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Small Arms and Ammunition 7 months 3 weeks ago #81432

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A close-up showing the front sight with the vertical wings that Rob spoke about in his last post ....



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Small Arms and Ammunition 7 months 3 weeks ago #81440

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Here's Louis Botha with his Boer Mauser carbine; beautifully carved, front sight protector removed, but sling still in its original position.
Oh, and the rifle is cocked!
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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Small Arms and Ammunition 7 months 2 weeks ago #81571

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This photograph, with the title "Beleg van Ladysmith. Moment opname van Brandwacht in t' vuur", clearly shows a Boer with a captured Lee-Metford at Ladysmith. I think it is a Mk II, but hopefully someone can give a definitive ID.





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Small Arms and Ammunition 7 months 2 weeks ago #81574

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A great photo!
Yes, the standing Boer is holding a (captured) Lee Metford Mk II. I liked the details in this photo:
- The rifle just behind the standing figure is also a British capture.
- Nobody in their right mind would shoot over the heads of crouching comrades, so for the photo the standing man has kept his bolt half open to show he is safe.
- Three of the Boers are left handed.
- Two Boers wear what could be British army boots; two wear British bandoliers
- The standing Boer has his long range sight dialed to approx 1500yds, and the Boer with the Mauser has his sight set to 2000m. See attached photos of these sights.
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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Small Arms and Ammunition 6 months 3 weeks ago #81969

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A well-armed member of the Pretoria Commando, carrying Mauser rifle and Webley revolver.




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Small Arms and Ammunition 6 months 3 weeks ago #81975

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He carries a Webley "WG" Army Model (1885-1896) .476/.455 calibre double action revolver, intended for sale to army officer’s who had to provide their own uniforms, equipment and firearms. It is therefore possible that this is a captured British officer's private purchase revolver.
On the other hand Bester 2003 (pp. 241-243 & 256) notes that the Z.A.R. had a small quantity of these handguns. Fifty officers model "WG" .467/455" were purchased in 1896, being shipped from London on 30 October of that year. Ron Bester's caption for a photograph of a First/Second Model (1885/1889) and a "WG" Army 1896 Model reads: "Two Webley 'WG' army model revolvers. Note the 'hump' on top of the grip and the long 6-inch barrel. The top one has a birds-head grip and it is surmised that those bought by the Z.A.R. were of this type. The lower one has a different grip that is squared at the bottom" (p.256). This caption can equally apply to the photographs below. Unfortunately the grip of the revolver in the Pretoria Commando photograph is obscured by the man's hand, so it is difficult to ascertain which model he carries. However, the lack of a visible extractor lever on the right side of the frame suggests that it is probably a First Model 1885 or Second Model 1889.


“WG” First Model (1885)



“WG” 1896 Army Model


With thanks to College Hill Arsenal and Heritage Auctions

One of Webley’s most successful late 19th century designs was known as the Webley “WG” Model and was produced in a Target and Army model. The model made minor improvements upon the action and locking systems of the prior Pryse and Kaufman models, but Webleys held all pertinent patents. The first “WG” models were introduced in 1885 and were manufactured in .476 for a black powder cartridge, but subsequent models would be designed for new British military cartridges. The first model to bear the actual marking “WG” on the gun was introduced in 1889, and according to Webley stood for “Webley-Green”, although some references say it means “Webley Government”. I defer to the Webley-Green designation, as that is the one used in The Webley Story by William Dowell, the definitive work on the guns and the company. In 1892 Target and Army variants of the “WG” were introduced, primarily in .476/.455, capable of utilizing both the older .476” black powder military cartridge and the newly introduced .455 Mk1 cartridge of 1891, also a black powder round. The “WG” revolvers produced circa 1892-1895 had birds head shaped grips. In 1896 the “WG” Target model was introduced, with a 7” barrel, 6-shot fluted cylinder, adjustable sights and checkered wood grips with a square butt, replacing the bird’s head profile. To the casual eye it was not significantly different than any of its immediate predecessors, but again included some very minor improvements in action and locking systems. Interestingly Webley had experimented with a frame-mounted firing pin on the “WG” models circa 1893, but with the Target model the firm returned to the conventional firing pin on the hammer face. The companion model to the “WG” Target was the “WG” Army Model. The Army model had a 6” barrel, fixed sights and was intended for sale to army officer’s who had to provide their own uniforms, equipment and firearms. These were the last of the revolvers to be produced under the P. Webley company name, as the acquisition of W. & C. Scott in 1897 resulted it the creation of the Webley & Scott company, and all arms produced after that merger would be so marked.
The Webley “WG” Model 1896 was an important revolver as it bridged the gap between the older black powder .476” Enfield military cartridge, the newer black powder .455 Webley Mk I of 1891 and the newly adopted .455 Webley Mk II of 1897 using cordite instead of black powder. Although the designations do not really indicate this, all utilized a .454” bullet with a .476” neck diameter and had a nominal base of .480” with a .535” rim.


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