The Obsolete Calibre List

The Obsolete Calibre List covers 'Antiques' under Section 58 of the Firearms act.

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Gunsmithing & Technical|June 2018

Under British Law, certain firearms – rifles, shotguns and hand guns included, are not considered to be ‘weapons’ in the legal sense. They require no licence, as long as certain conditions are upheld. A full list of these Section 58Obsolete Calibres can be found below:

If your gun is on the list you do not need a licence to own it as a ‘curio’ or ‘ornament’.

Firearms Act 1968: Antique Firearms

This is the guidance which the Home Office has given to the police about antique firearms:

Section 58(2) of the Firearms Act 1968 exempts from the provisions of the Act – including certificate controls under Sections 1 and 2 and prohibition under section 5- antique firearms which are sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as curiosities or ornaments. The Act does not define the term ‘antique’, and it is for the chief officer of police and for the Courts to consider each case on its merits.

In issuing guidance on this matter, the Home Office has always taken the view that this term should be taken to cover those firearms of a vintage and design such that their free possession does not pose a realistic danger to public safety.

No licence needed for old muzzle loaders.
Guidance was issued by the Home Office in paragraph 2.7 of ‘Firearms Law: Guidance to the Police’ in 1989, suggesting that a range of vintage firearms might be considered for ‘antique’ status (‘vintage’ for those purposes means manufactured before 1939). Following advice from the Firearms Consultative Committee (FCC), the Government issued further guidance in a circular letter to chief officers on 19 November 1992.

The 1992 guidance suggested that a number of vintage firearms might be considered for ‘antique’ status if they were chambered for cartridges long considered obsolete. In their 1999 Annual Report, the FCC suggested that a number of calibers have lapsed into obsolescence and might properly be added to the list.

In drawing up these recommendations, the Committee started from the premise that public safety considerations must be uppermost, and those arms which are commonly used in crime should remain subject to certificate control irrespective of age. However, transitional breech-loading long-arms, many of which are chambered for now obscure and long-obsolete cartridges, have no significant record of recent criminal misuse.

The full and updated text of the Home Office guidance on this issue is attached at Annex A. Where further calibers have been added to the list, these are given in italics. Bold type is used to describe those obsolete calibers for which firearms may be found in some quantities.

This guidance is not intended to prejudice the existing guidance on the collection of other vintage firearms on certificate. Rather, it seeks to separate those types of firearms that may be possessed freely without realistic danger to public safety from those that should properly be subject to certificate control.

It remains the case that where an antique firearm is possessed for any other purpose than as a ‘curiosity or ornament’, all the provisions of the Firearms Acts from 1968 to 1997 will continue to apply, including those relating to certificate requirements. The Home Office would suggest that the intent to fire the weapon concerned, even with blank charge or ammunition (for example for the purposes of historical re-enactment displays), would take it beyond the terms of ‘curiosity or ornament’. This does not preclude the possession of such firearms on certificate for the purposes of collection and occasional firing. In the case of such firearms which might otherwise benefit from Section 58(2), but where the owner wishes to fire them for test, research, re-enactment, target shooting or competition purposes, no test of frequency of use should be applied: the primary reason for possession may be collection, and the owner may properly not wish to subject such an arm to the wear and tear of regular use.

Percussion guns can be collected under Section 58.


The provisions of the Firearms Acts 1968 to 1997 do not apply to any antique firearm held as a curiosity or ornament. The word ‘antique’ is not defined in the Act, but it is suggested that the categories below should be used as a guide in deciding whether a particular firearm might be considered an ‘antique’ for these purposes.

Part I: Old weapons which should benefit from exemption as antiques under section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1968

a) All muzzle-loading firearms;

b) Breech-loading firearms capable of discharging a rim-fire cartridge other than 4mm, 5mm, .22″ or .23″ (or their metric equivalents), 6mm or 9mm rimfire;

c) Breech-loading firearms using ignition systems other than rimfire and centerfire (These include pin-fire and needle-fire ignition systems, as well as the more obscure lip fire, cup-primed, teat fire and base fire systems);

d) Breech-loading center-fire arms originally chambered for one of the obsolete cartridges listed in Annex B and which retain their original chambering;

e) Vintage (pre 1939) rifles, shotguns and punt guns chambered for the following cartridges expressed in imperial measurements: 32 bore 24 bore, 14 bore, 10 bore (5/8″ and 2 7/8″ only), 8 bore, 4 bore, 3 bore, 2 bore, 1 1/8 bore, 1 1/4 bore and 1 1/2 bore, and vintage punt guns and shotguns with bores of 10 or greater.

