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Best all round primary handgun of the Great War


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#51 TonyE

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:28 AM

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#52 TonyE

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:40 AM

I presume the original prideaux speedloader had a pouch, what did it look like? has anyone seen a photo of it being worn during the war??
khaki


Yes, they were issued and/or privately purchased with a leather belt pouch. I could not find a picture of one when I did a very quick search but it should not be too hard to find one in the books. I will look in Dowell/Bruce etc later.

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#53 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

Tony,



And I thought a 1911 mag in my Detonics was excessive!



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#54 Tom W.

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:27 AM

Tom - I don't know where you found that picture, but one thing I can promise you is that it is not an American privately purchased Magazine.

It is in fact a British Beesley patent magazine as supplied to the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915.

I can't remember where I got the photo, but the source said American troops purchased them from a British firm in London, so that squares with what you wrote.

#55 MikB

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

Tom - I don't know where you found that picture, but one thing I can promise you is that it is not an American privately purchased Magazine.

It is in fact a British Beesley patent magazine as supplied to the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915.

If you enlarge the picture you posted you will see that the escutcheon on the base is identical to this one. This is the ealier version with the "PAT. PROV." marking. The later version after the patent was granted simply has "PAT." on it. The magazines were issued in a long pouch that held two magazines.(see below).

Regards
TonyE

Would that mean the pistol's in .455 Webley Auto? I think the RFC had pistols in that calibre in WW1, but they were the original Webley auto IIRC.

I can also remember reading an article - possibly in the old Guns Review or Handgunner magazines - that the Webley .455 Auto had been a serious contender against the Colt in the trials that resulted in the 1911 being adopted.

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#56 TonyE

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:55 PM

No Mik, this is one of the fifty seven .45ACP pistols that the RNAS purchased in 1916 from the London Armoury Company (the Colt UK agents). In all, between August 1914 and November 1916 Colt supplied 4,110 .45ACP pistols to LAC, but how many of these were then sold as private purchase and how many to the Government is unknown. Ammunition for the Navy pistols was purchased from Winchester and repacked in the UK.

The Government Model pistols in .455 Webley S.L. were not ordered directly by the RFC until January 1918, but the Ministry of Munitions had been buying them via London Armoury Company since May 1915 when the first 500 were ordered. There is no way of knowing for whom these were intended.

In all about 13,000 .455SL Colts were supplied, 3,000 via LAC and 10,000 directly to the government for the RFC/RAF.

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#57 TonyE

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:57 PM

I can't remember where I got the photo, but the source said American troops purchased them from a British firm in London, so that squares with what you wrote.


Interesting that US troops were able to buy them in London.

Thanks Tom

#58 Doc2

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:49 PM

As I remember, the M1911 Colts were indeed ALSO made in caliber .455 Webley for British sales. But, the US-carried ones would have been in caliber .45 ACP. I do not have any idea whether the magazines were interchangeable, as I have never seen a .455 one. I have read that the magazines and the magazine wells on the pistols were different, but I cannot confirm that from personal experience. Doc

#59 MikB

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:05 PM

No Mik, this is one of the fifty seven .45ACP pistols that the RNAS purchased in 1916 from the London Armoury Company (the Colt UK agents). In all, between August 1914 and November 1916 Colt supplied 4,110 .45ACP pistols to LAC, but how many of these were then sold as private purchase and how many to the Government is unknown. Ammunition for the Navy pistols was purchased from Winchester and repacked in the UK.

The Government Model pistols in .455 Webley S.L. were not ordered directly by the RFC until January 1918, but the Ministry of Munitions had been buying them via London Armoury Company since May 1915 when the first 500 were ordered. There is no way of knowing for whom these were intended.

In all about 13,000 .455SL Colts were supplied, 3,000 via LAC and 10,000 directly to the government for the RFC/RAF.

Regards
TonyE

Thanks, Tony - thought you'd know... :D

I didn't realise that so many Colts had been made in .455. They get a mention in Col. Barlow's Small Arms Manual of 1942, and he makes it clear the ammunition isn't interchangeable (which commonsense inspection should reveal anyway), but he doesn't comment on the magazines or any other components. What about the return spring - would that need a lower rating for .455?

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#60 TonyE

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:12 PM

As I remember, the M1911 Colts were indeed ALSO made in caliber .455 Webley for British sales. But, the US-carried ones would have been in caliber .45 ACP. I do not have any idea whether the magazines were interchangeable, as I have never seen a .455 one. I have read that the magazines and the magazine wells on the pistols were different, but I cannot confirm that from personal experience. Doc


Doc - that is what we have been talking about in this thread.

I think what might be confusing is that technically the "Model 1911" Colt ONLY refers to the American military model in .45ACP. The similar pistol when made in .455SL is the "Government Model". So when I speak of the .455 Government Model pistol in my posts above, I am talking about the Colt, not the Webley Model 1912 pistol.

Also be carefull with the nomenclature. The calibre of these pistols was .455 inch Self-Loading, and to simply call it .455 Webley can lead to confusion with the revolver round.

The magazines are not interchangeable as the .455" ones are slightly wider, as is the magazine well in the frame of the pistol. They are usually marked on the floor plate "455 ELEY" as I mentioned earlier.

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TonyE

#61 TonyE

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:20 PM

I don't know about the springs, Mik, but I suspect they were the same. My father-in-law had a .455 Colt many years ago and we used to shoot it regularly because the ammo was still easily available in the sixties and it felt like any other .45ACP Colt.

