.455 Webley

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.455 Webley
455 Webley Revolver.jpg
A variety of .455 Webley cartridges
TypeRevolver
Place of origin United Kingdom
Production history
ManufacturerRoyal Laboratory Woolwich Arsenal, Birmingham Small Arms Company, Eley Brothers, Kynoch Limited, and Grenfell & Accles.
Specifications
Case typeStraight rimmed
Bullet diameter.454 in (11.5 mm)
Neck diameter.476 in (12.1 mm)
Base diameter.480 in (12.2 mm)
Rim diameter.535 in (13.6 mm)
Case length.770 in (19.6 mm)
Overall length1.230 in (31.2 mm)
Primer typeLarge pistol (Small pistol in modern Fiocchi loadings)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/typeVelocityEnergy
265[1] FMJ700 ft/s (210 m/s)289 ft·lbf (392 J)
265 gr (17.2 g)600 ft/s (180 m/s)212 ft·lbf (287 J)
265 gr (17.2 g)757 ft/s (231 m/s)337 ft·lbf (457 J)
265 gr (17.2 g)600 ft/s (180 m/s)[2]220 ft·lbf (300 J)
 
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.455 Webley
455 Webley Revolver.jpg
A variety of .455 Webley cartridges
TypeRevolver
Place of origin United Kingdom
Production history
ManufacturerRoyal Laboratory Woolwich Arsenal, Birmingham Small Arms Company, Eley Brothers, Kynoch Limited, and Grenfell & Accles.
Specifications
Case typeStraight rimmed
Bullet diameter.454 in (11.5 mm)
Neck diameter.476 in (12.1 mm)
Base diameter.480 in (12.2 mm)
Rim diameter.535 in (13.6 mm)
Case length.770 in (19.6 mm)
Overall length1.230 in (31.2 mm)
Primer typeLarge pistol (Small pistol in modern Fiocchi loadings)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/typeVelocityEnergy
265[1] FMJ700 ft/s (210 m/s)289 ft·lbf (392 J)
265 gr (17.2 g)600 ft/s (180 m/s)212 ft·lbf (287 J)
265 gr (17.2 g)757 ft/s (231 m/s)337 ft·lbf (457 J)
265 gr (17.2 g)600 ft/s (180 m/s)[2]220 ft·lbf (300 J)

.455 Webley is a British handgun cartridge, most commonly used in the Webley top break revolvers Marks I through VI.

The .455 cartridge was a service revolver cartridge, featuring a rimmed cartridge firing a .45 bullet at the relatively low velocity of 650 ft/s (190 m/s). The result was a cartridge and handgun combination with relatively mild recoil, but with good penetration and excellent stopping power. It was rated superior to the .45 Colt in stopping power in the disputed United States Thompson-LaGarde Tests of 1904 that resulted in the adoption by the U.S. of the .45 ACP cartridge.

The .455 Webley cartridge remained in service with British and Commonwealth forces until the end of the Second World War. Six main types of .455 ammunition were produced:

From left to right: .450 Adams, .455 Webley Mk I, .455 Webley Mk II cartridges
.455 Webley Auto Mk I cartridge
M1911 pistol 'British Service Model', which uses the Webley Auto Mk I cartridge. The weapon is stamped with '.455' on the slide and the underside of the magazine

In addition to the Webley revolvers, the British and Canadian armies also ordered several thousand Smith & Wesson .44 Hand Ejector revolvers, chambered in .455 Webley, in a rush to equip their troops for the Great War. The urgency was such that the earliest of these were converted from revolvers already completed and chambered for .44 Special. Approximately 60,000 Colt New Service revolvers were also purchased, in .455.

The Italian firm Fiocchi and American firm Hornady are currently the only commercial manufacturers of the .455 Webley cartridge (in Mk II). Hornady, RCBS and Lee produce equipment for reloading .455 Webley cartridges.

Despite the apparent difference in caliber name, .476 Enfield was quite similar to the .455 Webley. The .476 had a 0.05 mm (0.002 in) shorter case than the .455 Mark I and could be fired in weapons regulated and marked as safe for the caliber, such as the Webley 'WG Army' model. This had a cylinder that was long enough to accommodate the significantly longer cartridge in which the bullet swelled out to .476" beyond the case. It would not chamber in any government-issue .455 Webley Marks I-VI.[2][6] The .450 Adams (1868), .476 Enfield (1881), and .455 Webley (1887) British service cartridges all featured a case diameter of .476 inch.

Notes

  1. ^ Mark I factory load, Kynoch black powder. Barnes, Frank C., ed. Amber, John T. Cartridges of the World (DBI, 1972), p. 174, ".455 Revolver MK-1/.455 Colt".
  2. ^ a b c d Barnes, p. 175, ".476 Ely/.476 Enfield Mk-3".
  3. ^ Chamberlain, W.H.J. and Taylerson, A.W.F. Revolvers of the British Services 1854-1954" (Bloomfield, Ont,: Museum Restoration Service, 1989), p. 33.
  4. ^ Harris, Lynn H Notes on .455 Webley Revolver Cartridges" (Wellington, NZ: self-published, 1987), p. 12.
  5. ^ Wilson (1943) p.228
  6. ^ Maze, Robert J. Howdah to High Power (Tucson, AZ: Excalibur Publications, 2002), p. 32.

References

External links