Note (i) – The exemption does not apply to ammunition, and the possession of live ammunition suitable for use with an otherwise antique firearm will normally indicate that the firearm is not possessed as a curio or ornament.

Note (ii) – The exemption does not apply to firearms of modern manufacture which otherwise conform to the description above. Fully working modern firing replicas of muzzle-loading and breech-loading firearms, for example those used to fire blanks by historical re-enactment societies but capable of firing live ammunition, must be held on certificate. For these purposes, ‘modern manufacture’ should be taken to mean manufacture after the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.

Old weapons which should not benefit from the exemption as antiques under section 58(2) of the Firearms Act 1968

NB: This list is not exhaustive and there may be other types and calibres of firearms that should be considered ‘modern’ rather than ‘antique’.

a) Shotguns and smooth-bored guns, including shot pistols, chambered for standard shot gun cartridges, .22 inch, .23 inch, 6mm and 9mm rim-fire cartridges;).

b) Rifles and handguns chambered for 4mm, 5mm, .22 inch, .23 inch, 6mm or 9mm rim-fire ammunition;

c) Revolvers, single-shot pistols and self-loading pistols which are chambered for, and will accept, popular center-fire cartridges of the type .25, .32, .38, .380, .44, .450, .455 and .476 inch, or their metric equivalents including 6.35, 7.62, 7.63, 7.65 , 8 and 9mm, unless otherwise specified;

d) Modern reproduction firearms or old firearms which have been modified to allow the use of shotgun cartridges or cartridges not listed in Annex B;

e) Extensively modified weapons (eg Sawn off shotguns);

f ) Very signalling pistols chambered for 1 and 1 1/2 inch cartridges or 26.5/27mm cartridges;

g) Pump-action and self-loading center fire rifles, except that examples originally chambered for one of the obsolete cartridges listed at Annex B and retaining that original chambering, may benefit from exemption as antiques under section 58(2) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended)

This Holland & Holland .577 does not need a licence – there are many pistol calibres listed in the same manner.

Breech-loading firearms originally chambered for the following ammunition, and which retain that original chambering, should be regarded as benefiting from exemption as antiques under section 58(2) of the Firearms Act 1968


1. All the cartridges listed are center-fire.

2. The chances of the survival of more than a tiny number of most of these cartridges – or of the arms which they fit – are very low indeed. But those firearms listed in bold may survive in some quantity.)

3. Each cartridge in the list is followed by initials referring to a published source whose description may be accepted as the norm for each round. These are as follows

B – “Cartridges of the World”, by Barnes

D – “Cartridges for Collectors”, by Datig (three vols)

ECRA-“European Cartridge Research Association Data Viewer”

E&B – “Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges”, by Erlmeier and Brandt

H – “The History and Development of Small Arms Ammunition”, by Hoyem (volumes two and three)

Hu –“Military Rifle and Machine Gun Cartridges”, by Huon

W&M – “Pistol and Revolver Cartridges”, by White & Munhall, single volume edition by Bearse.
.22 Extra Long Maynard (B)

.22-15-60 Stevens (B)

.22CF (E&B)

.230CF (E&B)

.25/20 Single Shot (B)

.25/21 Stevens (B)

.25/25 Stevens (B)

.250 Rook (or .297/.250 Rook) (H)

.255 Jeffrey Rook (H)

.275 Jeffrey (H)

.276 Enfield P.13 (Hu)

.28/30/120 Stevens (B)

.297/.230 Sporting (H)

.297/.230 Morris (H)

.298 Minex (H)

.300 (.295) Rook (H)

.300 Sherwood (H)

.300/.250 Rook (H)

.30/30 Wesson (D)

.30/40 Wesson (D)

.310 Cadet (H)

.310 Greener

.31 Thuer

.310/.300 Rook (H)

.320/.230 Rook (H)

.32 Protector (W&M)

