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Talk:Webley Revolvers

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Additional Variants

Webley Mk. VI converted to .22 Long Rifle
Webley .22 Mk VI Training Revolver, a version with stepped cylinder.
Webley Mk. VI with Webley No. 1 Mark 1 flare gun shoulder stock and WWI-era Pritchard-Greener bayonet.
Webley .38 Mk III - .38 S&W
Three different Webleys. Top to bottom: Mk VI (.455), Mk IV w/5" barrel (.38 S&W), and a MK IV Pocket Model w/3" barrel (.38 S&W).
Webley .455 Mk IV opened
Webley & Scott Mk IV .38 Revolver
Denix replica Webley .38 Mk IV



I have read from a few sources that claim the .455 Webley cartridge has limited stopping power. They say that a common feature of most European revolvers is they have powder charges too small for their large bullets (i.e the Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873's 11x17mm cartridge). Any thought's on this gun's effectiveness?

I remember hearing how when they tested the stopping power of pistol rounds on cows, the .455 bullet killed a cow in one shot and a .45 ACP did it in two, so that sounds to me like it's got all the power it should. But it depends what manufacturer is making the ammo and how much they're packing the shells with. - Gunmaster45
Well, you're referring to the Thompson-Lagarde tests, which resulted in the development of the .45 ACP. The science involved is kind of questionable, however the old .476 Enfield round actually came out first in testing, followed by the .45 Colt and .455 Webley. The tests were very biased towards large-caliber unjacketed bullets. Bear in mind that the .455 was mostly used with the jacketed Mk.VI round throughout it's service life. It's true that the .455 is a somewhat low-velocity round, like most European rounds of the late 19th century (though only the .45 Colt and .44-40 of the same era were notably faster, .455 Webley and .44 Russian are fairly close in performance). Ballistically the .45 ACP produces more ft-lbs, but in actual use nobody ever complained about the .455s stopping power. The 11 x 17mm French is a different story, as the French army insisted on loading it to far lower pressures than the gun could handle. - Nyles

I've never owned the .455 version, but I got a Webley Mk. VI converted to .45 ACP for my birthday last year. It was a very nice revolver, but had more recoil than my friend's 1911, but that's because of weight differences in certain parts of the guns. - Kilgore 14:50, 12 August 2010 (UTC)


Is there a reason that all the Webley Mk ##s have their own page? Seems like they should be on the same page with different sections like the Desert Eagle. Thoughts? --Zackmann08 17:34, 18 April 2012 (CDT)

These pages are kind of a mess, as I think there has been a misunderstanding about how these revolvers are named. Initially the revolvers were made in .455 with the final variant being the Mk VI in 1915. Then comes the confusing part, the .38 revolver known as the Mk IV (WWII service pistol) is not directly related to the .455 Mk IV being made about 40 years later. The .38 revolvers are actually based on a scaled down Mk VI .455. I don't know if the .38 revolvers started from Mk I, but there was definitely a Mk III which was introduced in, I think, 1925 and was used by the police. I'm not really that clued in on the differences between all the variants so can't know for sure, but will go out on a limb and guess that a lot of these guns are on the wrong pages, as I'm fairly sure that for some variants there are no external differances. --commando552 17:55, 18 April 2012 (CDT)
Webley Mk.IV - .455 Webley

The Webley Mk IV was made from 1899 - 1913. It differs from the Mk III in that the steel was of differnet quality, the trigger stop was raised and the slots in the cylinder were made wider. The ratchet teeth of the extractor were case-hardened and the hammer was made lighter.--Jcordell 16:10, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

What do you think about naming the sections "Webley .455 Mk ##" and "Webley .38 Mk IV". This isn't technically how they were known, but is the only sollution to the problem that we currently have of there being two totally different variants sharing the same name and section. There would also possibly be the "Webley .38 Mk III" which did exist and could be in stuff, if I knew enough about these guns to tell them apart. --commando552 16:17, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

