WORLD WAR I HANDGUNS: WEBLEY MKV1 .455 | 9/18/2018 | Staff
itsdonaldk (Posted by) Level 3
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The Webley MKVI certainly fits the criteria British ordnance people evidently set for their service revolvers: big, ugly, underpowered and top break. I recently read the opinion of a now deceased gun’riter saying he thought the Webley MKVI .455 was the best combat revolver of its day. To that I enthusiastically disagree. The only place it could better either Colt’s or S&W’s Model 1917 .45 ACPs is it has a replaceable front sight whereas theirs are silver-soldered (Colt) or forged integral with the barrel (S&W). That made it easier to zero if a taller or shorter sight was needed for zeroing.

US Model 1917s were chambered for a more powerful cartridge, a 230-gr. bullet at 830 fps versus a 262-gr. bullet at 650 fps. The ’17s could be quickly reloaded with a pair of three-round “half-moon” clips. In fact the U.S. supplied .45 ACP pre-loaded in those clips. The Webley’s rounds had to be replenished one at a time. In my collection, the Colt Model 1917 and Webley MKVI match weight at 39 oz. but my S&W Model 1917 only weighs 35 oz.

Webley - Series - Break - Revolvers - MKI

Webley began their series of top break revolvers circa 1887 with the MKI and continued revamping it until the MKVI appeared in 1916 midway through World War I. Most of the earlier “marks” came with 4″ barrels although some were available with the 6″ length. As far as I can tell the MKVI came only with a 6″.

Webley MKVI .455 as adopted by the British in 1916. Gun in background is the 12 gauge also used in World War I. Canvas holster and ammo pouch made by World War Supply.

Brits - Webley - MKVI - Favor - Enfield

The Brits dropped the Webley MKVI in 1928 in favor of the smaller .38 Enfield No. 2.

The top-break Webley is opened by pushing down on a rather large lever positioned...
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