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any webley lovers here?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Smith & Wesson Man, May 30, 2006.

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  1. Smith & Wesson Man

    Smith & Wesson Man Member

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    I have been thinking of getting into firearms of WWII and I really like handguns over long guns, but I like to shoot what I have. If I go into this for example, can I shoot one of these? Do anyone on this sight do? Or do you keep it on a wall or in a safe and it is pretty much a conversation piece? A movie that came out of video called "the last drop" and their is a cool scene that is a gun scene with a few soliders using the webleys. I reload so ammo is not that big of a problem, but do you guys think? I have also found a few nagants, but I can't remeber the caliber and if it is easy to reload? Thanks for the info:)
     
  2. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I have owned several Webley revolvers over the years both .455 and .38 caliber.
    They are robust, decent, and unspectacular.
    Just what the doctor ordered in a combat handgun.

    If you are mainly interested in a pleasure shooting handgun that is easy to reload for and fun to shoot, be on the lookout for a Webley or Enfield made .38 S&W Mk1.
    Enfield also made a revolver called the Mkll No1 which doesn't have a hammer spur and is fired by trigger cocking only.
    The .455 caliber revolvers are pretty big and make a lot of noise but mine were never what I would call accurate.
    The cases and ammunition can still be bought for the .455 and the cartridge is easy enough to reload for but dies from RCBS and the ammo and brass are expensive.
    Lee was making dies for the .455 but I think they are special order now and take a while to receive.
    I did own a .455 that was ground to accept .45 acp ammunition on half moon clips like the 1917 S&W and Colt revolvers but the guy who did the work wasn't very good and the headspace was off and the gun would misfire frequently.
    It also wasn't at all accurate with about half the bullets keyholing at 25 meters and printing all over the target.
     
  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    I have always had a soft spot for these - and did have way back two Enfields in 38 S&W as well - both gone sadly.

    I still have this fella in the pic. It was in bad shape and needed a lot of work - I took it down to bright metal and had to make do with cold blue - but did many repeat applications. It is not bad and just have to keep a good film of CLP on it to keep things looking good.

    Got new mainspring and lever spring from Brownells - the latter was an abysmal apology for a copy of the original V spring but - did the job after some fiddling. It is a bit fickle on S/A - locking up hammer if taken back too far - but D/A is fine.

    I got some Fiocchi brass and load over size 230 grain LRN's over a modest charge of shotgun powder - not very potent but adequate. I was lucky enough long ago to find some used RCBS dies. These guns have a peculiar and IMO most distinctive sound - hard to describe.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Gundenstern

    Gundenstern Member

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    I've always admired the guns but I've never even got to so much as hold one.
    I love top breaks too.
     
  5. jondar

    jondar Member

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    I have a MarkVI I've had for many years. I shoot it with .45 ACP using half or full moon clips. Liking revolvers, for me it would be an ideal carry gun except for its size. They're big. But they are a quality gun, well put together and a pleasure to shoot with either ACP or Auto Rim. I'm using the same clips that I used in a S&W Model 1917 . I guess if you had to carry one concealed, a shoulder rig would be the way to go.
     
  6. bfoster

    bfoster Member

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    Here's a pic of a Webley Mk IV, 38 (380 Revolver), WWII vintage.

    [​IMG]

    Reloading for these is easy: 38 S&W brass is functionally identical to 380 Revolver brass. Most 380 revolvers markedly "prefer" bullets somewhat larger in diameter than the .358" nominal size that's commonly available commercially. Many of these revolvers will shoot quite respectably with (cast) bullets sized to 0.360 or 0.361". Follow the usual drill of slugging the cylinder throats to ascertain what diameter bullet to start your load experiments with. This particular revolver "shoots to the sights" using enough Unique or Bullseye to generate about 700 fps M.V. under ~ 170 grain (soft) cast bullets. No surprise here: most issue ammunition was 173 -176 grains.

    A second Mk IV I own, a commercial model, is regulated for 146 grain bullets, the standard load today.

    Here's a pic of a Webley WG in 476/455. Mid 1890's. This was made as a target revolver, but as Officers often were responsible for the purchase of their own sidearm more than a few WG's were used in combat.

