Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-13-2017, 08:27 PM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,813
Likes: 2,733
Liked 6,545 Times in 2,473 Posts
Default Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun

I've been meaning to add a Mark IV to my collection for a while. Initially I'd been looking for a standard 5" War Finish specimen. But while these pop up up on auction sites on a regular basis, decent ones seem to be rather popular with collectors. Blue Book says 450 for a 100% one, but on the last one in good condition (by no means 100%), I bailed out at 600 and it sold for 750, and it wasn't the first time that happened. Blue book my rear end.

Then I came across this very nice one. A-prefix series, so 1947-1957. No rough war finish, but solid post-war blue. A non-factory-looking O.P.P. stamp above the Birmingham proofs, which according to the seller indicated Ontario Provincial Police. I could kill two birds with one stone, by acquiring a nice Webley AND adding another department-marked gun to my police revolver collection. In view of the prices for war finish guns, the 600 it cost me weren't cheap but not out of line.

Lettering a Webley is a bargain. For 28, about $42 on my credit card, you get not just a letter with the info, but also color copies of the invoice documents. So I not only know the date of sale, Jan. 9, 1951, and the serials of all 50 guns in the shipment (crossed off by hand by whoever did the final check before shipping), but also that the not very well executed O.P.P. stamping was factory, and that the gun crossed on the S.S. Beaverburn, from Liverpool. Not that the last info is terribly relevant, but it's cool to know anyhow .

The O.P.P. issued Webleys until the early 1960s; by 1962, new officers got the Colt Police Positive Special in .38 Spl. instead, according to a former officer who started that year and whose testimony I found on a Canadian collector site, and only some oldtimers still carried the Webley. This likely explains the excellent preservation of my gun, just moderate holster wear on the barrel and a few other edges: it was in service at most less than 10 years.
Attached Thumbnails
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun-img_4528-jpg   Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun-img_4531-jpg   Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun-img_4536-jpg   Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun-img_4615-jpg   Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun-img_4616-jpg  

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-13-2017, 11:52 PM
Texas Star Texas Star is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,614
Likes: 14,277
Liked 8,751 Times in 4,347 Posts
Default

Unusual not to have a lanyard ring.


This is the .38 MK IV, numbered in their commercial series. I thought from your title it'd be a .455 military MK IV. Don't see a lot of those now. Or, of these commercial .38's!


Have you shot it yet? That's a nice looking gun.


I recall an old TV series where the cops in Hong Kong had those, and have seen them in British movies with colonial police in Kenya. I've seen just one with wooden grips. Seemed original.


I think they were mostly replaced in UK and Australian service by S&W M-10s.

Last edited by Texas Star; 05-14-2017 at 12:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-14-2017, 02:19 PM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,813
Likes: 2,733
Liked 6,545 Times in 2,473 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Unusual not to have a lanyard ring.


This is the .38 MK IV, numbered in their commercial series. I thought from your title it'd be a .455 military MK IV. Don't see a lot of those now. Or, of these commercial .38's!


Have you shot it yet? That's a nice looking gun.

.....
Not yet. Waiting for a few dry days so our club range isn't quite the mudhole it is right now. It's Oregon, you know .

I thought no lanyard was unusual too. I have not seen another one. There aren't too many mentions of OPP marked Webleys to be found, but I did come across one thread in a forum where two posters who each had one discussed the fact that both theirs had professionally plugged holes, and that the agency likely did that. Maybe at some point OPP just decided to order the guns without.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #4  
Old 05-14-2017, 05:04 PM
824tsv's Avatar
824tsv 824tsv is offline
Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,367
Likes: 2,348
Liked 2,261 Times in 896 Posts
Default

Maybe send an email to the O.P.P. Museum located at their GHQ (General Headquarters) in Orillia, Ontario and ask the Curator about them.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:55 AM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,813
Likes: 2,733
Liked 6,545 Times in 2,473 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 824tsv View Post
Maybe send an email to the O.P.P. Museum located at their GHQ (General Headquarters) in Orillia, Ontario and ask the Curator about them.
Thanks for the tip! I did. I'll update the thread if I hear anything back. Even just the museum's website is pretty interesting, with exhibit slide shows and links to old video clips and such.

