previous post next post  

Doin' the Happy Dance!

 A Pritchard-Greener bayonet for the Webley MkVI revolver.  Of course, neither of these is in original configuration.  The Webley, originally chambered in .455, has had the cylinder shaved so that you can use half-moon clips and shoot .45 auto. The bayonet, while made (as the originals were) with a french Gras bayonet blade (and properly held in place with a nut) is one of the earlier (and by my lights, about the best) reproductions made decades ago.  There has been a recent glut of new-made repros being sold by IMA and Atlanta Cutlery which are made by Windlass Steelcrafts in India.  

Since my Webley is altered, I'm not that bothered by the repro bayonet, either, as it is a very good repro, but only costs a fraction of what an original goes for, as there were only circa 200-300 made and they are very spendy.  They were a private purchase item developed by Lieutenant Arthur Pritchard of the Royal Berkshire regiment and made by the famous gunmaker WW Greener.  This one came with a correct scabbard (made from the french M1874 Gras bayonet scabbard, just as the blade is a cut-down M1874 blade), and thus has the expected wear - but the leather frog is in simply too nice a condition and uses a snap closure of a type not used in 1916.

While a clever idea in theory, in practice, putting bayonets on pistols has never really caught on, if only because they make the pistol unwieldy... and likely to get caught on things (pun mercilessly intended).


Have you ever tried 45 Auto Rim in that? I would think that fireformed cases could be expanded gently to seat and fire a .454 round, and that would make the halfmoon clips unnecesary while eliminating the Webley Wobble.
 Nope. I haven't.  But I guess I will...  

Uhhhh .... okay I will say it ... don't stick yourself with that thing .... k?
Nice. I've handled an original and had the option on it but it didn't really suit the focus of my collection so- at the money- I let it go....
But I shoulda bought it, they're worth twice that now.
Hindsight, and all that...
 Oh I am so jealous, I need one those for my MkIV, which is not cut, most of the ones up here are still in .455.
I thought a bayonet was something you stuck onto the end of your musket to repel cavalry, not having a pike handy. A bayonet on a pistol?  Well, that sure is a curiosity and therefore a collector's item.  No wonder that those things command such big prices.
Hmph!  Won't fit my Mark VI.  Mine has the 4-inch barrel with semi-circular front sight similar to the Mark V.  Of course, it seems to be a bit of a dog's breakfast anyway, since all of the original serials have been struck through with a chisel and new 4-character serials stamped into the various bits.  Still, the top strap is very clearly stamped to indicate that it is a Mark VI.  I've always assumed it was a depot-level rebuild intended to be fobbed off on some colonial police force somewhere.

I'd be leery of shooting GI ammo in a shaved Webley.  This here link right here talks about the fact that the normal chamber pressure for .45 ACP exceeds the proof-round chamber pressure for the Mark VI.  Has ugly pictures, too.  Are some suggestions there for loadings that come close to the original pressures for service .455.

Of course, since I got my Para, the Webley is no longer my preferred defense gun anyway, so I don't need to keep it loaded with big honking cartridges.
The 'Webley Wobble' is not a function of the ammunition used. It's just a function of the design, that allows extra wobble in the cylinder, UNTIL it's cocked and locked into battery. Then it's rock solid. (If yours isn't, you probably shouldn't pull that trigger...)

.455 MkII Webley ammo has a rim that's .045" thick. .45 Auto Rim has one that's .091 thick. Won't fit.
My Webley is a well-used and abused veteran - but still locks up tight.  And has put a few .45 auto rounds downrange.  But now that the issue (new to me) has been raised, I will be looking into that.

I got it for the history, not as a shooter, so it won't break my heart if there is an issue with pressures.
So, here's one discussion

And then there's this one.

Looks to me like the simplest solution is light loads and non-jacketed bullets.