History Dynamics and Legacy of the Webley Revolver

Dec 2, 2000
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>>Maybe we will see if they have any old company records on guns issued to Titanic, or not,...<<

I'll be looking forward to whatever you dig up. In all candor, I don't think the company is going to have records on which specific ship a weapon was issued to. That's the sort of thing more properly kept by the owners.
 

Tom McLeod

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Sep 1, 2005
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Agreed. But it's a place to start. If they have a historian and I continue to earn their trust on the matter it; it would be nice if this plan A approach works. Many a researcher who I've talked to lament over how long the interviews with various individuals in the know can take. A few published authors have said after their book is out, they often hear from old contacts with questions such as "oh you were serious about that?" Picture me doing a long Jack Benny pause at such prospects! Of course anyone on these boards who have ideas or plots to chart in the research, I'm all ears!!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Picture me doing a long Jack Benny pause at such prospects!<<

I can picture a lot of researchers doing exactly that.

Seriously, I doubt Webley much cared what ship White Star issued the weapons to so long as they got paid. Still, like you said, it's a start. They may not identify the ship, but they may well identify exactly what was sold to the line and when. That would get you a lot closer.
 

Simon Koncz

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Oct 10, 2010
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Lowe had his own privately purchased weapon. A Browning automatic pistol. Probably the model 1910, although a 1902 is also likely.
Webley made many "bulldog" types for the civilian market, and police variants, as well as the brute mk1V. The .455 calibre was difficult and unpleasant to shoot safely without a great deal of practice, also it was very bulky ( a 5-6 inch barrel) The pistols purchased from Webley were probably of .38 calibre, with a shorter barrel. This is suppostion, but I give two reasons. Firstly portability and ease of concealment. A hand cannon like the mk 1V would not be appropriate for that enviroment. Secondly ease of use by relatively inexperienced officers.
I think if the mk 1V .455 was issued, it may have gone to their cargo/livestock ships. I seem to recall they carried real armed US cowboys for cattle management. The cowboys could get near-mutinious, and THATS an appropriate piece for that kind of scenario
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Just some thoughts.

@Eric. The piece you are referring to was the Webley Fosberry automatic revolver. It had 6 chambers in .455 calibre and 8 chambers for .38 calibre.
It was the piece referenced in the film. It is very rare and much prized.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I've seen several Webleys of the period with White Star Line markings. All MkIV, .455 calibre, short-barreled and nickel-plated.
 

Simon Koncz

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Oct 10, 2010
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They were shorter than the army mk 1V barrels?
They did like mad calibres in Victorian/ Edwardian periods. Im just wondering if they were all .455. Could be though. Its a devastating round.
 

Simon Koncz

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Oct 10, 2010
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Thats the one! Great pic btw Bob.
A bulldog short barreled version. Thats what was sold to the civilian market. The police used it in the seige of Sidney Street in 1910, where they holed up some anarchists armed with automatics. Winston C even turned up!
I think the police were using it well into the 1940s, maybe later
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Traditionally the pistols were for use at close quarters against mutineers, thus the need for the heavy calibre to stop them literally dead in their tracks before they could deliver a blow with whatever blunt (or sharp) object they were brandishing. Traditionally also issued only to senior officers, as the juniors were often leading the mutineers!
 

Simon Koncz

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Oct 10, 2010
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Tom. They stopped using the .455 calibre in the 1930s for army issue. The Webleys used in WW2 were of .38 calibre. The drop in calibre was deemed to be practical for easier training of raw officers and others.
Its amazing they lasted in issue as long as 1963, in the age of the auto.
 

Simon Koncz

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Oct 10, 2010
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Above, Lowes' privately owned handgun was a Browning (FN) automatic pistol. The most likely candidate is the 1910 model.