Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

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Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby Leonardj » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:20 am

I recently purchased a post-war Webley Mark I pistol, in very nice condition, and in it's original box. When checking out the gun, I noticed that the muzzle end of the barrel extended quite a distance past the barrel pivot block, so, I dug out my other two boxed Mark I pistols and compared them to the newest acquisition. What I found, to my surprize, was that I have three different barrel extension lengths. I took a look through the Book by Gordon Bruce, and could find no mention of changes in barrel length specification(s). Since no info could be found, the next logical step seemed to be trying to determine how frequently these slightly longer barrel extensions are encountered.

I have attached a pic of my three Mark I pistols with the muzzles grouped together to try to adequately illustrate the disparity in extension lengths. The actual length is noted for each gun. What I also found interesting, or perhaps just coincidental on my three Mark I pistols, was that the length of the barrel extension increased as the batch number became greater. The gun with the shortest extension has a two digit batch number, the gun with the mid length extension has a three digit batch number, and the gun with the longest extension has a four digit batch number. I realize that there is really no rhyme nor reason to the batch numbers, but I found this quite curious. Could there possibly be some correlation between batch number and barrel extension length?

If you have a post war Webley Mark I pistol, I would appreciate it if you could check the batch number, and the barrel extension length of your gun.
If you could note the details as follows: (number of digits in batch number) / (3mm, 4mm, or 5.5 mm) IE - 3 / 4mm.

Thanks in advance.

I have already received a couple of e-mail responses from friends:
The first one was 3 / 4mm.
The second was 4 / 3mm. (Oh well, there goes my batch number digits to barrel extension length theory...LOL).

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Re: Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby Leonardj » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:30 am

From the responses thus far received, it would appear that the post war Mark I pistols could have any one of six barrel extension lengths - 1 mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm, or 5.5 mm.

Even with the limited number of responses, clearly, there is absolutely no corelation of the batch numbers to the barrel extension length, so we can probably dispense with the need for the number of digits in the batch number.

So, any other barrel extension lengths to add to the list?
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Re: Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby pmh » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:09 am

A very interesting thread, as always, Leonard.

It looks like the effects of individuals assembling parts to their own standards, rather than a standard specification; hence the deviations.

I am not sure if this is the case, as the length from the pivot to the breech must be a standard length. I wonder if the barrel blanks are over sized, and it was up to the individual assembler to trim accordingly.

It would be interesting if individual serial numbers could be associated with individual, and see if the length is attributable to individuals.

Kind regards,



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Re: Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby Chris-S » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:21 am

Hi

Very interesting thread. I noticed a rather long barrel extension (5mm) on a very early post-war Mk 1 pistol of mine (pre-war breech plug legend) in 177 calibre in a post I made on this forum last June. Batch number is 932 in very small figures. These long barrel extensions do not seem to occur on Seniors. (Whilst on the subject of Seniors, another collector posted details of a Senior with the same early breech plug legend as my Mk 1 and it also had its batch number (2 digit) in very small figures).

It seems strange to me that a manufacturer producing military firearms to very precise gauges, as with all British military firearms at least from the Victorian age onwards, should use so much (and variable) hand work in the quantity production of pistols which might be expected to have been produced to much closer tolerances, although of course the interchangeable parts must have been produced to adequately high tolerances. Presumably, since the barrels are interchangeable, the overall length of the Mk 1 barrels must differ, no 932 is 6.7 in/170 mm (Bruce gives 6.5 in/165 mm).

With regard to the pistol itself (no 932) the standard of finish is extremely high, a beautiful deep blue and highly polished. In my opinion the quality of manufacture and finish of this pistol is far superior to the almost unused post 1958 Senior in 22 that I have and it handles far more nicely than the Senior with a very light and crisp trigger - the Senior's trigger by comparison is appalling, so heavy it's almost impossible to hold consistently on target. IMHO the only advantages with the Senior are the laterally adjustable rear sight and the stirrup barrel latch (ie the Premier).

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Re: Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby Leonardj » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:55 pm

Hi Chris,
Thank you for the details on your Mark I, and the associated info.
I had hoped that folks would have been more forthcoming with the barrrel extension lengths of their post-war Mark I pistols, but alas, less than twenty responses thus far.
Interesting though, that even with such a limited cross-section, a total of seven different extension lengths have been noted.
Hopefully a few more folks will add to the list.
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Re: Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby Leonardj » Sat May 09, 2015 11:04 pm

Thus far, eight different barrel extension lengths have been noted - 1mm, 1.5mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, and 5.5 mm.

Thank you to those who have taken the time to respond thus far.
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Re: Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby Jeff » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:07 am

Hi
My three Mk 1 slant grips are as follows
Ser No 53183 with small "H" 2mm
Ser No 55540 with small "H" 2mm
Batch No 752 with small "c" 2.5mm
Included the identifiers as they may be relevant?
regards
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Re: Webley Mark I Pistol Barrel Extensions

Postby bellringer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:07 pm

I think I must fall into the same group of people who have never really paid attention to the smaller barrel protrusions as against the well documented ones of the Webley pistols. I have just parted with several Mk I pistols as a part of a sell off of my most of my Webley Pistols collection and I never thought about comparing the overhang at the muzzle. From what I have gathered it is possible that the length was just up to the machinist and may be related to the forging [or not], but as it didn't have any specific bearing on the operation of the pistol it may have been considered 'unimportant' and had a wide tolerance band on the drawings or may have not been specified. I have access to a couple of MK I's and will get this measurement when I can and forward it on.
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