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Webley Mark VI .455 / .45 acp nickel

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Toolnutbelew, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Toolnutbelew

    Toolnutbelew Member


    I have an old Webley Mark VI that is nickel with a 6" barrel. It has patent 1918 on it. It has been converted to shoot .45 acp with the half moon clips.
    I really don't know much about this gun other than what I can find on the computer.
    One question - On the right side of the barrel in front of the cylinder it is marked .455 then 750" (What does the 750 stand for?) then it has 6 Tons below (What does 6 Tons stand for?)

    I believe this gun was made between 1918 & 1924 by what I read.
    Almost all the Mark VI I have found are blue, Are the nickel guns harder to find?

    All the serial numbers on the gun match. 418306 Is that someplace to date the gun with the serial number?

    Gun has all kinds of markings or small stamps on the barrel, cylinder and the trigger guard.

    Last, is there much demand for this type gun and much value?

    All information will be very helpful,

    Attached Files:

  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    .750" is the length of the .455 cartridge case.
    6 tons is the chamber pressure, in long tons per square inch.

    .45 ACP is an overload for a .455 Webley. They are good stout guns and won't likely blow up, but will show wear and tear.

    The British did not nickel plate many guns and no service pistols. Bubba did it after it was surplused and cut for .45 ACP. Those two alterations reduced the desirability and resale value.
  3. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    I have a Mark IV with two sets of VR black powder proofs (victoria Regina or Queen Victoria which dates the gun before 1902). Plus inspector's and proof marks everywhere. The broadhead arrow -> marks a gun as military, and when a military gun was released for civilian sales it would be stamped with an arrow facing the other way to make an asterisk -><- .

    The Mark V was basicly the Mark IV upgraded to fire smokeless powder.

    The Mark VI was the best of the .455 Webleys and was a fine modern service revolver fully proven with smokeless powder..

    Mine like yours was converted to take .45 ACP in moon clips and .45 AutoRim, which does lower the collector interest. I have shot mine in black powder matches and vintage military matches, but have yet to work up a load worth bragging about. They're a fun old gun to shoot informally.
  4. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    Your gun was almost surely plated after it left the factory. Between the plating and the cartridge conversion any collector value is gone.

    I would not shoot it with factory 45 ACP ammo, especially jacketed ammo. The only loads I would consider would be low pressure LEAD BULLET handloads.

    At least it's easier to get 45 ACP brass and dies.
  5. English Bob

    English Bob Well-Known Member

    I'd also say stay away from factory .45ACP in the old gal as it's way too powerful for them...see attached image...no, it's not mine.

    I use Hornady .455 brass and the RCBS .455 265gr HB mould, works a treat.

    Attached Files:

  6. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    The pitting inside the firing chambers of the kaboomed Webley in the photo reminds me of the pitting in the firing chambers of my black powder-era Webley Mark IV.

    Even though the Mark V and Mark VI were proofed for smokeless powder, the loading info I have seen indicates that smokeless powder loads for the .455 Webley were lighter powder and heavier bullet than the .45 ACP.

    My handloads in Auto Rim cases and .45ACP cases are a .454 inch 255 grain lead bullet with either BP substitute (.7cc or 1.0cc) or 4gr Unique, approximating loads I have seen recommended for .455 Webley.

    Accuracy of .45ACP jacketed 230gr was never good (.451" jacketed bullet down a shallow groove BP barrel .455" in diameter does not equal great stability). The risk of a Marvin the Martian style earth shaking kaboom is another reason to watch what you feed a .455 Webley.

    One more reason for me to consider acquiring an original .455 cylinder and some Fiochi .455 ammo for comparison.
  7. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I admire the design and if I had a cut Webley I would load it with .45 Auto Rim.
    The .454" hollowbase bullets the factories use for .45 Colt might work well.
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    FWIW, the .455 had a standard working pressure of 6 tons, or 13400 psi. The standard pressure of the .45 ACP is 21,000 psi. Any more questions about why not to shoot .45 ACP in those old Webleys?

    For some reason, the myth has grown among Webley fans that those guns, especially the Mk VI, are super strong. That myth has been busted, along with some Mk VI cylinders.


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