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Lancashire Fusilier

Webley ' W.G. ' Army Model .455/.450 Revolver - Photographs

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Lancashire Fusilier

I am pleased to share a Webley W.G. Army Model .455/.450 Revolver from my Collection.

Contemporary with the self-extracting Model 1889 Webley W.G. ( Webley-Green or Webley Government ) Target Model, Webley also produced a .455/.450 self-extracting Webley W.G. Army Model with a 6 inch barrel.

Primarily designed for the use of officers in close combat situations where the revolver was required to stop the enemy ' in their tracks ', this being achieved effectively with the .455 bullet.

As with the Webley W.G. Target revolver, the Webley W.G. Army Model had all the refinements and barrel rifling of an extremely accurate target revolver.

Unlike the later Webley Mk.VI Service Revolver, which came in a standard matt phosphate finish, the Webley W.G. Army Model had a high quality blued finish with the hammer, trigger, front sight and cylinder stop all having a high quality silver finish and the barrel muzzle throat was also silvered.

The revolver had matching serial numbers to the right side of the frame, the underside of the barrel and on the cylinder face. The left side of the barrel showed the calibre, which for this particular revolver is .450/.455

The left side of the frame above the trigger guard shows the ' Webley Patents ' and Webley ' Winged Bullet ' marks. The Cylinder, Barrel and Frame carry the proofmarks. The top of the barrel has the ' P. Webley and Son London and Birmingham mark. The top of the barrel bridge is marked " WG " Army Model.

Also note, that unlike the Webley Mk.VI, the Webley W.G. Army Model revolver was not fitted with holster guides.

The Webley W.G. Army Model is a little larger than the Webley Mk.VI Service Revolver and consequently the Webley W.G. Army Model revolver holster is also that much larger than the standard Mk.VI service holster.

The Webley Archives show that this particular W.G. Army Model revolver was manufactured in 1909, and was sold to Messrs. White's Royal Artillery Agency in Woolwich on 27th September 1909 and had a special order for Walnut target grips to be fitted. The original purchase price was 85 shillings ( four pounds five shillings ) with 6 pence for postage, as compared with some 2000/+ pounds today for an excellent all original example with original bluing and with matching serial numbers.

This revolver was probably sold to an officer in the Royal Artillery after October 1909, and was then carried by them in WW1.

White's Royal Artillery Agency was established in 1870 at 5 Frances Street, Woolwich and they also had another premises at 18 Artillery Place, Woolwich. Mr. White the owner catered primarily for the Royal Artillery officers attached to the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, and provided them with tailored uniforms, firearms, swords, saddlery and a whole range of other service items and accoutrements.

It is interesting to note that guards at the Bank of England in London were originally also issued with Webley WG Army Model revolvers, presumably again for their accuracy and stopping power.

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Photographs :-

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Lancashire Fusilier

5

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Khaki

Great images, LF, a very handsome revolver and accessories, I had not thought of the WG size needing a subsequent size change in the holster, makes sense. Do you know if the retailer recommended the purchase of the appropriate holster or did it come as part of every order?

regards

khaki

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Lancashire Fusilier

Great images, LF, a very handsome revolver and accessories, I had not thought of the WG size needing a subsequent size change in the holster, makes sense. Do you know if the retailer recommended the purchase of the appropriate holster or did it come as part of every order?

regards

khaki

Thanks khaki, pleased you liked them.

There is a distinct difference between the shape and size of the Webley WG Army holster, as compared to that for the Webley Mk.VI Service Revolver holster.

I would assume that at the time, holsters were being made specifically for the Webley WG Army Model revolver, and anyone buying the larger Webley WG Army Model would have been sold the larger holster.

Obviously, the Webley Mk.VI fits nicely into the larger holster also.

Regards,

LF

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Khaki

LF,

I must pay more attention to holsters, some times I have seen a slight difference, but put it down to different manufacturers, one holster I saw had a very slim barrel compartment as opposed to the usual mkvi style almost a flowing inside curve from the flap to the base, looked very stylish.Perhaps it was pre war.

khaki

ps sorry didn't mean to hijack your thread

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Lancashire Fusilier

LF,

I must pay more attention to holsters, some times I have seen a slight difference, but put it down to different manufacturers, one holster I saw had a very slim barrel compartment as opposed to the usual mkvi style almost a flowing inside curve from the flap to the base, looked very stylish.Perhaps it was pre war.

khaki

ps sorry didn't mean to hijack your thread

khaki,

No problem, we share a lot of the same WW1 interests, and holsters are very much a part of any firearm thread.