.32 Long Rifle CF (NB recommended for Section 58(2) in rifles only) (B)

.32/35 Stevens (D)

.32/40 Remington-Hepburn (D)

.32/40 Bullard (B)

.32/ 40 Winchester and Ballard (B)

.32 Ideal (B)

.32 – .44 Smith & Wesson (W&M)

.320 British (also known as the .320 Revolver C.F., Short or Long) (W&M)

.35/30 Maynard (B)

.35/40 Maynard (B)

.340 Short or Long Revolver (W&M)

.360 Thuer

.360 Rook (also known as the .360 No. 5 ) (H) (recommended for S. 58(2) rifles only)

.360 shotgun

Early Bacon breech-loader – Obsolete.
.360 Westley Richards No.3 Express (H)

.360 No.3 Gibbs (H)

.360 Gibbs No.4 (also known as the .380 Gibbs No. 4)

.360/.300 Fraser (H)

.360 2 7/16 Black Powder Express (H)

.360 2 3/4 Boxer (H)

.369 Purdey (H)

.38/35 Stevens Everlasting (D)

.38/40 Ballard Everlasting (D)

.38/40 Remington Hepburn (D)

.38/45 Bullard (D)

.38/70 Winchester (D)

.38/56 Winchester (D)

.38/90 Winchester (B)

.380 Black Powder Express (also known as the .380-21/4 Rigby and

.360-21/4) (H)

.380 Long Rifle (NB recommended for Section 58(2) in rifles only) (H)

.40 / 40 Maynard (B)

.40/.50-70 Caliber Reduction Exptl.(H)

.400-2.5 inch Kynoch (H)

.400-3.25 inch Boxer (H)

.400-3 inch Purdey (H)

.40/60 Marlin (D)

.40/60 Winchester (D)

.40/60 Maynard (B)

.40/70 Ballard (D)

.40/70 Sharps Necked (D)

.40/70 Sharps Straight (D)

.40 / 70 Maynard (B)

.40 – 70 WCF (B)

.40/72 Winchester (D)

.40/75 Bullard (D)

.40/82 Winchester (D)

.40/90 Bullard (D)

.40/90 What Cheer (D)

.40/50 Sharps Straight (D)

.40/65 Sharps Straight (D)

.40/65 WCF (D)

.40/90 Sharps Necked (D)

.40/40 Maynard (B)

.40/60 Maynard (B)

.40/63 Ballard (B)

.40/65 Ballard Everlasting (B)

.40/70 Maynard (B)

.40/70 Peabody What Cheer (B)

.40/85 Ballard (B)

.40/110 Winchester Express (B)

.400 2 3/4 Westley Richards (H)

.402 Enfield-Martini Exptl. (H)

.42/.50-70 Caliber Reduction Exptl. (H)

.425 Webley (H)

.425 Webley 1 5/16 (H)

.430 Long Rifle (also known as the .430 Long Revolver) (W&M)

.430 Revolver (W&M)

.44 Thuer

44 Morse necked (H)

.44-50 Meigs (H)

.44 Dupee rimless (H)

.44/60 Creedmore (D)

.44/77 Remington (D)

.44/90 Sharps 2 7/16 inch (D)

.44/90 Sharps 2 5/8 inch (D)

.44/90 Remington Special (B)

.44/95 Peabody What Cheer (B)

.44/100 Maynard (H)

.44 Evans Short and Long (B)

.44 Devilliers (W&M)

.440 Revolver (W&M)

.440 Long Revolver (W&M)

.440 Nagant (Argentine model) (W&M)

.442 Carbine 1.025″ (H)

.442 revolver (also known as .44 Webley) (W&M)

.442 Long Revolver (W&M)

.44 Colt Revolver (W&M)

.44 Remington Revolver (W&M)

.44 S&W American (W&M)

.44 Merwin Hulbert Long (W&M)

.44 Merwin Hulbert Short (W&M)

.44 S&W Russian (W&M)

.45-85 Ward Burton Exptl. (H)

.45/.50-70 Caliber Reduction Expti. (H)

.45 US Exptl, 1869 (H)

.45-200-500 Winchester Exptl. (H)

.45 Boxer-Henry Long Chamber 1869 (H)

.45 New South Wales Police Carbine (H)

