Webley Mk3

.455 Webley Mk3

 

Webley Mk3 - 1897 model

 

 

Technical Information

Manufacturer: Webley & Scott
Model: Mk3
Total Weight with empty cylinder: 992gr
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Barrel Length: 4" (103mm)
Calibre: .455 Webley
Length of revolver: 238mm
Action: Double action revolver
Width of revolver: 44mm
Cylinder Capacity: 6 Height of revolver: 148mm

 

General Information

 

This Webley and Scott Mk3 is a top-break revolver with double action manufactured in 1898. Webley revolvers was the standard United Kingdom military side-arm of the British military forces from 1887 and remained in service right up to 1963 when they were replaced by the Browning High Power 9mmP pistol. The Webley Mk3 was built in limited numbers but was only issued in limited numbers to the Royal Navy service .The Mk4 replaced the Mk3 in 1899 and was to be used by British forces during the second Anglo Boer war between the UK and the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State in South Africa. It fires the now obsolete .455 Webley cartridge. The Webley and Scott is know for it's ruggedness and reliability and is probably the strongest of all the "top-break" revolvers ever produced. This Webley is also fitted a cavalry ring which attaches the revolver to the holster using a lanyard to prevent it from getting lost in case it falls out of the holster while riding on horseback.

Webley markings on barrel

Ergonomics

The Webley Mk3 with its characteristic "birds beak" grip is not really designed with ergo dynamics in mind. The grip was replaced in the later model of the Webley Mk4 to be more like the modern style of pistols with a square grip. It is fairly heavy and bulky. The front sight form part of the barrel and the rear sight is on a movable lock plate which locks the revolver in place. Two front "wings" were added to the front of the cylinder on both sides of the barrel to facilitate easy insertion of the revolver into a flappy leather holster. The trigger is long, hard but extremely smooth. The external hammer can be manually pulled back to lock back and thereby greatly reducing trigger pull and increasing accuracy. Like most modern revolvers, the firing pin on the hammer cannot reach the primer of the cartridge unless the trigger is depressed. The sights are well defined and reasonably easy to see and get on target. It also fires a very big slow and reasonably underpowered obsolete cartridge. Ammunition is a big problem and is far from readily available in gun shops.

Reliability

Admittedly, I do not fire a lot of rounds through this old gun. If the mighty British Empire used this type of handgun for almost 80 years, then it must speak for itself. It was also used during the two world wars and served its host country well. I do not think anybody will have anything bad to say about any of the Webley style revolvers with regards to reliability.

Determining Year of Manufacture

The model number of the Webley is punched on the top strap just above the cylinder. This is a Mk3 and dating is done via research.

Accuracy and reloading

Targets coming soon....

I was fortunate to obtain some Fiochi reloadable boxer brass for a good price. Reloading can be done using a cast lead bullet designed by LEE and weighs in at 200 grains.

I use a load of 5.6 grains of MS200 for a velocity of 609 ft/sec. This is way below the specification of factory ammunition but for obvious reasons I do not want to shoot full power loads out of a 118 year old firearm. Recoil is virtually zero and accuracy is fair.

Information about the calibre

The cartridge is designed to fire a 265 grain bullet with a velocity of around 700 ft/sec.

First produced in 1891, the .455 Webley cartridge went through six major revision changes:

Below is a picture for comparrison purpose.

Misc ammo comparison

  1. .22lr
  2. 9mmK (9x17, 9mm Short)
  3. 9mmP (9x19, 9mm Luger, 9mm Para)
  4. 7.62x25 Tokarev
  5. .45ACP
  6. .455 Webley (265gr)
  7. .38 Special

Overall Impression

I like the old Webley top break revolver. It fills a nice hole in my collection and is really awesome to shoot a 118 year old firearm which is still in full working condition. It is currently the oldest handgun in my collection.

 

.455 Webley Mk3