Hopefully, others will have an input on the holsters.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

White's Royal Artillery Agency, 5 Frances Street, Woolwich, shop front circa 1884.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here are some photographs showing the difference in holster size for the Webley W.G. Army Model holster ( left ) and the standard Webley Mk.VI holster ( right), and also a photograph of them overlaid.

The main difference in size is the holster flap which on the Mk.VI is typically 6.1/2 inches x 3.1/2 inches, whereas the flap on the W.G. Army Model holster is 7.1/4 x 4 inches.

The upsweep to the top left of the W.G. Army Model holster, is also more pronounced to take the larger frame and grip section on the Webley W.G. Army Model revolver.

Also the mid-curve of the holster for the trigger section, is wider on the W.G. Army Model holster, again to allow for the larger size frame of the W.G. Army Model revolver.

LF

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TonyE

That is a beautiful pistol. However, I thought it was widely accepted now the the "W.G." stands for "Webley Government" Model and not "Webley-Green", the latter an error perpetuated by Dowell in the Webley story.

The first use of the "W.G." appellation was on the 1889 model. Webley had patented the stirrup latch in 1885 and only their name appears on the patent. Edwinson Charles Green was an inventive gunsmith who worked in Gloucester and Cheltenham and claimed he had earlier designed the stirrup latch in 1883.

Gordon Bruce and Chris Reinhart (Webley Revolvers) say "He contested its origins in correspondence published in The Field newspaper (25 May 1889) from which it may be assumed that there were differences of opinion between himself and the Webley Company. In view of this evidence, it seems unlikely that the Webley name should be so closely linked to that of Mr.Green on weapons produced at the time. Furthermore, no patent for a stirrup latch has been traced under his name, although the Webley Company secured protection for the device in March 1885 (No. 4070)."

Your pistol appears to be a late Model 1896, as the highest serial known is 22126.

As a matter of interest do you hold it on a Section 7.1?

Regards

TonyE

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Lancashire Fusilier

TonyE,

Many thanks, and yes you are correct as to the Model date of 1896 and the serial number range.

Having both Webley reference books by Dowell and also by Bruce and Reinhart, in which Dowell refers to " W.G. " as meaning Webley-Green, and Bruce and Reinhart refer to " W.G. " as meaning Webley Government, I probably refer to it as Webley-Green as I had read Dowell's book first, although based on Bruce and Reinhart's explanation ( page 125 ) regarding the stirrup latch, it is more likely to mean Webley Government.

I wonder if any Webley document/ Sales Brochure still exits explaining their original meaning of W.G. ?

With regard to section 7.1, it is not necessary, as I keep my firearms at my other U.S. location.

Regards,

LF

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TonyE

I don't know if there is anything in the Webley archives that specifically gives an explanation of the "W.G." but I will ask Richard Milner who owns the documents.

Also, it must be nice to have somewhere to keep treasures like that safe!

Regards

TonyE

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Lancashire Fusilier

I don't know if there is anything in the Webley archives that specifically gives an explanation of the "W.G." but I will ask Richard Milner who owns the documents.

Also, it must be nice to have somewhere to keep treasures like that safe!

Regards

TonyE

Hopefully, Richard knows of something in the Webley Archive ?

And yes, they are very safely stored.

LF

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deadin

Here's another one to be considered...

(I will post a picture of what came in it as soon as I can resize the picture to fit the parameters here...)

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deadin

Here is the contents of the holster I posted earlier.

S&W .455 Mk II (Triple Lock) 1st British Contract. This gun is unaltered and originally belonged to a Doctor in the No. 9 Field Ambulance attached to 3rd Division until 28 Aug 1915 and then attached to the Guards Division for the remainder of the war.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here's another one to be considered...

(I will post a picture of what came in it as soon as I can resize the picture to fit the parameters here...)

The first one I have seen with a buckle fastner, is it marked or dated ?

Plus, look forward to seeing what it came with.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

deadin,

What an excellent revolver, even without the photo being sized, I can see it is a Smith and Wesson ' Triple Lock ' by the design of the Hand Ejector. Only very few of this model were made for the British military, I think it was some 3000+ only.

Also, it explains the buckle fastner holster, which I have seen before as used by the U.S. Cavalry, so perhaps it came from the U.S. with the revolver ?

Excellent rig with a great history!

Regards,

LF

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deadin

LF,

App. 6,000 Triple Lock .455 Mk II's made on the first contract. There were an earlier app. 666 converted to .455 from commercial .44 TL's by S&W.

The contract guns were serialized in their own series of 1 to 6000 (This one is numbered in the low 700's so it went over in the first shipment in 1914.)

The earlier one's were numbered in the commercial series.

As for the holster, there are no markings whatsoever that I can find. I hadn't even thought about them being provided with the guns and will do some research here and see what I can find out.

Dean

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