The Velopex

Shooting Gazette - - Great Guns -

Hol­land & Hol­land has a large num­ber of patents, prob­a­bly more so than any other british gun­maker. From its first patent in 1861 to the last in 1950, it has reg­istred some 51 patents. In ad­di­tion it has used a pro­fu­sion of trade­marks and brand names again prob­a­bly top of the list amongst british gun­mak­ers.

In 1906 the firm took out a patent for a bul­let that granted it the trade­mark velopex. In patent no. 8845 of April 12, 1906, Hol­land & Hol­land patented this un­usual velopex bul­let. The in­tro­duc­tion of cordite at the close of the 19th cen­tury had been a quan­tum leap in ri­fle devel­op­ment and ri­fle mak­ers con­tin­u­ally strove to achieve yet higher ve­loc­i­ties with flat­ter tra­jec­to­ries.

The velopex was part of this devel­op­ment and was a light­weight stream­lined bul­let de­signed for high ve­loc­ity hence the term velopex. The rear of the bul­let was filled with con­ven­tional lead but the front part was of wood to cre­ate a lighter bul­let. The en­tire bul­let was cased in nickel. In tri­als the velopex bul­let gave a good per­for­mance — e.g. a nor­mal .375 bul­let weigh­ing 270g achieved a muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 1,975fps but a .375 velopex bul­let weigh­ing just 200g. achieved the far more con­sid­er­able 2,400fps.

The bul­let was not a par­tic­u­lar suc­cess as it could be un­sta­ble in flight and lacked pen­e­tra­tion.

A Velopex bul­let: a) nickel jacket, b) lead fill­ing and c) wood fill­ing.

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