Webley-Fosbery Auto Revolver

samonabíjecí revolver
Webley-Fosbery Auto Revolver Webley-Fosbery Auto Revolver
Originální název:
Original Name:
Webley-Fosbery Auto Revolver
revolver revolver
DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.RRRR P. Webley & Scott Revolver & Arms Co. Ltd., Birmingham
Technické údaje:
Technical Data:
Hmotnost nenabité zbraně:
Weight Unloaded:
1,24 kg 2.73 lb
267 mm 10 ½ in
Délka hlavně:
Barrel Length:
152 mm 6in
Kapacita zásobníku:
Magazine Capacity:
Rychlost střelby:
Rate of Fire:
- ran/min - rpm
Úsťová rychlost:
Muzzle Velocity:
198 m/s 650 ft/s
Uživatelské státy:
User States:
- -
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Webley-Fosbery-Auto-Revolver-t11979#385380 Version : 0


The last decade of the 19th century was marked by rapid development in the area of firearms. At that time, more and more designers were trying in some way to make effective use of the recoil energy, which until then seemed to them to be wasted.

This was facilitated, among other things, by the development of new ammunition, especially smokeless dust, which did not clog the mechanism of weapons with unburned remnants and their operation was significantly more reliable than with the hitherto used ammunition filled with black dust.

At that time, a number of completely new constructions were being created, some of which proved to be successful, and the development of others led to an imaginary impasse. This is also the case with automatic or self-tensioning revolvers.

However, we can evaluate this retrospectively today, because we already know what the result is. However, seen through the eyes of the designers of the time, the idea of an automatic revolver was not nearly as meaningless as it seems to us today.


The weapon was designed by George Vincent Fosbery, lieutenant colonel of the British Army and bearer of the Victoria Cross ( won it for bravery in the fighting in India). In 1877 he retired and devoted himself to the construction of weapons.

Fosbery in a photograph from January 1890. He was also known as an active sports shooter, both in target shooting and in dynamic (combat) form
Source: en.wikipedia.org

His most successful invention was a shotgun bore called " Paradox". This invention brought Fosbery both fame and fortune. However, his invention was far from exhausted.

He focused his efforts on the machine gun for longer, but was surpassed by Hiram Maxim, who closed the further development of weapons of this class for the foreseeable future. Fosbery therefore turned his skills to improve the revolver.

He wanted to eliminate its biggest drawback - low rate of fire in Single Action mode and high trigger resistance in Double Action mode.

It is interesting that Fosbery chose Colt SAA 1873.

Work on the alterations to Fosbera began in 1893 and lasted for two years. In 1895 he finally succeeded in solving the problem ( perfected Mauser's Zik-Zak mechanism) and obtained a patent ( number 45,453/1895 dated August 16, 1895, then two additional in June and October 1896) on a revolver, which, after the first shot made classically, then stretched itself after each blow by the action of recoil. The recoil energy was thus used to rotate the cylinder and tension the drum mechanism.

Due to the model he used, he first offered it to Colt, but Colt was not interested in developing self-loading small arms at the time.

In the end, the company Webley started the implementation, but it wanted to use the maximum number of parts from its range of Mk revolvers. I - Mk.IV. The revolver therefore resembles them to a large extent, again with the classic breaking construction with a star ejector, the frame lock is the same as with other Webley revolvers, only the handle does not have the shape of a "bird's head" and is more similar to the handle used later in the Mk. VI.

The weapon was first introduced at the Bisley Shooting Championships in July 1900. The revolver aroused great interest from both the military and sport shooters. A year later, it was put into series production, but in the end it was never introduced into the armament of the British Armed Forces. The revolver was thus acquired by officers as private side weapons.

Webley-Fosbery Revolver Model 1901.The lock lever is locked in position
Source: www.flickr.com


It is a single-action six-shot (caliber 455 Webley) or an eight-shot (caliber 38 ACP) revolver with a folding divided frame and mass ejection of cartridges through a central ejector.

The frame folds around the swivel joint under the main. It ( according to the patent of H. Webley and J. Carpenter of 1885) is locked by a U-shaped yoke latch, the upper part of which rests on the rear part of the frame ridge. The latch control button is on the left side of the frame, while on the right is a flat V-shaped spring that pushes the latch to the forward position. If the latch does not fit properly in its seat, it is not possible to fire the charge, as the latch blocks the path of the cock. A notch in the visor is excavated in the upper surface of the latch.

The barrel with seven clockwise grooves has a typical "Webley" shape, its standard length was 6 inches ( 152 mm), but there were also variants with barrels 7.5 inches long ([i ] 190 mm - target version) and 4 inches ( 102 mm). Typical "wings" are located on the sides of the frame under the barrel, making it easier to slide the weapon into the holster.

