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  1. #1
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    Default Snagged a Spanish revolver today at a gun buyback

    So there was a gun buyback in my neck of the woods today and a few friends and I set up along the road with signs to get people to sell their guns to us instead. One of the guns I managed to snag today is a Spanish Eibar 455 made by Trocaola, Aranzabal y Cia. According to my research, this means that the gun is an Old Pattern No 2 Mk1 made for the Brits during WW1. I think I did well overall considering that I paid $`00 for it but I have found that the cylinder freely rotates with the hammer down. Since i would like a fully-functional revolver, I would like to get it fixed up for some mild plinking. Anyone know what the issue might be?

  2. #2
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    When the trigger is pulled all the way back and the hammer drops the cylinder should be indexed and locked so that it can't move much if at all. This is true for all revolvers. With the hammer down and the trigger all the way forward some revolvers, such as the Webley MK VI, have a part that will pop up and lock the cylinder so that it can't spin. But some other revolvers were not made this way, such as the Japanese Type 26 revolver. With the trigger forward, it's possible to accidently turn a Type 26 cylinder but not a MK VI Webley. I don't think the Spanish revolvers locked the cylinder in the rest position. However, I don't have a Spanish .455 made for British service, so maybe someone who does can inform us if it was made to lock the cylinder in the rest position or not.

  3. #3
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    My old pattern made by Garate Anitua spins freely with the hammer down.

  4. #4
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    Design weakness is the culprit, for these were manufactured without the cylinder stop borne by the Smith & Wesson from which they were loosely copied. The Smith had a removable sideplate, and the Spanish dispensed with the extra machinery and handwork that would have been entailed providing sideplates and cylinder stops.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pullnshoot25 View Post
    Spanish Eibar 455 made by Trocaola Aranzabal. According to my research, this means that the gun is an Old Pattern No 2 Mk1
    This is not the case. The essential and unchangeable difference between the No 1 Mk 1 and the No 2 Mk 2 is clearly stated in LoC 17555: "The grip of the No 1 pistol is small with projecting head ----The grip of the No 2 is larger and without projecting head on top". The manufacturer has nothing to do with this. I believe that the oft repeated claim regarding the manufacturers of the No 1 and No 2 stems from the fact that the sealed pattern of the No 2, in what was the Enfield Pattern Room Collection, was made by Trocaola Aranzabal y Cia (TAC). However, my No 1 Mk 1 (with projecting head) was also made by TAC: see the attached picture.

    Peter
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails OP No 1 Mk I resized.jpg  

  6. #6

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    You might want to examine the firing pin for wear. Spanish guns may have been built that way but for my Webley and my Belgian R.I.C. types the cylinder stop unlocks when the trigger returns and the only thing preventing rotation is the firing pin projecting forward into the empty chamber. The Webley has a half cock to allow rotation, the Belgian that I have does not.
    Every day is an adventure of one sort or another, if you live, you learn.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anomalous View Post
    You might want to examine the firing pin for wear. Spanish guns may have been built that way but for my Webley and my Belgian R.I.C. types the cylinder stop unlocks when the trigger returns and the only thing preventing rotation is the firing pin projecting forward into the empty chamber. The Webley has a half cock to allow rotation, the Belgian that I have does not.
    My old pattern, also made by Garate Anitua, spins freely with the hammer down.

    It has London Proof and View marks, some tiny, unreadable marks on the rear strap, a mysterious "43.B." mark on the frame, but no sign of a Broad Arrow.

    Comments or opinions?

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in VA View Post
    My old pattern, also made by Garate Anitua, spins freely with the hammer down.

    It has London Proof and View marks, some tiny, unreadable marks on the rear strap, a mysterious "43.B." mark on the frame, but no sign of a Broad Arrow.

    Comments or opinions?
    A lot of these revolvers weren't accepted by the military but still proved (commercially) and available for private sales which occurred since officers had to buy their own handguns as I understand it. I have a Garate, Anuita with no military but commercial proofs. The rejection supposedly had a lot to do with non-interchangeable parts (and also probably because Webley deliveries were starting to catch up by the time the Spanish revolvers started to arrive.
    Garry James has article on Spanish revolvers in latest Guns & Ammo. He confirms (and discusses) the lack of the anti-cylinder rotation feature of these revolvers.
    He forgot in his summary to include the Spanish contracts for the Italians which included both Bodeo revolvers and the Model 1916 which was a top break in 10.4mm Glisenti caliber but at least he didn't forget the 92 Espagne!

  10. #10
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    Pardon my ignorance, but what is a "projecting head"?

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Just a side note. Wasn't Custer carrying a 455 webley at his last stand in the Black Hills?

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by graybeard View Post
    Pardon my ignorance, but what is a "projecting head"?
    It is the hump at the top of the backstrap intended to act as a stop to prevent the grip slipping in the hand on firing.

    X-Ring is wrong in calling it a skull crusher. When the MarkII Service Webley was introduced LoC 7816 stated "3. The grip is of a different shape, the head being removed, the previous form having been found to injure the hand on recoil". Of course the Mk VI re-introduced a head, because by then the army had learnt to hold on to their revolvers when firing them !? If you have fired a bird's head butt Mk II, III, IV or V you will know that they do indeed slip progressively down in the hand.

