View Full Version : Webley Mk VI .455
December 7, 2009, 09:08 AM
Hello everyone ! I recently purchased a .455 Webley Mk VI for about 170.00 Swiss Francs, which is equal to ca. 167.00 USD. It is a very clean weapon, dated 1918, with all matching numbers, Broad Arrows, etc... However, I still have a few questions about that nice revolver (to me, a British icon) : There's a strange small screw on the left on the barrel catch ! Was it a official modification ? It seems to be there to hold the back sight in place. No such screws do appear in Skennerton's book about the Mk VI Webley. In addition, I can't identify the manufacturer's markings (perhaps "AMP" with a crown above (?)). I haven't been able to find that type of marking in Skennerton either.... Would anyone have any answer to these questions, please ? I've attached some pictures, I hope they will be of any use. Thank you in advance for your help, and best regards.
December 7, 2009, 09:48 AM
I can't help with the pistol, but I am sure someone will come on who can.
But, can you tell me about European currency? You bought this pistol for 170 Swiss Francs.
I thought y'all had switched over to the Euro.
Are the old national currencies such as the Deutschmark still in use?
December 7, 2009, 10:36 AM
The Swiss Confederation - which "modern" political organisation, dating from 1848, has been based on the American one - still uses the Franc as national currency. We didn't switched to the Euro... since we're not member of the European Union ! We're like an island in the middle of Europe. However, there are some agreements between Switzerland and the EU, such as the struggle against criminals, universities, and so on. This said, the UK, Norway or Sweden do not use the Euro either. The Deutsch Mark, the French and Belgian Francs, the Lira (Italy), Pesetas (Spain), and all other EU countries switched to the Euro from 1st January 2000, as far as I remember. But after that, people from those countries began to complain about prices getting higher and higher, and sometimes, even from Switzerland, I can feel a kind of desillusion about that all-European way of living and thinking.
December 7, 2009, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the info.
December 8, 2009, 07:28 PM
First, that Allen head screw is NOT an original part. I have no idea what it is for, but maybe to hold some after-market sight.
The "asterisk" symbol is two British broad arrow property marks facing each other -><- indicating that the weapon had been sold and was no longer crown property.
I can't read the marking on the top strap. I think it should read "WEBLEY MK VI".
Those guns were made only by Webley and by the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield. (Copies were made in what is now Pakistan, but I am reasonably sure yours is not one of those.)
Can you post some more pics, two (L and R) overall, and then better closeups of the markings plus one of the top of the gun. I know it sounds a bit wild, but that gun reminds me of the "non-gun" Webley copies made in Japan for their collectors that were also sold in the U.S. and Europe.
December 9, 2009, 02:34 AM
A few years ago I had a commercial Mk IV .38 "target" model that had an identical barrel catch. I believe it was offered as an option for commercially produced Mk VI revolvers as well.
(Mk VI commercial revolvers are much rarer than MK IV .38s, though, as production ceased in the early 1920s; Relatively few MK VIs were made for commercial sales. Commercial models in previous marks were also available, too, and at least the MK IV and MK V .455s used the same barrel catch.)
Your gun, however, is an ex-military gun released for public sale as evidenced by the two touching "broad arrows" (Crown property marks), so, either someone obtained a barrel catch for a "target" model Mk VI, or, more likely, one was copied by a gunsmith. It is basically a simple mill, drill and tap job.
The Allen head screw is probably an expedient replacement for an original slot head screw. In any case, it will be easier to loosen and tighten.
If the barrel catch really bothers you, replacement parts are easily obtainable.
December 9, 2009, 03:01 AM
Nice. I wish I could find one for anything like that price.
I love der Schweiz, don't go all euro on us. We like you just as you are, even when you have a few drinks and try to tell jokes in Romansch.:D
December 9, 2009, 11:18 AM
Hello you all, thanks a lot for your compliments and replies !!! In reply to Jim, I will try to get more photos from the armourer in German-speaking Switzerland who sold me the pistol, cos I'm afraid I won't be able to take better or closer pictures with my camera. This said, I had to ask for a Swiss Federal Permit (or License) to purchase this Webley. According to some friends, especially one who owns such a Webley as well, it might have been re-blued since it's very clean. But... how can I say... it doesn't "feel" to be a non-firing gun when in hand. Perhaps I could ask the seller about the serial number, or something like that, to trace the history of the gun. Do you think it might be possible ?
December 9, 2009, 12:53 PM
Hello again ! Here are some closer pictures of my Webley which I got from the professionnal seller, I hope they're better than the previous ones. Any comments would be very welcome !
December 9, 2009, 01:02 PM
And another one, perhaps more "speaking".
December 9, 2009, 01:09 PM
Is it a non firing gun?
Y'all can buy real pistols in Switzerland, can't you?
December 9, 2009, 01:12 PM
Yes, we can (it reminds me of someone....). Firing guns are easily obtenable, thanks God. But you need to get a Federal License, which I got. The question about my Webley is : did I make a good bargain or did I buy some f....g crap WITH a license ?!
