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Thread: Webley- Pryse info???

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Webley- Pryse info???

    This is my first post, although I have been reading the really helpful threads for a while. So I'm wondering if anyone out there has any information on this handgun I've just bought. I'm in Tasmania, so the gun laws are a bit tricky, and the revolver itself is classed as a "Prohibited Weapon". Luckily the local pistol club I belong to has endorsed my application as a 'Historical" arm and also for Metallic Silhouette ( !!! ). This means I've got about 6 weeks before I can even see it, so I'll use the time for some research.

    It's a Webley-Pryse .455 revolver, made @1889-90, probably black powder, and in original condition. It has the SN "GMR 5 " stamped on it, if that means anything to anyone. I bought it from a dealer on mainland Australia, who has a good reputation, and deals only with Military issue firearms. All I've seen is a couple of photographs, but he assures me it is in quite good condition, and should be a good shooter, although he knows not much more about it The only Webleys' I knew about were the WW1 era models ie Mk iv etc, the Webley -Scott and the 38 derivatives of WW2.

    I have reloading dies for the .455, loading data, some Trailboss, some starlight cases coming, and a handful of 45 cal cast 230gr projectiles, just to see if it will work. I won't know how well it will shoot the 45 cal projectiles, but the cost of the RCBS .455 mold is prohibitive. I'm just wondering if anyone out there knows where I could find out more about it, or have any tips or advice, cheers....

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    ddixie884's Avatar
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    Sounds like a really cool pistol. Post pics if you can. THANX
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Here's an ad for one, also marked GMR 5, which perhaps was a model designation? Ad has pictures.

    http://www.ozgunsales.com/listing/78...al_pistol.html

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You will want a .454 projectile if you can get it as they run large in the bore compared to US guns. I use T/B and a 250 .454 Lyman mould that I got many years ago. I beagled it to drop at 456 and that is perfect for my Webley WG.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo66 View Post
    Here's an ad for one, also marked GMR 5, which perhaps was a model designation? Ad has pictures.

    http://www.ozgunsales.com/listing/78...al_pistol.html
    That's the one I'm buying!. All the other pics of Webley-Pryse revolvers that I've seen look slightly different to this ( barrel contour etc), but still in the same category. And yes, I've read numerous times that the bore is slightly larger than US spec 45's, similar to how 303 British compares to .308 or 30.06 in diameter. The best price I can get for a correct .455 single cavity mold is still over $200.00 AUD and that is without handles ! I'll let you know how it works and shoots when i eventually get hold of it. Thanks for the replies everyone.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I just finished a modern Sherlock Holmes book, (not Arthur Conan Doyle) and when Holmes suggested Watson bring his revolver the webley- pryse was mentioned. Don't know if this was the 19th century shooter Watson carried in the Doyle books.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Wow! What a neat looking revolver. I hope you enjoy it.
    Last edited by Tatume; 02-19-2020 at 07:32 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Welcome to the forum pattern14!

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the welcome and the feedback everyone. Just looking up what molds were available, and Lee are selling single cavity minie ball ones for $41.00AUD, which is really good value. I have 4 other Lee molds and they all work well for me. The reason I mentioned the Minie ball one was because they are a hollow based design of 298 gr, and .456 diameter. Just thinking I could make some, put them in a drill press and make some hollow point 'manstopper " replicas. The hollow base with soft lead seems to be the way to go for these early Webleys, going by what I have read. I've got quite a bit of wheel weight lead already cast into ingots. Any thoughts either way would be greatly appreciated.

  10. #10
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    NoZombies's Avatar
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    For my Pryse (non Webley), I've loaded using bullets from an old Modern Bond mold designed for the .455, although mine predates the .455 cartridge and is actually a .450 Adams. Very light loads are the rule of the day for me, and it's a lot of fun to shoot.

    To be honest, I think yours might be mis-labelled, it doesn't look like a Pryse, since a major component of the patent was the lever arms on the frame for unlocking, I'm pretty sure it's not of Webley manufacture either if I'm honest, it looks to me more like one of the Belgian houses, and suspect you'll find Belgian proofs on the gun. But I'm not an expert and might well be wrong on any or all of those points.

    Nozombies.com Practical Zombie Survival

    Collecting .32 molds. Please let me know if you have one you don't need, cause I might "need" it!

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    You could be right about the mislabelling. Every pic I've seen resembles the pistol above, and as stated earlier, the barrel profile is different, and the projection at the front of the frame is not the bullet nosed affair shown. I did some more reading and it appears a number were made in Belgium, so I guess I won't know until I actually get the chance to examine it for real. It takes 4-6 weeks for approval to come through, so it will be at the local dealers long enough for me to check it out thoroughly. It seems that not a huge amount is known about these pre-1890 revolvers, but it should be fun to use with black powder loads

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    Honestly your revolver looks like a hybrid between the Pryse Pattern and the S&W copies they were making around the same time.

    I suspect it will be a lot of fun to shoot with appropriate loads.
    Nozombies.com Practical Zombie Survival

    Collecting .32 molds. Please let me know if you have one you don't need, cause I might "need" it!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I would have jumped to buy that gun at that price. I do think it is mislabeled.

