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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:28 am 
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ElCapitan

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Registered: 6/24/05
Posts: 43

6/24/05 at 01:03 PM


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Hello Webley experts! This is my first post on this forum, although I've been lurking for a while. This topic seems to be so obscure that I need to jump in and ask!

I recently acquired a '16 Webley MkVI converted to 45ACP. I am not a handloader, I am having a very hard time finding any online information about shooting commercial 45ACP loads in these.

There are rumors that it will do anything from loosen them up over time, to blow them apart, but I can't find anybody with firsthand information or sources of data to back it up. My understanding is that 455 loads were around 255gr at around 700 fps. Typical 45ACP factory FMJ loads are 230gr at around 830fps. I've seen opinions that factory 45ACP is at or near the 'proof' pressures for 455 Webley.

If you know a good source or have firsthand information about what velocities, bullet weights, and bullet types are no gos for these conversions, please help! Thanks in advance,

El Capitan


cloyce

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Registered: 9/14/04
Posts: 109

6/26/05 at 10:25 PM


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hi el capitan, i bought my first .45acp converted webley in the early 60's, and i shot several thousand rds of us surplus .45 ball through it with no problems. this was standard 230gr ball ammo. the accuracy isn't great but it shoot ok. the .45acp webleys i have now , i shoot reloaded .45 auto rim brass with a 250gr cast .454dia. bullet over 3.8gr of bullseye powder. this is a great webley load, very accurate and pretty much duplicates the orig. loading. hope this info helps ....cloyce


Rapidrob

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Registered: 8/31/04
Posts: 2,409

6/27/05 at 09:42 AM


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I have been shooting my .45 ACP converted pistol for years with no problems at all. These pistols came out when Semi-smokeless powders were just coming out and the Britt's over engineered the pistol to handle unknown powder pressure of the then "new" smokeless powders the French were making.. The pistol is very,very strong and very accurate. My pistol will hold a 2" group at 25 yards all day long. Your pistol has been converted to use the "full-moon" clip and it really makes shooting the pistol fast and fun. There are several sites that report "huge" bore sizes on these pistols, but I have never run across one of these pistols. I have won several Dueling Tree competitions with my pistol using hard ball ammo. I my opinion, I think this pistol was and still is one of the best designs ever fielded by a standing Army. Hard cast, lead bullets will help reduce barrel wear in the long run, but not really mandatory. Any normal loading will work very well and shoot to the point of aim.
Of all of my revolvers I shoot, this pistol is my favorite.


ElCapitan

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Registered: 6/24/05
Posts: 43

6/28/05 at 06:47 AM


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Thanks for sharing your experiences. It is good to hear that some have no trouble at all with factory loads. A couple folks on another board told me they did have some problems with "loosening up" and cylinder binding after extensive shooting of 45ACP. I wonder if part of the difference is in the quality of the conversion work?

Anyway, I sent a query to a reloading/manufacturing outfit about their 45 Auto Rim -- if it is lower pressure, I think that would be a good solution since their prices are about the same as factory 45ACP.


Rapidrob

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6/28/05 at 10:29 AM


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I would think that, rather than the pistol loosening up due to extreme pressures, what is happening is that the springs made 90 years ago are getting weak. If you look at the amount of steel surrounding each cylinder wall, you will notice it is quit thick. The Britt's always used a very good quality steel in all of their firearms. While I would never shoot a +P load in this pistol, I do keep all my loads at the Milspec for .45 ACP.
There are so many "knee jerk" opinions out there today on all facets of firearms shooting and ammo that I feel sorry for the younger generation. When we were kids, we shot what ever we could get out hands on, learned what would work, and what would not. If we had questions we went to the library or a good gunsmith. Better yet ask one of the "old timers" about what we were doing wrong. Now days "corrosive" ammo dissolves guns over night and people shoot .32 Mag in the Nagant pistol, go figure. Sorry for the rant, I just hate stupid people.


ElCapitan

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Registered: 6/24/05
Posts: 43

6/28/05 at 11:33 AM


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Rapidrob-

I appreciate your advice; personal experience is what I asked for and you gave it. I believe the other guys, because they too were sharing personal experience. But also, you're right, there may be another reason for the function problems they had.

In any case, I couldn't find a good discussion of these topics on any boards, so I guess I was doing the modern version of "asking the old-timers" by posting this question. So far the response has ranged from 'some wear and tear on the pistol' to 'perfectly safe', which is better than I expected.

By the way, I must confess I have used 32 H&R Mag in a Nagant, but it was low velocity "cowboy" loads, which worked great!

El Capitan


ShortTimer

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Registered: 1/12/06
Posts: 18

3/23/06 at 08:11 PM


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Howdy, all! Several-month lurker, first-time poster here.

Got a Webley VI 1919 .45 ACP with the vertical arrow in the D marking - Australian, as I understand, and I've only shot light reloads through it. Georgia Arms semi-wadcutter .45s, since they're lower weight and lower FPS, I figured it'd be safer to baby the old pistol. The previous owner had suggested as much.