I think you read my mind. That seems to be the only logical way to organize them. I don't have any heartburn with it. Page looks good by the way. --Jcordell 16:26, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Go to town my friends. I just wanted to get all this stuff on the same page. You guys should sort them however you think is best. :-) --Zackmann08 16:42, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Is anyone an expert on the .455 Webley revolver marks? My knowledge is somewhere between fuck and all, but first off I though that all of the Mk's had the holster guides (wedges in front of the cylinder) but the pictures for the Mk II and III lack these so I think that would make them a random civilian Webley (not even sure if these had standardised names and designs). Also, in terms of identifying the different Marks would it be correct to say that the Mark 1 has the squared off rear of the grip, the Mark II rounds this off, the Mark III adds external cylinder cams between the pivot and the holster guides, not sure about the IV and V, and the VI has the squared off grip and 6" barrel (rest had 4" with 5/6" being the minority). Is this rightish? Any other external differences between the variants? --commando552 16:55, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Webley revolvers. Different Marks.

Mark I (November 1887)Black powder, bird's head grip,lanyard ring,4 inch barrel, break-top or open top design.

Mark I*(October 1894)Upon repair or refurbishing a hardened steel plate was added to the standing breech in order to approximate the design of the Mark II. The butt was rounded off a little more and the thumb piece on the stirrup-lock was made smaller.

Mark II (October 1894)Hardened steel plate added to the standing breech to help with corrosion, hammer was made of harder steel, grip was rounder, hammer catch spring was coiled instead of V-shaped and thumb piece on the stirrup lock was made smaller.

Mark III (October 1897) A cam was fitted to unlock the cylinder for removal and the cylinder attachment to the frame was improved. See the left side of the revolver. In 1905 a number of Mk III's were fitted with 6" barrels for officers and cadets to purchase.

Mark IV (July 1899)Higher grade steel, trigger stop was raised, the slots in the cylinder made wider, ratchet teeth of the extractor were case-hardened and the hammer was made lighter to ease with the lock time. Like the Mk III there were a number of this pattern made with the 6" barrel for officers and cadets who wished to purchase them.

Mark V (December 1913)the cylinder had a larger diameter (to withstand the higher pressures from the smokeless powder rounds)and the rear of the cylinder was rounded.

Mark VI (May 1915) The ultimate Webley pattern. Six inch barrel is now standard. Front blade sight is removable. Square butt for better grip. Soldiers were stating that the round butt was harder to hold when their hands were covered in mud, blood, grease and when wearing gloves. Internally several of the components were redesigned to ease manufacturing.

Hope this helps. --Jcordell 17:15, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Thanks, that helps with some, but what obvious external difference (dumb it down for me) are there between a Mk III, and the the Mk IV and V (how is the rear of the cylinder rounded, it looks the same to me). I'm fairly sure the pictures currently up for the III and V are correct (can read the markings at the top of the frame) but to me they look identical (apart from the hammer seemingly going back to the Mk 1 style). --commando552 17:40, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Look at the Mk II and the Mk III. See how the Mk II doesn't have the additional mechanical do-hickeys on the left side just to the front of the cylinder and the Mk III does. As do all the latter marks. There you go. Also the bolt slots in the Mk IV cylinder are noticeably larger when compared to the Mk III. the rounding of the cylinder is more subtle, but it's there. The page looks good. I wouldn't get too wound up over the small stuff. Good work.--Jcordell 18:02, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Thanks, think I have it pretty much worked out now. Lastly, do you know what the two unidentified variants at the top of this page are? .38 Mk III's? --commando552 18:27, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

I don't have a clue. Need to research it, but my first inclination is that they are Belgian replicas. In the 19th and early 20th century Belgium was a major source of knock-offs as was Spain. But that's just a guess right now.--Jcordell 20:04, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Yet another variation

Evidently they are still making the Enfield No. 2 in India. Believe it or not! --Jcordell 21:28, 19 April 2012 (CDT)

