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Old December 19, 2001, 12:54 PM   #1
Hand_Rifle_Guy
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My Curious Webley Revolver

On the .45 Acp revolver thread, we got to talking about Webleys. I have a rather curious Webley, maybe someone can help me fill in some of the details of it's story.

One of my Webleys is a Mark IV, built between 1913 and 1915. It's stamped 'England' everywhere, and it's covered with broad arrows and British proof marks, including the "NP" of nitro proofing. It has had the cylinder modified to take .45 ACP in clips.

At some point someone milled off the front sight and silver-soldered on this hand-crafted rib, with a more conventional, American style blade front sight pinned into a slot cut in the top of the rib. The barrel is 4" long. The cylinder is clearance-cut for auto-rim ammo, so it will also run full-moons. The rear sight was filled and re-cut to a square notch for a regular sight picture instead of the English "notch in a bowl" set-up.

The gun shoots where it looks at 40 yds. with lead bullet reloads with 230 grn moly-coated RNL's. I try not to run jacketed bullets because of the ancient metallurgy.

I think this gun was converted a long time ago. Still tight, no slop, no peening. I personally have put about five hundred rounds through it. All in all, a very mild shooter, much nicer than my Sellout & Worthless M1917, which has snappy recoil.

Interestingly, there are what look like screw marks in the topstap, four on each side, equally spaced, like this gun wore a scope-mount, or something.

Also, I discovered holes in the barrel IN THE BORE. One is about a half inch from the muzzle, the other one's about an inch from the forcing cone. they're about an eightth of an inch in diameter. There's no burrs or any thing like that around them. They're in the top of the bore, under the home-made rib. I have no clue about them but they don't interfere with the gun's function.

Mind you, I did take that barrel OFF.

It's stamped 'W.M. Pope' on the frame, and under the grip panels, along with the word 'England'.

The rib was hand-made. It's got file marks on it, and it's a bit lopsided.

Interesting side point: I slapped a WWII era Mark VI barrel onto the Mark IV gun to give it a six inch barrel. It dropped right in with no fitting, tight and beautiful. Got the barrel from Springfield Sporters for all of thirty bucks, brand new surplus. It's parkerized. Not bad for thirty years difference in manufacture. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Still shoots great, no appreciable wear.

Anyone know who this W.M Pope is? Did he import guns in the twenties? The name is familiar, somehow...

Note; I have read here and lots of other places that Webleys should be run with lower-pressure reloads, as the .455 Webley is a milder load (260 grn. RNL @ 650 fps.) than the .45 ACP.

That being said, my gun has digested a lot of .45 ACP with no quibbles. I plan to keep running those lead-bullet reloads, it seems to like them.

A very nice gun, overall. Any answers to these curiosities, folks?

Thanks for your help!
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Old January 5, 2002, 11:13 PM   #2
citra45
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I don't know who W.M.Pope is, but the Webley Mk VI is one of my favorite older handguns. While I have owned several, I have never seen one as you describe. I would tend to think yours might be a one-off customized piece. Sounds neat.
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Old January 6, 2002, 12:28 AM   #3
Hand_Rifle_Guy
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It is. I also posted this on the revolver forum, which generated more response, so I would recomend taking a look at that thread. I put it up here in hopes of specific know;edge of Mr. pope. so far, no luck. Thanks for the interest!
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