Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Webley Mark VI
Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish. This one is rifled and shoots pellets.

This report covers:

  • Long time coming
  • Some history
  • The pellet gun
  • Realism
  • CO2
  • Sights
  • Weight
  • Flies in the ointment
  • Lookalike airguns
  • A brief tutorial
  • Summary

Long time coming

Sometimes I wait a long time to start a report. Today is one such time. This report on the Webley Mark VI with battlefield finish began back in June of 2018, at the Texas Airgun Show. A reader came to my table and talked about the Mark VI pellet revolver with a battlefield finish. We went outside to talk, and by the time we finished I was the proud owner of a .455-caliber Mark VI revolver! I have shown you that gun in the past.

Webley
I showed this .455 Mark VI revolver back in July of 2018. This is the revolver I acquired at the show. It was made in 1916.

Webley Mark VI target
And this is the first target I shot with it. That’s 10 shots at 15 yards.

We have also seen the Mark VI CO2 airgun in the past. In 2014 I tested the BB revolver for you. That airgun is extremely realistic and was a hoot to test, but today’s gun is a pellet revolver with a rifled barrel. I have a lot more to say about it, but first, let’s look at the beginnings of this fine weapon.

Some history

The Mk VI, or Webley six, as it is also known, is a 6-shot double-action revolver chambered for the British .455 round. That round is a rimmed centerfire .45-caliber cartridge with a bullet diameter of 0.455 inches. Its 265-grain round-nose lead bullet travels at a slow 600 f.p.s. out the muzzle, but was rated in early trials as a manstopper that was superior to even the U.S. Army’s .45 ACP.

The Mark VI revolver was adopted in 1915, but it was the outgrowth of a progression of .455- and .476-caliber revolvers that had been evolving for close to half a century by that time. The recoil was considered low for the era, but it was still more than many new conscripts were able to easily tolerate. In the time between the wars, the Brits phased it out in favor of a .38-caliber cartridge that was chambered in a series of Webley and Webley-esk revolvers. That said, the Brits continued to issue and support the Mark VI for many more years.

Many Mark VIs were sold in the U.S. as surplus and converted to accept the .45 ACP cartridge, held in place by moon clips. That’s the most commonly encountered chambering of this revolver today in the U.S. While the ballistics are ballpark-similar, the American cartridge is somewhat hotter and will eventually shake the big revolver loose unless it is loaded down. I much prefer to shoot it in its original .455, which is easy to reload. If you do shoot the .45 ACP or the .45 Auto Rim (same cartridge as the ACP but made with a rim for revolvers) you should load .455-inch bullets for accuracy.

The pellet gun

Okay, let’s take a look at the pellet pistol. It’s a revolver that holds six cartridges, each holding one pellet that’s loaded into its base. This is a difference from the BB revolver that loads the BBs into the nose of each cartridge. This air pistol fires both single and double action, just like the firearm.

To extract but not eject the empty cartridges after firing, the pistol is broken open by pressing in a stirrup on the left side of the hammer (sorry lefties). Then with the other hand break the barrel down and the extractor lifts the cartridges up out of the cylinder.

Webley Mark VI open
Webley Mark VI pellet revolver open for extraction and loading.

The battlefield finish is there to resemble a sidearm that’s seen use. If you carry it in a holster it will wear even more. If you don’t care for the worn look there is also a silver Webley Mark VI Exhibition revolver.

Realism

Webley, who makes and distributes this pellet revolver, has made a dandy container for it. The cardboard box is lithographed with important historical information about the Webley service revolver, to include a list of all the movies it has been seen in since 1934!

Inside the box is an owner’s manual that includes basic operating information, including the directions for field stripping the revolver. Yes, you can take this one apart! More realism!

And Webley has also included a copy of the military Volume I, Pamphlet No. 11 for the Pistol (.455-inch), dated 1937! This pamphlet includes the manual of arms for the revolver, to include a mounted cavalry drill against dummies!

This pellet revolver was made in Taiwan, and is based on original blueprints and marked with 1915 markings. In short, Webley has gone out of their way to give as much realism as possible to the owners of this revolver.

There is even a right hand brown leather Webley Mark VI holster available for the revolver. If you look in the military pamphlet, it looks correct.

CO2

The gun is powered by a 12-gram CO2 cartridge housed in the grip. The lanyard loop is used as the tightener to pierce the cartridge, so it looks correct. The left grip panel lifts to reveal where the cartridge goes.

Webley Mark VI grip off
The left grip panel comes off for the CO2 cartridge. When it’s on, it’s tight!

Sights

The front sight is a square post that’s not unlike the original except for one detail. The original has a small screw holding the front blade in place.

