Eley Hawk have announce the launch of a limited run of the Collector’s edition Grand Prix paper case cartridge. With just 24 000 cartridges made and each one is loaded in the old style orange paper case, each “pegamoid” dipped with special recipe varnish to improve the weatherproofing qualities. Every box of 25 comes with it’s own limited edition number stamp on the top of the box.
Loaded in a traditional 1 and 1/16th Oz load (30 grams), a true 2 and a half inch case length . The 25 cartridges box is a faithful reproduction of the old 1930’s era boxes of the time, giving a unique insight into the designs of the time.
The Box also contains a brief history of the Grand Prix written by the eminent author and cartridge historian Guy N Smith (Shooting Times Journalist), who acted as a consultant on the project to bring this to life for cartridge enthusiasts across the world. Speaking about the project – “ I was very keen to be involved in this as the Grand Prix is and always will be an iconic cartridge with the modern day equivalents still some of the best you can buy. To step back in time and see this come to life has been a real joy and I am sure shooters who are as passionate about the history of British Cartridges will be as happy as I am with them.”
All the ammunition can be shot but the nature of the cartridges limited production run hand crafted at the Sutton Coldfield site will endear these cartridges to the avid cartridge collectors who prize limited editions and rarity.
Eley Hawk still produce the Grand Prix cartridge today for Game shooters across the world. No other cartridge has such a pedigree and longevity in the hearts and minds of shooters. The original game cartridge launched in 1903 and with over 100 years of pedigree these can rightly claim to be the forefathers of modern day cartridges we use today.
Such was the impact the cartridges had in their time they even won a Prize at the Paris Exhibition in 1903. Indeed the first of its type they laid the foundations for all shotgun cartridges that have been produced since.
“Grand Prix, launched in 1903, was the fore-runner of the modern shotgun cartridge”.
Guy N. Smith Cartridge historian and author
In 1827 William and Charles Eley silversmiths purchased the patent, and launched their Eley Patent Jenour Wire Cartridge. After 1900 the firm became Eley Bros Ltd., they won the Grand Prix Medal at the Paris Exhibition then two years later were awarded both the Grand Prix and Gold Medal.
The original Grand Prix had a plain orange case and the head stamp “E B London No. 12” identifies it as a “first” (“later changed to “Eley London No.12”). The very early cartridges were loaded with 1 1/16 oz (30 grams) of shot. The powder similar in texture to Smokeless Diamond but of a darker colour. In 1918 this was replaced by Smokeless Diamond, a 33-grain faster propellant. The standard case colour was orange but others appeared during the 1930s, in red, green and yellow. Likely a temporary measure when orange was not available.
During World War II years, cartridges were loaded in plain, unprinted and unvarnished cases but their components were identical to those of Grand Prix. Cartons were printed “Wartime Issue” and, post-war, any leftover stocks of boxes were used up and labelled “Wartime Emergency Packaging Grand Prix Cartridges”. Grand Prix are an icon of British cartridges and now a reproduction of the original, albeit with modern components, has been reproduced, both for collectors and sportsmen who wish to revive those golden years.