what to do with a shot out webley 455


October 6, 2003, 03:16 AM
its a mark 1...the gun functions fine but the barrel is a stove pipe....what to do???:(

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4v50 Gary
October 6, 2003, 08:14 AM
Reline it and then shoot it. Send it to Bobby Hoyt of Freischutz Arms in PA and he'll send it back as good as new.

Jim K
October 7, 2003, 09:11 PM
With all respect, Gary, and respect to Bobby Hoyt, I don't think there is enough room in that Mk 1 barrel for a liner; it is pretty thin as is. I also don't know of anyone making .45 or .455 liners. I would obviously defer to anyone who has had that work done, but I don't think it is feasible or even possible.


guy sajer
October 7, 2003, 09:31 PM
Jim could be right . You would have to have your existing barrel checked for compatability first .

With regards to a .45 barrel blank .
Our now retired gunsmith would start with an existing barrel with the correct bore size .
In this case , I think a .45 acp bore would suffice for the Webley assuming you handloaded using the correct .451/.452 bullets for acp . I would order an Olympic Arms .45 carbine barrel or if you could find an Uzi .45 barrel or Marlin Camp rifle barrel .
Then bore the original barrel and turn down the O.D. of the new barrel down to match it . Insert it and weld . Recrown and polish and you're in buisiness .
I watched him do two of these . One was a 1903 Springfield he made up for a guy in .45 acp . Used 1911 mags . There were actually a few made by Springfield in .45 acp .
The second was for me . My German MP40 9mm smg had a shot out barrel . He used an Uzi 9mm barrel to line it with . It worked great . Better than new . Those Uzi barrels are tough .

October 9, 2003, 05:46 PM

The Mark 1 is black powder only! Do NOT rechamber that so it will take any smokeless round! If you do, somebody sooner or later will load it with a standard Webley .455 or .45 acp (or whatever) and get hurt.

Put it in a shadow box and hang it on the wall.


guy sajer
October 9, 2003, 06:09 PM
Very good advice Keith ! He should have it inspected .

However , I didn't see any reference to re-chambering it . Only a reline . Upon inspection by a reputable smith , possibly the one that relines it , if he says it's ok , then I'd shoot it . 455 Webley isn't a very high pressure load .

I haven't seen iuv308's revolver , so I can't really comment about his being safe or not . It could be clapped out . Or , maybe due to many a bad clean ups , the bore rusted out .

Jim K
October 10, 2003, 01:41 AM
Hi, iluv308 and guys,

This is not the same as lining a thick rifle barrel. Those Mk I Webley barrel sides are very thin, and I don't think any gunsmith would risk doing a lining job on it. Just for fun, iluv308, mike the thickness of the barrel sides and let us know what they are. (I don't have a MK I and I don't know if my Mk VI would be the same.)

Then remember that the hole has to be the size of the liner and the liner has to be thick enough to not only have the rifling cut but also hold the pressure.

I stand by what I said; I don't think it can be done with that gun. What someone did with a Springfield rifle or an MP.40 or a .25-20 Winchester is not relevant.


guy sajer
October 10, 2003, 11:08 AM
I guess relevance is in the eye of the beholder . Your opinion is yours and mine is mine . They are both worth what iluv308 paid for them . The only opinion that counts is that of the professional gunsmith that does this type of work .
You very well could be right . But unless iluv308 is willing to spend the $125-150 for a reline , I guess neither of our opinions mean squat .

October 10, 2003, 11:54 AM
The Mark 1 fired the black powder version of the .455 Webley. It was discontinued as unsafe when the smokeless .455 came along. Or rather, it was replaced by the Mark 2 which was strengthened to handle it.


guy sajer
October 10, 2003, 01:32 PM
So you're saying that even black powder / pyrodex loads are unsafe assuming he has it inspected first ?

October 10, 2003, 01:46 PM
No, of course not. Black powder/pyrodex loads would be fine. I just suspect it would be better to retire it. If you make it a shooter, someday, someone who doesn't know any better is going to stick smokeless loads in and get hurt.

And, though it's probably not worth much in its present condition - it will be worth even less once the barrel is relined.

Use the money as down payment on a later version!


guy sajer
October 10, 2003, 02:58 PM
Your points are well taken . I fully understand your concern for safety . We have to be concerned with that every day we open our store .

But , how would relining it encourage them to put smokeless loads in it ? They can do that now as it is . He says the barrel is shot out , but the rest is in good order .
The gun world is full of black powder cartridge guns . We see dozens of damascus barreled double barrel shotguns in our store every year . And then there's the plethora of assorted cheap 38's and 32's made in the late 19th century . They are indeed an accident waiting to happen ! Fortunately the ammo companies loading 38 S&W , 32 S&W and 32 S&W Long are loading them to very low pressures . Other than shaving some lead from out of spec cyl/barrel alignment , I don't think they will blow up from pressure . The damascus barrel guns are the real danger imo .

Mike Irwin
October 10, 2003, 03:40 PM
To the best of my knowledge, the .32 S&W Long was always a smokeless powder load, the original loads using a nitrated wood pulp powder similar to Schultz's No. 2.

guy sajer
October 10, 2003, 03:54 PM
Thank you Mike for correcting me . You are absolutely correct . I will amend my list to include 38 Short Colt as well as 32 Short and Long Colt calibers .

Mike Irwin
October 11, 2003, 02:34 AM
Well, don't credit me too quickly, Guy.

Looks like I was wrong.

