William Whiting and the Webley company had high hopes for their self-loading pistols being adopted by the British military – but they never got the success they were hoping for.
After the poor performance of the Webley 1904 at trials, William Whiting decided to make sure his next attempt would be fully developed before he put it in the hands of the military. He did very well at that too, as the gun which would become the Model 1913 Webley did very well from its very first military tests. The Royal Navy was, in fact, quite enthusiastic about it, although the Army was not. The Navy would ultimately adopt the gun and purchase about 8,000 of them during World War One, while the Army acquired just a couple hundred and preferred to stick to its revolvers.
Thanks to Mike Carrick of Arms Heritage magazine for loaning me these pistols to bring to you!