Book Review: Webley & Scott Automatic Pistols

Having previously read and quite enjoyed Gordon Bruce’ Evolution of Military Automatic Pistols, I was looking forward to checking out his much more in-depth volume on the Webley semiautos, appropriately titled Webley & Scott Automatic Pistols. Webley automatics don’t seem to very widely known here in the US, despite being an important part of semiauto pistol development. They are really all the work of a single man, William Whiting, and Bruce’ book  does a good job of giving a reader insight into the man’s career and achievements. Whiting’s pistols almost certainly allowed Webley & Scott to remain in business during the slow periods between military revolver contracts, and he is to be commended for the amount of effort he put into the somewhat Sisyphean task of developing a reliable military semiauto pistol around a rimmed revolver cartridge.

Ultimately, he was able to produce a number of successful civilian and police pistols, and did manage to achieve the golden egg is firearms design; a prestigious military contract (in his case, with the Royal Navy). Unfortunately the timing of that contract was beyond his control, and his pistol was basically abandoned by the Navy when World War I broke out and new developments were suddenly relegated to the back shelf.

While you can find Webley & Scott Automatic Pistols on Amazon, you will find a much better price by ordering it from Simpson & Co instead.

9 Comments

  1. Yes a book on the autos I have missed for years.
    I havw 4 books on the revolvers and one on Webleys Airpistols.
    The bad thing on a book like that is that you discover just how many you need for the collection

  2. One of my MANY..”When I hit the lottery” dreams is to collect as many of the small, early 20th century .32 caliber autos as I could. One of the first on the list is an H&R/Webley & Scott. I always found it to be a handsome looking piece, and liked the feel of the few I’ve handled at gun shows. Anyone here in FW land have any experience shooting them?

  3. I’ve got a Model 1910 in .38 ACP and a Navy Mk.I N in .455 Auto. The 1910 is a surprisingly light and fast handling gun, but the Mk.I N is exactly as heavy and bulky as it looks. I like them a lot, they’re very unique guns with alot of quirks, but they’re very well made and once you get used to the grip angle (its not unlike an early parallel ruler Colt IMHO) very pointable. I suspect that given more of chance they’d have been a pretty decent service pistol.

  4. I first noticed the .455 Webley autos when I was in grade school in the ’60s. I had a little booklet with a bunch of drawings of different weapons, and the Webley auto was one of them.

  5. Webley-Scott pistols would be more popular today with modern polymer materials
    since most of them suffered of cracked bakalite handle side plates covering
    “V” type flat return springs.

    .455″ Military Model is the first pistol using elevating type locked barrel with
    a locking shoulder propped against with front of ejection port which later used
    by French M35S and Sig/Sauer 220 series pistols and so on. However a single
    prototype made in Poland and patented in 1930 with serial number 18113 granted to
    the name “Nouri Pasha” of Turkey should be the second as using this locking form
    with, again, an elevating barrel with twin cams and guides at both sides.

  6. HI…Would you be able to recommend a book or some alternative learning tool to learn about the inner mechanics of how a Webley Revolver operates (like how does the eject feature work, the firing mech, etc.). I’ve seen some videos on line, but am searching for a more detailed description with up close photos, drawings, etc.. I’ve seen some of your videos on the Webley Fosberry….. but am looking for the basic Webley info. Thank you… appreciate it if you could direct me.

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