Original British Victorian Named Officer's Webley "WG" Model Revolver sold by Army & Navy C.S.L. - Serial 5702
Original Item: Only One available. Toward the close of Queen Victoria's long reign (1837-1901) the British Army started to reform and modernize. The 1881 Childer's Reforms rearranged all the Regiments and Officer's were required to standardize their weapons. They had choices such as the Adams and Enfield revolvers, but after 1887 the revolver of choice was definitely the Webley, which had introduced the Mark I revolver in 1887 for the British Military. They then introduced the "WG" ARMY Model of 1889 for private purchase at many retailers. These revolvers were made primarily for the military market, as upper officers were responsible for supplying their own sidearms in the British military until 1915. The model was a much higher grade, with private manufacture quality incorporating many desirable special order features to accommodate any Officer's fancy. It was a full size service revolver in .455 caliber (accepting a wide variety of .45 inch British cartridges, including the .450, .455, .476, Enfield Mk II, and Enfield MkIII). "WG" actually stands for Webley-Government, contrary to some information available. In 1893 the model was updated, and then again in 1896 with various incremental improvements that paralleled the "marks" of the standard issue.
Our example here marked is marked "W.G." MODEL above the cylinder, and is serial numbered 5702 on the right side of the frame. The rear of the cylinder is marked 702, and it is also marked 455/476 on the left side of the barrel. It has checkered wood grips and is fitted with a standard 6" barrel, and a "Church Steeple" cylinder that instead of having flutes in the cylinder resembled six sticks of dynamite grouped together.
The wood checkered grips show light overall wear, but no major chips or damage. The overall condition shows much of the original blued color retained, with areas worn to a dull gray patina.
The top of the barrel is engraved with the Retailer's name that supplied the weapon:
ARMY & NAVY C.S.L.
This stands for the Army & Navy Co-operative Stores Limited. located in Victoria Street, London. This was a well-known military outfitter during the late Victorian age, selling everything from firearms to hats. It is also marked WEBLEY / PATENTS next to the Webley & Scott "Winged Bullet" logo over W&S. This was clearly for an officer who was kitting himself out with the best money could buy. An Antique top break Revolver of great quality and sound condition that may have seen service all over India and Afghanistan in the 1890's and maybe even with General Kitchener at the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan of 1898.
It may in fact be possible to trace this revolver, as the pistol grip is marked on the rear spine to the officer who owned it, a fantastic research opportunity:
MAJOR. J. M. STUART. WORTLEY. K.R.R.C.
The bore is nice and clean, with clear lands and grooves, showing little oxidation. There is some wear to the lands, so it did see some level of service. The cylinder still has markings on the back, so this revolver was not shaved down to accept half-moon clips holding .45ACP. Many similar revolvers were, making this a great opportunity to get a nice honest unchanged model. We cycled the revolver and did not notice any issues in double or single action. The ejector presents correctly and retracts as the pistol is broken open. It also still has the original lanyard loop attached.
A great example of a famous private purchase service revolver. Fully operational and ready to Display.
Year of Manufacture: circa 1893-1896
Caliber: .455 Webley Mk I/II
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 12 inches
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Action: External Hammer Double/Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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