Webley Self-Loading Pistol

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Webley Self-Loading Pistol Mk. 1
Webley & Scott 455 (6971800477).jpg
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1910–1942
Used by United Kingdom
Wars World War I
Production history
Designer Webley & Scott
Designed 1910
Manufacturer Webley & Scott
Produced 1910–1932
Weight 1.13 kilograms (2.5 lb)
Length 216 millimetres (8.5 in)
Barrel length 127 millimetres (5.0 in)

Cartridge .455 Webley Auto
Caliber .455 in (11.55 mm)
Action Short recoil
Muzzle velocity 236 metres per second (770 ft/s)
Feed system 7-round detachable box magazine

The Webley Self-Loading Pistol was a design in early magazine-fed pistols. The gun was designed in 1910 by the Webley & Scott company. The Mk. 1 entered police service in 1911 in a .38 ACP model for the London Metropolitan Police. The .455 version was adopted by the Royal Navy in 1912 as the first automatic pistol in British service. The pistol was also adopted by the Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Flying Corps.[1] Its predecessor was the unsuccessful Mars Automatic Pistol.


The pistol's original cordite cartridge left a lot of residue in the barrel causing frequent jamming. This was resolved in 1914 with nitrocellulose instead of cordite in the .455 cartridge. This new cartridge for the Mk.1 was called the Mark Iz. Among other things, the pistol was awkward to hold due to its bulk and awkward grip.[2]

Had Webley invested in more research and development of its pistol and ammunition and new technologies, the result would have been a better firearm produced more quickly. Particularly given the increasing adoption of the Semi-automatic pistol by foreign armed forces and the extensive testing and development data available from previous efforts by other manufacturers.[3]

Improvements and variations[edit]

The first models of the Mk. 1 had the safety on left side of the hammer. This was later moved to the left side of the frame, where it could lock the slide. Service versions were also outfitted with a grip safety.


  1. ^ McNab, Chris (2009). Firearms, The Illustrated Guide to Small Arms of the World. Bath, UK: Parragon. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4075-1607-3. 
  2. ^ "About us". Webley & Scott. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kinard, Jeff (2004). Pistols: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. p. 167; 397. ISBN 978-1-85109-470-7. Soon after World War II the major powers all but abandoned the revolver for standard issue 

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