By A Web Design

The News

21st Century Liberator

Amongst the craziness going on in the US over guns, a group known as Defense Distributed has designed and built a single shot plastic gun that can be built by anyone on one of the new 3D printers that have emerged from the Maker Space.  The pro-gun activists are just as rabid as the anti-gun activists and this is being played out in the US media and being watched by the entire world.

picture of Liberator pistol

This new gun is based heavily on the WW2 Liberator, a cheap zip gun built by the US to be airdropped to anti-Nazi partisans in Europe.  Someone in the government must have got cold feet, as most of them were dumped in the ocean, and it still remains to be seen if the gun was actually useful for it's original intentions.

picture of Liberator's parts

DefDist's gun is similiar in many ways. It's cheap to make and simple in the extreme.  It uses a common roofing nail for a firing pin, and metal has to be added to satisfy the governments requirement that it set off an airport metal detector.  It's also a smoothbore, and this has to get it into the AOW (any other weapon) category.  Even the modern FP-45 replica of the Liberator pistol has a rifle barrel to keep out of trouble with the law.  

picture of original Liberator

Anyway, the DefDist people have a dramatic video shooting it's one bullet.  Enjoy.

Mystery Webley

One of OBG's readers sent in these pics in an effort to solve the mystery of missing marks.  It seems to me that this gun has escaped going to the proof house for some reason or other. Here is his description...

What looks to be a Webley VI in very good condition.  There are no import/ENGLAND stamp and no TONS Proof.  Fit is excellent, finish is shinny blue (not at all flat).

picture of Webley pistol

There is no manufacturers/patent stamp that I can recognize.  I know to look for either the Patent or the winged bullet on the left side of Webleys and the Enfield stamp on the right side on Enfields.

Serial numbers are nicely struck on the barrel, lower receiver and cylinder in the normal places, and they match in style, depth, and of course the number (236xxx)

Each chamber on the cylinder bears the crown over GR over crossed lance over P.  the Cylinder has not been shaved.  The face of the cylinder has a broad arrow, what looks to be an o or c, and a faintly struck mark that looks like a stylized U over something over something else (to faint to make out)

picture of Webley pistol

Several broad arrows appear on various small parts including the unlocking lever (above the screw on the left side of the pistol) on the top strap just forward of the rear sight on the left side, the side of the trigger guard on the left side forward of the trigger.

The back strap is marked A.A. over something I can’t make out over 1.A.C.C.  over RTC over 66.

picture of Webley pistol

On the underside of what I call the holster spreaders (triangular horizontal pieces forward of the cylinder) there is what looks like a crown over Y2 over 13

There is a capital letter M on the grips above the lanyard ring (both sides)

Finally the heal of the butt, forward of the lanyard ring shows a small SA, each with a small arrow over each.   The S and A are side by side, but the S and it’s arrow are staggered a little below the A and its associated arrow.

OBG:  What marks there are seem to be in the right places and look like the marks on my 1918 Mk. VI.  The serial number seems to be about 100,000 before it.  Anyone know the deal on the missing marks?

picture of Webley pistol

Shotguns on Steroids... the Punt Gun

Men have always been good hunters.  The problem is that they are too good, witness the loss of every big animal that roamed the earth during the last ice age.  And during that time we barely had spears and arrows to hunt them with.  That tradition of hunting everything to extinction continues to modern times, such as the disappearance of the passenger pidgeon in the United States, and the increasing difficulty we have in locating what fish are left in the oceans.  

picture of punt gun
From the middle of the Nineteenth Century, so called 'Market Hunters' upped the ante for wildfowl hunting.  They used huge shotguns to take large numbers of ducks and geese with one shot.  These guns were too big to carry around, so they were mounted to small boats, punts, from which the name 'punt guns' was derived.  They could use a pound of pellets, or more, and could collect 50 birds at a shot.  The barrels were up to 2 inches in diameter and the guns could easily weigh one hundred pounds.

picture of punt gun 

Some of these guns are so big, it looks like they were used by some mutant giant race of humans.  They were way too successful, and were banned in the US from 1918, and even earlier in some states, but puntgunning still goes on in the UK.

Machineguns in Cincinnati

Cowan's auction house in Cincinnati is selling off the lifetime collection of Richard Wray, a former President of Wray Electric Company and longtime collector of firearms.  This huge auction includes over 200 firearms and at least 90 rare class III  weapons.  

These guns are not display items, not deactivated or converted to semi-auto, they are the real deal.  Not only that, but most of these guns are rare as can be, and some are complete with all accessories.  This seems to be the auction of a lifetime. The auction is to be held April 30th, 2013.

Some of my favorites...

picture of Lewis Gun

picture of Vickers Gun

picture of Vickers Gun

picture of Lahti anti-tank gun

Wilkinson Webley

The Wilkinson Sword Company was practically an institution of the British Officer Corps.  It was there the well heeled Victorian Officer got his martial gear for parade and combat.  Located next door to the Board of Ordnance at Pall Mall, in London, a newly minted officer could get his field and parade sword, and while he was in the shop, could choose from the best revolvers and leather gear in the business.

This business of providing upper crust officers with finely finished firearms wasn't lost on Webley & Scott.  They furnished Wilkinson with nicely polished and finished revolvers, which were also  some of the best revolvers in the world at that time, and with which an Officer of the British Crown could fancy himself well armed.

Such a revolver was for sale on Gunbroker on 26 April 2011, and it has provenance for a martial family of some repute.  It still seems to have excellent fit and finish, which would be true to it's roots, and would make a fine addition to your British revolver collection.

picture of Wilkinson-Webley

Update 3/20/13:  This gun belongs to Roy Shadbolt who has decided to keep this fine revolver.  He has an article about it on his excellent site about Wilkinson fighting knives. it's worth a look.