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Old December 27, 2008, 01:19 AM   #1
dandydany
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I love my Webley MK VI

I know a few people look down on that WW I /WW II gun. It may be an antique or whatever you like to refer to it , but it's a good and accurate gun and can do lots of damage. Anyway, everyone who have shot one will tell you the trigger pull is heavy and this is what I like to adress here. Would anyone here have any idea how to lighten that trigger pull ?...I did shoot some .45 ACP FMJ in it , but no very much; however, the previous owners might have shot a lot of them , who knows. I do reload using Lyman book with loads in the low pressure range. The gun is in fair condition. I hope someone there would be able to come up with some tip. Thank you, Dan
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Old December 27, 2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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dandydany, I own two Webley MK VI's and have worked on them in the past. One in the original .455 Webley and the other modified for the .45 ACP with half-moon clips. The problem with the old Webley's in fair condition is that they are already pretty "loose" from wear and tuning/polishing them increases that wear sometime to an inoperable condition. The best thing to do with that Model VI is to clean it "thoroughly" and enjoy shooting it just as it "is". The MK VI was well made and is fully capable of withstanding regular .45 ACP factory loads. In my 42 + years of gunsmithing, I have yet to see one of these modified guns that was "blown up" using regular loads! The chambers usually have rust in them and you can "clean" them up with a split dowel rod and 600 grit sandpaper chucked in an electric drill. You "DON'T" want to "remove" any metal. Just the "rust". Go easy!....................Dick

Last edited by Bowhunter; December 29, 2008 at 05:07 PM.
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Old December 27, 2008, 04:36 PM   #3
dandydany
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Thank you Dick....I'll do that; I have not shot it for sometimes now and I have collected a lot on reloading info to take care of the old gun.The cylinder is a little loose axially and lenghtwise , but never had problems with it. However , I've been thinking about installing a new trigger assembly as it appears that a stud build in is worn out and maybe correcting some loose end on the cylinder play, but I'm not sure, so until I know more about it, I'll live it alone. Looking at an exploded drawing of the gun, it's hard to tell what makes the trigger pull so heavy, but smooth. The main spring appears to be used for the hammer only as there is another smaller mainspring. Anyway, just fishing around....hehehe. Thanks again Dick, catch you later, Dan
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Old December 27, 2008, 06:34 PM   #4
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I always liked the un-sleek look of the Webleys. Not sure why, but I wish I had one. As to the double-action trigger, if the action is smooth, then it isn't stiff from drag, but rather just from the way the mechanical advantage works out against the mainspring. To lighten the double action you would most likely want to get a replacement mainspring and adjust it by carefully and slowly slotting the spring arms lengthwise with a Dremel cutoff wheel. Slow and tedius work because you don't want to heat it enough to ruin the temper and you don't want to take off too much. The slot need not go all the way through. You will have to put it in and out repeatedly until you reduce the pull where you want it. Understand you are reducing firing pin striking force and increasing lock time at you do this. You don't want to get it down to where it fails to fire.

IF you wind up getting enough parts to tighten the gun up, you can always use the old S&W armorer's trick of mixing JB bore compound into a slurry with BreakFree CLP, slathering it into the works and just operating the action. That gradually works the Teflon in the CLP into the metal as the diatomaceous earth in the JB breaks down finer and finer. Makes for a very smooth feel. I would do that before messing with the mainspring, just in case you like what you get at the end? The second mainspring for whittling on is inexpensive hobby fun as far as I'm concerned. Something to play with on a rainy weekend.
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Old December 27, 2008, 09:07 PM   #5
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I have never lightened a leaf mainspring by slotting it, I always just trim some off each side. Those guns have a pretty heavy mainspring but I would try to live with it rather than try to fix the "problem." (The mainspring works like that in the old Colt DA's; it is a "V" spring with one limb powering the hammer and the other powering the rebound lever and trigger return.)

Is the gun one that had the cylinder cut at the back to take .45 ACP with half moon clips? If so, you can only use .45 ACP or .45 Auto Rim; .455 is no longer an option.

You are wise to reload with light loads if using .45 ACP or Auto Rim. Using .45 ACP has resulted in burst cylinders on those old guns, as the pressure is quite a bit higher than the gun was made for.