The rear sight is part of the stirrup that opens the action for loading. It’s similar to the original, though made better and sharper.

Webley Mark VI front sights
The firearm front sight (top) has a screw holding the blade. Yes, the firearm’s finish is more worn than the finish on the pellet gun.

Webley Mark VI rear sights
The pellet gun rear sight (right) is sharper and better defined than the sight on the firearm.

Weight

The firearm weighs 2 lbs. 5 oz. empty. The air pistol weighs 2 lbs. 5 oz. with six cartridges in. It’s pretty close. Of course the firearm gains weigh when it’s loaded and the airgun gains a little with the CO2 cartridge. The pellets don’t make much difference.

Flies in the ointment

There is a safety on the right side of the frame that the firearm doesn’t have. And there are a plethora of white warning letters on the same side of the frame. I suppose we have to put up with both of these because they are there for litigation, but they do spoil the look.

Webley Mark VI writing
The bad stuff is all in one place on the right side of the revolver.

Lookalike airguns

The world of lookalike airguns has evolved to the point that the buyer’s needs are being carefully considered all the time. I was delighted with Crosman’s M1 Carbine when it came out in 1966. It was more realistic than any previous lookalike and I think it woke a lot of people up.

Then came Umarex with a host of lookalikes, including the Legends Cowboy lever action BB gun that’s just been released and I will get after the SHOT Show to test for you. But other manufacturers are making realistic airguns now, too. I have reported on a number of action BB and pellet pistols already, and I guess today’s report fits in with them, though I don’t see too many security types carrying a Mark VI in their holsters these days.

A brief tutorial

Here is my shout out to the industry. If you want to sell more lookalike airguns — realism is the key. Here are things to think about, and I am assuming your gun is as close to the prototype firearm as you can make it.

Finish — I had a heck of the time convincing manufacturers that buyers are interested in original finishes. A 1911 that looks like it has been carried 4 years is more desirable than a pristine example of the same model. A Colt Python, on the other hand, deserves a Royal Blue finish. So, when you are ready with your M1 Carbine, put it in a wooden stock with a wooden handguard and distress the matte metal finish.

Packaging — If it’s a Makarov pistol, put it in a cheap cardboard box like the Russians do. Daisy went as far as recreating the original cardboard box for their wire stock first model and they filled it with real excelsior.

Documentation — Do like Webley and include period literature. If not a manual because none exists, how about a replica wanted poster for a single action — anything that’s appropriate?

Accessories — Slings, holsters, replica carry bags (for the Garand and M1 Carbine) are things you should think about. Sell them as accessories if they cost too much to bundle.

Summary

This Webley Mark VI revolver is an interesting airgun. The manufacturer has obviously understood the market and has built a gun for the serious collector as well as the shooter. Let’s hope it’s accurate!

73 thoughts on “Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 1

  1. I bought this pistol for $20 thru the mail when I was in the 6th grade. It came with two half moon clips and, like you said, used .45 ACPs. After a while the firing pin broke off, and a faux firing pin was cleverly cobbled out of built-up molten metal by a local gunsmith in Cleveland, TN. But by then I was tired of it and I eventually sold it to a local hardware/grocery store for the same amount I paid for it.

    About the same time, my father bought an M1 carbine for $50, also through the mail. It was fun to shoot but no matter what I shot it through (I had an adapter that allowed me to shoot it in a Winchester .30-30 and a Contender), it was LOUD.

    Speaking of .30-30s, my Legends Cowboy lever action BB gun should arrive on the 22nd of this month. I am salivating. PA now charges a flat $20 to mail it to Hawaii, but it takes weeks to get here. Someone in the gun’s Comments suggested that Umarex make less expensive plastic cartridges for it, which seems like a good idea to me and I hope they do it.

    —Joe


  2. BB,

    This pistol has been nagging me to be allowed to move into RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns since it came onto the market. The fact that they have made it into a realistic replica and a collectable are most certainly good selling points.


    • RR,

      I had difficulty not identifying this revolver as an historical model. I only do that for guns that are no longer produced, and this one is new. But I did identify it (for the blog search software) as a collectible.

      These replica models are a tough thing to categorize.

      B.B.


  3. B.B.,
    This is a beautiful air pistol; and hat’s so cool that you have the original firearm to which to compare it.
    I think that really adds a lot to the report; for example, I love that side-by-side rear sight photo; thanks.
    take care & God bless,
    dave


    • Dave,

      This is an unusual report because it is just as much fun to just hold and examine the two guns as it is to shoot them. Maybe even more so. I think Webley has a hit here. If it shoots well, too, it will become a best buy in my opinion. I know it’s not cheap, but sometimes you have to stretch and get the right thing instead of the cheapest.