The last military ammo for the .455SL Webley was made in 1942 AFAIK, as I have never seen a later dated one. The pistols were declared obsolete at the end of WW2.

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#62 MikB

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:30 PM

The last military ammo for the .455SL Webley was made in 1942 AFAIK, as I have never seen a later dated one. The pistols were declared obsolete at the end of WW2.

Regards
TonyE



Parker Hale were still advertising Kynoch commercial ammunition around 1965, but I think the round was already becoming unusual to the point of rare then. I know it was an envied item in the cartridge collection I had then.

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MikB

#63 Tom W.

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:02 AM

Interesting that US troops were able to buy them in London.

On page 63 of Stephen Bull's World War I Trench Warfare (2): 1916-18 (Osprey Elite No. 84), it says that U.S. troops purchased London-made trench magazines for their .45s. Color plate I shows an officer with one.

#64 Story

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

Just out of interest, this is a close up of Capt John A M Faraday MC (Irish Guards) taken after the war, wearing both a 1911 Colt and a service Webley. Guess he was applying lessons learned in his recent military service to full use.

Posted Image


Looking closely at his drop leg holster, it appears to have a spare magazine pouch sewn on the outside?

#65 khaki

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:03 PM

It would appear you are correct, the overall shape of the holster does not look like the standard holster for a 1911, I cannot see a belt attachment and the two leg straps would not support the weight for very long when moving, it would become an ankle holster very quickly. Maybe there is a support I cannot see and the holster is privately made.
khaki



#66 Doc2

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:01 AM

That leg holster also does not look large enough for a M1911 (compare the size to his hand). I would bet it was for some kind of .32 automatic (if it is not for some kind of tool, and not for a pistol). Doc

#67 khaki

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:13 PM

Hello Doc
You may be on the right track with your suggestions if you look closely at the holster, the flap/cover has a similarity to the style of flap used in a P08 holster, whether it is for a pistol or tool it must be very light weight item, I wish I could see the whole photograph and knew more about the person.
khaki

#68 TRAJAN

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:22 PM

...I wish I could see the whole photograph and knew more about the person.


I get the impression that dear Mae West might well have known more about this person [CUE- Mae, your lead, take 1, "Is that a gun..." - end of take, thanks everyone!]

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#69 khaki

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:25 AM

Looking closely at his drop leg holster, it appears to have a spare magazine pouch sewn on the outside?



If this is a photo of Capt Faraday MC Irish Guards (after the war) I wonder why he is wearing other ranks blouse and leather pistol rig. Was he still in a combat zone?. does anyone know where he served post war or what he was doing at the time of the photograph being taken??

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#70 Sommewalker

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:05 PM

If this is a photo of Capt Faraday MC Irish Guards (after the war) I wonder why he is wearing other ranks blouse and leather pistol rig. Was he still in a combat zone?. does anyone know where he served post war or what he was doing at the time of the photograph being taken??

khaki
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Ireland in the early twenties I should think. Perhaps in the Black and Tans? P.14 leather pistol sets were worn by various auxilary units involved in th Troubles. SW

#71 Peter Mc

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:54 PM

This is the photo that led me to believe it was a 1911 - can anyone confirm what it actually is (Faraday is to the left)

Posted Image

and this is the link to the full original picture I posted earlier.

http://irishconstabu...hers-#reply-743

#72 Doc2

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:27 AM

This is the photo that led me to believe it was a 1911 - can anyone confirm what it actually is (Faraday is to the left)

Posted Image

and this is the link to the full original picture I posted earlier.

http://irishconstabu...hers-#reply-743


1. That looks like a staged photo-- too many smiles for it to be real. Fingers off of triggers is safe, but not necessarily the way I would have expected the "capturers" to act at that time if it were a real event.

2. That is a 1911 Colt of some type. Note that the hammer seems to be forward, so that it can't fire.

3. Note that there is no leg holster for the 1911 visible.

I am not sure of the relevance to the discussion about the first photo posted, except to demonstrate the availability of 1911 Colts. Doc

#73 viking_raid

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:59 AM

I've only shot the 1911, but I used to own several deactivated Lugers.. so hears my opinion..

For stopping power: Webley A+, the 1911 A+, and the luger C+.
For ammo capacity: Webley C+, 1911 A+, Luger A+,
For smoothness of trigger and accuracy: Webley C+, 1911B+, Luger A+

1911 I think was the best all round pistol I think.

cheers
VR

#74 TonyE

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:26 AM

All points that are worth but nothing if the pistol will not work if it is full of mud!

Also, how can you give a Webley a "C" for accuracy if you have never fired one? I have owned and fired all three and whilst I agree that on the range a P.08 is the most accurate, a Webley is at least as accurate as a 1911.

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#75 MikB

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:31 AM

I've only shot the 1911, but I used to own several deactivated Lugers.. so hears my opinion..

For stopping power: Webley A+, the 1911 A+, and the luger C+.
For ammo capacity: Webley C+, 1911 A+, Luger A+,
For smoothness of trigger and accuracy: Webley C+, 1911B+, Luger A+

1911 I think was the best all round pistol I think.

cheers
VR

I'd say the Luger was accurate in spite of its trigger rather than because of it. With the clearances in the fit of the trigger bellcrank on its shaft, the fit of the lever pad in the trigger slot, the trigger on its shaft, and most of all the spring-loaded sear button in its hole, even a relatively unworn copy like the 1917 DWM I used to have could exhibit up to 4 distinct trigger stages!

Regards,
MikB