webley top break.

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by oscarmayer, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i love shooting my webley but 38 s&w is getting harder and harder to find. and the prices are getting out of hand. so i was thinking if a 455 webley can be cut down and converted to a 45acp can a 38 s&w ie 38 short webley be converted to 380 acp ?
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    can you buy half moon clips for .380? The .380 bullet is at .355 while the 38S&W comes in at .357. not to much of a difference but it may not be as accurate. Turning down the cylinder to accept the clips was a little nerve wracking and I believe you also have to cut down the ejector rod or mill it along with the cylinder.
    One thing I have never looked at is the pressure differences between the .38S&W and the .380auto which I'm sure you have.
  3. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    9mm 1/2 moon clips will work . and the 380 is a little more stout than the 38 s&w but not by much. todays loading of the 38s&w is weaker than the standard loading of the day which pushed a 200 gr bullet at 700 fps with 200 fp of energy . tdays 38s&w is 675 fps with 150 fp of energy of there abouts.
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Actually, 38 S&W is closer to 361.

    Why not just load it? It's cheaper to load than 38 Special. Lots cheaper to buy than 380. If you did cut it, you'd have to find some 6-shot 9mm moon clips, which are probably few and far between.

    You can get (if you're not set up to load, already) a Lee hand press and a set of Lee dies for right around 50 bucks. Some way to prime (Lee ramprime is cheapest). The dies come with a shell holder and a powder scoop, so you're good to go, there. Load 'em with 148 grain HBWC bullets, seated out like they were 150 RN. The hollow-based 357 bullets expand to take the rifling, giving good accuracy. Starline has the best price on the brass. Once you have the equipment, you're looking at less than ten cents a round, which is ten dollars a box. You ain't gonna find either of those calibers, anymore, for no ten dollars a box.
  5. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    sounds like a winter project.
    The .380 may be a little loose in the cylinder. .380 breech dimentions are at .3809 (brass .3739) the .38S&W is at .3896. (brass is at .3863)
  6. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i would have to make the 1/2 moon clips out of the ones being sold for the taurus 9mm and smith and wesson revolver. and i gave alot of thought to just reloading the 38s&w myself but i struggle with anything that small . all thumbs and i save my reloading time for only my 308 and 45 colt. plus this conversion project will keep me out of the bars over the winter.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    First, don't ignore that bit about the .380 being "more stout." The pressure of the .380 ACP is 21,500 psi, while the .38 S&W is 14,500; in other words, the .380 will hit that gun with half again the pressure it was designed for. The .455 is not a good comparison, as .455 Mk VI revolvers have blown when firing .45 ACP; the .45 ACP has much higher working pressure than the .455.

    Second, if you use conventional moon clips you will have to cut away the back of the cylinder and that means you can't use .38 S&W in it any more. For newer revolvers, you can have the cylinder cut in such a way as to use clips and still have support for cartridges without clips, but no one is going to do that work on an old Webley (Mk IV?).

    That is if you can get moon clips for .380, and if you can get .380 which, right now, is harder to get than .38 S&W and costs more, at least locally.

    FWIW, if you can reload .45 ACP, you can reload .38 S&W; it is a very easy round to work with, not like .25 ACP!

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  8. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    all good points, but a bit to late. the cylinder has been cut down and it looks like it'll work great. i have taken a wax impression of the rear of the cylinder and etched out a moon clip. by tomorrow i'll have 12 clips in hand. i can't find the data right now but the original loading for the 38 s&w was a bit more than the factory loadings of today. so with that in mine i do not see a problem firing 380acp. as for the reloading true enough i could but choose to stick with the larger calibers, i have hands like canned hams and fingers that aren't as limber as they were 30 yrs ago
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