Jim
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Old December 28, 2008, 01:02 AM   #6
dandydany
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Sounds good , I appreciate the tips and will order a new main spring . But I still wonder what the other smaller main spring is for. Any thought on cylinder play? Is the stud wear on the trigger has a direct cause to the axial play? I could replace it, but don't want to waste $50 bucks if it does not fix the problem. Yeah Unclenick, I like that old gun, build better than S & W 625 JM like the one I bought a few weeks ago and had to return to the dealer because of a bad parts finish and fitting. Got my money back...I have that Webley for a long time, that's my third, got it 10 years ago for $ 200
.To-day , I really clean out the cylinder thoats by setting a .45 cal. brass brush on my drill and cleaning the cylinder holes. They were quite dirty, but still shootable, thanks for the tip Dick. The fitting of the star extracter is so close that you cant even see it .
Thanks again and catch you later, Dan

Last edited by dandydany; December 28, 2008 at 01:14 AM. Reason: need to add more to the reply
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Old December 28, 2008, 10:46 PM   #7
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Hi, dandydany,

I am not sure what you mean by "the other smaller mainspring." The only mainspring in the Webley Mk VI is the "V" spring I mentioned above. The part Webley calls the mainspring auxiliary is the lever that operates the hand and the trigger return but it is not a spring. The only way there could be a "smaller spring" is if the mainspring is broken at the "V" so there are two pieces, or if someone tried to install a "booster" spring of some kind.

If you are concerned about axial cylinder play when the hammer is down, don't be. That gun is designed to have a whole lot of cylinder play until the hammer is cocked and the trigger pulled, then things lock up.

Jim
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Old December 29, 2008, 12:49 AM   #8
dandydany
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Hi Jim ; O.K., so it is not a spring and I saw it is listed as you mentionned.Good, I don't have to worry about that and never did anyway, due to my ignorance. I really should not bother myself with those so-called problems , I've shot that gun a few times and never had a problem. My first Webley was about 25 years ago and I did not have a computer to read all these info's about the gun and it's ammo , so I did some "warm " reloads using 190 gr. SWC Lee cast bullet on top of Bullseye ( I forgot the load )and when I shot a few of those, the stirrup broke in half heheheheh....., I was lucky nothing else happened and was able to get a replacement. That's the only time I ever had a misshap with this gun and the rest of the reloads went into my 1911.
You're right about it being loose , they did this with the Colt 1911 too , I found out when I bought one brand new long ago; there was a little play with the slide but it was normal for the model. ( not a Gold Cup ) But the gun IS worn , no doubt about that....I appreciate again you coming back on the subject. I can't wait for the snow and rain to stop so I can do a little practice...Catch you later, Dan
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Old December 29, 2008, 06:27 PM   #9
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Danny,

Perhaps by the "other" mainspring, you are referring to the barrel catch spring? It is another "V" flatspring; smaller than the mainspring.

Oh, BTW, plent of loose Goldcups out there. I don't think Colt produced any tight 1911's since the old pre-Sereis '70 National Match guns they fitted by hand. I know I put plenty of time into fitting my own Series '70 Goldcup up.


Jim,

An old timer told me that some of the thicker flat springs will take on a bit of twist if you shave them on just one side. He claimed it unbalanced the stress, and once twisted it was hard to get the opposing side even with the first. He liked slotting or just thinning in the middle for that reason (symmetry) and I've never put his claim to the test. I'm sure it depends on the heat treatment. If the steel is thick enough, I suppose the quench, especially in oil, might not be fast enough to bring the inside up dead hard so you won't get full spring stress through and through? I would think, though, that drawing back in an oven would tend equalize that well enough? He may have had in mind the flintlock springs that were drawn back by setting fire to the oil on them after quenching? Can't say. I'll try it out some time if I get a chance and see?
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Last edited by Unclenick; December 29, 2008 at 06:35 PM.
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Old December 29, 2008, 08:35 PM   #10
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Hi, Unclenick,

I have never had any such problem with S&W and other flat mainsprings since I never let them get hot enough to affect the heat threatment. He might be right about those heavy springs used in old cap- and flint-locks, but those I usually remove metal from the flat, not the side, if they have to be lightened.

