Webley-Fosbery 1837
Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver
Production Information

Webley & Scott


Service Revolver

Technical Specifications
Total length

280 mm

Empty weight

1.24 kg


Recoil-operated semi-automatic revolver


,455 in, .38 in

Magazine capacity

6 round cylinder (.455 Webley), 8-round cylinder (.38 ACP)

Muzzle velocity

620 ft/s

Year introduced


Used by

United Kingdom

The Webley-Fosbery Self-Cocking Automatic Revolver was an unusual, recoil-operated, automatic revolver. Designed by Lieutenant Colonel George Vincent Fosbery VC and produced by Webley & Scott from 1901 to 1915, this revolver is easily recognizable by the zig-zag grooves on its cylinder.

History Edit

Semi-automatic pistols were beginning to appear when Fosbery designed a revolver that cocked the hammer and rotated the cylinder by sliding the action, cylinder and barrel assembly back onto the frame.The prototype was a modified Colt Single Action Army revolver. Fosbery patented the pistol on 16 August 1895 and patented further improvements in June and October 1896.[1]

Fosbery took his design to Webley & Scott, which further developed the design with the Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver, introduced at the Bisley matches in July 1900. The revolver was initially made in .455 calibre for the British service cartridge, and later in .38 ACP. While the .455 version had a standard 6 round cylinder, the .38 high velocity version had eight chambers and could be loaded by a circular full moon clip. The .38 version had a shorter cylinder and therefore shorter recoil stroke. Some were made with the short frame in .455 calibre. A variety of modifications resulted in the making of six models, Mk I through Mk VI.

Although Webley viewed thee revolver as an ideal cavalry sidearm, the Webley-Fosbery was never adopted officially. According to reports of British officers who privately purchased the sidearm, the Webley-Fosbery was more vulnerable to jams in the mud of the Western Front. Production of the Webley-Fosbery ended in 1915.

References Edit

  1. Kinard, Jeff (2004). Pistols: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-85109-470-7.

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