SOLD FOR: $1,215.01
Make: Webley & Scott
Model: Webley Government Model of 1889
Serial Number: 3233
Year of Manufacture: 1890-1891 (From “Webley Revolvers” by Bruce & Reinhart, observed serial numbers were 1982 to 3933.),
Caliber: .455 Webley
Action Type: Single or Double Action Top Break Revolver with Left Side Thumb Release
Markings: The top of the barrel rib is marked “ARMY AND NAVY C.S.L” and “ENGLAND”, with the England marked front to back while the distributors name is marked back to front. (CSL stands for the Army and Navy Co-operative Society Ltd. formed in 1871 to sell guns and equipment to its members). The left side of the top strap is marked “”WG” MODEL 1889”. The left side of the frame is marked “WEBLEY / PATENTS”, a W&S “Winged Bullet” logo and a “Crown / BNP” proof. The left flat on the barrel lug is marked “6 TONS PER SQ””. The left side of the barrel is marked with a “Crown / BNP”, “.455”” and “.760””. The right side of the frame is marked “3233”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “89” and “3”, and the circumference just behind the flutes is marked with six “Crown / BNP” proofs. . There is a small “Crossed Flags / V” view mark on the right side of the frame above the rear of the trigger guard and six view marks on the cylinder, one in each of the cylinder flutes. The left side of the grip frame is marked “1957” and “H”.
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 with a “V” notch at the bottom of the “V”.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black hard rubber on a birds head grip frame. The smooth borders of the grips show several small dings and nicks each. The checkering shows light wear with a mar on the left side below the grip screw and a few small mars in the right grip. The grips are in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is a bright blue with the hammer, trigger, cylinder pin screw and barrel pivot screw “In The White”.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and has Metford rifling (seven wide grooves with narrow lands). The rifling is very shallow. There are two spots of very light erosion near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 50% of its metal finish. There are spots of surface frosting scattered over the sides of the frame and barrel, and on the cylinder. There is thinning on the front strap and the edges of the barrel, frame and cylinder, with surface loss on the backstrap. The barrel, cylinder, trigger guard and the sides and underside of the frame show numerous handling marks with tiny dings. There is a slightly larger ding on the right side of the frame in front of the grip. The hammer checkering show light wear but the barrel latch knurling is disfigured. The screw heads are distressed. The markings are all clear except for the seven small crossed flags figures, which are too small to make out clearly. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good – Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly in double action and single action. The trigger pull is very smooth in double action and light in single action. The barrel lockup is solid while the cylinder lockup shows a small amount of play. The cylinder has “church-steeple” patterns to the flutes. The extractor has three guide pins.
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. The revolver is in about Very Good condition with 50% of its finish remaining. There is thinning on the front strap and the edges of the barrel, cylinder and frame, with surface loss on the backstrap. There are spots of surface frosting scattered over the sides of the barrel and frame and on the cylinder. The barrel, cylinder and the sides and underside of the frame show numerous handling marks and small dings with a deeper ding on the right rear of the frame. The checkered black hard rubber grips show several small dings and nicks each. The checkering shows light wear with a few mars. The bore is bright with shallow rifling and two spots of very light erosion. The barrel lockup is solid while the cylinder lockup shows a small amount of play. The action functions correctly. This is a very well made revolver with a very smooth double action trigger pull and we can see how the target version could have won so many matches. This revolver shows a bit of rough handling, which is to be expected of a revolver sold to a British officer at the turn of the century – England was involved in several wars in Africa as well as conflicts in Afghanistan. It wouldn’t be long until Britain was involved in the Boxer Rebellion in China and WWI. British officers had to go in harm’s way, and their weapons were going to see use. This will made a nice addition to a collection of Webley revolvers. There were less than 2000 of this model made, making it rare, especially for a revolver made 125 years ago. .