***WARNING for shaved or cut Webleys in .45 ACP/Auto Rim*** - 1911Forum
1911Forum
Advertise Here
Forum   Reviews   Rules   Legal   Site Supporters & Donations   Advertise


Go Back   1911Forum > >

Notices


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-13-2014, 02:35 PM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
***WARNING for shaved or cut Webleys in .45 ACP/Auto Rim***

This caution is directed at owners of .455 Webley revolvers - or any other revolver originally chambered in .455 for that matter - that have been converted in some manner to chamber and fire .45 ACP cartridges in moon clips (or .45 Auto Rim cartridges without moon clips)

You will likely have been told (or have read) that it is fine to shoot "factory" or "GI Spec" .45 ACP (or .45 Auto Rim) cartridges in your altered .455 revolver, and you may well already have put many such rounds through your revolver without mishap.

Please be aware that in the view of many who are familiar with these revolvers IT IS NOT SAFE TO FIRE SUCH ROUNDS.

Please consider these facts -

1. The operating pressure for the Mark VI Webley revolver (the last, and strongest, of the .455 Webley service revolvers) was a maximum of 13200PSI (i.e. six 'long tons' of 2200 lbs).

2. The standard operating pressure generated by milspec and full factory loads of .45 ACP ball ammunition is 19,000PSI.

3. The pressure of .45 ACP milspec and standard factory loads exceeds the proof load for the Mark VI Webley revolver.

4. The dimensions of the chamber throats on Webley service revolvers are a bit variable, but generally are smaller than bore diameter for some reason - but this system worked well with the original hollowbase bullet design, which was quite soft (20/1 lead/tin) and non-jacketed. These soft bullets swage down passing through the chamber throat (.... my own view is that this was intentional, to get the most out of the relatively small powder charge, and thus maximize the velocity produced ....) but then the base expands nicely to engage the rifling in the bore. However, the general consensus is that jacketed bullets (such as those loaded in most GI-spec .45ACP ammo) can work to dramatically increase the already excessive chamber pressure generated by such rounds.

5. Furthermore, the earlier models of .455 Webley service revolver were not as strong as the Mark VI. Indeed, the Mark I, Mark II and Mark III revolvers were in fact designed for black powder loads.

Although it cannot be denied that many .455 Webley revolvers have survived being subjected for a long time to standard .45 ACP ammunition, that is equivalent to having been fed a steady diet of proof loads. Simply put, it is a testament to the sturdiness of Webley service revolvers, but can hardly be considered either safe or advisable! It is best to handload these shaved Webleys with lead bullets in the .452-455" size range ad 230-270 grains in weight in either .45 ACP or .45 Auto-Rim cases downloaded to 620-710 fps. This is the only way to safely enjoy shooting a shaved Webley.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-13-2014, 04:19 PM
Iggy Iggy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,461


What he said!!
__________________
COTEP#5

Last edited by Iggy; 02-13-2014 at 04:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-13-2014, 05:19 PM
RickB's Avatar
RickB RickB is offline
1911 Aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Not Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 21,639
Did the factory .455 loads, any of them, use a hollow-base bullet, intended to expand to fit the chamber/barrel? I have a S&W Hand Ejector with a M1917 conversion cylinder, and while I can fit ACP and Auto Rim rounds loaded with .454" bullets into the cylinder, the gun might be more accurate with a hollow-base bullet?
Are there any good commercial cast bullets that replicate original .455 bullets in diameter and configuration?
__________________
If you're not shooting you should be moving. If you're not moving you should be reloading. If you're not shooting, moving, or reloading, you should be taping or picking brass. - Z.C.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 02-13-2014, 09:29 PM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
RickB: The funny thing is while the .455 Webley cartridge is loaded from the factory/arsenal with a 265 grain hollow base round nose bullet, it is not the most accurate bullet I have used in my Webley Mk V and MkVIs. The Remington 250 grain RNFP sized .455 swaged soft lead semi-hollow base graphite lubed bullet is more accurate, but the real surprise has been the cast lead 255 SWC Keith style bullet that is a solid base sized to .454". It is very accurate with groups at 25 yards in the 1.5" to 2" groups which is better than the 2.75" to 3.5" groups with the traditional bullet. This is the case-pardon the pun-in either .455 cases or .45 ACP/Auto-Rim cases for the shaved cylinder guns....all loaded to .455 Webley velocities and pressures.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!

