French made .455

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by rothom_51, May 12, 2012.

  1. rothom_51

    rothom_51 New Member

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    Can you help identify this french made .455 pistol. My wife's grandfather picked it up in France during WWI. It is marked V. BERNARD brevete 142. I believe it is chambered in .455 Webley or .455/.476 eley. It is a break-top styled like a Webley Mrk IV or Mrk VI.
  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Clear photos may identify what you have, but V. Bernard was probably Victor Bernard & Cie (company) registered at the Liege, Belgium proof house 1890-1891.

    You may find the ELG in an oval Liege proofmark on rear of cylinder (brevete just means patent).
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  3. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    I would think it was more likely to be chambered in 11 MM French Ordnance caliber The french round is about .44 caliber. I don't think a French or Belgium revolver would be chambered in a British round. The British did contract several Spanish gunmakers to make revolvers WW I, but no Belgium ones. There is no reason it can't be chambered in .455 or .455/476, in my opinion it doesn't seem likely. If it was exported to England and a British officer purchased it for his own use, it would be covered with British markings. JMHO and I have others just as humble. :D As hrf posted, pictures would be great. It could also be chambered in 11MM German, the Germans seem to like invading Belgium and the other low countries.
  4. rothom_51

    rothom_51 New Member

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    Several years ago I took it to a large gun shop in San Francisco, There we tried many different caliber cartridges in the cylinder. The ones that seemed to fit best were the British ones. Also the barrel diameter was 11.5 mm or .459 in.

    Attached Files:

  5. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Don't believe I've ever seen one with such a sharp extension at top of grip. Need closeups of any proofmarks (use macro camera setting)

    Might be chambered for 11mm Gasser or Montenegrin, but cylinder looks a bit short, as that cartridge is 1.73" long.
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The Liege makers would produce guns for about any cartridge a customer wanted, so I would not rule out a Belgian revolver in .455 Webley especially since Belgian revolvers were sold in England.

    Jim
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