An unusual Webley Mark I

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An unusual Webley Mark I

Postby Leonardj » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:20 pm

This rather unusual Webley Mark I came my way not too long ago. My research has proved it to be something of an anomaly, and I am hoping that some of the other vintage Webley enthusiasts may be of assistance in nailing down exactly what it is I have here.

All of the frame markings seem to point to it being a 2nd series gun, with the exception that it has the trigger adjusting screw present, suggesting it to be a 3rd series gun.
Perhaps a 2nd to 3rd series (early) transitional gun might be the best description?

The markings on the LHS are as follows:
Front of air chamber - "Webley Air Pistol Mark I".
Rear of air chamber - "Webley & Scott Ltd Birmingham & London".
Above the grip panel, the serial number - "10010"
And on the breech block - "British Pattent N. 219872" and "Foreign Patents Pending".

The markings on the RHS are as follows:
Rear of air chamber - "Made in England".
And on the breech block - "U.S.A. Patents Pending".

I'd be most interested in the thoughts of other Webley collectors regarding this unusual Mark I.

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Re: An unusual Webley Mark I

Postby Certus » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:50 am

Hi Leonard,

Thanks for posting the pictures of the very nice looking early Mk1.

I would agree it appears to be a late 2nd / early 3rd series transitional pistol.

Regards

Brian
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Re: An unusual Webley Mark I

Postby Leonardj » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:38 pm

Hi Brian,
Thank you for your thoughts on the gun.

I had one e-mail response that described this Mark I as a "very late 2nd series", and suggesting that "the addition of the trigger adjust screw did not immediately define it as a 3rd series gun". He went on to state that "the serial numbers for the 3rd series guns began at a significantly higher range than the serial number of this gun", but sadly, he did not quote me an actual range of numbers. I am not aware of any documentation that breaks the Mark I variants down by serial number range - I only have the info that breaks them down by engineering changes.

Currently, I have no solid info to either confirm or refute the above.
Is there any known breakdown of the Mark I variants by serial number ranges?
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Re: An unusual Webley Mark I

Postby Chris-S » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:12 am

Hi Leonard

I agree with Brian, and also suspect this to be an early US export model.

With regard to model variations by serial number I have an on-going database recording such things but unfortunately it sheds no further light on this particular change, and all I can confirm is that the introduction of the first type of trigger adjuster took place somewhere between 8,000 an 12,000 approximately. Bruce suggests the change took place about s/n 9,000 and he may well be right.

Of course it depends on what criteria you use to define the 2nd and 3rd models. Your email correspondent seems to be using different criteria for defining the third series - is it the trigger adjuster or the patent information or what? I have always taken the true 2nd model to have no trigger adjuster and only the British patent plus 'foreign patents pending' on the standing breech, and the true 3rd model to have the trigger adjuster and no more stampings on the standing breech, and would say under those criteria that your pistol is indeed a transitional 2nd/3rd model - its number is just where you would expect it to be - ie it is a third model with carry-over features from the second model.

It would appear that there is some confusion about the boundaries between the models, and personally I would have thought that the engineering changes should provide the model changes and not the markings which can be quite variable at certain times and of course for different markets (USA). It would be interesting to know what other collectors think

ATB Chris-S.
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Re: An unusual Webley Mark I

Postby Leonardj » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:19 pm

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your thoughts on the Mark I.

So, a 2nd to 3rd series transitional gun it is.

Thanks to all for their input.
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