Jim
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Old December 30, 2008, 01:16 AM   #11
dandydany
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I know what spring you're thinking of Unclenick, I dealt with it when I had to replace the stirrup long ago on that other Webley I had. The "auxiliary main spring I mentionned is not a " V " type spring but looks like a flat " blade " spring and No. 12 in Numrich nomenclature. I was thinking of removing some metal from the outside surfaces only as doing it the way described by Unclenick is more difficult. But that will have to wait until I get the replacement spring. I was also reading about someone looking to reduce the trigger pull by adding leather washer under the spring wherever it hooks up to. I 've been wondering about that too.I have no intentions to " smooth " the trigger anymore that it is now, it's nice enough, But the trigger pull reduction from around 15 lbs to 7 or lbs would really help this poor old man hand in a shoot out or at the range. I still have strong hands, have mercy, but intent in getting a ccw next year . .......Dan
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Old December 30, 2008, 04:14 AM   #12
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I probably shouldn't admit it, but thirty-some years ago when I first got my .45ACP Mk VI, I used the Colt "book" procedure for lightening the mainspring: a 1/4" drill rod inserted in the crotch of the "V", then slowly cock the hammer until the spring bends a little bit.
I must have stumbled on to a good solution, since this past summer, I made "B" class in USPSA revolver division with the same old gun.
While I've shot factory .45ACP ammunition in it, I tend to go with slightly reduced competition "major" power loads, usually with a plated 230gr round nose and about 4.5gr WST.
I always assumed the barrel and throats were wide, but I slugged the chamber throats this fall and they came out a nick under .452.
No wonder it was doing fine with the same stuff I was putting in my 1911.
I like hearing the range officer exclaim when I break the thing open to load it, and I do make a point of pelting them with the last moonclip full of empties at "unload and show clear"; if you do it right, you can send the clip over your shoulder just fine.
Heck, I finished something like 23rd overall all divisions at a 76-shooter ICORE regional with the old Limey. Gotten a rep for being the Webley shooter, now.
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Old December 30, 2008, 02:38 PM   #13
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dandydany, I have found many old Winchesters as well as other firearms with that leather "washer" you mentioned installed. A lot of oldtimers installed them to change the "tension" or "fulcrum" point on a spring thereby giving a lighter or heavier tension depending on where it was installed and what was needed. I have seen a lot of springs that had been "doctored" as mentioned above and the washer was added to try and bring back the "original" tension. Be aware that when you order parts for a Webley from Numrich, you are getting "used" parts taken out of usually, well worn guns. It has been my experience that you often times need to order 6 or 8 of the same part in order to get one that has "less" wear than "your" part! This gets "expensive" to say the least. I used to call them first and hope that the guy handling the call would be "willing" to sort through the parts and get a "good" one for me and put it aside for "my" order. Sometime the guy would do this and other times not! It's a "crap" shoot when ordering "used" parts! That's why I recommend shooting the gun "as is" as long as it is functioning ok and safely!...............Dick
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Old December 30, 2008, 05:02 PM   #14
dandydany
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Thank you Bowhunter and Fieldshunt, that's something to try. Now if I mess a spring up, I have a way out. I'll try the leather gasket first; I have different thickness of the stuff and I can change them to suit and even add some. So now, I better get busy and will let you know what happened, good or bad....Dan
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Old December 30, 2008, 09:13 PM   #15
James K
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Let's try this again. Number 12 in the Gun Parts diagram is NOT a spring. It is what Webley called the mainspring auxiliary (gun parts reverses the words), the same thing Colt calls the rebound lever. It uses the power from the bottom leaf of the mainspring to rebound the hammer, power the hand, and power the trigger return.

It should have no effect at all on the trigger pull weight, and please do NOT try to grind or file on it.

If the actual mainspring is not broken or improperly bent, it is probably working OK. Those guns have heavy DA trigger pulls and were never meant to be worked on to reduce it.

Jim
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Old December 30, 2008, 11:35 PM   #16
dandydany
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I added a .120" leather washer first under the spring bottom leaf and , as you say Jim, did not make any difference in the trigger pull; same with a .075 washer; what installation of a leather washer there achieves ? I understand what you're saying Jim, the trigger pull on this gun is heavy, but not so bad as to be a nuisance. However, if there are any chances to reduce it, I'll give it a try. Thanks for your clarifications on the subject. The main spring on my gun looks very nice and in excellent shape. I'll keep Bowhunter remarks in mind. Thank you all for your help, Dan
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Old December 31, 2008, 12:01 PM   #17
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Leave your original mainspring alone, if it is working. I recommended the Numrich replacement because it is, as Bowhunter implies, likely to be a part of low enough intrinsic value that you don't lose a lot if you ruin it. Indeed, it may well be both enough worn and have taken enough of a set that it lowers your DA pull just as it is? If not, whittling and grinding it won't put you at risk of a great loss, where whittling and grinding your working original could leave you with a disabled gun should none of the Numrich parts work out.
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Old December 31, 2008, 02:51 PM   #18
dandydany
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You're right Unclenick, good advice.That's my intention . I'll order the spring and install it , check it out and work on it if necessary. Thanks again, catch you later, Dan
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Old December 31, 2008, 11:39 PM   #19
dandydany
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2009

Happy New year to all....Dan
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Old January 1, 2009, 07:47 AM   #20
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A few years back, I did order a couple of replacement mainsprings from Numrich, and when they arrived, they were clearly wrong for the Mk VI. I tried getting others from them, but they insisted the ones I'd been sent were correct.
They weren't, and my gun still uses the original 1926 one, with perfect function.
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Old January 1, 2009, 06:54 PM   #21
dandydany
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I found a gunsmith that will take care of my gun. I'll get to talk to him next week sometimes. There's nothing wrong with the mainspring on my MK VI, it looks in nice condition. the gun function perfectly , I 'm just trying to improve on ther trigger pull. Thanks for the warning FieldShunt, Dan
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