Webley Mark 1 markings

A place to discuss all things Webley. As this is probably the most collected airgun maker we felt it deserved a section of its own.

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Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Jeff » Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:00 am

Can anyone give some background to the following markings on what I believe to be a fourth series pre war Webley.
Firstly it has many patents/brevets listed. On the right hand side front are the following: Japan,Switzerland Australia, Spain, Italy and Germany in that order with numbers etc and on the left hand side Great Britain, Belgium, France, USA, and Canada in that order with details. The dates range from 1923 (Australia) to 1925 (Canada and USA). Was it normal to have this many patents listed all my other guns only have a couple?
Second the same gun, ser no 19368, has a small IV stamped on the web under the grip next to the screw hole on both sides - does this indicate "forth series" or some other information?
Third the same gun has the last three digits of the serial number, 368, stamped on the trigger guard on the flat surface at the front inside part where it fits into the main body of the gun. I assume this was a matched part but have not found any other gun with similar matching (I do have a senior that has a batch number matching on the barrel catch)
Lastly there looks to be a quality Mark, a small JJ, on the underside next to the trigger web. Is there any information on how many quality staff were employed by Webley and what their marks were?( I have one gun with a H another with a single J and a number of others)
Jeff
 
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Certus » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:11 pm

Hi Jeff and welcome to the Forum.

Below is a brief summary of pre-war Webley Mk1 markings, but for the full story you really need to get yourself a copy of WEBLEY AIR PISTOLS THEIR HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT by Gordon Bruce.

There are many variations to markings and modifications to these pistols with some overlap and transitional pistols making exact dating difficult.
I would say your Mk1 is an early 5th series pistol dating it to early1926. Initially the barrel pivot was a single screw, but by Ser No 18989 it was modified to a two-piece unit. This would normally indicate a 5th series pistol although some transitional 4th series pistols may have this two-piece unit. The 6th series pistols appeared from around Ser No 37000 and saw the introduction of a removable screw-in muzzle plug, so that access was possible from both ends. Prior to pistols with Ser Nos below 12,000, fewer patent markings were present and somewhere between Ser No 17158 and 18989 the patent information was stamped rather than etched. Prior to 1929 the trade address would have also included “LONDON” which was subsequently dropped and became simply “WEBLEY & SCOTT LTD BIRMINGHAM”.

I’m not sure of the significance of the IV stamping, but it's worth noting that the series definitions are those established by collectors and do not represent official Webley classifications. The last 3 digits of the Ser No stampings on the trigger guard was normal practice for earlier examples. The following inspection initials are known to me and would have been present on pistols after approximately Ser No 19000: JJ; A.W; J; M; T & S. The JJ inspection initials are usually seen on pistols Ser No 19802 to 25426 inclusive, AW appears on Ser Nos 27581 to 30835. From Ser No 39912 up to 48687 the letters J,M,T & S were used in order of appearance.


Hope this helps.

Regards
Brian
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Jeff » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:49 pm

Hello Brian
Many thanks for the information on my Mark 1. I didn't realise there were so many variations on the series definitions. The reason I assumed this gun was series four was the use of a fillister head adjuster screw and the lack of a locking screw. My copy of Gordon Bruce shows the fifth series as having a cone head adjuster and lock screw. I see now that the description is clear that is was only after 26500 that the screw was changed.
A quick check on inspections marks on my other guns show two pre war with H ser nos 55540 and 53183 my post war guns sport O, R and J with two that have no visible marks.

The little IV's remain a mystery.
Many thanks
Jeff
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Jeff » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:58 am

Hello again
Having removed most of the accumulated dirt and rust I now find the gun has a further marking inside the grip web on the face directly adjacent to the serial number in the form of a Capital "A" information on what this indicates would be appreciated. All of these markings (both IV's and the A) have been stamped. (I would include a photo but haven't worked out how to do this yet)
Regards
Jeff
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Certus » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:27 am

Hi Jeff,

I have consulted a couple of acknowledged UK Webley experts and neither have come across the IV stamping among the great number of Mk1s they must have handled.

I will pass on the additional information you have provided and let you know what they make of it.

Posting pictures is quite easy and I would be happy to take you through it if that would help. In the meantime, if you could take a few pictures and e mail them to me at:

brianuprichard@fsmail.net

I will host them on your behalf. This would definitely help to establish whether the stampings are factory applied or have been added at a later date by the owner for some unknown reason.

Regards

Brian
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Jeff » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:04 am

Image
This photo shows the IV's one on each side of the web.
Jeff
 
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Certus » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:27 am

Hi Jeff,

That's great. With your permission I will circulate the picture and a see what we can find out about the markings. I have had a further suggestion that the 'A' might be a 'Assemblers Stamp' rather than a 'Inspection Stamp' to indicate who assembled the pistol. Are the normally recognised inspection stamps present in addition to the 'A' on this particular pistol ?

You may already be aware of a great New Zealand based site called Trev's Airgun scrapbook at http://cinedux.com/ which contains a wealth of vintage air gun content.

Regards

Brian
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Jeff » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:59 pm

Hello Brian
Feel free to circulate the photo. The normally recognised inspection stamps are present in the form of a "JJ" near the trigger guard on the underside of the gun. I will check out cinder. Many thanks.
Jeff
PS any advice on thread type and TPI used on Webleys of this vintage would be appreciated
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Jeff » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:26 am

[img][IMG]http://i882.photobucket.com/albums/ac21/jr_bright/DSCN1083_zpsvbugeyzi.jpg[/img][/img]

This is a photo of the gun after the rust has been removed and most of the pins and screws replaced. The Grips were broken and held on by nails so I've made up some replacements that will do until I can get some more original items.
Jeff
 
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Re: Webley Mark 1 markings

Postby Certus » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:30 am

o
Jeff wrote:[img][IMG]http://i882.photobucket.com/albums/ac21/jr_bright/DSCN1083_zpsvbugeyzi.jpg[/img][/img]

This is a photo of the gun after the rust has been removed and most of the pins and screws replaced. The Grips were broken and held on by nails so I've made up some replacements that will do until I can get some more original items.


Hi Jeff,

Looks like a great start to the Mk1 restoration. I have circulated the additional pictures of the unusual stampings under the grips and so far nobody has seen similar markings on a UK pistol. The replacement grips don't look too bad at all and I know original examples and inserts sometimes appear on E bay.

Keep up the good work.

Regards

Brian
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