    Peter

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnxdshooter View Post
    Just a side note. Wasn't Custer carrying a 455 webley at his last stand in the Black Hills?

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.
    Custer's Weblies were probably Royal Irish Constabulary or Bulldog solid frame types. Am not sure when the .455 was introduced but I'd think his would have been in the earlier .44 or .45 Webley caliber. I am not a cartridge expert and don't have my references handy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJGP View Post
    It is the hump at the top of the backstrap intended to act as a stop to prevent the grip slipping in the hand on firing.

    X-Ring is wrong in calling it a skull crusher. When the MarkII Service Webley was introduced LoC 7816 stated "3. The grip is of a different shape, the head being removed, the previous form having been found to injure the hand on recoil". Of course the Mk VI re-introduced a head, because by then the army had learnt to hold on to their revolvers when firing them !? If you have fired a bird's head butt Mk II, III, IV or V you will know that they do indeed slip progressively down in the hand.

    Peter
    If thats the case, then all the Spanish contract pistols have projecting heads, as far as I can see.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughboy1953 View Post
    Custer's Weblies were probably Royal Irish Constabulary or Bulldog solid frame types. Am not sure when the .455 was introduced but I'd think his would have been in the earlier .44 or .45 Webley caliber. I am not a cartridge expert and don't have my references handy.
    According to everything I've read they were in fact .455. He was supposedly gifted them by some Englishman. I forgot who.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnxdshooter View Post
    According to everything I've read they were in fact .455. He was supposedly gifted them by some Englishman. I forgot who.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

    I think it was the British ambassador Lord Berkeley. Does any one know what happened to Custers pistols,rifle and sabre? I think I read that the Indians feared being caught with them being in their possesion and so buried them .

  18. #18
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    Custer died in 1876, more than a decade before the .455 cartridge came into use.

  19. #19
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    I don't believe Custer's Weblies have ever been located. Very possible any Indian was afraid to be caught with it/them in his possession but I doubt anyone will ever know. I am not sure it's been definitively established he had one at the Battle of the Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn) although it is widely accepted he may have had them.
    I recall an American Rifleman article on these but don't have the exact reference handy right now.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward miller View Post
    Custer died in 1876, more than a decade before the .455 cartridge came into use.
    Why did American rifleman do an article on his .455 webleys then. I guess American rifle man made a mistake.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

  21. #21
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    IIRC Custer was thought to have bulldogs, very popular for many reasons at the time. Heavy calibers, .44, quite common as well. Webley was only one of the many manufacturers at the time.

  22. #22

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    I would think that in a .45 the 450 Adams would be likely, the 476 is supposed to have come out in 1880 and the 455 in 1887. The 442 Webley is a strong possibility too. I wonder if there is a catalog of recovered brass from the battlefield? Any Webley brass would have been his assuming he got a chance to reload.
    Every day is an adventure of one sort or another, if you live, you learn.

  23. #23
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    A short BRASS revolver case was found under Custer's body-a case that none could id, probably a Webley .442. All the US issued cases were inside primed and Copper.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anomalous View Post
    I would think that in a .45 the 450 Adams would be likely, the 476 is supposed to have come out in 1880 and the 455 in 1887. The 442 Webley is a strong possibility too. I wonder if there is a catalog of recovered brass from the battlefield? .

    Yes.
    http://www.nps.gov/mwac/libi/firearm.html

    Read this
    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2011/10/0...ters-last-gun/

  25. #25
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    My gunsmith fixed the revolver up for me. He said it is a real oddball transitional stage smith and Wesson clone. Someone milled the cylinder to accept .45acp so that saves me hunting the ammunition for 455 down. It rotates freely to yhe right but no longer to the left since it got fixed. Looks like I will have to spend some time making some soft loads for it.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pullnshoot25 View Post
    My gunsmith fixed the revolver up for me. He said it is a real oddball transitional stage smith and Wesson clone. Someone milled the cylinder to accept .45acp so that saves me hunting the ammunition for 455 down. It rotates freely to yhe right but no longer to the left since it got fixed. Looks like I will have to spend some time making some soft loads for it.
    I thought most revolvers should be loaded to the right of the top strap anyway. Thus it spinning to the right should not be a problem.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

  27. #27
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    "Someone milled the cylinder to accept .45acp so that saves me hunting the ammunition for 455 down" My recommendation would be to buy some .45 Auto Rim cases, & load them to .455 Webley specs. Please do not shoot the revolver with .45ACP or .45AR factory or mil-surp ammo, their normal operating pressure is like a .455 proof load.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnxdshooter View Post
    I thought most revolvers should be loaded to the right of the top strap anyway. Thus it spinning to the right should not be a problem.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.
    Right spin is totally fine, its the left spin that was the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by X-Ring Services View Post
    "Someone milled the cylinder to accept .45acp so that saves me hunting the ammunition for 455 down" My recommendation would be to buy some .45 Auto Rim cases, & load them to .455 Webley specs. Please do not shoot the revolver with .45ACP or .45AR factory or mil-surp ammo, their normal operating pressure is like a .455 proof load.
    Yup, I will be handloading some light loads.

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