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.