    It is sort of like my Belgian make double rifle of that same era. No known maker but still a nice gun.

    I see this marking in the picture so maybe it will be legible in person.

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    A Belgian maker named N. Gilon made licensed copies of Colt percussion revolvers.

    https://www.barnebys.com/auctions/lo...ver-uyjc95lu05


    The lower frame and grips look to be Pryse patterend but the latch is clearly Smith and Wesson derived.

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    Tim
    Last edited by dtknowles; 02-19-2020 at 01:28 AM.
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Here is a similar gun in .380

    https://www.icollector.com/N-Gilon-M...ains_i25294091

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for that latest bit of info and the link to the photo of the .380. It does look very similar. Now I'm really curious......the price was one of those "too good to be true" sort of things, so I'm not overly concerned about the value, and I did wonder if there was something amiss with it. The dealer did consider keeping it for himself, and doesn't know its history, and now I'm not even sure if the calibre is correct. I once bought an M17 Enfield that was advertised as a 25.06, and turned out to be a .25 Krag, which are literally unheard of here. It was just sheer luck i knew a cartridge collector that had a round. Looks like I'll asking for more help in identifying what it actually shoots. Once again, I really appreciate everyone's input.

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    You might want to look at the 'britishmiliariaforums' under the British Military Handguns section, especially when you have the revolver in your possession.
    Lots of knowledgeable information available for the asking there on all the actual Webley variations, and similar looking copies from other makers. The manufacturer's markings, and proof marks will for sure help once you can examine it more closely, but I think dtknowles post #13 is spot on.
    Regardless, after looking at the ozgunsales ad. I also think you got it for a good price.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    Just to update, the dealer will package it up and send it off in the next few days. I still have to wait at least another 3-4 weeks before I can pick it up though, as being a "prohibited' pistol, it does tend to get dragged out. Once it arrives, I'll be able to get some good close-up pics and measure the bore etc to determine what it actually is. Some of you may be aware that there was a massacre in Tasmania in the 90's, and Gun Laws have become very strict since then, particularly towards self loaders. The police here can confiscate your firearms for the most minor infringements, and cancel your licence etc. They also make surprise visits to check on your storage arrangements and security systems. I am also required to have the club document that I have regularly attended Metallic Silhouette events at least 10 times a year ( it's only 6 times a year for my .22 and .357 mag ).

    To date, none of this has affected the outlaw bikie gangs , drug dealers and other underworld groups, who just continue to have illegal guns and use them for their criminal activity.

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    She finally arrived late last week from the dealer. It will be a few more weeks before I'm allowed to pick it up, which gives me time to start sorting handloads. It appears to be in very good condition, with complete rifling in the barrel, a very nice trigger and fairly solid lock up ( minimal play). Some minor pitting/erosion in the chambers, but should polish up OK. Weird kind of overall finish; the dealer described it as a "patina typical of the era" ….whatever that means???. Sort of a dull silvery grey, no signs of bluing, and what appears to be a hard rubber grip as opposed to timber. It also appears to be totally devoid of markings on the frame, no SN, and 'N.Gilon" on the barrel. The rear of the cylinder has some very small marks ( ? Proof marks ) such as a 5 pointed star with a faint "H" underneath and some other letters in a triangular pattern. Guess I'll need a magnifying glass when i get her home.

    As for handloads, I'll start with a couple of grains of trail boss and some locally made commercial "Black widow" 230 45 cal. cast SWC while I try and find a suitable mold. I dropped a 45 cal Long colt round- nose into the muzzle and it swallowed it, so I guess the bore is a bit bigger than that. At least it will keep the pressure down initially so I can make sure everything works as it should, even if accuracy is not that great at first. I also noticed that Lee make a 290 gr hollow based minie ball mold, that I could theoretically lighten with a hollow point down to @260-270 gr to try and duplicate the earlier factory load. Early days yet...……..

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    So far, so good....finally got some Starline brass which is much better quality than the unbranded junk i picked up initially. 2-3 grains of trail boss and the 45cal 220 gr lead slugs shoot a little high, so am thinking of a heavier bullet. The sights are fixed, so just have to aim off for now. She works flawlessly though...locks up tight, great trigger in single stage ( heavy on double though), and appears to be in great condition for her age. lots of fun to shoot, so I'll look at getting a heavier bullet weight mold after all. Strange how it feels more natural to hold than my GP100, as much as I like my Ruger.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
    So far, so good....finally got some Starline brass which is much better quality than the unbranded junk i picked up initially. 2-3 grains of trail boss and the 45cal 220 gr lead slugs shoot a little high, so am thinking of a heavier bullet. The sights are fixed, so just have to aim off for now. She works flawlessly though...locks up tight, great trigger in single stage ( heavy on double though), and appears to be in great condition for her age. lots of fun to shoot, so I'll look at getting a heavier bullet weight mold after all. Strange how it feels more natural to hold than my GP100, as much as I like my Ruger.
    I think you would be going the wrong direction with a heavier bullet. The heavier bullet will have more recoil (muzzle rise) and longer in the barrel time (muzzle rise) so I would expect it will make it shoot higher not lower. At less than 25 yards trajectory has less effect than recoil, you might even be able to drop the point of impact with a stiffer hold.

    Tim

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check