sporting cartridges.-History:Kynoch was established in Witton in Birmingham in 1862 by Scottish entrepreneur George Kynoch when he opened a percussion cap factory in Witton. In 1895 he built an...

 made a reduced load to lower the case pressure.

.450 Nitro Express #2 3.50 in

The .450 Nitro Express #2 was developed by Eley Brothers
Eley Brothers
Eley Brothers were a manufacturer of firearms cartridges at the Eley's Cartridge Factory, located in Edmonton and bordered by the River Lee Navigation and the Great Eastern Railway at Angel Road.- History :...

 in 1903. This cartridge used several loadings between 70 and 80 grains of Cordite with a 480 gr bullet. The lighter loadings were typically used by Jeffery rifles for regulation.

See also

  • List of rifle cartridges
  • 11 mm caliber
    11 mm caliber
    This article lists firearm cartridges which have a bullet in the through caliber range.All measurements are in millimeters .-Pistol cartridges:-Revolver cartridges:-Rifle cartridges:-See also:...

     other cartridges of similar caliber size.
  • Nitro Express
    Nitro Express
    The Nitro Express series of cartridges are used in large-bore hunting rifles, also known as elephant guns or express rifles. They are named after the propellant they use, cordite, which is composed of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine...

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