.45 Gardner & Gatling (H)

.45 Mars Long (W&M)

.45 Mars Short (W&M)

.45 MP (very rare Maxim Pistol round mentioned in the ‘Journal of the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association’ Vol2 No6 Page 24)

.450 No. 1 Bland (E&B)

.450 Soper 2.5 inch (H)

.450 Needham (H)

.450 No. 1 Musket (H)

.450/.360 Purdey (H)

.450/.350-2 3/8 inch (H)

.45/75 WCF (Hu)

.45 Brown Standard Military Target Rifle (D)

.45/50 Sporting (D)

.450/ .400 Black Powder in case lengths of 2 3/8″, 2 7/8″, 2 19/32″ Thomas Turner No 2, 2 ¾” Westley Richards and 3 1/4. Also the .450.400 3″ Jeffrey (H)

.450 Black Powder Express in case lengths of 1 ½”, 2 ½”, 2 9/16″, 2 6/10″, 3″, 3 1/16″ and 3 1/4″ (H)

.45/125 Winchester (B)

.45 Turkish Peabody (also known as the 11.43 x 55R Turkish) (B)

.46 Winchester (H)

.461 Gibbs No. 1 (H)

.461 Gibbs No. 2 (H)

.476 Indian Police (H)

.48 Morse (H)

.490 BSA (H)

.50/.58 Morse sleeved (H)

.50 Morse (H)

.50 Meigs (H)

.50-.48 Meigs (H)

.50 Peabody (?) (H)

.50 Spencer Carbine (H)

.50 Springfield Cadet (H)

.50-70 Springfield (H)

.50 Daw’s Patent 1867 (H)

.50 Boxer 1867 (H)

.50/50 Maynard (B)

.50/70 Maynard (H)

.500/.450 Westley Richards No.2 Musket (H)

.500-1.5 inch (H)

.500-2-25 inch (H)

.500-2.5 inch (H)

.500-3 inch (H)

.500-3.25 inch (H)

.500/.450 No.1 Carbine (H)

.500/.450 Webley Carbine (H)

.500/-450-2.5 inch (H)

.500/.450 No.1 Express (H)

.500/.450-3 3/8 inch (H)

.500/.450- 3.5 inch (H)

.50 Remington Army Pistol, M1871 (W&M)

.50 Remington Navy Pistol, M1867 (W&M)

.50 Springfield Pistol, M1869 (W&M)

.500 Revolver (W&M)

.50/95 Winchester (D)

.50-100 Winchester Express (D)

.50-110 Winchester Express (D)

.50/115 Bullard (B)

.50/140 Sharps (B)

.52-70 Sharps (H)

.54 Morse (H)

.55 Morse (H)

.55 Gatling (H)

.55/100 Maynard (B)

.56-56 US Exptl. (H)

.577 Selwyn 1865 (H)

.577 Daw’s Patent 1867 (H)

.577 Snider (H)

.577/.450 Martini-Henry (H)

.577-2.25 inch (H)

.577 2.5 inch (H)

.577-2.75 inch (H)

.577/.500 No.2 Express (H)

.577/.500 Magnum Express (H)

.577 Pistol (W&M)

.58 Morse (H)

.58 US Converted Musket, 1865 (H)

.58 Remington Carbine (H)

.58 US Berdan System Conversion (11)

.58 Tibbals/Roberts 1869 (H)

.58 Roberts (H)

.60 Chinese Jingal (H)

.65 Gatling (H)

.69 Morse (H)

.75 Gatling (H)

.75 Chinese Jingal (H)

.80 Gatling (H)

1 inch Nordenfelt-Palmcranz (H)

20 bore/.577 Alex. Henry (H)

2.7mm Kolibri (W&M)

3mm Kolibri (W&M)

4.25mm Liliput (W&M)

5mm Bergmann NO.2 Pistol (W&M)

5mm Charola-Anitua (W&M)

5mm Clement (W&M)

5mm Brun (E&B)

5mm French (E&B)

5mm Pickert (E&B)

5.2mm Pickert revolver (W&M)

5.2mm Mondragon (Hu)

5.2mm x 34R Kronprinz (D)

5.43mm x 26.BR revolver (W&M)

5.5mm Velo-Dog revolver (W&M)