      B.B.



  4. BB,

    If I am not mistaken, there is a way to remove the obligatory CYA lettering on the side and refinish it. One of our fearless blog members talked about his doing such.



  5. B.B.,

    “So, when you are ready with your M1 Carbine,” run and get the smelling salts, because Michael will be passed out cold on the floor from surprise and joy! ;^)

    Michael




      • B.B.,

        Speaking of the rear sight; the actual Mk VI’s rear sight looks to be a shallow V combined with a small “U” notch…nice combination of a battle and target sight. The replica Webley will probably spend more time punching paper, spinning paddles or ringing metal plates.
        Wish some manufacturer would turn out as nice a Smith & Wesson Model 29 in a pellet shooter! They could include Dirty Harry memorabilia, Lol!
        I guess the Colt “Snake” guns deserve the same and have plenty of memorabilia associated with them.

        Nice shooting Tom!
        A score of 104/1X is Not Bad for a combined 170+ years of experience on a first date at the range ;^)

        shootski


        • Shootski,
          With the S&W 29, O think of Daisy. They used to make one. I never owned one but according to the last James House, they were accurate for a pellet repeater.
          Doc


          • Doc Holiday,

            Thank you!
            Yes I remember them.
            Unfortunately they are, as you probably know, collectibles now. The prices have been inflated way beyond what they are worth to someone who only wants a true to weight and operation replica for practice without the BIG BOOM and HEAVY drain of $$$$ per thousand lead throws.
            And actually, they don’t do the practical replication very well compared to B.B.’s Blog subject Webley.That’s why this was directed to manufacturers with the reminder that this was the gun Dirty Harry made UBER famous; certainly not Elmer Kieth he only instigated it’s development!

            shootski




  6. Since I picked up my shooting glasses a while back I was able to get in one day outside and did not have the expected results. The shooting glasses prescription is a compromise making the target a little fuzzy and a good focus on the front sight. My groups were no better with the shooting glasses. On that day all my groups were poor so I wrote it off as a bad shooting day.

    The weather still has not cooperated, rain and wind, so I decided to test three guns in my workshop. I can only get 4 yards without moving things around inside the workshop. The three guns I selected were a Diana Chaser carbine, a Beeman P17, and a IZH 46M. The Chaser has a peep sight I made for it. The P17 sights were modified by filling in the front and rear sights where the fiber optics were. I liked the original target sights much better like on the older models. I have not touched the 46M, I dare not. I shot all shots off a rest and used the .177 Daisy Precision Max 7.8 gr pellets. I figured that at 4 yards the pellets were not that critical and the Daisy pellets are not bad. Plus they don’t cost much.

    First off was the Chaser. I shot with the shooting glasses first, then with no glasses, and last with my long distance glasses. The 5 shot groups were not what I expected. The shooting glasses came in second behind my long distance glasses. I think the peep sight might have some effect on this.

    Next was the P17. The gun gave me nothing but trouble and would not fire reliably. The gun was firing randomly when the trigger was pulled sometimes it took over a half dozen trigger pulls to go off. I will need to remedy the trigger problems before shooting this pistol again. I had excellent luck with my Marksman 2004 I gave to my son. There must be some clearance problems in the trigger somewhere.

    Last up was the 46M. This is the one that should show the best because the groups are all me and not the gun. I was surprised that the groups came out in the same order as the Chaser with the shooting glasses coming in second to the distance glasses.

    I still have hope for the shooting glasses and will need to do more tests outside at longer distances and see what happens. The shooting glasses do work good for seeing the computer screen if I set back just a little though.

    Below is the target.

    Don



    • RidgeRunner

      So which configuration are you dreaming about Lite,Pup or Classic? Right now the classic is calling me. Wonder if the optional moderator makes a noticeable difference?



      • PP,

        Another good reason to choose the Lite is all of the other versions are based on it. Very soon you will be able to purchase the conversion kits to build it into whichever trips your trigger at the time.

        It is also the least expensive version. Something else to consider is the Lite has the hammer spring adjustment module, but the Classic does not.


        • RidgeRunner

          Good to know. For some reason, I thought the classic in synthetic would be the least expensive. And I assumed all models would have the adjustable hammer spring. That’s what happens when one assumes.




            • RidgeRunner

              LOL, I thought I read somewhere that it was adjustable in the classic. I looked at more pictures and didn’t see the external knob either so I figured RR is right. By the way, I just watched your link and it shows a 250 psi reservoir. Earlier reports claimed 190 in .22 cal and 250 in .25. Also he shows he got 77db in the video without a moderator. That is good enough for me. Most of my springers are in the 90-100 db range and that works for me. Thinking I will use the smaller capacity mag so I can use lower rings.
              Wow, FX hit a grand slam here.