In the axis of the cylinder there is a central star ejector of cartridges, the function of which is derived from the movement of the folding frame. A cam is located in the massive joint of the frame. When the frame is lowered, the ejector is extended and in its last phase it is returned to the front position.

It is now possible to insert cartridges into the chambers. In caliber 455, ammunition can be charged either manually or using the Prideaux quick charger ( Prideaux´s Patent Instantaneous Revolver Magazine - Prideaux's patent instant revolver magazine). In caliber 38 it is necessary to use a clip for 38 ACP cartridges. The clip is necessary because the chambers do not have a stepped recess and the hubs without the clip should therefore have nothing to lean on.

Prideaux quick charger with prepared cartridges. was applicable not only to the Webley-Fosbery revolver, but also to a number of other Webley models, as well as to the Enfield, Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers used by the British Army. The spring-loaded "fingers" holding the cartridges were pushed back into the cylindrical body of the charger during charging, thus releasing the cartridges
Source: https://www.mythicarmory.com/prideaux-device.html

Webley-Fosbery is one of the few revolvers equipped with a manual safety. The safety lever is on the left side of the frame, in the locked position the lever is pressed down, in the unlocked position it is horizontal.

The operation of the revolver was quite simple. The first shot had to be fired in the classic way, ie first tighten the cock with your thumb and then press the trigger. After the first shot, the barrel with the cylinder and most of the frame and mechanism began to slide back against the pressure of the spring in the guide grooves of the lower part of the frame. It, together with the handle and trigger, remained in place. A pin fitting into the zigzag guide grooves was also placed here, so when moving backwards, the cylinder rotated one twelfth of its circumference and at the same time the drum mechanism was tensioned. During the forward movement, when the upper part of the revolver was pushed by a spring, the cylinder rotated another twelfth, thus completing the cycle and setting a chamber with a new charge in front of the main one. The shooter could now fire this charge ( and all the others that were still in the cylinder) only with a light pressure on the trigger, which only released the cock, instead of having to turn the cock with the cock and tension the drum mechanism. If the shooter counted shots and did not pull the trigger empty, the drum mechanism remained taut after firing the last round. So now the shooter could lower the barrel, which ejected empty cartridges, reload the chamber of the cylinder, close the frame of the weapon again and could immediately start firing.

Here may be a good place to clarify the terminology. The term "self-loading" is often used in this revolver, which is not entirely accurate. A self-loading weapon is a weapon in which the recoil energy is used to eject a fired cartridge and replace it in the chamber with a new cartridge. However, nothing like this happens with the Webley-Fosbera revolver - the shooter inserts the cartridges into the chambers of the cylinder and ejects the fired cartridges by hand. The automation of the weapon ensures only the tension of the drum mechanism and the rotation of the cylinder. Therefore, it is more accurate to describe this type of revolver as "self-loading", not "self-loading".

Production and use

Production ran from 1901 to the beginning of the 1st st. war, when it was terminated in favor of service models of revolvers for war production.

In the years 1901-1914, a total of four variants were created, which are listed in the following table:

Marking Markants
Model 1901 Calibers 455 Webley, lever to remove cylinders from the axis at the frame joint, coil return spring in the handle
Model 1902 Calibers 38 ACP, button to remove the cylinder from the axis on the back upper frame members, coil return spring in the handle
Model 1903 Calibers 455 Webley, button to remove the cylinder from the axis on the back of the upper frame member, flat V-shaped return spring in handle
Model 1914 Calibers 455 Webley, otherwise the same as Model 1903, but with a shorter cylinder

This is the basic resolution for collectors, but the models often differed even within these variants. For example, the 1901 model was usually equipped with a non-grooved cylinder, but some specimens have a grooved cylinder ( A groove controlled by a button on the back of the frame fitted into the grooves on later models, so this model does not make sense, but it could be a replacement cylinder for newer.). The length of the fuse lever, its location, etc. also differed for this early model.

Webley-Fosbery Revolver Model 1901 in position with the barrel lowered. A round button later appeared in the place of the screw in the middle of the ridge of the frame member, after which the cylinder could be removed from the revolver
Source: www.flickr.com

The main production variant was the 1903 model, which was redesigned to use what
the largest number of standard parts already produced by other types of Webley revolvers. Interestingly, the serial numbers of the latest version of the Model 1914 do not match chronologically, as there are copies of the Model 1914 with serial numbers less than 2000, while many 1903 revolvers have higher numbers.

