SOLD FOR: $1330
Model: Mark I Service Revolver
Serial Number: 2741
Year of Manufacture: 1887-1894
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, the outside of the cylinder, and the underside of the frame in front of the trigger guard are marked “2741”. The cylinder’s serial marking is incomplete, some portions removed when the cylinder was relieved. The top of the backstrap is marked “N”. 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 topstrap. The left of the barrel has “ENGLAND” export-mark stamped twice, both markings are poorly struck and incomplete.
Barrel Length: The barrel has been cut to 2 3/8″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed to the barrel rib. The rear sight is a stepped square notch integral to the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered black hard rubber. Each panel has a chip-loss at the bottom-front across the frame indexing stud. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs, scratches and there is a patch of scraping on the right panel toward the bottom-front. The checkering is generally defined. Overall, the grips are in about Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Some remaining finish appears original. Most surfaces show treatment with cold blue.
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 20% of its metal finish. Remaining finish is mostly in protected areas such as the cylinder flutes and around the holster wedges. Most other surfaces show old, worn cold blue mottled with discoloration from oxidation. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The trigger guard has a patch of erosion. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly disfigured with useable slots. The lanyard ring is missing from the butt. 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 barely perceptible play to the frame. The cylinder locks up with minor play on each chamber. The double action trigger is fairly smooth, but a little heavy. 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 1887 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 20% of its finish remaining. The barrel has been cut down to 2 3/8″, but 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!