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"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
I used to be Cossack in a Kilt.There is something magical about the Webley revolvers, to me at least. Although I primarily identify as the Celt side of my Anglo-Celt heritage, I cannot but help regard the English people as among the most marvelous and wondrous in history---and the Webley sixguns bring it all out for me, in plastic form.I'm using "plastic" here in the old-fashioned sense: corporeal.The double action top break British fighting revolver designs are elegant, complicated, steampunk solutions to questions that we, as Americans, answered very differently with our Remington and Colt single actions. (Out of all the American handgun designs I can think of, only the Merwin & Hulbert approaches the Webley's rococo elegance.)A Webley top-break revolver---particularly, of course, in a big bore, but even in a dainty little .38 S&W (or .30/200!) chambering---is redolent to me of how this "nation of shopkeepers" built an empire on which the sun never set.It's Issandwala and Kabul and a thousand other places conquered and governed by Kipling's Ortheris and Mulvaney, it's Tommy Atkins and the Thin Red Line and those poor bastards who went over the top at "Wipers." Aye, and it's Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson ("Damn it, Sherlock, I'm just a simple country doctor!") and it's even John Cleese in "Silverado."I've got a Webley, a Mark VI ground down to .45 ACP, and yes, I shoot it from time to time, and yes, I use moon clips (or the marvelously rococo .45 Auto-Rim, with it's ridiculously thick rim and it's short, stubby Victorian looking case capacity) and yes, I load pop-gun loads for it so as not to overstress the delicate mechanism.The Webley revolver makes me go all Walter Mitty---not that there's anything wrong with that (within reason).
"(Out of all the American handgun designs I can think of, only the Merwin & Hulbert approaches the Webley's rococo elegance.)"Three words: Number. Three. Russian. ;)
I thought about the No. 3 Russian! Top break points, the same kind of .38-.44 caliber spread, and double points for the spur under the trigger guard. Probably even extra points for the whole "how about we put the bullet INSIDE the case" design of the .44 S&W Russian.I still think the M&H are in a "Webley-esque" class of their own, though.
To me, that trigger guard spur is the nee plus ultra of steampunk. :D
Horses for courses! If we all bet on the same horse, how boring would life be?The points you award to the trigger guard spur, I award to the twisty-changey barrel, the ejection of fired (but not unfired!) cartridges and the folding hammer spur I think I remember.In the event (as Peter Hopkirk likes to write), both the top-break Smiths and the M&H revolvers share some of the marvelous Victorian feel of the Webley---we're in the same ballpark here in terms of bizarre sixgunnish coolness.
...ooh, and what about the pinfire LeMats?
"Walk wide o' the widow at WindsorFor 'alf o' creation she ownsWe 'ave bought 'er the sameWith the sword an' the flameAn' we've salted it down with our bones"
"Far-called, our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire: Lo, all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, Lest we forget - lest we forget!"From the Widow At Windsor to the Dolts at Downing St...
I just got a No. 3 Schofield reproduction.Not a Russian though so no spur.Took it to Popguns for the first time this weekend.There's just something about the break-action on a revolver.Definitly worth it if you can find one.
Tam:Got no---zip, zero, nada, nichego---time with any LeMat, although I did play with a repro a friend had at a shoot in Missouri.Dang thing looked like Leonardo Da Vinci had cooked it up in the 15th century!The grip angle was so unusual to me that it made the whole thing . . . less comfortable than a Webley, a M&H, or a S&W Russian 3.
Have you seen one of the cartridge models? They look different; less DaVinci than Verne.
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