image whitworth j_miscellaneous papers_1858_plate 1
Image number: RS.14048
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Round and hexagonal projectiles



Creator - Organisation

Day & Son, Lithographers

Object type

Library reference





height (print): 213mm
width (print): 183mm


Content object

   > gun


Ammunition for rifles. Figure A shows a plan and elevation of an Enfield round bullet. Figure B shows the equivalent Whitworth hexagonal bullet. Figure C shows a conventional bullet within the barrel of a Whitworth rifle.

Plate 1 from the book Miscellaneous papers on mechanical subjects by Joseph Whitworth (Longmans, London, 1858), illustrating the paper on ‘Rifled fire-arms’, pp. 71-84.

In the accompanying text, the author states that: ‘In the system of rifling which I have adopted, the interior of the barrel is hexagonal, and, instead of consisting partly of non-effective lands and partly of grooves, consists of effective rifling surfaces. The angular corners of the hexagon are always rounded, as shewn in section by figure C. Either cylindrical or hexagonal bullets may be used’.

Inscribed below: ‘Day & Son, Lithrs. To the Queen.’

Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803–1887), British mechanical engineer and machine tool manufacturer, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1857.

Associated place

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