By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is the Webley Mark VI British service revolver.
This is a very large and somewhat unusual military revolver. It was the most powerful top break revolver ever built, which in all honesty is not saying much. It is an adaption and upgrade of the Victorian era Mark I and Mark IV service pistols and fires the .455 Webley cartridge.
This pistol was developed shortly after the opening of WWI. It was in production from 1915 thru 1923 and remained in active service thru WWII. In fact a batch was sold to the Nigerian government in 1957. A total of about 125,000 were produced.
The cartridge itself dates from 1899 and the Boer war. As I said it is pretty tame. The standard pressure .45 ACP load is a higher pressure round than the proof load for a .455 Webley cartridge. The muzzle velocity of the standard cartridge is only 620 fps. This was the last of the large-bore British military cartridge pistols. From here they went to the .380/200 Enfield, which was and is a very mediocre anti-personnel load. Worse even than the .455 Webley.
I bought one of these just because it was neat, and I didn’t already have one. It actually shoots just fine though ammo is a little hard to come by. Fiocchi still loads for it and once you have brass the lead bullets intended for a .45 ACP work just fine.
I drag mine out and fire a couple of dozen rounds down range every couple of years just because it looks so cool and gets plenty of strange looks from people at the range.