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varifleman

Webley-Scott .455 1913 MK1 Navy Automatic Pistol

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Here for your viewing pleasure is my Webley-Scott .455 Model 1913 MK1 N Navy pistol serial number 3800 which was accepted into service in 1914. I found on-line an interesting article "The .455 Webley & Scott Pistol" (American Rifleman 1964) which has a chart which details both Government Contracts and Private sales deliveries by month/year/serial number. This pistol (serial number 3800) was 1 of 1919 (serial numbers 3691-5609) delivered to the Royal Navy in December 1914. It served through most of WWI.

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Hello

A very nice gun, very well detailed in one of my books /The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pistols & Revolvers, by Major Frederick Myatt M.C.

A MK ll version,fitted with a stock was issued to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 but was withdrawn upon the introduction of the aerial machine .

Just a little point of interest, but it is always very satisfying to handle a nice gun , good one for your collection.

Crimson Rambler

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Hello George

Thanks for message re. the book that I have mentioned, I have had this copy for many years. from my point of view this covers a wide range from flint locks on the ISBN no.1-85501-029-1. but if hear of the one you are after I will pass the details on to you.

Patrick /Crimson Rambler

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Dear Varifleman,

Lovely pistol. Any chance of some photographs of it stripped? I have never seen the inside of one.

Greg

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Varifleman,

Many thanks for this thread

To this layman, your pistol has a quite a distinctive shape, and I have long been puzzled by the weapon held by Samson in this photograph.

I think that you have probably answered my query

http://www.awm.gov.a...lection/G00523/

regards

Michael

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Definitely a Webley SL. A nice picture too of the upwards pointing Lewis.

Crimson rambler is erroneous when he said the version fitted with an adjustable rear sight and shoulder stock is the Mark II. It is in fact the "Pistol, Self Loading, Webley & Scott, No.2 Mark I" and was originally inteneded to replace the rifle in Royal Horse Artillery units. Some did find their way into the RFC but only saw very limited service.

If the "Mark II" title came from Myatt's book it does not surprise me, as it is full of errors of detail like that.

Regards

TonyE

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Thanks for the tip on Myatt TonyE , but I must say the one thing about his book, is the good illustration, nothing better than a good picture,if you have not got the actual item.

Crimson Rambler

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I agree that the ilustrations in Myatt's book are excellent quality, but the text sometimes leaves a little to be desired!

Here is the packet label for the .455 inch S.L. ammunition. Note that it was originally intended for Naval service but the "N" at top left has been struck out when issued for land service.

Cheers

TonyE

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Tony,

From ignorance - why was it deemed necessary to indicate Naval or Land service on pistol ammunition? Was it simply an accounting/contracting mark (produced for the Admiralty etc) or was there a functional reason?

I understand the reasoning in machine-gun ammunition for air service (interrupter gear and reliability etc) and the wish to avoid sub-standard or more variable ammunition going there, but to indicate naval service on pistol ammunition seems to serve no such purpose -- which leads me to accountants as the reason....

Chris

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ID: 10   Posted (edited)

Tony,

Thanks for that confirmation (posts Nos. 5 & 6)

The AWM has another photograph of a naval Webley, and when taking into consideration its history [found at Helles] seems to indicate that these were also used by the RNVR officers serving on land with the RND. see http://www.awm.gov.a...RELAWM11334.001

Were these pistols 'issued' or did one have to buy one's own?

regards

Michael

edit to add: On rereading the first post and the details re the numbering, then I guess that these were issued

and not private purchases

Edited by michaeldr

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Thanks to Michael, Patrick, Greg and TonyE for their interesting contributions. Heree are a few more photos to show the 1914 accetance marks, the broad arrow property mark and a 7-pack of .455 SL ammo dated January 30,1919. I'll try to get a few more photos including field-stripped pistol.

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Tony,

From ignorance - why was it deemed necessary to indicate Naval or Land service on pistol ammunition? Was it simply an accounting/contracting mark (produced for the Admiralty etc) or was there a functional reason?

I understand the reasoning in machine-gun ammunition for air service (interrupter gear and reliability etc) and the wish to avoid sub-standard or more variable ammunition going there, but to indicate naval service on pistol ammunition seems to serve no such purpose -- which leads me to accountants as the reason....

Chris

Prior to the war the army's small arms and ammunition were ordered via Department A2 of the Director of Artillery under the authority of the Master General of the Ordnance. When the Ministry of Munitions was formed in April 1915 the whole of Department A2 was transferred to the ministry. The Admiralty had always been fiercely independant and had handled their orders vis the Director of Naval Ordnance. That is why they adopted the .455 inch Webley S.L. when the army had initially turned it down.

This arrangement continued during the war and there is some very acrimonious correspondence between the Admiralty and the Ministry, particularly about pistols, as they felt they were not getting their fair share of resources.

Going back to ammunition, as it was ordered separately it was packed separately with the "N" labels. There are some examples attached.

Even post war when the army had their .303 inch in 50 round bandoleers or 32 round packets, the navy had separate packets of 20 in four chargers that were better waterproofed than army packaging. Example attached.

Cheers

TonyE

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Thanks Tony. Noted and filed away.

Cheers,

Chris

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Here's photo of right side of pistol.

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As the packaging is marked as Not For Revolvers is the brass case longer or more powerful so as to operate the mechanism?

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The two rounds are completely different.

The .455 inch Ball Mark II round for revolvers (right) was rimmed and had a lead bullet. The .455 Self loading pistol round (left) was semi-rimless and was longer with a metal jacketed bullet.

Picture shows differences.

Regards

TonyE

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I'd like the help of fellow forum members to determine if there are any Royal Navy or other records or archives available which would show which ship, organization or individual was issued this pistol?

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I very much doubt that there are any surviving records that could help you, but I am not familiar with the naval records at the National Archives at Kew. I might be worth a look at their web site

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Regards

TonyE

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Hello varifleman,

A very nice piece, fine addition to any collection.

khaki

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It's worth emphasising, for anybody with access to ammunition, that while the .455 S/L will (unfortunately) chamber in .455 revolvers it is far too powerful and will destroy them in short order.

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