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Auction Date: December 3, 2016

Lot 1407: Webley & Scott Model 1904 Semi-Automatic

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Very Rare Documented Webley & Scott Model 1904 Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number 17 in Caliber 455 Webley
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500
Item Views 164 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Webley & Scott Model 1904 Semi-Automatic ManufacturerWebley & Scott Ltd Model1904
TypePistol Gauge455 Webley Catalog Page219
Barrel6 1/2 Inch Round FinishBlue GripWalnut Checkered
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is a very rare example of one of the early prototype type designed Model 1904 semi-automatic pistol as manufactured by W&S. This rare pistol has the very large style frame that uses the Whiting designed vertical locking mechanism. John Whiting had been brought into the Webley & Scott firm by Henry Webley after his successful development of the Gabbett-Fairfaz designed MARS pistol. Obviously the intent was to have Whiting develop a new semi-automatic type pistol for both commercial and military sales. This exact pistol is shown and described on pages 500-504 of the book "Handguns of the World" by Dr. Ezell. It is a very large, heavy design that had some interesting features. It was a blow-back operated type design with a massive breach bolt with lightning cuts on the sides and the vertical locking block that engages the lower sides of the breech bolt. It has a large ring hammer with a detachable magazine and a bottom release mechanism located on the underside of the butt of the pistol. The pistol weighs just over 3.04 lbs unloaded and was the very first British Military semi-automatic pistol tested. Initially, the testing was found to be very acceptable; however, later in testing, the pistol developed some issues with the safety mechanism, and by the spring of 1905, it was recommended by the British ordnance personnel that all testing be discontinued on this model. Eventually, the W&S Company completely redesigned the pistol and came out with the successful Mark I Model 1912 pistol. The left side of the slide is stamped with the "Winged Bullet/W&S" logo followed by "WEBLEY & SCOTT/.455 AUTOMATIC PISTOL". The right side is stamped with serial number "17", which is also stamped on the underside of the breech bolt and back side of each grip. The top of the barrel and chamber area, breechblock and left side of the frame are all stamped with the "Crown/BP or Crown/BV" proofmarks. It is fitted with checkered walnut grips and comes with one original magazine.

ConditionExcellent with 90% of the original blue finish remaining, wear on the edges and high spots overall, thinning of the finish on the grip straps mixed with some area of light oxidation, and sharp markings. The grips are in very fine condition with nice, distinct checkering overall showing some minor handling marks on the sides. Mechanically excellent. A very rare example of an early Webley & Scott Model 1904 test/prototype semi-automatic pistol.
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