Shooting Shaved Webley Revolvers (w/ Steinel Ammo)

Steinel Ammunition has started making a rather niche new product, but one that I think is quite convenient: .45 ACP downloaded to .455 Webley pressure. This is for use in Webley revolvers that were shaved to use moon clips and .45 ACP when they were imported. This is a common modification done by importers back when proper .455 Webley ammunition was very hard to find; by converting the guns to .45 ACP they became much easier to sell (a similar thing was done with .380 ACP barrels in Husqvarna M1907 9×20 SR pistols). However, standard .45 ACP ammunition is equivalent to .455 Webley proof loads, and it’s not safe to shoot it. So historically, the shaved Webley revolvers have been shootable (safely) only for bandleaders. Steinel’s new offering gives people a factory-made option that can be safely shot right out of the box.

Disclaimer: Steinel sent me a box of this ammo for free. I’m doing a video because I think it’s an excellent thing to have on the market, not because I can be bribed for $39.99 😉


  1. Someone’s spellchecker is acting up. Do only bandleaders handload .45 ACP for Mk VI Webleys?

    I had a friend who was one such bandleader, using carefully-hoarded .45 Auto-Rim brass. It took him quite some time to hit on a load that was both accurate and safe — until that time he blamed the gun.

    It should be mentioned that back in the day not only was .45 Auto-Rim plentiful, but so were half-moon clips for M1917 revolvers. The former having been manufactured by Peters to supplant the need for the latter, aimed at the market that owned surplus US Army WWI wheelguns. Mk VIs needed shaving because the .455 cartridge rim is actually rather thin.

    Steinel has also done the favor of manufacturing .38/200 for the Webley Mk IV/Enfield .38 owners, duplicating the ballistics that actually caused these guns to be built. Can also be shot from S&W Victory revolvers built for the UK but not pocket top-breaks like S&W Centennial, H&R, Iver-Johnson etc. Could Steinel take another step and revive .45 A-R for both Webleys and M1917s? Of course there would be two grades of propellant loads.

  2. 45 Auto rim work very well in shaved Webley revolvers. Starline makes the brass and it’s still possible to find Remington factory ammo.

  3. Since those WWI era shaved Webleys have already suffered so much battering, it’s probably a good idea to load extra soft.

  4. “(…).45 ACP downloaded to .455 Webley pressure(…)”
    Wait, so we now there are 3 different .45 ACP? This one (which should be logically named .45 ACP -P), normal .45 ACP and .45 ACP +P?

  5. $39.99 a box! In Australia rimed 455 Webley is $aus 120 for 50. Makes reloading a very necessary option.
    The early marks with the birds head grip and 4” barrels are still difficult to control with factory loads.

  6. Sorry. I have a “shaved” Webley and have shot standard roundball in it for years. No Plus P etc, but the late model Webley I have is in excellent condition. I see no problem as the Webley is a stout firearm.

  7. it’s not necessarily metallurgy

    The Webley design is top break, but it is a well designed top break with a generous amount of steel in that locking system.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that it is safe to run the guns at higher pressure than the original chambering ran to

    just that the gun may be up to regularly handling more than the original .455 pressures

  8. One must be aware of the tolerances and original bullet design of these Webley revolvers. First the original lead bullets were hollow based, like a muzzel loader “Mini-Ball”. They can and will contract or expand in diameter depending on the cylinder
    throat and barrel diameters. My unalterd .455 Webley has .455″ clinder throats and barrel
    diameter and shoots .455 Mk II handloads with solid .455″ bullets just fine. However
    a friend bought a “shaved” Webley years ago. We loaded .45 auto rim cases with light
    loads with .452″ solid bullets. It made a somewhat unusual sound when fired and the
    accuracy was non exsistant. So after a few shots we stopped. We measured the cylinder
    throats and they were only .450″ diameter while the barrel was .4545″! So, as a machinist I reamed the throats out to .455″. It then and continues to shoot .454″
    diameter solid bullets just fine with great accuracy. This was not a replacement
    cylinder either, matching numbers. Perhaps the hollow base original bullets would
    have functioned correctly but not a solid bullet.Tolerances must be checked.
    Steinal is a local Ohio company but I have never used thier products. I wonder
    what thier bullet looks like (hollow based?)inside. Other have used thier 8mm Nambu
    cartridges with great success.
    Wonder how that “shaved” Webley would do a 50ft on a bullseye target?

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