              • PP,

                Hey, I’m great but I don’t walk on water unless it is frozen. Then I do it carefully.

                I am good with that low a db myself. Now I might think of a muzzle brake / air stripper just for giggles. Also, I do believe there are no baffles in the shroud. there should be enough room for one or two. That would help also.

                This thing most definitely has my head spinning with how to scrape up enough change to get one. I may have to have some of the younger gals move out to make room for this lithe young lady. 😉


                • RidgeRunner

                  Yes, I am struggling with this. I don’t have a hole to fill in my collection. My springers can do everything I need to do with an airgun. I won’t sell any of them. However, this thing is sooo awesome…I just want one…even though I don’t need it. One question. Since this has a 250cc reservoir instead of 190cc, does that mean I would have to pump more pumps but it would be a tad easier to pump? Or am I off base here.

                  By the way, AirgunDepot has some of these in stock NOW!


                  • PP,

                    Because of the larger volume of the reservoir than you thought, it will take more hand pumping to fill it. Otherwise it should not be any more difficult to fill it to max capacity. Do be sure to get one of the newer 3 stage pumps. It will make filling it to higher pressures easier. I have a 2 stage Hill that I was filling my 100cc Edge with to 3000 PSI. I did not think it was very difficult.

                    I did not get a compressor until I bought my HM1000X with the 480cc bottle and a fill pressure of about 3600 PSI. With a 3 stage pump it would have been doable, but it would have been a lot of hand pumping. Also, at .357 it uses a lot of air per shot.

                    If you get one of these you will likely change your mind about selling some of your sproingers. You can also take this up to .25 and .30 and out to 100 yards where those sproingers will not go.


                    • I have been researching hand pumps and have it down to 4. The Air Venturi G7S, the 2 hill pumps, one with, one without dry pac and the FX four stage.

                      Can’t find much info on the FX four stage other than it appears to be slightly easier to pump but the difference is almost undetectable. Guess I am leaning towards the G7S (lower cost). From what I have read, all these pumps will probably require pretty much the same effort to pump. Then again, there is always that “you get what you pay for” concept. If you have an opinion on these 4 pumps, I would appreciate hearing it.


                  • Pelletpopper, (out of room below)

                    Well,.. I never had one. You have done your research it would appear. There is something to be said on the “you get what you pay for” theory. More often than not, it proves right.

                    Geo got a China hand pump and is happy and GF1 got an auto China pump and is happy. So,… at some point,… it is all a roll of the dice,… as a matter of speaking. 😉

                    No need to thank me for being of absolutely no help. 🙂

                    In general, I go with as many reviews as I can find from people that actually purchased whatever it is I am looking for. A hassle and a lot of reading “between the lines” of usually content lacking comments.

                    Chris


                    • Chris,

                      It is kinda odd that the major airgun outlets have no Fortitudes in stock, they can still be found at ebay and amazon.

                      No meltdown here, I got mine and it works for me so I am a happy camper, just not so happy about 34 degrees F and very windy, its a no shoot day.

                      Mike


                  • PP,

                    “You get what you pay for.” Read through the reviews of the GS7. I will bet you money it is made by Wang Po Industries.

                    I have a Hill Mark 3 with desiccant filter. If I should need to rebuild it, kits are available and it is easily disassembled to do such.

                    Since you are asking I would recommend the Hill Mark 4 with filter. In my opinion the jury is still out on whether the filter removes enough moisture to be truly effective, but it does provide extra particulate filtration. The Hill costs more, but will give you less headaches in the long run.


                  • PP,

                    Yes the Hill Pump is the king of the hill so to speak, and yes G7S is made in China. I would have rather picked up the Hill pump but it was more cash to lay out than I desired, so I took the G7S and it has worked well so far, it does include a rebuild kit and that is a plus.

                    The Hill Mark 4 is rated highly by many users, I do not have one I cannot comment on that, RR has the 3 and I respect his opinion on this, the choice is on you and remember if you get the pump from Pyramyd Air they will work with you if you find the pump unacceptable.

                    Mike


                    • Mike in Atl

                      Thanks Mike. All good info there. At first I was leaning towards the G7S but will probably go with the Hill. What are you filling with the G7S?


                  • PP,

                    I have the Fortitude as my first step into the dark side, I am lovin it but some folks not so much. Looking around it seems that no one not even Crosman has them in stock, have they stopped making them? Will there be a gen 2?

