[ This post was written by Wayne Watson ]
Some years ago, I was passing by my favorite gunshop and the inevitable happen= there was something in the safe that I MIGHT be interested in. A Mk. IV Webley, complete with Lee dies and the original holster. Being broke, I immediately put up my Tanfoglio 9mm in trade to secure it unseen.
The pistol did not disappoint, far from it, it was mint. I’m sure it was owned by an officer senior enough to both have a batman and to remain a respectable distance from the ‘sharp end’- as it was made in 1917 (a quick google of the serial number determined that) I’m thinking it probably saw some kind of service in ‘The Big One’.
Now some folk are happy just to own such a piece.
I’m not one of them. Firearms are made to go bang, so it was back to the net to find a load. My favorite gunshop had the brass-HORNADY 455 WEBLEY- at $90NZ /100, plus 250g .454 slugs to fit- not the original 265g ‘flying dustbins’, but as near as I could get. There was little reloading data out there then, but 3.5 g of 700x was mentioned and that I had. I was in business.
A few club members where horrified that I would contemplate actually firing a 1917 pistol in mint condition.
To hell with that! These were made to be fired- and fire it I did. The load worked well and the wife had no trouble shooting it. She was actually thinking that I might give it to her, but that was no happening and I had to pay her off with another S&W .38 for her collection.
I have even used it in a few CAS matches and for those who grumbled about double actions, I invited them to try and shoot it in that mode. The trigger pull probably didn’t matter when confronted by screaming fuzzy-wuzzy’s or whirling dervishes, but it played havoc when thing to hit a steel plate at seven meters.
Most of the year this pistol takes pride of place in my VERY small collection (one pistol is a bono fide collection!) but it does visit the range at least annually- and also stars on the cover of my first book- ‘Meddlers in Time’.