    [​IMG]

    It's not surprising that most 455's converted to 45 ACP don't shoot well. The typical cylinder throat is about 0.456" to 0.457", the bore size is often larger yet. There's little chance that a U.S. standard sized jacketed or hard cast bullet will properly obturate: the projectile "rattles" down the bore and flys rather randomly in the general direction in which the revolver has been aimed.

    Disassembly of all issue 455 ammunition (even the jacketed Mk VI WWII issue) reveals a very deep hollow base in the bullet. This was put there to secure obturation- the pressure of the propellent gasses is used to expand the base of the bullet to fit and seal the bore. Depending on the particular revolver (assuming that it is in good condition) , accuracy with proper ammunition can range from acceptable to outstanding.

    Here's how I go about making good ammunition for a .455. Hornady has recently made a "run" of good quality Mk II brass. Fiocchi brass (Mk II type) is also good, though it is not available as a component. The Fiocchi ammunition is "warm" enough that I recommend not using it in a black powder vintage Webley (or, for that matter, black powder frame Colt SAA). I use standard Redding dies. These have a very high list price, but are available at a very substantial discount through several online sources. I use enough Black powder or Bullseye to produce 650 fps M.V. RCBS makes a mould that produces a close copy (hollow base and correct profile) of the Mk II bullet. Unfortunately this mould is a "special," the blocks list for a bit over $100. The only other mould that produces bullets which shoot consistently well in my WG is the long obsolete Ideal 457195, this is a 220 grain hollow base bullet.

    With a more conventional mould I'd suggest that you cast bullets very soft indeed (I'd start at 99½ % lead and ½ % tin). You'll know very quickly if the bullets are obturating properly, the difference on a target can be dramatic.

    476/455? The 476 refers to the older .476 Enfield cartridge. I haven't yet tried to load this cartridge. It used a hollow based heel bullet in a case similar to but not identical with either the .455 Mk I Webley case or the .455 Colt case.

    Bob
     
  7. mrmeval

    mrmeval Member

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    Webley's rock

    I recommend the Mark VI, it's the last and best of the Webleys before the government swiped their design and 'modified'. It's also before the more effeminate officers complained of it's power and the went to the pathetic 38S&W. This thing shoots better and feels better than any 1911 I've fired. It's been cut for .45ACP and moon clips.
    Here's mine
     
  8. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    Webleys

    I've always been fond of Webleys. If in good condition the Mk VI makes the best shooter although the 380 has the advantage of off the shelf 38 S&W ammo availability.

    The key to accuracy is having the proper ammo. As mentioned above, the chamber throat is intentionally undersized (Or the barrel groove diameter is oversized depending on which way you want to look at it.) The 455 is meant to have a bullet with a deep hollow base like a Minie ball such that the skirt will expand into the rifling. Given a good Mk VI and proper ammo it is about the most accurate service revovler ever made and will rival many target revolvers for accuracy.

    (Another sleeper in the service revolver accuracy department is the Nagent although ammo avialbility is a problem and there is no other revolver that will benefit so much from a good trigger job.)
     
  9. sterling180

    sterling180 Member

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    :fire: :cuss: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
    Yes I like the good old Webley revolvers,but theres one problem:the handgun ban of 1997,which means that I can only buy them in a deactivated format and not as a live-firing pistol.How bloody annoying it is,at the moment.
    :fire: :fire: :cuss:
    How annoying,the UK-who manufactured Webley revolvers,the AR180 Assault Rifle and the L1A1 FAL SLR assault rifle-doesn't allow it's citizens to own them anymore and would continue to insist that "we don't need them",because to legalise handguns again,would be upsetting the anti-handgunners.I think it is a case of "So what,the ban is a farce and everyone knows it-exept the antis-who helped create it,in the first place.

    What do they care about vintage pistols such as the Luger P.08 9mm pistols and Webley .455 and .38 revolvers? They don't give a damn-and when they are eventually all gone,they are happy.I am fed up of listening to their crap about pistols and antique pistols-about they are killers etc,etc,sigh.


    I am not a professional collector,so I couldn't apply for a Section 1 Firearms License variation(Section 7.1 and 7.3 permits.)-to allow me to shoot a Pre-1919 revolver or semi-auto pisto
     
  10. Gundenstern

    Gundenstern Member

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    Well that makes perfect sense. If you ban handguns then law abiding criminals cannot get them. :rolleyes:
    In fact, now that I think about it, why would anyone need one. Move along.
     