The OPP Museum > Home
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-15-2017, 01:55 PM
824tsv's Avatar
824tsv 824tsv is offline
Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,367
Likes: 2,348
Liked 2,261 Times in 896 Posts
Default

I've visited the Museum several times and the displays are very well done. They are a great and storied organization up here. I've worked closely with several members of the O.P.P. at times during my 37 years in Law Enforcement and all were excellent. For those that don't know, the O.P.P. are like your State Troopers who patrol all the major highways and provide Policing to small towns that don't have their own Police Dept in the Province of Ontario.

Last edited by 824tsv; 05-15-2017 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Spelling
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 05-15-2017, 06:11 PM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,813
Likes: 2,733
Liked 6,545 Times in 2,473 Posts
Default

Well, that turned out to be a great suggestion. The museum's curator sent a detailed response within less than a day.

Apparently the O.P.P.'s original service revolver since the 1920s was the Colt Police Positive. The Mk. IV Webleys, acquired initially from various sources, were issued as supplementary handguns to new constables starting in 1946, when the force expanded considerably. There were several batches of guns shipped, although there is a gap in the records in the first half of the 1950s (which I may have narrowed by one year with the copies of my invoice I attached). By 1956, the number of Webleys in inventory was increasing even though the force was growing, which leads them to the conclusion that the Webleys were already being pulled off active service again. In the late 1950s, the Colt PP Special was then introduced.

So the total number of O.P.P. stamped Webleys may have never reached four digits, maybe the reason why they barely show up in collector forums and discussions.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #8  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:55 AM
Thuer Thuer is offline
Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Netherlands Rotter
Posts: 1,617
Likes: 676
Liked 900 Times in 362 Posts
Default

Very nice Webley MK IV. And good story. I do have a weak spot for those topbreak revolvers.

Here is mine, The revolver is used by the reserve police force in the fifty's.
Above is a Colt Official Police. I picked a picture of my photo collection.
Attached Thumbnails
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun-img_1107_zps936169e7-jpg   Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun-img_1108_zpsd72d90a2-jpg  
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #9  
Old 05-17-2017, 01:00 AM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is offline
SWCA Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,813
Likes: 2,733
Liked 6,545 Times in 2,473 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thuer View Post
....
Here is mine, The revolver is used by the reserve police force in the fifty's.
.......
Yours is a nice one, too. I can't quite make out the serial, but does it have an A prefix? It looks like a post-war commercial blue finish like mine, just with 5" barrel and the lanyard swivel.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-17-2017, 08:48 AM
Thuer Thuer is offline
Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Netherlands Rotter
Posts: 1,617
Likes: 676
Liked 900 Times in 362 Posts
Default

It is a postwar made in 1951
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:03 PM
SPEEDGUNNER's Avatar
SPEEDGUNNER SPEEDGUNNER is offline
Member
Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun Lettering a Webley Mark IV: Canadian police gun  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Between the Brandywines
Posts: 1,630
Likes: 305
Liked 1,090 Times in 445 Posts
Default

Cool pistol, great story...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
.455 Mark II 2nd Model Canadian Import Mark? rgm36 S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 3 03-09-2017 01:49 PM
WTS Webley Mark VI .45 ACP SPF Plutonius GUNS - For Sale or Trade 0 05-01-2016 04:35 PM
.38 S&W Webley & Scott Mark III M1A Firearms & Knives - Other Brands 8 07-13-2015 02:20 PM
Webley Mark II Information Please Elite Armory Firearms & Knives - Other Brands 9 06-20-2015 12:12 AM
WTB Webley and Scott Mark IV Classic Captain WANTED to Buy 0 04-02-2013 05:51 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:56 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)