Webley Mark IV - 38 war finish

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dmetcalf, May 16, 2011.

  1. dmetcalf

    dmetcalf New Member

    May 16, 2011
    I was given this gun today from my family. It belonged to my deceased grandfather. I am just wondering what it might be worth and approximately how old it is. The serial number is 148867. Thanks for any help you can offer.
    Duane Metcalf
    214 551 1466
  2. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2009
    welcome to the forum but we need more info, name of gun or rifle and #"s and a picture would help

  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Beth, he put that in the title. Webley Mk IV.

    How long's it been since you got new glasses? :p

    dmetcalf, "War Finish" (they painted them as a quick, cheap finish) means it was made during WW2. So that'd be (when did England get in it? Hitler invaded Poland in September of '39) about '40 to '45.
  4. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Bruce & Reinhart's Webley Revolvers states that more than 100,000 were provided to the British Government 1939-1945.
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Webley offered the Mk IV to the British government but they and the government got into a tiff over cost and changes the government wanted, so the government developed its own .38 revolver, the No. 2, commonly called the Enfield revolver. It is often called a copy of the Webley but in fact is actually a better military arm.

    Untimately, with No. 2 reevolver production inadequate, the government had to turn to Webley in WWII to make the Mk IV as a substitute standard. (They also obtained, through purchase and Lend Lease, hundreds of thousands of foreign handguns, mostly American.)

    Webley had been very proud of the high polish and superb finish applied to their commercial guns and hated the idea that it was not possible to maintain those standards under wartime conditions, so they expressed both their feelings and their apologies by marking the guns as "War Finish" so no one would think such work was up to their usual quality.

    The marking was directed toward the rough polish and quick blue job of the wartime guns. It did not refer to the painting with black enamel, which was done by the British army after the guns were delivered.

    Value, in average condition, is around $300, more if in good shape.

    The revolver fires .38 S&W cartridges, not .38 Special.

    Note: The .38 Webley Mk IV should not be confused with the earlier .455 caliber Government Mk IV made by Webley.

    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  6. dmetcalf

    dmetcalf New Member

    May 16, 2011
    Thank you so very much for the information. I have a close friend that knows a lot about guns and he agrees. He is taking it apart and giving it a thorough cleaning and oiling. He looked it with a magnifying glass and he doesn't think it was ever fired. He said it still has remenante of a protective coating they applied to it when t was originally made. Thanks again.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Apparently some of those guns were never issued and were sold out of stores brand new. They will have commercial English proof marks as required for all guns put on sale in England, even if they were military surplus, but other than the proof testing by the military and later by the proof house, they were never fired.

  8. Luis Fernando

    Luis Fernando New Member






    Luis Fernando
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  9. permafrost

    permafrost Active Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    Oklahoma, USA
    You were right. it is very clean, isn't it? Nice pistol. Congratulations, nice to see them like that.
  10. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Nice pics, Luis. Those guns are very intriguing.
  11. dmetcalf

    dmetcalf New Member

    May 16, 2011
    Yeap, that is it exactly ..! I would post a picture of mine but it's still at my friends place getting cleaned and oiled. It's cool to learn so much about the history of the gun and ite company that manufactured it. Thanks for the information.
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