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Thread: Webley Mk VI Reloading & Bore Diameter Help

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    Member Gillafunk's Avatar
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    Webley Mk VI Reloading & Bore Diameter Help

    I Recently picked up my first wheel gun: a 1918 Webley Mk VI

    The cylinder has been trimmed to fit moon clips allowing one to fire .45 ammo but I have yet to shoot it.

    I just swagged the bore and it measures out at .447"

    I have done a good amount of research on my own regarding reloading for it and was very surprised to find the bore so small, as I was expecting something larger as this pistol is supposed to shoot .455 caliber ammo, and most lead bullets for this unit are supposed to be about .453-.454.



    The barrel does look original, so I cant really understand that his pistol is bored out to actually shoot .45 ammo.

    Given this information, what bullet diameter should I be reloading with as now I'm quite confused.
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    Advisory Panel Parashooter's Avatar
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    What's the groove diameter? (That's the dimension which bullet diameter should fit.)



    Normal bore diameter range for .45ACP is .442" to .446", groove diameter .450" to .454" (SAAMI specs).

    If the barrel has an odd number of grooves/lands, measurement can be tricky without special tools or techniques.

    Last edited by Parashooter; 04-28-2013 at 12:04 AM.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillafunk View Post
    I was expecting something larger as this pistol is supposed to shoot .455 caliber ammo, and most lead bullets for this unit are supposed to be about .453-.454.

    Back to basics: it is a REVOLVER not a PISTOL.
    The difference is not just a matter of words. When a revolver is fired, the inertia of the bullet means that it first tends to obturate (bump up) to fit the front of the chamber in the cylinder, then it is rammed into the forcing cone and swaged down, then it is finally forced into the rifling. Quite a lot of stress in this process, so the first consideration, especially as this is a design going back to the black powder era, is to be kind to the mechanism and NOT feed it with modern jacketed bullets! As pistols do not exhibit this bump up/swage down effect, they can use much closer-fitting, harder bullets.

    The 455 designation is also a hang-over from the 19th century. For all practical purposes the Webley Mk VI is a .45 revolver. 452-453 lead bullets fly very satisfactorily. Once again, this is all happening at BP velocities, so a BH of 15 is sufficient and also permits an adequate bump-up effect. The original bullet was a 255 (or was that 265) gn round-nose with a hollow base (which aids the bumping up).

    It is a pity that the cylinder has been shortened. This was done post WW1 to enable the use of 45 ACP ammo. However, most modern .45ACP is going to be unsuitable (too hotly loaded, bullets too hard). Using moon clips is also a PITA, if you can even find them. That is why 45 Auto Rim was invented, and those are the cases which you should use, and forget the moon clips.

    I don't know if you will be able to find such ammo at an acceptable price, so I think you are going to have to get used to the idea of loading your own ammo if you want shooting satisfaction from a Webley.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 04-28-2013 at 04:45 AM.

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    Really Senior Member jonnyc's Avatar
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    Moon clips, both steel and plastic, are very easy to find, and just as easy to use. Suitable .45ACP or .45 Auto-Rim ammo is a bit tougher to organize, unless you reload. Many of us use mild, lead-bullet loads in our MkVIs, and Colt and S&W 1917s.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyc View Post
    Moon clips, both steel and plastic, are very easy to find, and just as easy to use.

    OK, may be easier where you live. Unknown here in Mauserland. We seem to agree about the ammo.

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    Really Senior Member jonnyc's Avatar
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    Oh, didn't see the "Germanyicon". Is it legal for you to order the plastic Rim-Z moons on-line?

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyc View Post
    Is it legal for you to order the plastic Rim-Z moons on-line?

    It is very annoying that most US suppliers seem to be so sh*t-scared of offending some imaginary legislation, that they will not accept orders from outside the US for anything to do with guns.

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    Many Webleys were altered to .45ACP/moon clips for the US market. It lowers the market value for collectors considerably. I don't recommend using full military or hotter loads. It is still a 19th Century break open design so stick to .455 level reloads.

    There is no real need anymore to alter the cylinder as pieces in good condition are becoming less common as time passes. Fiocchi make .455 ammo, and Hornady made cases in the shorter Mk. II length, not sure how common they are. I alter .45 Colt or Schofield to .455 by turning the rims back to .035 FROM THE FRONT, and shortening to .45ACP length with a tubing cutter and a LEE Precision case length guide/cutter. The new .45 Cowboy Special is a great option but manufacture of these ACP length/.45 Colt rim cases is temporarily suspended until a new owner can organize supply.
    Last edited by Carlos16; 05-29-2013 at 11:38 AM.

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    I'd be interested to see if Gillafunk had ever made it to the range. He hasn't been on site since two minutes after his lone post!

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Perhaps he was tired of waiting for an answer? A whole 120 seconds. Some people are very impatient.

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