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    well. I like my webley

    kinda like loving an ugly puppy
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    My Webley Mk. IV could be the twin of the frist pic in bfoster's post, the only difference would be a slight blemish on the grip. Mine is also stampped "War Finnish", of which it still maintains about 80%. I wish I could get some good pics up, but alas, my camera is on the fritz.:(
     
  13. Smith & Wesson Man

    Smith & Wesson Man Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone! About a year ago my favorite local shop had a used one in their case. They were asking $250 for it. I should of grabbed it, but at the time I wasn't reloading and I knew buying boxes of 38 s&w would cost major $$. In a week I stopped back and it was gone:mad: . I can't remember what type of model it was. It felt really good in my hand, and I also like the top open revolvers. I have been on GunsAmerica and they have a few for sale. Who some of you say they are over-priced? I have priced other handguns from that sight and it seems that the people are pricing them high. I think I will also start looking some gunshows to see if any of them are around.
     
  14. P-35/53

    P-35/53 Member

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    I have a Enfield - the odd thing about it is the Nickle plating. I like this gun a lot it is accurate enough and fun to shoot and always gets odd looks from other shooters.
     
  15. cherryriver

    cherryriver Member

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    My Enfield Mk VI in .45ACP goes to the monthly USPSA matches at the club I belong to. Folks line up to watch the six packs of empties in moonclips flying over my right shoulder during longer stages.
    I bought it thirty years ago just because it was British and went with my BSA. I can't count how many rounds I've fired through it. It loves the 230gr Rainiers and when I have a good stage, I always claim the good sight radius did it.
    From time to time, new-to-me range officers are startled by the load and make ready procedure, one practically jumping out of his boots when I broke the thing open, but I have a good time with it and always look forward to competing with it.
    Now, if I can just fit that fiber optic front sight...
    Here's the old clunker doing a classifier stage on a very hot day.
    The gun's pretty old and clunky, too.

    [​IMG]

    Bill
     
  16. FotoTomas

    FotoTomas Member

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    I had an Enfield # 2 in .380 and enjoyed it a lot. The .380/.38 S&W is a simple cartridge to reload for and the revolver was well regulated and accurate with the heavier bullets. I have had great success with the .380/200 load.

    Looking to buy another to shoot up some .38 S&W with and keep around as a strictly fun gun. :)

    Of course it would do in a pinch for personal defense. Beats the heck out of a .25 or .32 and liability neutral with its DAO action. I might try some IDPA with it. :D
     
  17. mrmeval

    mrmeval Member

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    They called them wobbleys when they were brand new. :)
    If it locks up on firing it's fine.
     
  18. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    Wobbley?

    I don't get the "wobbley" nickname unless it is supposed to apply to the Enfield which has a different lock up system. A good Webley Mk VI at hammer fall should be locked up tighter than any revolver I can name, even a Colt. It feels like the cylinder is spot welded in place. Like the older Colts, the hand is pushing the cylinder against the opposing bolt prodcuing a zero slop lock up.

    The alternative to the above is if someone is comparing cylinder lock up with the trigger forward. The Webley has a secondary bolt to lock the cylinder in this mode and there is deliberate rotational play.
     
  19. mrmeval

    mrmeval Member

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    Based on using the gun I came to this proceedure as a checkout.

    On the Webley MkVI try the following. Cock the hammer and check
    cylinder play. It will wobble a bit. Now holding the hammer pull the
    trigger and release it to rest but do not release the trigger. The
    cylinder should be tight with maybe a tiny bit of movement. Now release
    the hammer gently, you should find that the cylinder stop is now engaged but it's very wobbly.
     
  20. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    "Wobbly" Webley keeps coming up as a question

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    My WWII vintage Webley Mk. IV locks up way tighter than my brand new S&W 637. I am considering using it as a backwoods, small game gun. Or just buying another one in .455/.45acp.:D
     
  22. FotoTomas

    FotoTomas Member

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    Just won an auction on another Enfield in .380/.38S&W. Proof positive that a box of factory unfired cartridges sitting on a shelf with nothing in the house chambered for them will have a psychic pull on your gun buying decisions. :)
     
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