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Peaky Blinders Brit revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Bama Drifter, Sep 12, 2016.

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  1. Bama Drifter

    Bama Drifter Member

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    Howdy folks,
    Got our Netflix running again and have been hooked by this Peaky Blinders show. Tommy (main character) and Grace tote what appear to be Webley .455 revolvers.

    Can somebody with more knowledge fill me in on em. What are they exactly? How reliable? How affordable/ available? Thanks!

    Sent from my HUAWEI G620-A2 using Tapatalk
     
  2. j1

    j1 Member

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    Good guns used extensively during W W II. Very reliable and quite affordable at the end of the war.
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Actually the .455 version of the Webley was primarily used during World War One, not Two. Then a smaller/lighter .38 version was one of several standard revolvers.

    By current standards the .455 cartridge was somewhat underpowered, but it was a formidable handgun that was used by England and throughout its Empire. Today it is a popular (and sometimes expensive) collectable.

    Beware of those converted to use the .45 Colt Pistol Cartridge if you intend to do any shooting.
     
  4. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    .455 Webly cartridges look very similar to the new .45 Cowboy Colt round, although the Webly is even shorter that it. A big slowwww bullet at about 650 fps. with about 1\2 the knockdown power of a regular .45 Colt. Never did understand the British preference for low power hand guns, even a .38 special is better IMO.
     
  5. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    .455 Webley started life as a black powder cartridge, which goes some way to explaining its low velocity. The British seem to have believed that giving an officer a revolver, and a weak one at that, was a good way of discouraging him from running off and playing private when he should be doing officer things.
     
  6. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    In other words driving his men forward from the safety of the rear. A time honored European military tradition. Maybe that is why in the US whose military officers led rather than drove their troops like cattle is the reason the British and French were losing in both world wars until the US came to their rescue. In WWI the German, Russian, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian armies were no better led or more appropriately driven. But the Germans by WWII had come to not regard the common soldier as cattle but was regarded as being able to think and trained to take independent action within general scope of orders and experienced their surprising results early in the war. The US training was also similar. The reason the Russians won on the eastern front was the infantry was driven by a massive force of KGB who would shoot anyone who would hesitate going forward. The sheer weight of numbers won out, not any brilliant battle strategy.
     
  7. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    A friend is hooked on the show and we go over the her place to watch it.
    It is set in post WW1 England and many of the men are veterans. The guns were probably "found" or bring backs from the war.
     
  8. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Yeah, right. Tell it to Charlie May, and the countless other British officers who were killed while leading their men into combat. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world-war-1/489831/Charlie-May-s-War-Secret-diary-WWI-officer

    We can agree that leading suicide charges out of trenches into the fire of machine guns isn't a smart tactic, but it is quite another thing to question the courage of these men.
     
  9. Bama Drifter

    Bama Drifter Member

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    So as far as quality, are they on par w/ S&W top breaks or better? At one point in the show you see a cartridge with Tommy's name on it... looks a lot like a .45 Colt "short". I can understand with inherent weakness in a top break design keeping pressure below 800 fps.

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  10. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    i had both the 45 acp conversion and the 38 s&w 200 grain pistols years ago. They were crude and funky but some of the best feeling and pointing handguns I have ever had. They were pistolero pistols in their own funny way, pistols designed to shoot people quick and dirty, not art objects designed to be admired.
    The .38 had an incredibly comfortable grip.

    I understand the conversions may not be safe to fire, although I had no problem with the .45. Also, the Brit 38 ammo had a long projectile supposedly designed to "tumble", but it was not available so regular .38 s&w was used. Under powered by modern standards, it was probably a winner by the standards of the time which included a lot of .32 acp pistols.

    And yes, especially in Imperial and communist armies, the handgun was a badge of authority as much as a combat weapon.
     
  11. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    some of worst terminal ballistic hokum I ever heard in some above posts. Trust me the .455 was a very good fight stopper, for the time in a pistol. The .38/200 was used in US as the .38S&W Super police and also had it's followers that actually used it and saw it's results which they believed was better than .38spl 158 RN of the time . That series was about the post WW1 England around 1920 . The best gun shown were the Lewis guns made by the nearby BSA factory. :)
     
  12. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Perhaps a more common conversion involved milling the rear face of the cylinder to allow the Webley to shoot the .45 ACP cartridge in clips. The .45 ACP is too much for the old Webley and will damage the gun if shot extensively.
     
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    The .455 version of the Webley was primarily used during both wars. They date from 1887 as issue pieces. Officers bought their weapons until after W.W. I.
    The .38 S&W variant was adopted in 1942. Used a 200 grain lead bullet that the Brits decided would make it more powerful. Essentially a cost cutting thing. Brits had no money for anything.
    This is a fairly good review of Webley revolvers. http://www.chuckhawks.com/webley_revolver.htm
    Buying one starts at about $500US on GunBroker. They go waaaay up from there. Examples on Guns International start at nearly 2 grand US. Absolute pristine condition for those.
    A Webley converted to .45 ACP is worth far less than one in .445 Webley(aka .455 Colt-Eley and Webley Mk I.)
    .455 Mk II ammo(6 different types) is loaded occasionally by Fiocchi. Listed as unavailable by Midway and Graf's. SWFA, in Texas, says they have some at $32.95 per 50.
     