When I've shot the pistol so far it's been with that reloaded semi-wadcutter 185-200 grain ammo. The problem I'm running into is that I'm getting some kind of yellowish grit in the barrel and between the cylinder and barrel. I'm assuming this is some kind of powder problem, or else a lead-shaving problem like 3Para's Webley that has a slight amount of play in the cylinder (even with hammer back or trigger pulled), or a combination of the two, possibly exacerbated by the wadcutter rounds.

I picked up a couple boxes of modern .45 ACP - Winchester Target .45 Auto and a box of Wolf's, both 230 gr FMJ - I don't remember specific velocities offhand - they're both pretty standard fare. I'm now slightly concerned that if I have too much cylinder play I'll have bigger problems from a more solid bullet; or, should I not worry about it since the wadcutters were most likely shredding themselves due to their shape; or, does anybody know if there's a powder problem that I, in my limited knowledge, am simply ignorant of?



ElCapitan

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 6/24/05
Posts: 43

3/24/06 at 07:59 AM


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Welcome! Thanks for resurrecting this old post. Reminds me I need to go shoot that Webley again!

The "grit" sounds like filler to me - allows a reduced powder charge but keeps the case full. I'd ask Georgia Arms about it to confirm.


ShortTimer

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Registered: 1/12/06
Posts: 18

3/24/06 at 12:01 PM


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Thanks! Given the consistency of the grit, that seems most likely.

I'll probably send an email over to Georgia Arms to see if they've got a response.


Rapidrob

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Registered: 8/31/04
Posts: 2,409

3/24/06 at 02:27 PM


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Yellow is unburnt powder. Try "Power Pistol" powder if the build up is excessive. It may help. Load to at least 750 fps to match the pistols sights.



ShortTimer

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 1/12/06
Posts: 18

3/24/06 at 05:12 PM


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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapidrob
Yellow is unburnt powder. Try "Power Pistol" powder if the build up is excessive. It may help. Load to at least 750 fps to match the pistols sights.


I don't reload (yet), but I'll keep it in mind if I start. Thanks!


antique41

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 5/14/05
Posts: 4

3/31/06 at 06:56 AM


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How can you tell if your Webley Mk VI was converted from .455 to .45 Auto?


mrmeval

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 1/08/06
Posts: 173

3/31/06 at 02:02 PM


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Mine has unblued machining done to the cylinder face and extractor. I checked and if you stack a dime and a penny they will almost fit in the gap. The milling done on the extractor shows the amount taken off to be almost equal to a penny thickness.

US coinage was used and is not NIST compliant, YMMV, No warranty expressed or implied, Do No Eat, This space for rent.


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by antique41
How can you tell if your Webley Mk VI was converted from .455 to .45 Auto?



Rapidrob

Mil-Surp Collector
Registered: 8/31/04
Posts: 2,409

4/01/06 at 06:20 AM


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As stated above, the gap between the frame and the cylinder is slightly wider to allow the use of "1/2 and Full moon clips". Many pistols were converted to .45ACP for the use by the Britt's after the .455 was deemed obsolete.



mrmeval

Mil-Surp Owner
Registered: 1/08/06
Posts: 173

4/14/06 at 02:47 PM


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I asked on another forum about WWII loadings for .45ACP and the numbers they gave me were close to modern loadings.

Here

I shot a box of RMC - UMC 230 grain round nose bullets that were marked from the war years.

230 Gr FMJ
OAL 1.265
Primers - Remington
High Vel. 862 fps
Low Vel. 802 fps
Avg. Vel. 834 fps
Extreme Spread 60
Avg Deviation 5
Coefficient of Variation .58%
Energy Range 384
High PF 205
Avg PF 199
Low PF 197
Firearm - Norinco A1 5" Barrel
Temp. 3C or about 40F
Shot over F1 Chrony at approx. 10'
I was impressed with their average deviation.
Hope this helps,
Take Care
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:10 am 
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Thanks for reposting this one, Popeye!

Last time I went shooting w/my Webley, used different .45 types. I tried Wolf's, more Georgia Arms,
and some Winchester target loads. The Winchesters didn't leave much unburnt powder, but both the Wolfs
and the GA still did. I noticed that after a few shots I really started to pull to the left, too. I'm not sure if
that had something to do with the ammo, since I noticed it less with the Winchester, or if the powder buildup
could've caused some change in trajectory.

Also, I'm thinking that maybe the design of the Webley vs an automatic leaves so much unburned powder
because it's basically the cylinder that the bullet fires from - the play between cylinder and barrel is so much
as to allow the pressure to release in other directions before all the powder is burnt - and an automatic has
4 inches of barrel and chamber combined...

As for the pulling left, I try to maintain a similar stance/shooting posture/grip throughout - since that bothers
me all the more that it could be me (usually it is the firer & not the gun... etc.)

Any ideas/thoughts/experiences appreciated.


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