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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Advice on buying a Webley


yperman
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I've recently become interested in collecting deactivated weapons.Can anyone offer me advice as to where to buy - and what sort of price range I should expect to pay - for a 1st World War Webley .445 in fair condition? Many thanks! Yperman

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The War and Peace show at Beltring is only a couple of weeks away and most of the major de-act dealers will be there. Even if you do not buy it will give you an idea of what is avalable and if you do see something you like you are at least face to face to haggle!

I suspect though that you will have a tough time finding a WWI example in decent condition as most I have seen are very well used, but I was not looking to buy.

Regards

TonyE

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Thanks TonyE - I'll try and get there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry about the delay in replying - we had the builders in.

Yes, I've bought one - a Mark IV .445 - a serious collector would class it as in only "fair" condition, but I am very pleased with it. Thanks for the web site details. Regards, Yperman.

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Hi TonyE

Its a Mk IV - a Boer war vintage weapon - but I gather they were still in use in the British Army in 1914 - though in the process of being replaced by the Mk V and then of course the Mk VI.

Yperman

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Yes, they would still have been around. The Mark IV was introduced in List of Change Para. 9787 dated 21 July 1899 and the Mark V in LoC Para 16783 of 9 Dec 1913.

The main difference was that the Mark V had a larger diameter cylinder for additional strength and it was ordered that when Mark III and IV pistols were repaired they were to be fitted with the larger cylinder. This necessitated the armourer filing the top of the body below the cylinder about .013 inch lower to give the necessary clearance to the cylinder.

It wuld be interesting to check whether yours has been so repaired.

Regards

TonyE

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Hi TonyE

I don't think the body below the cylinder has been filed down. Was this done only to British Army Mk IVs?

I should explain that along with my interest in the Great War I am also starting a modest collection of British Colonial Police small arms. This particular example interested me because while it was a type used by the British Army in 1914 I think it was issued to the South African Constabulary - or so I read the armourers mark " CA and a line above SAC '06" and on the butt " SAP" followed by what looks like an armoury identification number. The dealer was convinced it was subsequently issued to the Palestine Police - but I am not sure what armourers mark would indicate that.There are a number on the gun - as I mentioned I am just starting this hobby! - most are I think routine armourers marks - crossed swords- and NP with Crown symbols which I thiink means its nitrate proven.

Grateful for any advice.

Regards Yperman

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It certainly seems to have been a South African Police pistol. If it was on issue in 1906 it is probably unmodified.

The NP mark is the British Nito Proof mark that would have been required when the pistol returned to the UK for civilian sale.

You may be able to check on the provenance of your pistol (for a small charge) with Richard Milner who owns the Webley sales ledgers for this period.

http://www.armsresearch.co.uk/index.html

Regards

TonyE

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TonyE

Many thanks

Regards

Yperman

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