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  1. #1
    rachilders's Avatar
    rachilders is offline Junior Member
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    My Webley is home again

    A few months ago my brother gave me a Webley MP model in .450 Davis made in the 1880's, one of the first "modern" concealed carry guns. It originally became part of my family when my uncle brought it home from Britain during WWII. He was stationed with several British units in SE Asia during the war and gave the revolver to his father (my grandfather) as a war trophy when he returned home in 1945. Upon my grandfathers death in 1968 my father got the gun and kept it until he died. It was thought lost until a few month ago when my younger brother found it in a shoe box that had been stored in my mothers bedroom closet. We discovered my mother returned the Webley to my uncle when my dad died in '95 and he kept it in a closet until just before he died a few years ago at age 92. When he entered a nursing home a few months before his death, my uncle gave the revolver back to my mother. My mother had kept the gun on a shelf in her closet until her death last summer and my brother found it as he and my sisters were sorting through her things a few weeks later. He knew I'd always had an interest in the pistol - it was the first handgun I ever fired back in the 60's as a teen - so he gave it to me. Overall it was in outstanding condition except for a trigger problem; the trigger failed to reset after it was pulled.



    Well, I finally took the gun to a local repair shop last week. The gunsmith checked it over, cleaned the insides and he discovered the reason for the trigger problem. It seems a spring had simply come loose, probably due to age. He replaced it with a new one since the old spring seemed weak and now the gun works like new. In fact, he was so impressed by the condition of the gun he offered to buy it from me for his own collection! However, I said thanks but no thanks and I now have the Webley back home again.

    Being an 1883 MP (Metropolitan Police) model, it was built for the London police and would have been around during the time of Jack the Ripper. I've often wondered if it was carried by one of the detectives searching the alleys of White Chapel in 1888. Of course he was only a character of fiction, but I can also envision Sherlock Holmes carrying one as he chases Professor Moriarty through the back streets of Victorian London or fires his Webley at the Hound of the Baskervilles.

    If it could only talk, I wonder what tales my Webley would tell about it's travels from the banks of the Thames River to the hills of Texas . Now, if I could just find some 450 Davis ammo!


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  3. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    ".450 Davis"? Um, no, I don't think so.

    Your pistol more likely needs .455 Revolver Mk.I and Mk.II (interchangeable), also called .455 Webley, .455 Colt, and .455 Enfield.
    Fiocchi still makes it, labelled ".455 Webley (Mk.I)."

    If you have had it checked out by that gunsmith, ask him if .45 ACP might not work in it, also. (It won't extract without the use of a punch, but it should be within your pistol's safety margin.)

  4. #3
    rachilders's Avatar
    rachilders is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    ".450 Davis"? Um, no, I don't think so.

    Your pistol more likely needs .455 Revolver Mk.I and Mk.II (interchangeable), also called .455 Webley, .455 Colt, and .455 Enfield.
    Fiocchi still makes it, labelled ".455 Webley (Mk.I)."

    If you have had it checked out by that gunsmith, ask him if .45 ACP might not work in it, also. (It won't extract without the use of a punch, but it should be within your pistol's safety margin.)
    Sorry, but the guns caliber is .450 Davis (AKA .450 Short) not .455 Webley. It's marked on the gun and as I mentioned, it has been checked by a gunsmith. The Davis predates the 455 Webley and the Davis round and cylinderis slightly shorter than the Webley. It's like comparing a 38 Special to the 357Mag. You can shoot the 450 Davis in a gun marked 455 Webley, but a 455 is too long in guns made for the Davis caliber. BTW, the 45 ACP round will work in the gun with moon/half moon clips but it's not recommended due to the much higher pressure developed by the 45 ACP - over twice as much as the original BP round - compared to the 450. A gun designed for BP that was built 140 years ago may fire the modern round but it could split a cylinder or cause a spring or pin to break.

    A lot of people rightly associate the Webley revolvers with the .455 but Webley made guns in numerous caliber from .22 and .38 all the way to .577.

  5. #4
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    Webley made revolvers in several calibers, most of which didn't make it to the United States, though a few did.

    The most common name for the round in question, I believe, is simply .450 Revolver. I think Winchester may have loaded it for a short time. Equally quaint are the .440 Revolver, the .442 Royal Irish Contabulary, and the .380 Revolver. All of these were chambered in the "Bulldog" series of Webley revolvers, as well as American copies like Iver Johnson.

    Bob Wright

  6. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachilders View Post
    Sorry, but the guns caliber is .450 Davis (AKA .450 Short) not .455 Webley. It's marked on the gun and as I mentioned, it has been checked by a gunsmith. The Davis predates the 455 Webley and the Davis round and cylinderis slightly shorter than the Webley...
    Thanks!
    I learn something new every day.

    Is the .450 Davis round center-fire, or rimfire?

  7. #6
    rachilders's Avatar
    rachilders is offline Junior Member
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    It's a centerfire round. In size and weight it's essentially a .45 ACP but with a rimmed case. It was also, of course, a black powder load. For it's day it had quite a punch, especially for a handgun round. The .450 pushed a 200gr lead bullet at 650-700 fps, not far off from the bullet fired by the modern .45 ACP. Even now it wouldn't be something I'd want to be on the receiving end of!

  8. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Thanks again.

    To salvage what little is left of my ego, after making my .455 error, I point out that at least I was correct that you probably could safely, if not conveniently, fire .45 ACP loads through it.
    You'd have to punch each empty out separately (which may be the case anyway, since it's a "Bulldog"-style pistol) but it should work.

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