Last edited by The Virginian; 02-14-2014 at 02:03 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-13-2014, 11:44 PM
Boge Boge is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Border
Posts: 3,084
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
Did the factory .455 loads, any of them, use a hollow-base bullet, intended to expand to fit the chamber/barrel? I have a S&W Hand Ejector with a M1917 conversion cylinder, and while I can fit ACP and Auto Rim rounds loaded with .454" bullets into the cylinder, the gun might be more accurate with a hollow-base bullet?
Are there any good commercial cast bullets that replicate original .455 bullets in diameter and configuration?


Yes & yes:


http://www.buffaloarms.com/455_Weble....aspx?CAT=4135


Excellent post, OP. I have told people this for years and they ignore it & shoot .45 ACP.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-14-2014, 02:04 AM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
Some folks report decent accuracy with cast lead bullets that have been sized to .452" so the bullet if cast on the softer side will size up to the bore when fired.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-14-2014, 12:06 PM
RickB's Avatar
RickB RickB is offline
1911 Aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Not Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 21,639
My groups shrunk by more than half when changing from G.I. hardball to .454" cast bullets. I couldn't keep it on an 8.5x11 piece of paper at ten yards with the jacketed bullets, but got a 6" group with the cast. That's still not great accuracy, but I am willing to accept a pattern if I'm able to identify the center of it.
__________________
If you're not shooting you should be moving. If you're not moving you should be reloading. If you're not shooting, moving, or reloading, you should be taping or picking brass. - Z.C.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-14-2014, 06:41 PM
Che Che is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: California
Posts: 4,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post


What he said!!
Wow, thanks for sharing.

I thought if I ever found a nice original .455 Colt or S&W, I would reload for it. But guns altered by bubba's grandpa, I would have to pass on.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-14-2014, 08:13 PM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Che View Post
Wow, thanks for sharing.

I thought if I ever found a nice original .455 Colt or S&W, I would reload for it. But guns altered by bubba's grandpa, I would have to pass on.
Che: It is fine to handload with DOWNLOADED to Webley pressures in .45 ACP or .45 Auto-Rim cases in the guns that are altered. The gun that blew up was being fired with full house GI spec. factory 230 grain FMJ ammo that is too much for any Webley to take over time since this load is a de facto proof load. Handloads as decribed above will not harm the gun as they are at the lower pressure of the Webley. I have original and cut examples and they both shoot just fine with good handloads. For a good shooter grade altered Webley, the .45 ACP/AR brass is easier to find and using .454-455" sized lead bullets works great when loaded to 620-710 fps and about 13,500 PSI for pressure. Data is out there for the handloader so again, not a reason to pass at all, just only one a handloader should take.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-16-2014, 12:39 PM
Che Che is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: California
Posts: 4,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Virginian View Post
Che: It is fine to handload with DOWNLOADED to Webley pressures in .45 ACP or .45 Auto-Rim cases in the guns that are altered. The gun that blew up was being fired with full house GI spec. factory 230 grain FMJ ammo that is too much for any Webley to take over time since this load is a de facto proof load. Handloads as decribed above will not harm the gun as they are at the lower pressure of the Webley. I have original and cut examples and they both shoot just fine with good handloads. For a good shooter grade altered Webley, the .45 ACP/AR brass is easier to find and using .454-455" sized lead bullets works great when loaded to 620-710 fps and about 13,500 PSI for pressure. Data is out there for the handloader so again, not a reason to pass at all, just only one a handloader should take.
Virginian you are right.

