The .455 Webley:

In 1887 the Webley MK I revolver was adapted by the Brittish army. It fired the black powder ball MK I cartridge. In 1894 the propellant for the .455 ball MK I was changed into cordite. To identify the cordite MK I cartridge a 'C' was added in the headstamp.


Ball MK I, headstamp: R^L  C   I

In 1897 a new .455 cartridge was developed, the ball cordite MK II. The cordite MK II had a shorter case (to reduce the amount of air left in the case after filling). This reduction of length also improved the ballistics of the cartridge.


 Ball MK I, ball MK II, headstamp; K  C  II

The .455 cordite MK III was developed to increase the lethal effectiveness, the bullet had a 6mm deep nose cavity (hollow point) and was made of a lead / tin alloy.


Ball MK III, headstamp; K  C  III

The ball MK IV was a variation of the MK III. The bullet was flat nosed and the hollow point was omitted. The ball MK IV bullet was also made of a lead / tin alloy. The MK V is of the same design as the MK IV except for the bullet that was made of a lead / antimony alloy.


Ball MK IV, headstamp; R^L  IV

The ball MK VI was simular to the ball MK II, but the bullet of the MK VI had a cupronickel or gilding metal envelope. Not only the cartridges were improved the revolver was also produced in several different variations. For example the MK IV revolver.


Ball MK VI, headstamp; K40  VI

paper wrapper for .455 ball MK II cartridges.

There is also .455 proof amunition produced. The proof cartridge is simular to the ball MK II. The proof cartridge was loaded with more propellant to increase the pressure. The headstamp of the proof cartridge includes the word 'PROOF'.

There was also a ballistic standard round produced, with was marked with a yellow primer ring.


                   Ballistic standard,  K  6Z

Two versions of blank cartridges were approved for service, the MK I and the MK II. Both were loaded with black powder (marked with a 'T' on the headstamp) and had rosecrimped cases. An alternative version of blank was also used, the blank L MK II I.P. (indian pattern). This cartridge had a standard ball MK II case that was closed with a carton disk.


Blank L MK II T, R^L  35  L II T

carton box for .455 blank MK II.

The Brittish army has used a .455 "cartridge for instruction", an inert black powder MK I with an inert cap and two pairs of holes drilled in the case.

A Dummy round was also approved for service, and was called dummy MK I. It was made of white metal or brass, it had 3 short flutes painted red  for identification. The bullet was the same as the ball MK II.


Dummy MK I, headstamp; R^L  D  I                                                2 more variations                                        R^L 22  I  N                                                    K  6Z