Pre-war Junior musings

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Pre-war Junior musings

Postby Chris-S » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:13 pm

While doing some research on the pre-war Junior pistol I have been a little confused by some apparently conflicting data in Bruce’s book on Webley air pistols.

The text states that serial manufacture of this model commenced before the end of 1928 (page 43), and that manufacture was halted in 1939 due to the outbreak of war, with total production exceeding 30,500 (page 52). So far so good, however the data summary at the end of the chapter (page 53) shows production dates from 1929 to 1938 with a serial range up to about 34,000.

The production period anomaly could simply be a case of the transposition in the data summary of the final figures 8 and 9 of the year dates. However the total production number cannot be so easily explained but is possibly a simple misprint. My database of pre-war Juniors does not have a serial number exceeding 30,500 and I would be very interested to hear of any such pistols known to other members. Of course it might be that the production figure of 34,000 is in fact correct, but then why the fairly precise figure in the text?

My impression is that the text is probably correct and that the late short barrelled pre-war Junior is in reality quite a scarce item with possibly only about a thousand or less manufactured, and the very final variety, which provides a good link with post-war production, perhaps only about half as many as that or again even less. These very late pistols also seem to show some other rather interesting differences from the earlier production pieces, but more data is needed to be reasonably certain.

Another interesting (or perhaps not) fact is that total pre-war production of the Marks 1 & 2 pistols is approximately twice that of the Junior, and - yes, you've guessed it - my database of pre-war Marks 1 & 2 pistols contains about twice as many records as my pre-war Junior database. Hmmm ... ...

Any comments would be very much appreciated.

ATB Chris S.
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Re: Pre-war Junior musings

Postby Certus » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:11 am

Hi Chris,

Sorry for delay in responding, but I have been checking on another forum to see if anybody there had a Junior with a Ser No higher than J30500.

I have had a reply from a well respected source as follows:

"As coincidence has it, I have been undertaking similar research and the answer so far is 'no'. I'd be interested to see if there are higher serial numbers than those quoted. The highest number I am presently aware of is in the J30200s and this is believed to be an 'Anniversary' model from 1942".

"Not sure if the researcher is aware of when cylinder stampings changed from the prewar style to those commonly seen on post war Juniors? The barrel was also shortened around this time. I am aware of pistols with the 'later' features in the J28000 range but understand the change came earlier. It would be good to pin it down".

I will keep you updated should I receive any more information.

Regards

Brian
Certus
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Re: Pre-war Junior musings

Postby Chris-S » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:14 pm

Hi Brian,

Thanks very much for your help in putting the gist of this post on another forum. I have been watching that thread and have tried to reply to it with more details three times in about the last 15 hours but apparently my post has to be moderated.

I will re-post the extra details from my reply on the other forum on this forum as I have no idea when or if my post will appear in that other place.

Again many thanks for your help

ATB Chris S.
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:34 pm


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