5.6mm x 34R Francotte Carbine (D)

5.6mm x 33 Rook (B)

6mm Beaumont revolver (W&M)

6mm Merveilleux (W&M)

6mm Protector (W&M)

6mm Lee Navy (Hu)

6mmx58 Gewehrprufungskommission M1897

also 6X58 Forster’)

6mmx58 Forster (B)

6mm x 29.5 Stahl (D)

6.3mm x 21 rimless (W&M)

6.5mm Bergmann No.3 Pistol (W&M)

6.5mm Mannlicher Pistol M.1894 (W&M)

6.5mm Mondragon (Hu)

6.5mm x 27R (D)

6.5mm x 4OR (B)

6.5mm x 48R Sauer (B)

6.5mm Ronezewsky (E&B)

6.6mm x 7OR (D)

6.8mm x 19.6 Revolver (W&M)

6.8mm Schulhof pistol (W&M)

7mm Bar (W&M)

7mm Charola y Anitua (W&M)

7mm French thick rim (W&M)

7mm Galand (W&M)

7mm Revolver (W&M)

7mm CF Walking Stick

7mm Devisme (E&B)

7mm German Target Pistol Cartridges (Nos. 46-49, E&B)

7.25mm Adler (W&M)

7.5mm x 53.5R Rubin (H)

7.5mm x 53.5 Rimless Rubin (H)

7.5mmx53 Swiss Schmidt Rubin M.1890 (H)

7.53mm x 60R Hebler (H)

7.65mm Frommer M. 1901 (W&M)

7.65mm Roth-Sauer (W&M)

7.7mm Bittner pistol (W&M)

7.7mm x 60R (D)

7.8mm Bergmann No.5 (E&B)

7.8mm x 19R Laumann (referred to in J.HBSA Vvol 2 No 6, as above)

8mm German Target Pistol (No. 86, E&B)

8mm Schonberger (W&M)

8mm x 55R Petit Gras (H)

8mm x 58R Petit Gras (H)

8mm x 57R Petit Gras (H)

8mm x 75R Pieri (H)

8mm x 61R Rubin (H)

8mm x 57.5R Rubin (H)

8mm x 57R Spanish Exptl. (H)

8mm x 60R Guedes and Portuguese Kropatschek (H)

8mm Gaulois pistol (W&M)

8mm Bergmann No.1 pistol (D)

8mm x 48R (D)

8mm x 72R (D)

8mm x 48R Sauer (B)

8mm x 58R Sauer (B)

8mm Bergmann No.4 (E&B)

8mm Bergmann No.7 (E&B)

8mm Bergmann-Schmeisser (E&B)

8mm Protector (E&B)

8mm Raphael (E&B)

8mm Schulof (E&B)

8.15mm x 46R (Hu)

8.15mm Mauser Experimental (ECRA)

8.3mm x 53.5R Rubin (H)

8.5mm Mars (E&B)

9mm x 5l.5R Rubin (H)

9mm x 57R Rubin (H)

9mm Devisme (E&B)

9mm Moutier rimless-grooveless (E&B)

9mm French Thick Rim (E&B)

9mm Mars (E&B)

9mm Belgian Nagant (W&M)

9.1mm x 40 Walking Stick

9.3mm x 58R Koeffler (H)

9.3mm x 63.5R Koeffler (H)

9.3mm x 70R (D)

9.3mm x 75R Nimrod (D)

9.3mm x 82R Nimrod (D)

9.3mm x 65R Collath (B)

9.4mm Dutch Revolver (W&M)

9.5mm x 59R Gras Exptl. (H)

9.5mm x 60R Turkish Mauser (H)

9.5mm x 42R (D)

9.5mm x 47R (ECRA)

10mm x 47R (D)

10mm Gaupillat (E&B)

10mm Bergmann (E&B)

10mm Mars (ECRA)

10mm Mauser Short (E&B)

10mm Mauser Long (E&B)

10.15mm x 61R (H)

10.15mm x 63R Serbian mauser (H)

10.15mm x 61R Jarmann (H)

10.16mm x 57R Berdan Exptl. (H)

10.25mm x 69R Hunting-Express (B)

10.3mm x 41R (H)

10.3mm x 65R Baenziger (D)