Frank Barnes says that the original load for the .32 Long was 13 grains of blackpowder and a 98-grain bullet.

I could have sworn that it was developed with a nitrated wood pulp powder...


guy sajer
October 11, 2003, 09:44 AM
There's always someone watching over your shoulder waiting to knock you down a peg . :)

According to "Cartridges of the World 10th Ed " 32 S&WL 's original loading was indeed blackpowder . 13 grains and a 98 gr bullet .

I guess i should have stuck with my initial thought that it was black powder .

The surprising thing to me being that in its year of introduction , 1903 , they would have used bp instaed of smokeless .

Mike Irwin
October 12, 2003, 02:12 AM
OK, that's where I DO disagree with Barnes.

He says that the .32 Long was introduced in 1903 for the S&W First Model, but that's simply incorrect, and is well documented by both Jinks and Supica & Nahaus.

The First Model Hand Ejector was introduced in 1896 and made UNTIL 1903.

The .32 Long was definitely developed as a new round for this particular revolver, and was introduced with it.

A very few First Model HEs were reportedly made in .32 S&W, but they were never offered for general sale, and one today would be worth a LOT of money to a collector.

October 12, 2003, 11:19 AM
Thanks guys.....the reason for wanting to get the old girl running is that here in Canada the only two places you can possess and handgun or revolver is at a designated range approved by the govt or your home (trigger locked and in a locked container)....this is after you pass a course and apply for the required license and transport permit....you can transport the gun in your veh (again double locked) but you better be between your house and the range travelling direct.....don't stop for gas.....a pistol or revolver manufactured prior to 1898 and chambered for 455 is exempt from all this B.S.......(as is any pre 1898 pistol in a 44 special cal.... go figure).....

Further as of last june all long guns had to be registered..(unless its a flintlock or a pre 1898 single shot 8.3mm cal or larger)..under threat of a max of 6 months in jail 1st offense and 2 year minimum for a second offence....(this is in a country where you get 14 days in jail for breaking into a person's house and stealing something)....and oh yeah if i want to give one of my kids one of my guns for christmas they have to take a hundred dollar course, apply and wait 6 months for a 75$ lisc.....then we can apply for govt approval and pay a 25$ transfer fee......and the transfer approval can take between hours and weeks.......this is what happens when gun ownership is a privilige and not a right......but we will have de-criminalized Marihuana....


guy sajer
October 12, 2003, 10:37 PM
Hate to tell you but the 44 spl wasn't invented until after 1900 (1907?) . Could you possibly be referring to 44 Russian ?

Mike Irwin
October 12, 2003, 10:50 PM
Yep, first cataloged 1907.

October 12, 2003, 10:57 PM
here in Canada the only two places you can possess and handgun or revolver is at a designated range approved by the govt or your home (trigger locked and in a locked container).... iluv ..... as you must be aware . things with you are going horribly like the UK ... I was there once .... I WAS a damned Limey ... stay very watchful cos I'd hate for things to progress to that level of absurdity.

It is worrying .... only needs some idiot like Hamilton in UK and what he did .... and Poof! ... they'll have em all.:(

October 13, 2003, 12:53 AM
Yeah, I know about the 44 special is a post 19th century invention....the wording of the law is clear....a handgun manufactured prior to 1898 but chambered in 44 special is exempt from registration.....goofy eh....I assume a pre 1898 colt S.A.A. originally a 44-40 could be fitted with a 44 special cylinder and the wording of the law would make it legal....or even another cal.could be converted and re-barrelled.....the S.A.A. army (pre-1898) in 455 is also exempt....:confused: ....thanks for the advice about going the way of the U.K.Ihear yah.....the real goofy think is that gunownership per 1000population is higher in Canada than in the U.S. (pre 9-11 stats)....
If I was single I would be lookin for an American girl for sure....;)

Jim K
October 13, 2003, 08:26 PM
Not goofy at all. I may be wrong, but I'll bet the writer of those rules knew darned well there were NO pre-1898 revolvers originally chambered for .44 Special. Just a way to pad out the "approved" list so they can say "but we don't want to confiscate antique guns, look at all that are approved."

Yes, they do dirty tricks like that. A prime U.S. example is the list of "exempted" guns in Feinstein's "assault rifle" law. All but a few are manually operated or single shot rifles and shotguns that would not fall under the definition of "assault rifle" in any case. She put them in there to deceive the public and even some gun people that the law "does not affect sportsmen and hunters", the oldest lie in the anti-gun book.


April 2, 2005, 04:54 AM
Actually the Best thing to do is Really clean that Bore up as best you can & Slug it to see what size it is now & to see how much of the Rifling that is left will imprint on the slug.
Next have a Mould made & start casting them up yourself & make Sure that You get a Hollow Base .455 or what ever Dia. it is now, so that it will expand into what left of the Rifling for the best accurasy you will achieve w/ what little is left of it.

If you can locate .455 Colt brass by Dominion that's the Closest to the Mk.1 brass you'll find today & stay away from the Fiocchi Mk.II stuff or any other 'smoke-less" loads, because the "smoke-less" powder Gasses WILL Eat Away @ the Forcing Cone, Cylinder Mouthes, etc. Even though it is a mild load it is Still Hotter than Original Gunpowder loads from the Era. Metal from the Victorian era is softer than todays fore it is only a few degrees above Pig Iron in classification.

I realize this is an Olde post, but 308 still might wish to have the Intele if he's still about.

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