Indian Enfield

Indian 32-caliber IOR-Mk1 revolver Made by the INDIAN ORDNANCE FACTORY of Kampur, the Mk-1 revolver is a reminiscence of the British colonial period. It is manufactured with modified Webley designs, it is double-action and retains the Webley-typical automatic spent cases ejection at the break-open of the cylinder. It was first launcher on the export market in the years 1995/1996, but it has been in production since more than 25 years back, and gained acceptance as an Indian Police service weapon and for civilian ownership (private ownership of guns in India is more common than many may believe). It was conceived as a concealable gun, and this, and the 32-caliber, made it popular in its homeland back in the years when the .32-ACP ammunition was at the top with civilians for self-defence and with police personnel for concealed carry. Now that the market is clogged with a number of compact and sub-compact high-capacity and high-caliber semi-automatic models, the IOR-Mk1 revolver can be considered as a collection item for the curious gun owner. One note about the manufacturer of this weapon, the Indian State-owned ORDNANCE FACTORY BOARD is that they have enlarged their production lines in the past years and now manufacture about everything that such a country needs for law enforcement and national defence. Their products range from "Oldies But Goldies" items like this IOR-Mk1 revolver, the ASHANI semi-automatic pistol (copy of the Browning 1910), the 9x19mm Browning High-Power, the L1A1-FAL rifle and the Sterling machine-carbine.

From: http://www.securityarms.com/firearm/4485

Webley Confusion

I think the major confusion about the Webleys is that they made .455 chambered models and .38 chambered models. Both models are named MK I, II, III, etc. but the guns are totally different. The .38 series are smaller than the .455 series and are often called "pocket revolvers". The 2 photos above of a MK II and a MK III are the .38 chambered models and that's why they don't look "right" as most people are used to seeing the .455 models of the same "MK" designation. The last photo above with the 3 revolvers shows a .455 chambered model on top and two .38 chambered models below. You can see the considerable difference in frame size between the two different series.

What should be done is a section for the .455 models and a section for the .38 models. That would alleviate a lot of the confusion.

--Jags 01:57, 20 April 2012 (CDT)

Are you sure that a .38 Mk II existed, as I can't find any referance to them, only the Mk III and Mk IV. --commando552 05:19, 20 April 2012 (CDT)

I'm not having any luck either. So keep looking, but I think that for now we're sitting pretty good where we are at. Excellent work guys. I'm a revolver nut so it warms my old man heart to see the classics receive so much attention.--Jcordell 11:24, 20 April 2012 (CDT)

Thanks for finishing up the .38 Webley III posting. (I'm still trying to figure out how to work this site!) I'm not sure about the .38 MK II's either but I thought I read something about them at sometime. The Webley .38 MK III was in production for 40 - 50 years.

Here is one from 1897: http://www.adamsguns.com/2824.htm

Here is a Webley price list from 1939 just posted today. http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?217772-Mk111-38&p=2121430#post2121430

Here is one on GunBroker right now: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=283024844

This is the actual one used in Temple of Doom: http://www.propbay.com/original/chens-webley-indiana-jones-temple-doom-1984-movie-prop-435.html

Here is what is said on Wikipedia: The Hong Kong Police and Royal Singaporean Police were issued Webley Mk III & Mk IV .38/200 revolvers from the 1930s. Singaporean police Webleys were equipped with safety catches, a rather unusual feature in a revolver. These were gradually retired in the 1970s as they came in for repair, and were replaced with Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 revolvers. The London Metropolitan Police were also known to use Webley revolvers, as were most colonial police units until just after the Second World War. There may still be some police units with Webley Mk IV revolvers that, whilst not issued, are still present in the armoury.

Gun Digest book page: http://books.google.com/books?id=Lk_cc2gQ-NsC&pg=PA262&lpg=PA262&dq=webley+mk+iii+specifications&source=bl&ots=Ri2k4Zw6bp&sig=26lLD2dXCEasFmw_iAO0lN93WiM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8cyQT9nwLs_XiQK0htCUAw&ved=0CFUQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=webley%20mk%20iii%20specifications&f=false

Some more photos of one: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/firearms-ordnance/webley-mkiii-380cal-1752/

I made a few corrections on the specs. Took the specs from the Gun Digest book link above. --Jags 15:31, 20 April 2012 (CDT)

There were still being made till 1948. Not sure if the lengths from that digest are correct either, but as I can't find any other numbers I'll leave it. --commando552 16:29, 20 April 2012 (CDT)

You are doing good work here. Hold off on making a Mk II listing. The info seems spotty and the only feature that we know featured one of these pre-Mk IV .38 Webleys is the Indiana Jones movie. Fascinating stuff however. I have never heard about the Mk III .38. You learn something new everyday. --Jcordell 16:59, 20 April 2012 (CDT)

Pimped Out Mk VI

Wow a pimped out Mk VI. Now I've seen almost everything there is to see, --Jcordell 13:12, 3 May 2012 (CDT)

Why the change from .455 to .38?

