Designer Eley Brothers
|Place of origin United Kingdom|
Case type Rimmed, bottleneck
The .450 No 2 Nitro Express also known as the .450 Nitro Express 3½-inch was developed by Eley Brothers in 1903.
Following early extraction problems encountered with the .450 Nitro Express created by John Rigby & Company, Eley decided to create their own cartridge and release it to the market, allowing all rifle makers to chamber weapons for their round. This was unusual for an ammunition maker, as most cartridges of the period were designed by rifle makers.
The .450 No 2 NE, so named to differentiate it from the original, was a completely original design, long and massive it featured a thicker rim, heavier walls and a large internal volume which kept pressures to minimum, making it almost immune to case-sticking.
Following the British Army 1907 ban of .450 caliber ammunition into India and the Sudan, Eley developed the .475 No. 2 Nitro Express by necking up the .450 No 2 Nitro Express.
Ballistically, the .450 No 2 NE is almost identical to the original .450 NE it was intended to replace. The early problems of the .450 NE were however soon resolved and the .450 No 2 NE was never as popular as its predecessor, Denys Finch Hatton had a gunsmith rebarrel his .450 No 2 Nitro Express Lancaster double rifle into .450 Nitro Express as it was easier to find ammunition.
This cartridge used several loadings between 70 and 80 grains (4.5–5.2 g) of Cordite with a 480-grain (31 g) bullet. The lighter loadings were typically used by Jeffery rifles for regulation.