Proof Marks on a Webley mk3

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Proof Marks on a Webley mk3

Postby dc3-c47 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:26 pm

I recently acquired a 2nd series mk3 in poor condition but it should clean up and be quite usable. At first I was planning to strike it down and go for re-bluing but having used scotchbrite and paraffin, I quite like the patina so will leave it as is. Once I managed to clean the surface, I noticed that the rifle bears Birmingham black powder proof marks which are stamped both on the barrel just ahead of the rear-sight on the right-hand side and also on the receiver just below the loading tap lever. The marks are the typical BV and BP surmounted with crowns along with the calibre .22.

I confess that I have never previously seen proof marks on a British made air rifle so open to suggestions and opinions.
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Re: Proof Marks on a Webley mk3

Postby Certus » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:45 pm

Hi,

I think I read somewhere that some early British air guns carried black powder proof marks so that they could be exported to countries with rather strange import regulations. I can't recall the logic, but it seemed that anything other than a muzzle loading firearm was considered particularly dangerous and consequently banned. Unfortunately, a bit like the situation we find ourselves in this country today.

PS I would guess from your user name that you are also a big fan of my favourite Douglas Aircraft Corporation aircraft.

Regards
Brian
Last edited by Certus on Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Proof Marks on a Webley mk3

Postby fronteria » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:43 am

Certus wrote:Hi,

I think I read somewhere that some early British air guns carried black powder proof marks so that they could be exported to countries with rather strange import regulations. I can't recall the logic, but it seemed that anything other than a muzzle loading firearm was considered particularly dangerous and consequently banned. Unfortunately, a bit like the situation we find ourselves in this country today.

Regards
Brian

I have seen BSA air rifles with proof marks.
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Re: Proof Marks on a Webley mk3

Postby dc3-c47 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:49 pm

Thanks for the replies, it will be interesting to see if anyone else has a Webley with proof marks. This particular example is quite interesting since it is a series 3 rifle with the trigger adjusting screws in the trigger block but has a serial number 6260. According to Thrales book, the series 2 rifles were numbered from 2500 to 6500 and so the series 3 should start at 6501. It's possible that this example could have been altered at some point but I think it unlikely since the trigger block and the piston would need to be changed and the overall condition suggests that this rifle is original.
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Re: Proof Marks on a Webley mk3

Postby dc3-c47 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:07 pm

Disregard my earlier post, the series 2 ended at serial number 6000, not 6500 so the picture now makes perfect sense. It is a series 3 rifle dated about 1952.
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Re: Proof Marks on a Webley mk3

Postby bellringer » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:29 pm

I have now come across several proof marked MKIII's. It is assumed by the proof house that they were marked for export use as some countries required it. It seemed strange at first as the gun is a tap loader so couldn't fire live ammo.; even stranger is the BP proof mark, which if you go to the Birmingham Proof Mark History, you will see BP = Black Powder ans all the guns I've come across have the same set of marks which are strangely listed as 1926 [I think] which makes no sense on a MK III. Some very strange happenings, but all add to the mystique of collecting. Hope this helps.
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