From what I've read, the .38 S&W had considerably less stopping power than the .455 Webley. User: 2wingo

The .455 Webley was a very large and heavy revolver, the .38/200 ones were a much more practical military sidearm. --commando552 (talk) 04:54, 8 August 2013 (EDT)
After World War One the British Army concluded that the .455 caliber demanded too heavy a weapon and too great a degree of skill from the soldier using it. Armies don't really give all that much time to trigger time. For the "average" soldier that is. The snake-eaters get lots of trigger time.I speak from my own personal experience in the U.S. Army 1986-2000. Anyway it was learned that Webley & Scott had developed a .38 caliber revolver for the police market. The Army concluded that the 200 grain lead round nose bullet gave the required stopping power for a combat weapon and was easy to instruct recruits on. Handguns are typically viewed as secondary weapons by most armies (and other military branches) and therefore other considerations are taken (or not taken) into account when deciding what to go with.Rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, etc are the primary side arms in armies. Now there is more to this tale, but that's the bare bones. --Jcordell (talk) 19:48, 8 August 2013 (EDT)

Top-break conversion?

I have unsuccessfully tried to google for answers but i haven't found anything about this. I am wondering if it is possible (hypothetically) to convert a revolver to a top-break reload action, like the Webley Revolvers? That is, a revolver like the Colt SAA or New Service, or something that otherwise does not use this kind of reload mechanism? Z008MJ (talk) 19:46, 10 November 2013 (EST)

Why would you want to? The swing-out cylinder is already the best compromise between strength and ease of reloading. --Funkychinaman (talk) 23:10, 10 November 2013 (EST)

I suppose it is, all my questions are purely hypothetical, so sometimes i haven't thought them through. I guess my answer would be that the top-break design looks cooler, a matter of taste, that is. How about converting a blackpowder Colt SAA to top-break then, surely that would make reloading easier? Would it be possible? Z008MJ (talk) 07:18, 11 November 2013 (EST)

It would be possible, but it would require so much work and so many new parts that I doubt you could even call it a SAA anymore. You would need an entirely new frame, so the only components you would have any chance of reusing would be the barrel, the grips and some internal components taken from the old frame. It would probably be easier to make an entirely new gun from scratch. --commando552 (talk) 08:03, 11 November 2013 (EST)

Thanks for the answer, while we are speaking about it, may i also ask if it would be easier to convert a revolver with loading gate, or a cartridge converted caplock revolver into a swing-out revolver? Z008MJ (talk) 13:05, 11 November 2013 (EST)

I'm guessing both would entail substantial cuts into the frame, which might weaken it. If it was actually worth doing, someone probably would've done it by now. --Funkychinaman (talk) 13:10, 11 November 2013 (EST)
Somebody has actually done it. Uberti made a version of the SAA that had a swing out cylinder. Not sure if it ever made it to market, but they did show it off at some gun shows. However, this was built from scratch designed to have a swing out cylinder, converting an existing (particularly vintage) loading gate or converted caplock revolver to a swing out cylinder would be problematic and it would probably more easy to build one from scratch. --commando552 (talk) 13:17, 11 November 2013 (EST)

Thanks, i appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I kind of get it now. Z008MJ (talk) 13:35, 11 November 2013 (EST)

The problem with top-break revolvers is that the top latch is the weakest point in the design, making it prone to popping open from the force of recoil when fired. This isn't much of a problem with the lower-pressure cartridges originally used with the design, but higher-pressure cartridges would indeed cause it to pop open when fired. Fixed-cylinder and swing-out cylinder revolver designs don't have this problem because the recoil is distributed across the entire frame, and as you've learned, changing the reload mechanism requires so much work as to be not worth it. The last serious attempt to make a top-break revolver in a high-pressure cartridge was the MP-412 REX, which used .357 Magnum, but it was never made commercially available. A pity, because a top-break revolver is ambidextrous by design, and using moon clips would make it very fast to reload.--Mazryonh (talk) 05:40, 21 November 2013 (EST)

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