December 9, 2009, 03:18 PM
I am not versed in Webleys, but I don't see why someone would bother to install a sight blade set screw on a non-firing replica? It makes the appearance non-original, which a replica maker would not want, and it is unnecessary if there is no recoil to knock it loose. For a maker of non-firing replicas, he'd do better to use glue than add a non-original screw. So I expect this is a firing gun, replica with forged markings or not.
December 9, 2009, 03:36 PM
Aren't all the men in Switzerland in the National Guard?
Do you have a government issued rifle and ammo at your house?
If so, what kind of rifle?
December 9, 2009, 05:45 PM
Looks like the real thing to me, I've got two of them....could be re-blued, but the finish looks original from here.
For 170 Marks, you got a good deal, those sell for about $300 or more here in the USA when you can find one. They are great shooters with mild recoil. The .455 cartridge is a good handgun cartridge, nothing wrong with it at all. Fiocchi manufactures the cartridge today, about 1/2 Mark each.
December 10, 2009, 12:00 AM
Yes, it is OK. There were a couple of odd things that caused me concern, but everything I see in the latest pics looks fine. One oddity was the "asterisk". Usually, the second broad arrow was struck beside the original one, but that looks like they just struck a new symbol. The "real" broad arrow was never in that position; it was as shown in the other pics.
FWIW, some of those non-guns are pretty good; they even stamped on some marks that looked like proof marks at first glance. The only one that fooled me at more than a casual look was a Pistol No. 2 Mk 1. I actually picked it up and was studying it before I realized it was a fake.
December 10, 2009, 03:16 PM
Thank you to you all, I feel quite relieved now. However, I think I'm going to remove that ugly Allen screw from my Webley. In reply to Simonkenton, the Swiss Army becomes more and more professionnal nowadays. The militia system remains very strong though, and three quarter of the troops (about 200'000 in total) belong to the Reserve. Technically, you can now choose between a military service or a civil service, which is twice as long though. I myself served as sergeant in the infantry, my speciality was Radio Operator. We used those very reliable US PRC-77 back in 1986 (just like in Vietnam !), but they switched to something more up-to-date now. As a young recruit, I was then equipped with a SIG Sturmgewehr 57 cal. 7,5 mm (US .295), and in 1995 I received the then new SIG Strurmgewehr 90 5.56 mm (US/Nato .223). We still have our weapons at home, but without ammo since last year. Several crimes happened with military assault rifles, it was decided that ammo should remain in the arsenals. At the end of my service (463 days in 15 years), I was given a private Stg 57, although officially modified to shoot single shots only. You can visit http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg/en/home.html to have a closer look on the Swiss Army. I also joined a picture of "my" rifle. The French translation for "assault rifle" is "fusil d'assaut" (I live in the French-speaking part of Switzerland ;).
December 11, 2009, 05:07 AM
That is one nice rifle, Steph!
Does that shoot the same cartridge as the 7.5 x 53 K31 straight-pull rifle?
I wish President Obama would give me one of those, I would protect my country against "all enemies, foreign and domestic."
December 11, 2009, 11:40 AM
Yes, it does shoot exactly the same cartridge ! In fact, that famous and long-lived rifle cartridge (named Gewehrpatrone 11 or GP 11) was used in the Army from 1911 until, let's say, around year 2000 for Reserve soldiers still equipped with the Stg 57 at that time. However, it is still widely available here, even in original military boxes. The K31 (Mousqueton 31 in French) is a much-loved and popular rifle here in Switzerland. I paid about $ 100 for mine (coming from Army surplus). My fave Swiss military rifle is the "Mousqueton 11" or K11, also available in a longer version, the "Fusil 11". It was progressively replaced by the K31 before and during WW2. I joined a picture of the mousqueton 11. The latest rifle I had while still on active duty was all-plastic, lighter than the Stg 57, but it needed to be cleaned very often because of the gas system and would sometimes break if thrown onto a truck while boarding it in emergency (didn't you have the same problem when the M-16 was put into service :confused: ?) ! To me, it was more an expensive toy than a real assault rifle. We also found out that our federal authorities wished to get closer to NATO because of the caliber... despite what they said.
December 11, 2009, 05:47 PM
Did you know that the K31 is very popular here in America?
They have a reputation for being extremely accurate, and people love that odd Schmidt-Rubin straight pull action.
I have talked to quite a few guys who have removed the buttplate, and gotten the name of the Swiss soldier who used to have the gun, and written letters back and forth with the old Swiss soldiers!
December 14, 2009, 12:28 PM
No, I wasn't aware of such a popularity in America ! That sounds fine anyway. It pleases me to know that US enthousiasts are keen to fire our ex-military rifles... because the Swiss Confederation gave up selling those rifles from army surplus as they were too often purchased by ex-Yougoslavians, if you see what I mean.
December 14, 2009, 04:34 PM
I was aware the French word for rifle was "fusil" but I wasn't so up on the word "mousqueton," which sound very antique.
My son informs me that because of the widespread issue of the M4 carbine in the United States Army, that some soldiers have referred to the full grown M16 rifle as a "musket."
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