In 1914 and early 1915, German snipers were engaging British Army positions with impunity from behind steel plates that were impervious to .303 British ball ammunition. In an attempt to counter this threat, the British War Office purchased 62 large bore sporting rifles from British rifle makers, including 47 .450 caliber rifles, which were issued to Regiments, some British officers also supplied their own.
On one notable occasion, Richard "Dickie" Cooper brought down three Albatros D.III fighters from Ernst Udet's squadron, Jagdstaffel 15, with his Holland & Holland .450 Nitro Express big-game double rifle. Cooper is recorded as saying: "I aimed well ahead of the leader. He came down like a pheasant, as did the one that followed, and I had time to reload and fire again at the third before he passed over - he also crashed."[