Webley Top-break Revolvers Great Britain
Ammunition here

Webley .455 caliber MK. I (Mark 1, 1887)

Webley .455 caliber MK. IV (Mark 4, 1899), frame broken open and extractor exposed from the cylinder

Webley .455 caliber MK. VI (Mark 6, 1915)

right and left side views on Webley frame lock

Type: Revolver, Double Action 
Chamber: .455 British service; .38/200 (.38S&W) 
Weight unloaded: 995 g (Mark 1 - Mark 5 with 4 inch barrel); 1100 g (Mark 6) 
Length: 260 mm (Mark 1 - Mark 5 with 4 inch barrel); 286 mm (Mark 6 with 6 inch barrel) 
Barrel length: 4 inch (101 mm) Mark 1 - Mark 5; 125 mm (some Mark 3 and Mark 4); 152 mm (Mark 6)
Capacity: 6 rounds 

The first top-break revolvers were developed by the Webley & Son company (Webley & Scott Co. since 1897) of Great Britain in the 1870s. First Webley revolver had been officially adopted for Royal Army & navy service in 1887, as a Webley Revolver, .455, Mark I. It was a break-top, six shoot, double action revolver, chambered for blackpowder .455 British Service cartridge, officially known as Cartridge .455 revolver, Mark I. This cartridge launched heavy, 18 gramms (265 grains) lead bullet at relatively slow muzzle velocity of 180 meters/second (ca. 600 fps). Later, smokeless version of this cartridge had been adopted, but since it also could be fired in early revolvers, the gain in the velocity or muzzle energy was very minor. 

All Webley top-beak revolvers featured two piece frame, which hinges ("breaks") down at the forward low end for ejection and loading. The ejector is actuated automaticayy when the frame is broken open, simulateonusly removing all six cases from the cylinder. The cartridges then can be inserted by hand. In the case of revolver being rechambered for .45ACP round, half-moon clips are used to load the gun (two clips, each for 3 rounds). All Webley revolvers were Double Action or Double Action Only, with very distinguishable shape of the barrel and frame lock with lock lever on the left side of the frame and V-shaped lock spring at the right side. Below is the list of all Webley revolvers, officially adopted in Great Britain. Many other variations were also manufactured for civilian and police use. 

Those Magnificent Webleys : the ugly ducklings of the handgun world
Guns Magazine,  July, 2006  by Holt Bodinson 

Webley Mark 4 Revolver Article

Mark 1
Mark 2
Mark 3
Mark 4
Mark 5
Mark 6
Mark 6 with Stock
Long Spur

Webley mod. RIC


Gallery Index

Webley mod. PRYSE
cal .47
Webley Pryse revolvers are difficult to find in military .476 caliber. Many English officers privately purchased Webley Pryse revolvers in .476, that was considered a caliber of choice at the time.  The left side of the frame display markings, "M A C". The top of the barrel displays retailer's markings, "Watson & Sons, 308-313 High Holborn, London". Six-chamber cylinder. Barrel length: 5.50 inches.

Webley "Pryse"
Cal .450


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Webley revolver, .455, Mark 1.
Adopted in 1887, chambered for blackpowder cartridge. 4 inch (101 mm) barrel, "bird head" shaped grip. 


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Webley revolver, .455, Mark 2.
Adopted in 1894, almost the same as Mark 1, but hardened removable steel blate was added at the back of the frame breech, hammer was strenghtened, grip was slightly rounded. 


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Webley revolver, .455, Mark 3.
Adopted in 1897, this was Mark 2 with improved cylinder to frame lock. Cylinder can be removed for cleaning. Since 1905, some Mark 3 revolvers were also made with 5 inch (125 mm) barrels. 


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Webley revolver, .455, Mark 4.
Adopted in 1899, this was an improved Mark 3, made from different steel, with smaller and lighter hammer and wider cylinder slots. Since 1905, some Mark 4 revolvers were also made with 5 inch (125 mm) barrels. 


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Webley revolver, .455, Mark 5.
Adopted in 1913. Mark 5 was designed to accept smokeless (cordite) ammunition, and thus, had larger and stronger cylinder, and accordingly redesigned frame. 


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Webley revolver, .455, Mark 6.
Adopted in 1915, it was the "ultimate" Webley .455 six-shooter. Mark 6 featured redesigned, more squared grip, 6 inch (152 mm) barrels, removable front sights. Mark 6 revolvers were manufactured by Webley & Scott until 1921, later these were manufactured by Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock. Oficially rendered obsolete in 1932 with the adoption of the Enfield No.2 .38 caliber revolvers, but widely used by British troops during the World War Two. 


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Webley Mark VI Revolver with Stock and Bayonet,


serial # 286,398, dated 1917, cal. 45 ACP, 6" ribbed barrel, dull military blue finish, checkered walnut grip, lanyard ring. The cylinder has been faced, and the is gun re-proofed;  in excellent condition. 

The  bayonet has been questioned but it has been compared to the Washer reproduction and is different. It has also been compared to the Indian reproduction and is far superior to it, but it is not guaranteed to be a Webley production. The knuckle bow of the stock carries the number 26,612. The brass grip has the number 8 inside along with an illegible letter, possibly "B". The frame has the proper cut for the stock along the left side of the butt strap. The 8-3/16" triangular blade bayonet has the patent number and an oval containing "W.W.G." above an elephant. 
Action and bayonet are fine. 


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The Webley Long Spur is a wonderfully designed English revolver that is really quite scarce.  The barrel pivots forward with the removal of a barrel key and the cylinder slides off.  It is loaded with a hand plunger that screws into the bottom of the butt.  This gun is serial number 151 and probably manufactured about the 1858-1859 time frame.  It is very lightly but intricately engraved with deluxe borders and foliate designs.  The left side of the frame is engraved "James Webley Patentee."  The barrel is engraved "James Webley, St. Mary's Square, Birmingham."  The   back strap is engraved "Her Majesty's Royal Letters Patent" and is stamped 151 behind the hammer.  The grips are sound and very finely checkered.  The action works very well.  A scarce .44 caliber English pistol, which like most English revolvers of the period was also used in the American Civil War.

Gallery Index

A couple of .455  'Manstoppers'........

 In 1898, the .455 Webley Mark III cartridge was adopted for British service revolver use, having a deep nose cavity that provided increased stopping power over the Mk I and Mk II versions of the cartridge. The 220 grain bullet was referred to as the 'manstopper'. Within two years, the Mark III cartridge was removed from service, a result of the 1899 Hague Convention outlawing hollow point bullets of any type for military use. The first cartridge in the picture is one of the Mark III cartridges made by Eley Brothers for the British government. The 'C' in the headstamp indicates that the cartridge is loaded with cordite, an early form of smokeless powder. The case on this cartridge is approximately .760" long. The second cartridge also sports a manstopper bullet, but was intended for the commercial market or perhaps constabulary use. It is headstamped  'ELEY . LONDON .', and  has the longer (~.870") case that was used for the black powder .455 Mark I cartridge. The last cartridge, headstamped KYNOCH  .455, is also a commercial load and is loaded with a slightly rounded blunt bullet intended for target shooting.