My concern was related to my backstory: I recall when I had a Ruger Blackhawk 45 convertible and I loaded hot 45 Colt loads for it and labeled it that way. My son ran them thru my S&W M25-5 and fortunately did not put them in my Colt Single Action Army.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-17-2014, 01:04 AM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
Yes, labeling the ammo and making sure that it is only for a certain gun is a must. Glad your S&W did not blow up as I watched one with hot Ruger level .45 Colt loads send part of its cylinder into orbit. With the Webleys I use only a certain bullet in them and label the boxes carefully. I also use .45 Auto-Rim loads in Webley pressures in it exclusively, for all my guns since I use heavy bullets in them, so no danger either way.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-18-2014, 10:52 AM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Great American Desert
Posts: 22,905
I have gotten rid of these old guys, but if you do not reload and preferably cast and size your own bullets then they are best as wall hangers.

Same with shooting something like a Colt 1905 in 45 ACP.
__________________
NRA Life Member
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-18-2014, 07:48 PM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
I think you have to be a handloader using the correct sized bullets downloaded to safe levels, otherwise they will ultimately fail with factory loads.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-20-2014, 10:39 AM
Denny Denny is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Indiana
Age: 66
Posts: 356
Good advice when buying an older gun beware a friend purchased a 38 special and did not realize that it was converted from an old S&W 32-20 very bad when +P loads were used
__________________
If you are too open minded your brains will fall out
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-05-2014, 05:12 PM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
Handloading is not for the adventurous, safety and caution should always be your guide.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-07-2014, 06:33 PM
grendelbane grendelbane is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 805
I fully agree. I suspect the reason that most shaved Webley's do so well is the slightly smaller ACP bullet diameter doesn't make it to its full pressure in the Webley chamber. If it did, there would be more pictures of blown up Webleys floating around.

Another one that bothers me is people shooting the modern hotter .32s in the M1895 Nagant. Here the slightly larger chamber probably helps to keep the kabooms to a minimum.

Years ago, I had a Charter Arms Bulldog which would actually chamber at least one brand of .44 Magnum. I doubt that combination would have survived the first shot.

Back when I had a shaved Webley, I considered loading it with cast bullets and FFFG.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-08-2014, 02:27 AM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
I think that the cylinder chambers on Webleys tend to be tight, in the 450-452" range because of the hollow base design bullet for .455 Webley, but the bore is still .454-455" so believe me, I am sure factory .45 ACP has no problem getting up to above the proof pressure of 19,000-23,000 PSI which is far too high for a Webley to shoot safely. I look at it another way, it is not a matter of if, but when they will fail if shot with SAAMI spec 45 ACP. Many Webleys end up shooting themselves loose to the point of unserviceablity with SAAMI spec .45 ACP and then the owners stop shooting them since they don't shoot well. I know one gunsmith that has repaired many of them, told me that they were shot loose and it is evident as the owners told him that is what they did when he asks them. Most are shocked as to why the .45 ACP SAAMI spec ammo was the cause, some even don't want to believe it, but the engineering and ballistics doesn't lie. LOL!
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-08-2014, 03:47 PM
grendelbane grendelbane is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 805
I traded my shaved Webley to a good friend a few years ago. I paid $75 for it, (back in the 80s). We both shot cast bullets loaded moderately, and the pistol shot quite well for both of us.

I was surprised to discover how short the original .455 Webley case was. I wonder if a .45 ACP reamer was run into the shaved conversions to accommodate the slightly longer ACP case, or was this just not considered?

There is a .003" difference in the nominal neck diameter between the 2 cartridges.

Note; I am not saying shoot .45 ACP in your shaved Webley. I think that is dangerous/excessive pressure. Moderate loads in ACP cases, hopefully with lead bullets are fine.

Similar conditions exist with the M1895 Nagant revolver, and, strangely enough, with .38 Special revolvers. I have run across at least one case of a person thinking that .38 Super was a good cartridge to load in his mid 60s model 36 S&W.

