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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Probably over 35 years ago I was walking around a small, local gun show in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and blundered onto a table that had an almost mint 1916 dated Webley MkVI pistol on it. I had been looking for a Mk VI for quite awhile for my WWII Pistol collection, sorted by country and including primary, secondary and reserve pistols for each country. The serial number is 2498XX and ALL serial numbered parts match on it and I believe the price was a whopping $115 back then. The only gotcha was the fact that the pistol cylinder had been shaved to permit .45ACP cartridges to be fired in half moon clips, instead of .455 cartridges, which were very scarce back then. The shaving was done very nicely though and the serial number on the cylinder is still fully readable, with only the very bottom edge being trimmed off. I always say a desired pistol in the hand is worth two in the bush, so I bought it with the expectations of upgrading it to an unshaved version later, but that never happened, so here she is.

I took photos of the pistol in various lighting conditions, so the finish color will be accurate and the markings are easily readable, since my cheapy, digital camera is very temperamental. My wife has told me that it pays to accessorize so over the years I have bought a ton of P37, WWII dated, British/Canadian web gear and other pistol accessories for this pistol along with my Webley MkIV and S&W 38/200 pistols. I have taken a photo of a complete mint P37 WWII British pistol belt rig, with belt, holster, ammo pouches, braces and canteen. All ready to be worn by a British officer in combat. Notice, I took the 12 round box of .455 ammo and placed it into the ammo pouch and it fit well. I had read that a second box should also fit in the pouch which I believe is correct with a test I did. I am also including a photo of a mannequin I call “Tommy”, who is wearing the pistol belt for reference. Amazingly, back in those days, the WWII British and Canadian marked P37 web equipment was plentiful and dirt cheap, so I stocked up. The last photo I took shows various holster and ammo pouch examples. Starting from left side is a blue, Canadian RAF holster and Ammo Pouch, next to the right is a khaki, British holster and Pouch and all the way to the right is a Canadian, Khaki holster and pouch. At the top of the photo is a holster that was identified in Eugene Benders book, Military Holsters of WWII as a WWII British shoulder holster. The MkVI fits into this mint holster like a glove, but there are no markings on it which to me is unusual and I wonder if Eugene Bender may have misidentified it in his book.

As always I am open to any advice, comments, discussions, opinions, etc. to this topic.

Bob

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Nice MkVI rambob, I swapped out the shaved cylinders for unmolested .455 cylinders on these. Probably shoot them Saturday at my WASA/SASS club match in honor of the Queen. While it will be cooler I don’t think it will be cool enough for my wool RE tunic but I might be able to use my lighter RNWMP tunic. I need a Martini Greener 12 ga though. I usually shoot my Webleys on the anniversary of Rorkes Drift along with my 1873 musket.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Baltimoreed, looking good with your uniform and accoutrements!! BTW. I really like your pistol pair also. I also fire my MkVI on occasion, but with very mild, .45acp cartridges loaded with round nose, lead bullets. No reason to put extra stress on my Webley Baby.

Bob
 

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Found them many years ago, one was from Apex I think and the other came from South Africa. The Apex one was just dumb luck. I called and talked to a very nice lady who said she thought they only had the smaller .38 cylinders in stock but said wait while she looked. When she got back on the phone she said lo and behold there was one .455 left in the bin that I bought. I think I paid 150.00 for each. A lot then but not now. The S.A. one was listed on line, maybe ebay. Wasn’t until a few years ago that I tried them on my revolvers. Not a bad match.
 

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Bob, have you tried any .45 Cowboy Special loads in it? As tight to the frame as your cylinder looks you might be able to use them. Same length as a 45acp. I have an altered NWMP New Service that they work great in.
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If it was shaved for ACP in clips you can use 45 Auto Rim. With the right shell holder you can reload with 45 ACP dies. Auto rim can be loaded with a variety of bullets and you can probably duplicate the profile of the .455.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice on alternate cartridges to use in this pistol. Grove57, you are correct that it was lightly shaved. I need to grind the half moon clips a bit thinner so the cartridges sit forward in the cylinder and allow the cylinder to spin freely. If I don’t modify the clips, the base of the cartridges rub against the recoil shield and you then need to turn the cylinder with your hand to cock the pistol.

Bob
 

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Bob, If you would like I could send you a handful of 45cs to play with? The trouble with cutting down 45colt brass is the thickness of the brass that far down plus having to use .454 bullets. Send me a pm if interested. Have you tried 45colt or Schofield brass in it?
 

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I too have a 1915 Webley Mk VI with its shaved cyl. It is much the same as yours in finish and condition. I use 45 Auto Rim brass loaded to about 650 fps. and 200 grain hard cast lead bullets. It is a real pleasure to shoot. I also have a Webley Mk IV and an Enfield Mk II that I shoot on occasion. I have web holsters for each one and it is a real pleasure to burn a little powder on occasion with these pieces. You have a fine collection there. Keep it up.
 
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