Webley vs. Webley – The Final Showdown

Webley vs. Webley – The Final Showdown

The MK VI Battlefield Finish Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

So this is where we left off last Thursday with the Battlefield Finish Webley MK VI CO2 model being compared to the .455 caliber MK VI civilian model from the 1920s. As you can see, the look of the Battlefield Finish model is that of a true weathered gunmetal steel pistol and is far more realistic than either of the other MK VI CO2 model finishes. The nickel plated guns were actually a rarity. When I completed this shot for Part 2 of the article, I actually pulled the CO2 model out of the studio mistaking it for the .455 caliber Webley model.

I have to begin this belated wrap up of the Webley & Scott Battlefield Finish MK VI with a story. After I finished last Thursday’s Part 2 article I put the MK VI Exhibition and Service Model CO2 revolvers away, which left the last studio setup to be broken down. That was the photo of the Battlefield Finish MK VI and my original .455 caliber civilian model Webley MK VI. I have owned that MK VI for over 25 years (along with a few others) and have even shot it a few times. I’m actually a big Webley & Scott and Enfield fan. Anyway, back to the story. I reached into the studio, picked up the MK VI and was walking away when I realized I had actually grabbed the Battlefield Finish CO2 model! For an instant it felt and looked exactly the same as my .455 caliber MK VI, and that takes us to the final examination of this superb CO2 pistol, because it is remarkably like the .455 caliber model. read more


Webley vs. Webley – The Final Showdown

Webley vs. Webley – The Final Showdown

The Finish, the Trigger, and the Accuracy Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

By Dennis Adler

A Webley has a very distinctive look, the Mk VI featuring a square-butt grip, flat sided barrel, and large triggerguard. Military MK VI models had a dull finish (like the CO2 Service Model) that was less reflective than the blued finish used on some Webley & Scott military sidearms and commercially-produced models. The Battlefield Finish is a brilliant compromise with a gunmetal look and edge wear of the barrel flats, cylinder flutes, and other parts.

Of all the vintage military CO2 pistols available today the three most complicated to faithfully copy are the Broomhandle Mauser Model 712, Luger P.08 and Webley MK VI, each for different reasons, but all demanding a level of precision far exceeding that of other WWI and WWII pistols. The Webley is certainly the least problematical to build of the trio; the Mauser Model 712 with its selective fire blowback action and the semiautomatic P.08 with a toggle link blowback action require far more complex mechanisms, but the Webley is just as exceptional in its design and operation for a revolver. read more


Webley vs. Webley – The Final Showdown

Webley vs. Webley – The Final Showdown

The Finish, the Trigger, and the Accuracy Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

By Dennis Adler

All the same, yet each uniquely different, the Webley & Scott MK VI CO2 models have more than different finishes and a choice between a smoothbore BB model and two rifled barrel pellet models. The latest addition to smoothbore Service Model (top right), is the nickel silver finished Exhibition Model with rifled barrel and the just released (in the U.S.) weathered Battlefield Finish pellet model (lower left).

The Webley MK VI has become one of the most controversial CO2 military models of the year, and as we begin to close out 2017 the big three MK VI models are all now available, the original Service Model with smoothbore BB barrel and matte military finish, the silver nickel finish Exhibition Model with rifled barrel and pellet-loading cartridges, and the weathered Battlefield Finish Model with rifled barrel. All three exhibit different characteristics aside from their distinctive finishes and this is what has created the controversy over the last couple of months since the rifled barrel Exhibition Model was introduced. The accuracy with the rifled barrel Exhibition Model at 21 feet was barely equal to the smoothbore BB Service Model and at 10 meters (which is beyond the smoothbore BB model’s optimum accuracy); the rifled barrel Webley came up short against other pellet-firing revolvers, especially fired single action, which is most unusual. This raised several significant questions about the newest Webley MK VI model. read more


WWI Shootout – Nagant vs. Webley MK VI

WWI Shootout – Nagant vs. Webley MK VI

The top two double action military wheelguns face off

By Dennis Adler

The Gletcher Nagant Silver 4.5mm pellet model is one of the most accurate and easy to handle CO2 revolvers there is. As a vintage firearm the Nagant truly stands out at every level of comparison. The new Webley Exhibition model with silver nickel finish is another handsome looking vintage revolver. The rifled barrel model is available in this style and in a weathered Battlefield version which will be reviewed next month.

