January 20, 2011, 09:30 AM
In particular, what it means when "War finish" is stamped on the receiver? Also, how does one tell if it has been cut down or altered to take .45. Thanks!
January 20, 2011, 09:51 AM
"War Finish" was Webley's way of saying that the gun in question was not finished to their normal standards because of the exigencies of hurried wartime production needs. They normally took some pride in the finish of their guns. However, like US Colt Commando and S&W Victory models, with Parkerized or flat bluer finishes, wartime needs sacrificed looks for speed of construction. I have a lot of Webleys going back to the 1800s through their very last revolvers made in 1970. Finish even on military models was very good. I have a couple of the "War Finish" guns as well. Quite a difference.
As for redone to take 45ACP, that should not come up on a War Finish since those were, or should be 38S&W guns only. Neither Webley or Enfield turned out 455s after the early 30s. The last of the British 455s were the Webley Mark VI. The gun you have should be chambered for the 200gr 38S&W (not the 38 Special).
On a 455, you can tell if it has been converted to 45ACP by looking at the back of the cylinder. To provide enough space for the require moon clips, the rear of the cylinder was shaved to accommodate the clips for the 45.
Easy to see. Some done well, some not.
Final word. Can you shoot one without moon clips? Yes, but the entire will not extract properly and ignition is a crap shoot as without the clips, a round can slip forward in the chamber and the primer will not be hit by the firing pin
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