ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • History & Archaeology»
  • History of the Modern Era»
  • Twentieth Century History»
  • World War I

World One War: Webley Pistol

Updated on April 21, 2011
Webley & Scott Mk VI. Caliber .455 pistol which was the standard British Officers side-arm of the war
Webley & Scott Mk VI. Caliber .455 pistol which was the standard British Officers side-arm of the war
Daniel Radcliffe playing Jack Kipling in the TV drama 'My Boy Jack' using a Webely MK VI revolver
Daniel Radcliffe playing Jack Kipling in the TV drama 'My Boy Jack' using a Webely MK VI revolver
Webley Revolver Opened
Webley Revolver Opened
Webley .455 ammunition
Webley .455 ammunition

One of Great Britain’s armed services most influential and well recognised weapons of World War One is the Webley Pistol.

The Webley Revolver was the standard issue service pistol for Great Britain’s armed forces between 1887 and 1963.  The gun came in many variants, two of which, the Mk IV and Mk VI were used during the First and Second World Wars.

The design of the Webley gives its technical name which is a top break revolver with automatic extraction.  This means that the revolver breaks open in order to eject spent cartridges from the cylinder and reloading rounds into the gun.

The gun was designed by Webley and Scott, weighed 2.4 lb. and was 11.25 inches long.  The guns rate of fire was 20-30 rounds per minute and the muzzle had a velocity of 620 ft. /s.  The guns top effective range was 50 yards.   

The first Webley or Mk I was adopted by the British Army in 1887, and the well-known Mk IV rose to prominence during the Boer War.  However, the now famous Mk VI, which was introduced in 1915 and used throughout World War One, is the well-recognised revolver of the period.

The revolver itself is an extremely powerful gun.  Firing a .455 round the impact of one of these rounds at close range will go straight through a human body.  Despite the Webley being phased out of military use following World War 2, the .38/200 Webley Mk IV variant is still in use by police forces throughout the world.

Although the gun was universally used, much practice was required in order to use the gun accurately.  This was due to the gun jumping on being fired.  Further to this, British officers often used personally purchased German Lugers or C96 ‘Broomhandle’ Mausers.  This was attributed to German side-arms having greater range than their British counter-parts.

In 1914, the standard Webley revolver was the Mk V which was adopted by the British Army in 1913.  There were in fact considerable numbers of Mk IV’s still in service as the order for 20,000 Mk V’s hadn’t been completed by the outbreak of war.

In 1915, the Webley Mk VI was officially adopted as the standard side-arm for British and Empire troops.  The weapon was issued to officers, airmen, naval parties, trench raiders, machine gun teams and tank crews throughout its varied career.

The revolver proved to be so popular and hardy that several accessories were developed for that Mk.  These included a bayonet, a speed loading device and a stock which allowed the gun to be used as a carbine.  Another prototype variant was a self-loading automatic. This type was available from 1913; however the army thought it to be to complex.  Despite the army turning the variant down, the Navy utilised this variant.   


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)