SOLD FOR: $3331.76
Make: Webley & Scott
Model: Webley Government Army Model of 1896
Serial Number: 16658
Year of Manufacture: 1897-1898 Antique
Caliber: .476 Webley
Action Type: Single or Double Action Top Break Revolver with Left Side Thumb Release
Markings: The top of the barrel rib is marked “P. WEBLEY & SON” and “LONDON & BIRMINGHAM”. The left side of the top strap is marked “”WG” ARMY MODEL”. The left side of the frame is marked “WEBLEY / PATENTS” and a W&S “Winged Bullet”. The left flat on the barrel lug is marked “455/476”. The right side of the frame is marked “16658”. The underside of the barrel lug at the frame is marked “658”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “658” and “476” and the rear of the flutes are marked with proofs. There is a small crossed flag mark on the right side of the frame above the grip. The left side of the grip frame is marked “16658”, “K”, and “E”. The back strap is marked “W. C. REID / I.S.C”.
Barrel Length: The barrel is round on the bottom with flat sides and a full length top rib. It is 6” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a tall thin German silver blade fixed to a raised base on the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch in the top of the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black vulcanite on a bird’s head grip frame. The smooth borders of the grips show several nicks and scratches. The top rear of the right panel has an area of repaired material loss. The checkering is generally well defined with a couple of minor interruptions on the right panel. The grips are in about Good-Plus overall condition as repaired and Antique.
Type of Finish: The finish is a bright blue with the hammer, trigger, cylinder cam and cylinder cam lever “In The White”.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with some scattered faint erosion and well defined rifling.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 13% of its metal finish. There is scattered light oxidation throughout with the most notable on the bottom of the barrel, on the back strap, the trigger guard, and on the cylinder. There are also scattered little nicks and scratches throughout. There is thinning at all leading edges. There is some minor pitting on the top edge of the barrel latch. The cylinder shows a distinct turnline. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are all clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder lockup produces some play in single action and barely any when the trigger is depressed. The barrel locks up tightly with no play. We did not fire this revolver. As with all previously owned firearms a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: There is a lanyard ring on the bottom of the grip frame.
Our Assessment: From “Webley Revolvers” by Bruce & Reinhart: “The Webley W.G. models started with the Model 1886 and ended with the Model 1896. The revolver’s “W.G.” marking was meant to represent “Webley Government” model. This model was sold to both civilians and to officers of the British Army (who had to supply their own personal weapons), and there was also a target version available with target sights. Unlike the matte finish of the Service revolvers, the W.G. models had a polished blued finish. The W.G. revolvers achieved almost immediate success in shooting matches. At the 1889 NRA Wimbledon Camp matches, celebrated American shooter Chevalier Ira Paine found his revolvers were not eligible, picked-up a Model 1889 he had never shot before, and obtained three “Highest Possible” scores with it.”. This revolver was sold to the Army and Navy Cooperative Society for sale to British officers, and with the British being involved in several wars in Africa during the late 1890s as well as conflicts in Afghanistan, the revolvers were probably sold as fast as they could be made. This revolver has a 6” barrel marked with the distributor’s name. It has its original finish and all of the parts have matching serial numbers, including the grips. The revolver is in about Very Good condition with 73% of its finish remaining. One interesting and puzzling aspect about this revolver is the W.C. REID / I.S.C” marking on the backstrap. Despite our best research efforts, we could not come up with any specific information to clarify what this marking refers to. It could also very well be the initials of the first owner but who knows? This would make a fine addition to a Webley revolver collection as well as a fun research project. Please see our photos and good luck!