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I was browsing the online auctions and happened upon a Webley MkVI with a lined out serial # with a replacement B prefix 3 digit #. I've only seen this once before, on a Mk1 I picked up in Tulsa. It's marked alone on the butt, and the three other places the serial is commonly found. Any speculation on where these went, perhaps post Brit service, to get the B prefix?
 

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Irish most likely. A four inch commercial gun with the original serial 450909 puts it well after 1919's last delivery to the British forces; it doesn't bear any obvious markings of the RCMP, Siam or South Africa, the other users of commercial 4" guns. A renumbered ex-Irish revolver at hand, marked N 3665, with numbers similarly stricken, appears identical, including the two upside-down digits added to the front left of the trigger guard. Four inch commercial Mark VI revolvers are less common than the 6" military.
 

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The "Irish" Contract guns that I have seen are slightly different. They are re-numbered and refinished with the original number totally filled in and only visible at certain angles and in certain light as a difference in the refinished blue colour.

All have been stock 6" barrel guns (from the original serial number) that have been cut to 4" and reblacked in a deep inky colour black. The whole gun including the trigger and hammer being so refinished.

Webley's records show that a large number of revolvers were bought back from the British sometime after the end of WWI and then cut to 4", re-numbered, refinished and sold as a job lot contract to Ireland. I think after the recognition of the independence of the Irish Free State.

Their records list - again ten years plus since I saw the records - the old number and the new number then assigned. I think!

My memory is a little vague but I think that they were re-numbered without a "B" prefix and just had a later, in sequence, serial number. But cannot be wholly certain as it is ten years plus since I saw my last example.

That the original number on the one you have seen is visible and barred out suggests a local re-numbering and not part of the contract above that I have mentioned.
 
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