Webley Fosbery Automatic Revolver Caliber .455(UK)
Country Of Origin: UK Designer: Lieutenant-Colonel George Vincent Fosbery, V.C. (1832 - 1907). Type: Automatic Revolver Operation: Recoil Caliber: .455 Webley (or ".455 British Service") and .38 ACP Production Date: 1901-1915 Capacity: .455 - 6 rounds, .38 - 8 rounds Sights front: Blade Sights, rear: U-notch Rifling: 7 grooves, rh Length: 280mm (11-inch) Weight unloaded: 1.24Kg (2.73 lbs) Barrel: 152mm (6-inch, .455 Service Pattern)!! Description: the Webley-Fosbery Self-Cocking "Automatic Revolver," Marks I through VI, in .455 Webley Mk II, and .38 ACP. This design dates from just before World War One, and was never very widely distributed, although a few were sold in the U.S., and the British Home Guard must've had a couple of them in stock during the Second World War. The Webley-Fosbery opens, empties, and loads in exactly the same manner as all other contemporary Webley revolvers. Pressing on a pivoting lever on the side of its upper receiver releases its barrel-and-cylinder assembly, which then tilts up and forward ("breaks open") on a bottom-front pivot, and simultaneously ejects from all six cylinder chambers at once. After loading, the barrel-and-cylinder assembly is tilted back into firing position, and it automatically locks itself closed. The frame of the Webley-Fosbery is divided into two parts: the upper "receiver," which includes the pistol's barrel, cylinder, hammer mechanism, and opening latch; and the lower "frame," which includes its trigger mechanism, safety lever, and handle. The trigger is single-action, but only in the same sense that the Colt Government Model's is, because the Webley-Fosbery is a kind of semi-automatic pistol. Once this pistol is loaded, it is cocked by pushing its entire upper "receiver" section all the way to the rear of its lower "frame" section. The upper receiver is then returned to battery by the pressure of a spring in the frame. When the receiver is moved rearward in its frame -- by the recoil of a just-fired cartridge, for instance -- a cam pin fixed in the frame rides in zig-zag slots in the outer surface of the pistol's cylinder, and the cylinder is revolved half-way toward the next chamber. While this is going on, the pistol's hammer is being cocked as well. As the frame-mounted spring returns the receiver forward into battery, the cam pin forces the cylinder to revolve the rest of the way, and the weapon is ready to fire its next shot. It does not do, after loading, to merely manually cock this gun's hammer. That's because there is no way to be absolutely sure, as the barrel-and-cylinder assembly is being closed, that one of the cylinder's chambers is properly lined up with the barrel. Also, the Webley-Fosbery's hammer has absolutely nothing to do with rotating its cylinder. Thus the Webley-Fosbery "Automatic Revolver" is meant to be loaded, push-cocked, and then carried at full cock, ready to fire. That's why this peculiar single-action revolver has a safety-catch on the left side of its frame, and needs it. (see more detail at http://www.thegunzone.com/webley-fosbery.html) Trivia: Sidearm of Sean Connery at the movie "Zandoz"(1973). One frequently heard characters in old movies refer to an "automatic revolver." Most of the time this is just bad research... but at least once, in John Huston's 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon, the term was used correctly when Sam Spade is asked about an odd-looking handgun that has just been used to murder his partner: "Yes. Webley-Fosbery automatic-revolver," Bogey says matter-of-factly. "Thirty-eight, eight shot. They don't make them anymore,"
Information and pictures from: Henry Penaranda