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Old April 15, 2009, 05:04 PM   #1
roguetwelve12
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1916 Webley Mk. VI Curious Markings...

Hey all,

I've recently aquired a curious little Mk. VI that I'm hoping you all can help me with. You see there are a few markings on it I haven't come across before, and I'm hoping you all can lend a machete to my intellectual thicket.

It is a 1916 Webley Mk. VI Serial Number 193774

Marking number 1: A very deeply engraved LARGE British Broad arrow located above the cylinder... I know the Broad Arrow's significance obviously but I'm wondering about the location, as I haven't seen a Webley with a broad arrow in this location (or this large) before. Is there any significance to this that anybody else can infer? I've uploaded a picture of this.

Marking number 2: A Small "N" that is located on the back of the revolver, just below the hammer. Given the fact that my camera's being tempermental and quite fuzzy, I had to take two pictures. The first is the general location of the "N" (which can be seen, along with part of the broad arrow listed above, behind the grips and below the hammer as a white'ish dot... in the lower right hand corner of the picture) and the second is a closeup of the "N" itself (to verify that it is, in fact, an N). Somebody told me this was a marking of the Navy but I'm not sure... any thoughts would be fantastic.

Last but not least, if anybody could verify via the serial number that it is in fact a 1916 that would be fantastic. I'm 99.99% sure that it says '16 but it is only a little worn and there is a slight chance that it might say '18. Any verification of date would be lovely.

Any help that can be given would be most welcome.

A passionate collector thanks you,

r12
Attached Images
File Type: jpg N Webley Mark.jpg (20.7 KB, 319 views)
File Type: jpg 012.jpg (116.1 KB, 268 views)
File Type: jpg Webley Mk. VI Broad Arrow Top.JPG (191.4 KB, 305 views)
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Old April 15, 2009, 05:41 PM   #2
James K
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That broad arrow is like nothing I have ever seen before. It does not appear to be either official or factory. Maybe someone got carried away with a Dremel tool. I believe the N is an inspectors mark; I don't know the exact meaning of the letter.

The Mk VI was adopted in 1915, with serial numbers starting where the Mk V left off, at 193026, which would make yours an early one. If the cylinder has not been cut for use of the .45 ACP with half-moon clips, it is fairly valuable even with the odd marking.

If the cylinder has been cut, please do not fire it with standard .45 ACP loads; the cylinders have been known to burst from the much higher pressure of the .45 ACP.

Jim
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:04 PM   #3
Tikirocker
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The N is the Naval Service marking ... the broad arrow as seen = accepted for Government Service after inspection; it is slightly different from the standard British broad arrow mark. If you wish to rub shoulders with other serious Webley collectors click the link in my sig to surplus rifle forums ... there is a Webley forum there also.

Best, Tiki.
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:19 PM   #4
roguetwelve12
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Thanks for the replies. It does have all of the normal broad arrows stamped in as well that larger broad arrow is extra and I have yet to understand it's purpose...

Jim are you sure on the dates? I could have sworn that I'd seen at least one 180XXX Mk. VI around but maybe I'm not remembering correctly. Is there a source somewhere that has this kind of info (Serial numbers/dates)? I've been completely out of luck trying to find much of anything on the subject unfortunately.
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
as well that larger broad arrow is extra and I have yet to understand it's purpose...

Did you not read what I wrote above? I told you already ... that large Broad Arrow = accepted for Government Service after inspection. This is from the official sources, not a guess.

Tiki.
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:32 PM   #6
roguetwelve12
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I understand that's what the normal broad arrow is for but this one is significantly larger. That's the variable I'm not understanding. I've known what the normal broad arrow signifies for years. It's just significantly bigger that's all.
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:35 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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I don't know what it is FOR, but I have seen the like on other Webleys and don't doubt Tiki.
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:37 PM   #8
roguetwelve12
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Tiki are you saying this mark has the same or a slightly different meaning than the standard stamped broad arrow? If slightly different could you enlighten me please?
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:39 PM   #9
roguetwelve12
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I'm not doubting anybody at all. I'm just looking for a little enlightenment from people that undoubtedly know more about this than I do. I've seen broad arrows everywhere I've collected British for years, I've just never seen one of this size before.
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:44 PM   #10
roguetwelve12
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Here's a little bit clearer, the broad arrow can be seen above the cylinder.

Thanks again to all.

r12
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:49 PM   #11
Tikirocker
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Quote:
Tiki are you saying this mark has the same or a slightly different meaning than the standard stamped broad arrow? If slightly different could you enlighten me please?

No, it doesn't have a different meaning ... it is just a variation of the standard acceptance mark - the Canadians used this large type of swooping arrow for their own small arms.

Cheers, Tiki.
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Old April 15, 2009, 06:53 PM   #12
roguetwelve12
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Awesome. Thanks to you sir.
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Old April 15, 2009, 07:52 PM   #13
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Looking at my MK VI trying to see if it has the broad arrow on the cylinder strap, it doesn't. It's serial #427176 and is stamped 1918. I wonder what the reason for two broad arrows on yours showing acceptance of the barrell. Anyway looking mine over with a reading glass shows things I didn't know were there. Several stamps showing arsenal work done, two were crown over L2 over A. Have no idea what that would be, my Enfield No.1 MK III* has several of those markings but all show Birmingham Arsenal marks. I wonder if my revolver could be Aussie and the L for Lithgow?
Incidently tho it's been cut for .45 AR the serial # is clear as a bell around the top of the cylinder and matches the frame and barrell . ??
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Old April 15, 2009, 08:51 PM   #14
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G'day Jondar,

Quote:
two were crown over L2 over A. Have no idea what that would be, my Enfield No.1 MK III* has several of those markings but all show Birmingham Arsenal marks. I wonder if my revolver could be Aussie and the L for Lithgow?

