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Old October 17, 2021, 09:25 PM   #1
cjwils
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Reload question for shaved .455 Webley

Many .455 Webleys in the US had the cylinders shaved to take .45 ACP ammo. The guns with shaved cylinders tend to cost a lot less than the unmodified guns. I understand that they should not be fired with full strength .45 ACP ammo. If I got a shaved Webley, I would use handloaded ammo with very low pressure. Here is my problem: I shoot at indoor ranges where jacketed ammo is required. If I loaded .45 ACP cases with standard .45 jacketed bullets, using a very light charge of a mid-range powder (powder change to be determined later), would that be ok? In other words, is the Webley ok with jacketed .45 bullets, with an acceptable powder charge?
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Old October 17, 2021, 10:09 PM   #2
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I can't answer this definitively. However you might consider plated bullets, like berrys. As I understand it jacketed bullets have harder copper due to it being worked into shape. And the plated bullets copper is not work hardened thus softer.

My other question is. How are they defining jacketed. There are many coated lead bullets, such as brazos and Missouri. Does the jacket have to be metal?
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Old October 18, 2021, 03:58 AM   #3
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While developed and loaded for many years with a lead bullet the last version of the .455 service ammuntion was loaded with a 265gr jacketed bullet at a listed muzzle velocity of 700fps.

This ammo was adopted after WWI but before WWII (according to one source, another said it was adopted during WWI) and I would expect that, if velocity and pressures are kept within Webley boundaries, jacketed bullets should not wear the barrel of a late model Webley excessively.

Do remember that the newest .455 Webley you are going to find is a WWI vintage, and its steel is not quite the same as modern steel alloys.

From what I could find, it appears that only the Mark IV (4) and later guns were rated for smokeless powder. The mark V (5) was only produced from 1913-15 before production changed to the Mk VI (6) which was the last model with production ending in the early 20s after WWI.

Earlier marks should only be used with black powder, but be aware, its not impossible that there may be an earlier mark (1, 2, or 3) that someone shaved to take .45acp ammo so they could sell it. SO pay close attention to what is offered for sale. DO NOT use smokeless powder in a MK I, II, or III and don't use .45acp AMMO in ANY of them.

Webleys are largeish revolvers and LOOK like they are strong guns but they aren't as strong as a swing out DA revolver due to the top break latch system.

Another point to consider, regular US .45acp bullets are a tiny bit undersize for the .455 bore AND are "light" at 230gr, the Webley sights were regulated for their 265gr slugs and so an ACP bullet lighter than that probably won't shoot exactly to the sights even at Webley speeds.

Regular .45acp working pressure is about the same as the .455 Webley PROOF LOAD, so its a very poor idea to use it in a Webley. IF you do, the gun might go years without issue, or something major might break the next time you pull the trigger. Not worth the risk, not at all.

If something major breaks, the gun is done. If its something minor, the gun still might be done as there are no replacement parts, and haven't been for a long time, except a handful taken from guns that have already failed.

I have a 1917 Mk VI its a very cool gun. DA pull takes 3 men and a boy but SA pull is fair, if on the heavy side. Gun is accurate with my handloads but I use lead slugs.
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Old October 19, 2021, 07:33 PM   #4
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here you go mate watch part 2 also..

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...tail&FORM=VIRE

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Old October 21, 2021, 09:12 AM   #5
RickB
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I've shot some .45 ACP jacketed bullets through my S&W Hand Ejector Mk. II, which has a M1917 cylinder rather than shaved .455 cylinder, and accuracy was no better than "minute of pie plate" at ten yards.
I'd be as concerned with accuracy, as pressure.
Are there any appropriate jacketed bullets, sized .454" or larger?
It's interesting that indoor ranges allow jacketed bullets with exposed lead at the base, but won't allow the polymer-coated bullets designed specifically to reduce lead residue in indoor ranges by completely sealing the lead within the coating.
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Old October 21, 2021, 10:04 AM   #6
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Another option is to stop worrying about .45 Auto and shim the cylinder to go back to .455 Webley.
I know a fellow that sells the correct set of parts. They require some fitting, low temperature solder for installation, and bluing touch up on the shims.
Though not the most elegant solution, it is the cheapest, simplest, and easiest way to return the revolver to a condition closest to what it should be.

PM if you want contact information.
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Old October 21, 2021, 08:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Another option is to stop worrying about .45 Auto and shim the cylinder to go back to .455 Webley.
This works if you have, or can get .455 Webley ammo.

Around 20 years ago I spoke at some length with a fellow who was shimming the Webley cylinders. This is not a do it at home project, unless you are a gunsmith working from home.

If I remember right, he was using screws to attach the shim to the cylinder. One thing to consider is that not all the shaved Webleys were shaved the same amount. Some had more metal removed than others.

Shim thickness needs to be correct for the individual gun its going in. One size thickness will not fit all.

I have a 1917 Mk VI that has been "just barely" shaved. IT will still fire Hornady .455 Webley, but not 100% reliably. It does work 100% reliably with ACP brass and S&W half moon clips. It will not work with any full moon clip I have found. It will not work with .45 Auto Rim brass, there is enough clearance to let the cylinder close, but not enough to allow it to turn when loaded with .45AR cases.

Other guns I have seen had more metal removed and do work with AR brass or full moon clips.

There is something else you can try to make clipless ammo. take a .45 Colt or .45 Schofield and trim it to .455 length. The case body should fit, the rims will be a bit small in diameter, but are a bit thicker than .455 rims and this MIGHT work in a shaved webley, depending on the individual gun's tolerances. I say MIGHT, not "should" or "will" you'll have to test it in the gun you have in your hands to see if it work, or not.

I considered getting my gun shimmed and I considered using cut down Schofield brass but decided it wasn't worth it, I have enough clips that work and ACP brass in plenty.
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Old October 21, 2021, 08:52 PM   #8
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Shim thickness needs to be correct for the individual gun its going in. One size thickness will not fit all.
That is why the parts require fitting.
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