  15. Damon555

    Damon555 Member

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    ....by the way Peaky Blinders is an awesome show! Can't wait for the next season.
     
  16. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Of course there is not one darn thing to prevent folks from handloading a .45 ACP cartridge down to pressures that are perfectly safe. These punch holes in card board or drop steel plates every bit as well as the originals.

    So set up they are THE fastest revolver reload on the line for most games.

    That odd grip shape folks speak so highly of is seen on the early Ruger Security Sixes and the reason some of us liked them better than the newer ones.

    The Enfield .38-200 revolvers were adopted quite a bit earlier than 1942 as has been stated. The Mark I was adopted in the early 1930s ( 1933 seems most oft reported) and was DA/SA with a normal hammer. Indeed the Double action only with bobbed hammer most often seen today ( Revolver #2Mk1*) was adopted in 1938 on June 22.

    The confussion likely comes from the adoption of as manufactured guns to that standard (with one other change that proved an error) rather than converting earlier guns that resulted in the Mark I** ( notice two stars rather than one or none) on July 29 1942. BTW because they were not drop safe all Mark I** in service were converted back to Mark I* standards after WWII.

    Original lead bullets weighed 13 grams or 200 grains and a hair while the metal jacket bullets thought to be needed for the laws of Land Warfare were of 12 grams weight or 185 grains weight. The FMJ also had a sharper nose.

    British troops carried a host of side arms in WWII. The SAS for example rather liked the Smith and Wesson N frames in .455. While much is made of this, remember that SAS was catch as can on equipment, for instance their jeep mounted MGs where considered obsolete scrap my many and those N frames were likely just what was available in Egypt at that moment in time.

    Some British troops were issued the smaller K-frame S&W Victory model ( basically the M&P or Model 10 as we call it today) in .38-200.

    A fair number of Commandos, Paras, and such were outfitted with the Browning FN P35 GP (High Power) most noticably Mad Jack Churchill himself.

    Must have been fun to keep up with at the time.....

    -kBob
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    As you say, not one darned thing.

    But during the era when they were converted -- the late '50s and early '60s, the people who sold them did not mention handloading. In fact, they touted NOT having to handload as a great advantage to converting them to .45 ACP.
     
  18. Bama Drifter

    Bama Drifter Member

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    Thanks sunray, kBob, and others. Truly High Road material! Aarond, I had used that site for movie info before but didn't realize it had TV shows, too. Thanks :D

    Sent from my HUAWEI G620-A2 using Tapatalk
     
  19. 25-5

    25-5 Member

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    I would like to have a Webley in .455, but I see mostly cut versions for .45 ACP and high prices.
    I do have a Webley Mark III (1929) and an Enfield No.2 Mk1 (1939) that I reload .38 S&W for. They are both more substantial than the S&W, and certainly more than other clones. I load them to a higher spec, but under solid frame loads. Not something to play catch with and fun to shoot such history.
    Enfield
     

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  20. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    :what: Wow.
     
  21. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "The KGB, an initialism for Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti, translated in English as Committee for State Security, was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its break-up in 1991."
     
  22. kBob

    kBob Member

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    In WWII Soviet security of political though was maintained in the military mainly by the uniformed officers of the NKVD who were called "Green Tabbers" in English as they wore green collar tabs on their uniforms.

    And they did shoot folks for not advancing quickly enough, hesitating, and being at the wrong place at the wrong time or with the wrong papers.

    They also shot prisoners or forced regular Soviet troopers to do so.

    To the best of my knowledge though they did not use British Revolvers.......

    -kBob
     
  23. lewwallace

    lewwallace Member

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    One must remember much of WWI was fought in the trenches and even a slow heavy bullet did alot damage in those close quarters. Thus the term"Man Stopper!"
     
  24. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Actually, the manstopper (large cavity hollowpoint) bullet was not used in WWI. The British recognized it was a violation of the Hague Convention of 1899.
     
  25. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Lew Wallace,

    There was actually a .455 cartridge marketed under that name. It featured a hollow pointed full wad cutter bullet that supposedly made much worse wound in humans and other thin skinned critters than regular service ammo. SOme complained that it was "designed to cause unnecessary suffering" and so it was dropped as in humane and contray to the laws of land warfare. Amoung civilized people it is alright to quizenar your enemy with arty, grenade, or bomb fragments, or set fire to his flesh, but heaven forfend one might use an expanding bullet

    One of the German firms made up a version of it in the early 1980s originally specifically for the German "GSG 9" Customs Special Group of anti terrorist fame with .357 bullets of about 112 grains and with a shallow yet wide hollow point and a hollow base like an HBWC. The bullet was copper washed with a fairly hard coating much like one finds on the electro plate bullets of today.

    (Edit to add) I see that while I was typing that once again Vern beat me to it!

    -kBob
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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