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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last month I purchased a Webley Mk III .38 revolver on Auction Arms. The auction number was 8245705. It is different than the other Mk IIIs that I have seen. The frame is stamped “WAR FINISH” and the metal is unpolished and clearly shows machine marks. Finish wise it is what you would find on a “WAR FINISH” Mk IV. It has a 4” barrel and oversized, reeded wooden grips. It is stamped with Birmingham proof marks, an Enfield Inspector’s mark, and a broad arrow. The serial number is 559XX.

Has anyone seen a “WAR FINISH” Mk III before? I did not know they existed until this one came along. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes,

Ed
 

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I would assume that the gubmint bought anything and everything that would chamber the service cartridge. So if Webley had MkIII's on the production line they would be finished the same way.
 

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You can't assume that in this case because Ed has a very late MK III that was made after Webley stopped polishing the .455 MKs that way. It was made in that short period of time when they were making both MK III and MK IV .38s.
 

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War finish was normally stamped on the right hand side of the revolver just above the bottom of the frame. It was to let everyone know that Webley normally did a better job of finishing a revolver. It saved a tremendous amount of time during war time production. A great number of time saving measures were allowed during the war, as well as product substitution.
 

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The government bought up virtually everything Webleys had on the shelf in 1940 and 41. Not too surprising that Mk.IIIs would usable in a pinch.
 

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The problem with all these assumptions is that the MK III was long out of production by the time the War started in Europe. Even if they had some left inventory those would have been polished and blued during peacetime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies. This really is an odd little revolver. First, as Joel has pointed out, the manner in which it is polished dates back to the early Webley Service revolvers. Why would they bother to finish this model differently than Mk IVs? Why offer this model at all? The Mk IVs had been in production for years and Mk III product ended in 1939. Why not focus on Mk IV production?

I have another question I could use help with. In what year, and/or what serial number range, did Webley begin producing "War Finish" Mk IVs?

Thanks,

Ed
 

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Joel: I agree with your assumption, however we must realize that a "trained ape"..oops, government inspector, who was instructed to stamp all Webley's with the WAR FINISH stamp probably would not differentiate between a peace time manufactured Mk. III and a War time Mk. IV. I cannot remember the last year of mfr for the Mk. III but was was post depression and items were not really flying off the shelf in the 30's. War did have the ability to kick start the economy.
 
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