As a collector and enthusiast of 19th century European firearms, I like to think of the late 1890s as the renaissance of European arms design. This was the beginning of the development and manufacturing of semiautomatic pistols, but it was also the beginning of significant advancements in double action revolver design. The Europeans were always ahead of U.S. armsmakers when it came to double action revolvers (and metallic cartridges), and this was equally so by the end of the 19th century when Webley & Scott had advanced the design of their .455 caliber topbreak single action/double action MK series revolvers to the MK IV model, and Russia had adopted the Belgian-designed 7.62mm, 7-shot, gas-seal Nagant revolver in 1895. By the end of the century the Russian government had purchased the rights to the Nagant revolver and begun manufacturing them at the state owned arsenal in Tula, and later at the Izhevsk arsenal. More than 2,000,000 Nagant revolvers were produced by 1945. It is going to take a lot of Gletcher CO2 models to catch up! read more


The Webley’s Reprise Part 4

The Webley’s Reprise Part 4

Reevaluating the nickel MK VI

By Dennis Adler

The “To be continued…” match up is the new nickel MK VI (top) against the first test gun from last month (bottom). Will the triggers on these two otherwise identical guns work the same and will accuracy improve?

To be continued…That is where we left the new rifled barrel Webley MK VI model last month awaiting a second test gun to find out if there is a difference in the new MKVI rifled barrel models (other than the rifled barrel) and specifically, differences in the double action/single action triggers on these latest Webley & Scott CO2 models.

Let’s begin by going back briefly to the original smoothbore models introduced in 2015 which had an average double action trigger pull of 7 pounds, 10.5 ounces, and single action trigger pull of 4 pounds, 9.2 ounces. In comparison, the first nickel model MK VI tested in Airgun Experience No. 198 had a heavier double action trigger pull averaging 9 pounds, 7 ounces and did not stage the hammer as easily as the older smoothbore model. Single action trigger pull averaged 4 pounds, 5.1 ounces, just a little lighter than the smoothbore, but the trigger on the newer gun exhibited noticeable creep in the take up which was not evident in the smoothbore’s trigger. read more


Webley MK VI Accuracy Shooting

Webley MK VI Accuracy Shooting

How to get the most out of the latest DA/SA pellet-firing model

By Dennis Adler

In 1858, New York arms manufacturer Ebenezer Townsend Starr introduced America’s first topbreak double action revolver. It was a very complicated design that used a threaded crossbolt passing through the topstrap and frame to secure the barrel assembly. To reload the six-shot percussion pistol one could use the conventional loading lever to seat a lead ball into each chamber, or unscrew the crossbolt, break open the gun and change the empty cylinder for a loaded and capped one. The trick was not to loose the crossbolt! When Webley & Scott developed the MK I in 1880, metallic cartridges had long since displaced loose powder cap and ball, but the idea of a topbreak design to make loading faster was still unsurpassed. The latest Webley & Scott CO2 model follows that historic design for loading pellet cartridges.

Sometimes a new airgun brings a surprise or two, the latest Webley MK VI model with rifled barrel brought only one, it shoots less accurately than its BB firing smoothbore predecessor. I am still at a loss to explain why except that the trigger system seems to operate a little differently, perhaps not by design, but in effect. Like the original Webley MK Series topbreak revolvers, the big advantage in the Webley design, aside from faster reloading, was its double action trigger. In the early 20th century (and as far back as 1880 when the MK I was introduced) double action revolvers were viewed by many with a skeptical eye. Even the first American made double action top break production revolver, the Starr Arms .36 and .44 caliber Model 1858, was met with so much skepticism by U.S. soldiers during the Civil War that in 1862 the Ordnance Department requested that Starr redesign the gun as a single action. The Single Action Starr Model of 1863 was a much more successful revolver, and along with the double action guns already in use, the Starr became the third most issued model carried by Union troops (after Colt and Remington). The earlier 1858 Starr double action models were also used by Confederate soldiers. It was a difficult gun to handle because it could not be thumb cocked for a single action shot in what we would deem a traditional way. It was effectively a double action only revolver unless one knew how to handle the trigger and pre-cock the hammer, the earliest form of two-staging the trigger or staging the hammer. Bottom line, early double action revolvers were not very popular in the U.S., whereas in Europe they were already in common use and Webley was among the leading manufacturers. read more


The Webley’s Reprise

The Webley’s Reprise

The Nickel MK VI Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Building a CO2 model that is 100 percent accurate to its cartridge-firing counterpart has its advantages, especially with a semi-auto pistol like the Umarex S&W M&P40. If Webley built its CO2 model of the MK VI exactly to the specifications of the original MK VI, it would have a very heavy double action trigger, a stirrup latch that requires a strong thumb to release, and a barrel and cylinder that demands using the offside hand or pressing the assembly against your leg to open. That’s how a MK VI works. It would not be an ideal CO2 pistol for handling, and thus that much of the .455 caliber model is marginalized for the air pistol which opens, almost too easily, allowing the the barrel and cylinder group to drop on their own. It’s an extreme opposite to the original gun, but the better of two choices for the air pistol. I’d have preferred something in the middle but as compromises go, the MK VI air pistol errs on the side of convenience. read more