Modifications to the basic design in 18 led to the introduction of the Mark II and Mark III revolvers.As their product line evolved, so too did the company. Webley & Sons merged with gun-making firms Richard Ellis & Son and W. Scott and Sons, and the new company continued in business under the banner of Webley & Scott.(1915 - 1932) The original Mk IV was adopted in 1899.It improved on the Mark III by being made from different steel, with a smaller and lighter hammer and wider cylinder slots.This situation began to change in 1887, when Thomas William Webley obtained machinery suitable to the task.The firm's military revolvers trace their roots to an initial 1887 British government order for 10,000 P.The revolver in question wasn’t introduced until World War I, thirty six years after the British Army fought the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.Nonetheless, the movie helped introduce more than a few people to the Webley, including me.
That’s the main thing that kind of ruins these for collectors.
The manufacture of revolvers, for which the firm became famous, began twenty years later. Webley's revolvers became the official British sidearm in 1887, remaining in British service until 1964.
After 1921, however, Webley service revolvers were manufactured by the government-owned Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield.
Many of us, when we think of Webley revolvers, think of this iconic movie image, of Michael Caine and Stanley Baker playing Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead and Lieutenant John Chard in the 1964 movie Zulu, firing away with their Webley Mark VI in .455 Webley.
Unfortunately for the movie, the iconic image is wrong.
Adopted in 1894 and almost identical to the Mk I, the Mk II had a hardened removable steel blade that was added at the back of the frame breech.