The L2 proof mark = Lithgow Small Arms Factory Australia ... any small arm with this mark has either seen refit, manufacture or FTR at Lithgow SAF. Your No1 MKIII* has seen a refit at Lithgow SAF ... this was common since Britain and Australia shared their arms between one another.

Best, TIki.
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Old April 16, 2009, 07:29 AM   #15
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Hi Tiki

Thanks for the information. Finally have an idea where this old girl served. With the late date (1918) probably missed WW1 but saw service in the second. I wasn't clear in describing the arsenal marks on my Enfield No1 MKIII* All the marks on it I believe are Birmingham Arsenal, a typical one being crown\B\17 which I take to be Birmingham. The other markings on my Webley are '18, crown\GR\crossed flags\P, broad arrow, crown\L2\M,
"MK VI'. all arranged in a line above cylinder left side of barrell.
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Old April 16, 2009, 07:41 AM   #16
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G'day Jon,

Can you take a couple of close up pics of your markings on the Webley ... I will nail down exactly what they are if you can do that. As I said before, the L2 proof is Lithgow SAF ... there is no other like it, but just to make sure I'd like to see pics of the proof.

Cheers, Tiki.
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Old April 16, 2009, 09:47 AM   #17
jondar
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OK Tiki, I'll borrow my daughters digital camera either today or tomorrow and see what I can do. My photographical skills are a little short of professional but I'll give it my best.

Jon
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Old April 16, 2009, 07:05 PM   #18
jondar
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I have a halfway decent picture of the line of markings along the left side of the barrel. One arsenal marking is worn and doesn't look like it was struck too deep to start with. Then I noticed a small stamping by the grip plate measuring about 1/4"X1/4" which I hope is some kind of regimental (?) marking. I was unable to capture it on the camera so drew it on a white sheet of paper. The letter which I have indicated as an "H" could be a "K" or even an "11". Hoping you can make some sense out of this conglomeration.

Jon
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File Type: jpg Webley Markings.jpg (54.3 KB, 197 views)
File Type: jpg Reg. Mkg.jpg (225.8 KB, 170 views)
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Old April 16, 2009, 08:27 PM   #19
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Jon,

Thanks for the pics ... the Crown L2 proof can only be Lithgow SAF; there is no other factory proof that comes close to that. The thing is that the way this proof is arranged is different from what is usually seen on a Lithgow built No1 MkIII.

This does not deter me however from my certainty that your proof is Lithgow because they may well have simplified the proof for the Webley due to lack of room on the receiver.

As to your swords with HB-2 or KB-2 ... I have done an exhaustive search of my resources and nothing turns up. It must be said however that these blade proofs were never factory official and were often placed there by club or unit armorers. There are few records of all the different club, school and home guard type proofs that were not directly related to official military records.

Many schools had their own rifle and pistol shooting clubs as well and they would mark their small arms with many of these types of proofs. Your mark is certainly of this type but it could stand for just about anything ... there were literally hundreds of such proofs like this. My search of the official military unit markings and initials does not indicate to me that this is any kind of known Military unit. I would suggest a private mark of some kind to with a club or school.

Hope this helps, Tiki.
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Old April 16, 2009, 09:22 PM   #20
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The Canadian broad arrow had it in a 'C'. Never one like that either.
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Old April 16, 2009, 09:54 PM   #21
Tikirocker
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The Canadian broad arrow had it in a 'C'. Never one like that either.

Err no ...

You are correct regards the C proof but wrong about the use of the 'crows foot' broad arrow. The 'crows foot' proof ( Shown large on the Webley ) is the very same proof used within the Canadian Government mark ... I have seen it first hand on my own rifles and it is clearly marked in the official records.

My point is that the 'crows foot' broad arrow was used by the Canadians as well as the British ... and
it is found within the C ( Canadian Government ) proof - it is very small however within the C. There are three variations of the broad arrow with the 'crows foot' broad arrow proof being simply one.

I suggest you go look more closely at the C proof again ...

Tiki.
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Last edited by Tikirocker; April 16, 2009 at 09:59 PM.
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Old April 17, 2009, 07:23 AM   #22
jondar
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Tiki

Thanks so much for your research.

Jon
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Old April 19, 2009, 04:13 PM   #23
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the HB 2 marking is a Birmingham commercial proof mark and shows it was submitted for proof in 1957 (or 1959 if it turns out to be KB).



(representative illustration of some types of Birmingham mark)
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Old April 20, 2009, 08:42 AM   #24
jondar
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Mk VII - I know a little of the history of this revolver since it was imported into the U. S. and I believe that the original owner did purchase it at or around that time you specify. I'm not sure whether or not import markings were used at that time. There are none that I can identify as such.
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