Yes, you get higher performance. At the cost of higher pressure.

There is no free lunch.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-22-2014, 12:13 PM
Baltimoreed11754 Baltimoreed11754 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Aurora, NC
Posts: 300
I just shot a pair of Webleys in a WASA match this past weekend, a Webley-Greene target altered to shoot .45lc and a Mark IV in .455. I use .454 200gr rnfp bullets. In the past I have built hollow base bullets by drilling out the base of soft 230 gr lead bullets. I used these in a British Lion bulldog .450 revolver. Recently I worked up a load for my Webley Metropolitan Police revolver in .450 using Bullseye and a 160 gr rnfp bullet. Always keep your light loads away from the others, I use colored plastic ammo storage boxes the keep it straight, black for .45 lc rifle, lt blue for .45 lc pistol, solid green or red for .45 acp, clear white for my light web .450, clear red for the web .455, solid blue for my heavy long range .45 lc.
Attached Thumbnails
image.jpg  
__________________
"Give'em hell, Pike"
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-28-2015, 05:44 PM
The Virginian The Virginian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,096
These non nitro proofed guns should only be shot with black powder or BP substitute to be safe. Even mild smokeless loads can cause the older guns to fail because of the sudden pressure spike.
__________________
"The Old Dominion"

45 FOREVER!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-06-2015, 12:56 AM
crasig crasig is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Georgia Mountains
Posts: 2,070
My Good Webley Experiences.

Many of the surplus Webley's exported to the USA after WWII had ben altered to 45acp by the British Arsenal & reissued during WWII. The S&W model 1917 WAS MADE TO USE 45acp, in order to only supply 1 caliber of pistol ammo.
I have personally put many 45acp rounds through my Webley's. I had a MKIV short barrel birds head (the first smokeless powder Webley), & a pair of MKVI's. ALL SHAVED - I never had a problem. They got valuable & I sold them. I do miss the comforting weight of the MK IV in my jacket pocket sometimes. Now I have this small H&R 38 top break Pocket Pistol & a 22lr, I am fond of.
Attached Thumbnails
H&R 38 & 22.JPG  
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-06-2015, 07:10 AM
Iggy Iggy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,461
I have a 1915 S&W .455 Hand Ejector. (British version similar in configuration to the US Model 1917) I replaced the weaker .455 cylinder with a post war 45 acp cylinder and the bulged original barrel with a chopped 45 acp .452 cal barrel. Shoots like a laser.

I carry it every day.
__________________
COTEP#5
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-08-2015, 06:17 PM
DarkLord DarkLord is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 1,618
Slug the barrel on a .455 and you'll find they can be as small as .448, that adds to the pressure situation.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-10-2015, 01:11 PM
crasig crasig is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Georgia Mountains
Posts: 2,070
Wow !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
I have a 1915 S&W .455 Hand Ejector. (British version similar in configuration to the US Model 1917) I replaced the weaker .455 cylinder with a post war 45 acp cylinder and the bulged original barrel with a chopped 45 acp .452 cal barrel. Shoots like a laser.

I carry it every day.
I love that & wish I had one just like it. I miss my S&W 1917, & Mk IV Webley.

Yours, has the best of both IMO.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-10-2015, 02:12 PM
RickB's Avatar
RickB RickB is offline
1911 Aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Not Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 21,639
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord View Post
Slug the barrel on a .455 and you'll find they can be as small as .448, that adds to the pressure situation.
On a Webley? Does it vary with "Mark", or date ranges?
__________________
If you're not shooting you should be moving. If you're not moving you should be reloading. If you're not shooting, moving, or reloading, you should be taping or picking brass. - Z.C.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:28 AM.


NOTICE TO USERS OF THIS SITE: By continuing to use this site, you certify that you have read and agree to abide by the Legal Terms of Use. All information, data, text or other materials ("Content") posted to this site by any users are the sole responsibility of those users. 1911Forum does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2015 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved