SOLD FOR: $1650
Make: P. Webley & Son
Model: Mark I Service Revolver
Serial Number: 20347
Year of Manufacture: 1890-1894
Caliber: Originally chambered for .455 Webley, the rear face of the cylinder has been relieved for use with .45 ACP in moon clips. Please note, standard .45 ACP should not be used in this revolver as it would exceed safe pressures. We always recommend that used firearms are inspected by a qualified gunsmith prior to firing. A qualified gunsmith should be able to give you a better idea of what loads, if any, are safe to fire in this revolver.
Action Type: Single or Double Action Top Break Revolver with Left Side Thumb Release
Markings: The left side of the frame below the cylinder is marked “WEBLEY / MARK I / PATENTS”. The underside front face of the barrel and the underside of the frame in front of the trigger guard are marked “20347”. The cylinder appears to have been marked with a matching serial number, but much of this marking was removed when the cylinder was relieved. The top of the backstrap is marked “N”, the backstrap below this is marked “6 / 38”. There are British martial and commercial proofs as well as broad arrows on most parts. There is a rather large and deep broad arrow marked on the top strap. The left of the barrel has “ENGLAND” export-mark stamped.
Barrel Length: 4″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade integral to the barrel rib. The rear sight is a notch integral to the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered black hard rubber. The panels have gone to a brown color. The grips have some scattered nicks, scuffs, scratches and general light handling wear. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright. The rifling is worn, but visible. There is scattered minor erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 70% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs, scratches, light surface oxidation and some spots of solid erosion. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, some are poorly struck. Overall, his handgun rates in about Very Good condition as refinished and modified Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrel locks up with minor play to the frame. The cylinder locks up with light-moderate play on each chamber. The double action trigger is smooth. The single action trigger pull is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: P. Webley and Son received their first contract to produce the hinged frame Mark I revolver for the British Government in 1890. From lessons learned with this revolver and from their W.G. line of commercial revolvers, continual improvement in the design occurred, finally evolving into the Mark VI in 1916. About 35,000 of the Mark I revolvers were produced for the British government between 1890 and 1894, including this example. It has had its cylinder relieved for use with .45 ACP moon clips, a common modification on the revolvers which made their way across the pond, though care should be taken not to use loads which will exceed pressures safe for use in this revolver. The revolver is in about Very Good condition as Antique with about 70% of its blue finish remaining. The bore is still decent and the mechanics are fairly strong. This revolver probably has quite a history if it could be told. It could very easily have seen use in any of the armed conflicts and small wars England participated in at the turn of the century. This revolver should be of interest to collectors of military weapons, especially those interested in British service weapons. About 40,000 were made in total, it is impossible to guess how many were lost in their African campaigns and the Boxer Rebellion, but there can’t be that many left today, especially with matching numbers. Please see our photos and good luck!