                    This will be answered at the Shot Show I do believe, also can’t wait for whatever else comes out at the Show.

                    Mike


                    • Mike in Atl

                      Yes, an exciting time for air gunners for sure. I will be keeping both eyes open for a review of the shot show.


                    • Mike,

                      That is most interesting. I remember about having a complete melt-down, not really, but near enough,… 😉 ,after I bought the Maximus and then right behind it was the Fortitude. Now???? No Fortitude stock is just TOO weird.

                      Both are good. Interesting sales concept if they do away with the Fortitude and do a Gen. 2. Great for the new buyer’s, but if I was an old buyer,… that would leave a bitter taste in my mouth,.. much like my Maximus/Fortitude experience.

                      We shall see,…….. Chris


    • RR,

      Yep, I have been dreaming myself. I am trying to save up for a FX, Daystate, or RAW for my next airgun. Not much luck though with all the new low and median priced airguns.

      I am waiting for B.B. to review a RAW from AirForce, hint hint. Maybe they are not in production yet. I do see one on the AirForce site though and it does not show a waiting list??





            • B.B.,

              Just curious, but do you know if the profit margin is the same for high end airguns as it is for budget guns? % is %.

              I liken it to a real estate agent selling a $30,000 house or a $300,000 house. Basically the same amount of work involved for the agent, but that 5% they get (or whatever it is) is a whole lot sweeter on the more expensive house.

              Chris


              • Chris USA,

                I would imagine that the more widely known and respected brands carry a higher mark up than the unknown brands. Note how much the distributors are willing to mark down models when they go on sale. That should give you an idea. Of course the expensive brands have a higher starting base price due to workmanship and quality.

                Siraniko


                • Siraniko,

                  Yea,.. 10-15% mark down seems to be the nose bleed level. Unless whatever it is, is complete junk and then the bottom has no limit.

                  Also,.. I wonder if stock is bought or just passed through? If the re-seller is not invested directly,… then the maker is on the hook and is in charge of calling the shots on sales and discounts,… that the re-seller then just passes through to the consumer.

                  Chris



                • B.B.,

                  🙂 Picky? I assure you,…. I haven’t the slightest idea of what you would be referring to. 😉

                  Of course,…. a fine blog such as this one can make one just a wee bit more of a “discerning/educated consumer”. Is that the same thing??? 🙂

                  Chris



      • Don,

        You can own these top shelfers. I do not have much change for my airgun hobby. More often I have to save up and / or sell one of my other toys. It is hard to not be distracted from getting a FX with so many nice lower priced airguns coming on the market these days.

        I manage by asking myself “What am I going to do with this airgun?” and “How many airguns do I really need?” The first question identifies the niche any particular airgun happens to fill and whether that niche is already filled. The second question helps me to look at what I have and what I have time to play with.

        There is a very good chance that I will end up with a FX Dreamlite. For me to do such though, I feel the need to open up the niche it will fill. That means I will sell one or maybe two of my “modern” air rifles, likely my Talon SS and my HM1000X. It is a personal thing. “It’s how I roll.”

        This is how RRHFWA has managed to have some nice airguns living there.


  7. BB,

    In your Part 1 reports on replica guns you usually comment on what portion of the gun is metal and how life-like they are in their heft. I missed that here.

    I would also like to add, to your wish list, that producers of these replicas put their litigation text in a less conspicuous spot such as the underside of the barrel or trigger guard or the front or bottom of the grip frame. It was done that way on a recent release, whose name I can’t recall just now, with great effect.

    Half


    • Half,

      I would really like them to put their legal stuff on a sticky label that you can just peel off, sad but true, it seems that the litigation text somehow protects the airgun manufacturer from users that fail to follow proper safety rules with their airguns.

      Does not seem to me that the maker has any responsibility as to how the gun is used, it is up to the user to handle the weapon safely.

      That said, if the gun fails in such a way that the operator or someone nearby gets injured by parts that come off the gun that normally should not, then yes the maker should be held responsible for damages received.

      Oh, and why is it that firearms do not have these warnings?

      Sorry, I will step down now.

      Mike


      • Mike,

        🙂 Nice rant. While opinions can vary and mine means nothing,….. in “general”,… air guns are far more likely to end up in the hands of a youth. Just a pure guess mind you. I like the label idea,… a lot. Nothing replaces proper adult supervision and instruction though,… as we all know.

        Chris


        • Chris,

          You are right, airgun stupidents are more often performed by the youngsters, indeed some have even resulted in death, but will that warning be looked at by a youngster? No not a chance.

          Training is the key, read adult supervision, teach safety always.

          As for the legal stuff, it is what it is and something we just have to live with.

          Mike



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