The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Curios and Relics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 15, 2012, 04:16 PM   #1
Veeb
Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2012
Posts: 19
Webley Grips

I have another question about the Webley Mark series of revolvers: what would their grips have been made of? For the later ones, Marks IV-VI, some of which I have seen, I should have thought Bakelite or some other fairly hard, brittle forerunner of modern plastic; but I have read that some grips were of horn, or staghorn. Was there a synthetic product called staghorn? Real horn seems to me unlikely for a military weapon, but I don't know, and I'd be interested in any comments.
Veeb is offline  
Old April 16, 2012, 11:14 AM   #2
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 18,642
AFAIK, they were made of hard rubber, or gutta percha. It is a natural product that was used prior to the invention of true plastics. When new it is fairly soft and flexible, but as it ages it becomes brittle. That is not a big problem with Webley revolvers because the grips are well supported, but in the Webley auto pistol grips which are hollowed out for the recoil spring and thus are very thin, breakage is common.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old April 17, 2012, 07:20 AM   #3
Veeb
Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2012
Posts: 19
Thank you, Jim. That sounds like the stuff. Interesting how it changes with age. You see a lot of them online with cracks or chips. Very helpful, and thanks again.
Veeb is offline  
Old April 17, 2012, 01:49 PM   #4
gyvel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2009
Location: Northern AZ
Posts: 4,200
I'll second what Jim has to say about Webley auto grips. If you have a Webley auto, and you wish to shoot it, you are money ahead by buying a pair of repro grips to use when you shoot it.

Many years ago, my first experience with a .455 Naval auto resulted in a broken grip. It was an expensive lesson, and one that I never forgot.

I have also found that the grips on Enfield revolvers, which I believe are Bakelite, are also fragile and tend to break a piece out at the bottom where the locater pin is.

Every time I have to install a grip on a Savage auto. I hold my breath as the grip needs to be bent slightly in order to allow the retaining ridge to clear the frame before it snaps into its corresponding groove.

Last edited by gyvel; April 17, 2012 at 01:55 PM.
gyvel is offline  
Old April 17, 2012, 10:37 PM   #5
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 18,642
Not just Webley, of course. Almost all the handgun makers used gutta percha, and all show up with chipped/broken grips. It was simply the best material available at the time, and no one had any idea how it would be affected by the passage of 100 years. I wonder how today's polymer pistols will fare in the next century.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07203 seconds with 9 queries