Webley Mark I

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Ken W, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    unfortunately I have seen it all over. uninformed or straight out dishonest sellers.

    I collect bolo and broom mausers. you see guys with the chinese copies of a broom.. like a hanyang... you point it out to them.. but they still refuse to 'care'
  2. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    OK, we’re going to put Jim K to the test!!
    All this talk about early Webley’s got me to dig out a couple of pictures of two I owned a number of years ago. I’ve gone through Boothroyd’s book and just got myself even more confused with the MkI, Mk1*, MkI**, MkII, MkII*, MkII**, MkIII, MkIV, MkV and MkVI, (Apparently the Mks I,II &III came in two different barrel lengths, 4” & 6”.) The first one I had identified as a MkI** and the second as a MkII (Civilian).( It has the Winged Bullet W/S logo on the side of the frame.) I have to assume that I was going strictly on the frame for identification and now I just don’t know what they are. Both had been shaved and, for all I know are a compilation of parts that were thrown together to sell to us Yanks….

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  3. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    saw a mk6 at a show.. guy said he shot 45acp with moon clips in it.. but also said he shot 45 auto rim and 455 original in it.

    my question is how? did he have a special clip for them made up?
  4. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    He would have needed a shim for the .455 rounds or an extra long firing pin. (without a shim he would have been playing with a dangerous headspace problem.)
  5. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    would a hollowed out moon clip act as a shim. the guy at the show had a couple clips.. one looked like it had been filed on. one I asusme was for 45acp..t he other? for the rimmed cartridges? and he removed meat fromt hem to get them on the cartridge base under the rim?
  6. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Were they half or full moons? I would have to check to see if there is any kind of a groove above the rim on a .455 that a half moon could clip into. (Otherwise it could come loose with cylinder rotation and fall out at an inopportune time...:eek:) As for setting headspace, as long as the clip thickness was right, it should work.
  7. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i was learry about it. price was good but I passed without much observation.

    he had 2 sets of clips.. one looked like a full clip.. and had shiney metal exposed and looke dlike it had been machined. that appeared to be the one he said he had for 455 or 45auto rium. i believe the half clips were normal and 45acp

    again.. i didn't actually measure them as it made me feel uneasy witht he questions on that gun.. even though price was attractiver.. :)
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Deadin, I think your first gun is a Mk I with a barrel from a later Mark. Mk I's were not upgraded to the new cylinder retention system but the barrel of a Mk III would fit a Mk I if the frame were altered to take the lever fixing screw. The second picture is of a Mk II; it is the same as the Mk I except that it has no hump on the backstrap. AFAIK, all the service models Mk I, II and III were made only with the 4" barrel. Both the guns pictured have been "shaved" to allow the use of .45 ACP with half-moon clips.

    The Mk I was made with the recoil shield as part of the frame; the Mk I* had the shield as a separate part dovetailed in with a screw to keep it from moving sideways.

    The Mk IV (not to be confused with the Webley commercial Mk IV in .32 and .38) was approved in 1899 and was the same as the Mk III but with a slightly different hammer spur and a sturdier firing pin. It was also available in 5" and 6" barrels in addition to the standard 4".

    The Mk V had a slightly larger cylinder (.012" larger) to make it safe with smokeless powder. (see note)

    The Mk VI, adopted in 1915, is the "Webley revolver" that most American gun hobbyists know, as thousands were sold war surplus in the 1950's. It is the quintessential "British army revolver" and is seen in just about every WWI and WWII movie. While the frame is not very different from the Mk V and previous Marks, the longer barrel and square butt make it look larger than the earlier models.

    Note: I strongly advise against firing ANY of those converted revolvers with standard .45 ACP or .45 Auto Rim. The pressures of factory .45 AR are lower than the .45 ACP, but still way above the standard pressure of the .455 Webley. It is of interest that the British War Office issued a bulletin warning against use of the .455 Webley Automatic cartridge in ANY of the service revolvers, so the danger of high pressure loads in those revolvers is not something some American dreamed up last week.

    Jim
  9. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim, that's pretty close to what I thought.
    However, Ezell in his "Handguns of the World" mentions a Mark I** and a Mark II**. He states that both of these were a recognized "conversion" using a Mark IV barrel and a Mark V cylinder. This could explain the first picture although he states that it should be the 6" barrel, not the 4". As these changes were done in 1915 as a wartime expedient there may have been some 4's in there. From his definitions, the second picture is just a standard Mk II, as there were only minor changes from the Mark I*. The most noticeable being a slightly changed hammer. (And the lack of a hump..)
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I had the same thought about wartime expediency. The frame is a Mk I, with the hump. But the barrel shows no sign of ever having had the Mk I type retention screw.

    Jim
  11. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    If the barrel on the Mark I** is from a Mark IV, as Ezell described, it wouldn't have the cylinder retention screw of the Marks I and II. ????
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    A Mk III or Mk IV barrel would have the later cylinder and cylinder retention system, and the frame of a Mk I or Mk II would have to have a hole drilled and tapped for the fixing screw (the coin slot screw at the bottom of the lever).

    Jim
  13. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Are we looking at the same picture?? The first picture of the Mark I frame (with the hump) has what you just described.
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Yes, it does; I am agreeing with you.

    Jim
  15. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't pay $1000 for it for sure - There are a lot of absolutely super pieces available for less! :)
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