This probably happened during the modification of already produced but not sold revolvers.
The serial numbers reach 4500, but the factory documentation shows that a maximum of 4175 pieces have been assembled. The vast majority in .455 caliber, but 417 pieces were produced in 38 ACP caliber, production of the model in this caliber was terminated after 1904. Despite the high firing capacity and relatively powerful charge, there was no interest in this variant - despite the discounts that the company model offered, according to sales books, only 107 pieces were sold until 1914. After the outbreak of the 1st st. During the war, at least 72 of the company's warehouses were rebuilt to a caliber of 455. Today, therefore, the remaining thirty-eight are extremely rare, reportedly only 39 of them are currently in the world.

Eight pieces were made in the caliber 45 Long Colt and sent to the United States to compete for a new US side gun. Army. Webley-Fosbery was eliminated in the first round of the competition, the winner of which was the famous Colt 1911.

As we have already said, the revolver across the models was manufactured with three main lengths, in two finishes ( blackening and nickel plating), with handles made of wood or plastic.


The revolver was originally designed to charge 455 Webley Mk.I. a "455 cordit only" warning is stamped on the side of the revolver to warn the shooter not to use the older version of this round filled with black powder.

Ammunition was then constructed specifically for this weapon 455 Webley Fosbery I and 455 Webley Fosbery II. The second cartridge has a cartridge case with both an edge and a groove. The intention was probably to develop a metal clip for this charge, similar to the 38 ACP cartridges.

Model 1914 was designed for shooting with a modern ammunition 455 Webley Mk.II. This cartridge had a shorter cartridge case, so the 1914 model was correspondingly shortened cylinder, which brought both weight and material savings during production. Probably analogous to this charge, a charge was created 455 Webley Fosbery Short.

In the years 1902-1904, the Model 1902 variant was produced in the caliber 38 ACP. At the time, it was a young American cartridge developed by John Browning for his pistol Colt 1900.


The idea of a self-tensioning revolver was not as misleading in the early 1990s, at the time when Lieutenant Colonel Fosbery began working on it, as it may seem to us today.

At that time, there were virtually no successful self-loading pistols, and for those that were created at that time, ammunition of relatively small calibers developed.

However, in Britain at that time, the effectiveness of a small arms was assessed by the weight of the projectile. Fosbery, quite reasonably, instead of groping in the area of nascent self-loading pistols, where functional principles were still being sought, tried to work out the already proven design of the revolver and use the already used cartridge.

So how did these revolvers do? They have gained some popularity among sport shooters at shooting ranges. Proof of his abilities was provided by Walter Winans, one of the best shooters of his time, who with a 455-caliber Webley-Fosbery revolver placed six shots from a distance of 36 feet (11 m) into the two-inch center of the target (51 mm) in seven seconds. In 1905, Winans set another record: equipped with the Prideaux quick charger, he placed 12 hits on a target with a diameter of 76 mm (3 inches) in 15 seconds.

As a service weapon, however, the revolver failed. The recoil mechanism, manufactured with minimum tolerances, was clogged with mud and other impurities ( the same was true for the grooves on the surface of the cylinders e). Even worse, if the shooter had a too "soft" grip when firing ( it was recommended to shoot with the arm fully stretched), the revolver did not have enough resistance to recoil and repeat the function.

Therefore, although the Webley-Fosbery revolver had some results in sport shooting, its development led to a dead end. Its success would certainly have been greater if it had been created 10 years earlier, but by the time it came on the market, the first successful self-loading pistols were being developed to defeat it with its properties.

However, the Fosbery revolver remains a unique and unforgettable design in the world of small arms.

LESZEK ERENFEICHT: Oksymoron: Rewolwer samopowtarzalny Webley-Fosbery, Strzal magazine, May 2017
J. Hýkel and V. Malimánek: Ammunition for small arms, ed. Our Army, Prague 2002, ISBN 80-206-0641-6
Roger Ford: The most famous short firearms, published by Svojtka & Co., Prague 1998, ISBN 80-7237-089-8
May. F. Myatt, M.C .: Pistols and revolvers, published by Svojtka & Co., Prague 2004, ISBN 80-7237-212-2
Jeff Kinard: An Illustrated History of Their Impact, ed. ABC-CLIO, 2003, ISBN 1851094709, 9781851094707

URL : https://www.valka.cz/Webley-Fosbery-Auto-Revolver-t11979#76222 Version : 0
The weapon was also produced in caliber .38 ACP, the cylinder then contained eight rounds.

Author's archive.
Webley-Fosbery Auto Revolver - Drážky na válcích:
nahoře: 1901 .455 Webley-Fosbery
uprostřed: 1901 .38 Webley-Fosbery
dole: 1902 .455 Webley-Fosbery

Drážky na válcích:
nahoře: 1901 .455 Webley-Fosbery
uprostřed: 1901 .38 Webley-Fosbery
dole: 1902 .455 Webley-Fosbery

URL : https://www.valka.cz/Webley-Fosbery-Auto-Revolver-t11979#392712 Version : 0
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