10.35mm x 47R Italian Vetterli (H)

10.4mm x 56R Swiss (H)

10.4mm x 42R Swiss Vetterli (H)

10.4mm x 38R Martini-Galland (D)

10.4mm Swiss M.1878 (W&M)

10.4mm x 47R Stahl (D)

10.6mm German Ordnance Revolver (W&M)

10.6mm Mauser (W&M)

10.66mm x 57R Russian Berdan (H)

10.66mm x 48R Russian Berdan Carbine (H)

10.7mm x 57R Krag Petersson (H)

10.75mm x 55R (H)

10.8mm x 47 Martini (B)

11mm x 42R (H)

11mm x 45R (H)

11mm x 53 Gevelot (H)

11mm Manceux (H)

11mm x 59R Gras (H)

11mm x 48.5R Gras “Battalion Ecole” (H)

11mm x 50.5R Comblain (H)

11mm x 43R Comblain Carbine (H)

11mm x 70R Mitrailleuse (H)

11mm x 46R (H)

11mm x 50R Egyptian Remington (H)

11mm x 57R Spanish Remington (H)

11mm Devisme (E&B)

11mm French Ordnance Revolver M1870 (Navy) (ECRA)

11mm French Ordnance Revolver M1873 (Army) (W&M)

11 mm Devilliers (W&M)

11.15mm x 42R Austrian Werndl (H)

11.15mm x 36R Austrian Werndl Carbine (H)

11.15mm x 58R Austrian Werndl, Holub (see below) and Mannlicher (H)

11.15mm x 36R Fruhwirth (H)

11.15mm x 60R Mauser (H)

11.15mm x 37R (H)

11.15mm x 60R Japanese Murata (H)

11.5mm x 50R (D)

11.15mm x 58R

11.15mm x 65R (D)

11.15mm x 71R (D)

11.15mm x 52 Walking Stick

11.2mm x 51R Kropatschek-Hessig (D)

11.2mm x 39.6R (D)

11.25mm x 44.5R (H)

11.3mm x 51R Dutch Beaumont (H)

11.35mm Schouboe (Rimmed and Rimless Version) (W&M)

11.4mm x 53R Brazilian Comblain (H)

11.4mm x 44.5R Dutch Gendarmerie Carbine (H)

11.4mm x 57R Spanish Remington (H)

11.43mm x 49R Romanian Peabody (H)

11.43mm x 59R Turkish Peabody-Martini (H)

11.43mm x 41R Peabody Carbine (H)

11.5mm x 50R Austrian Werder (H)

11.5mm x 35R Werder Carbine (H)

11.5mm x 60R (D)

11.53mm Albini-Braendlin (H)

11.6mm x 50R Chilean Comblain (H)

11.7mm x 57R Berdan Exptl. (H)

11.7mm x 41.5R Danish Remington (H)

11.7mm x 45.5R Danish Remington (H)

11.7mm x 51.6R Danish Remington (H)

12mm Perrin Thick Rim (E&B)

12mm Raphael (E&B)

12mm Moutier (E&B)

12mm Pidault & Cordier (E&B)

12.2mm x 70R Mitrailleuse (H)

12.5mm x 60R (D)

12.7mm x 48R (H)

12.7mm x 70R Mitrailleuse (H)

12.8mm x 45R Papal Remington (H) (also known as the 12.7mm x 45R)

13mm x 87R Mitrailleuse (H)

13mm Rochaz-Lindner (H)

13mm x 92 Mauser T-Gew (H)

13.2mm x 32R (H)

14.5mm x 33R Austrian Wanzl (H)

14.5mm x 41R Spanish Berdan (H)

14.66mm x 35R Serbian Peabody (H)

14.7mm x 58R Schneider (H)

15mm revolver (W&M)

15.2mm x 110R Mitrailleuse (H)

15.2mm x 28R (H)

15.24mm x 40R Krnka (H)

16.5mm x 18R Beringer (E&B)

17mm Danish Snider (Hu)

17.5mm x 29R Dutch Snider (Hu)

18mm x 35R Tabatiere (H)

18.84mm x 38R Tabatiere (H)

18.84mm x 57R Wanzl-Albini (H)


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Gunsmithing & Technical|June 2018

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