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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a Colt New Service .455 Eley.
It is a revolver and in perfect condition.

I am having difficulty finding ammunition.
I was told that the Colt .45 shells will shoot fine in it.

Has anyone heard this, any comments?

Thanks
Walan
 

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The .455 Eley/Webley ctg has a very thin rim. You'll probably find that the rims on the .45 Long Colt ctg too thick and you won't be able to close or cycle the cylinder. You can buy .455 revolver ammunition, as imported by Fiocchi out of Italy, but it is very expensive.

Revolvers in .455 cgt are very common in Canada, as that was a service ctg during WWI. We find the same problems finding ammo for the old work horses now.



S&W Hand-Ejector .455 ctg



NAA.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info.

I have six Colt 45 shells that came with the gun.
They seem to fit and close ok.

Will .45 shells be ok to fire if they fit ok?

Walan
 

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If you know someone with a lathe, you can thin the rims of 45 (Long) Colt and they will fit and function, do it from the top, not the base.

It may also be possible that someone has modified the cylinder, so they can use 45 Colt brass unmodified or they might have fitted a different cylinder or rechambered it.

I am more familiar with Webleys than I am with Colt
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the information.

I was wondering how old it is.
The serial number is 131,186.
Where can I find production dates and such?
I was told it was made about 1916 but am not sure.

thanks
Walan
 

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Hi, Evil-Master,

Are you sure that gun is still in .455? A number of those brought back into the U.S. were converted to .45 Colt since .455 was not readily available.

If .45 Colt fits and the cylinder closes and the gun works OK, your gun is probably one of those, and you can fire .45 Colt in it with no problems. If it is still .455 and you have extraction problems with converted .45 Colt cases, you can also use .45 Auto Rim and trim the rim from the front as suggested for the .45 Colt.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is the original barrel and looks like the original cylinder.
But as I do not know alot about older guns, I am not sure.

I am going shooting with the guys next week, so I told them about this .455 Colt and they said "Man, bring that big beast so we can shoot it!!!". So I was trying to find ammo for it.

As I have learned about the .455 if the .45 shells fit and remove easily after firing then the .45s should be ok.

I have only shot it once, a long time ago and it was with an .455 shell that I had with the gun when I bought it.

So I will use the .45 ammo.

Thanks to all who gave me information.
This seems to be a very good and friendly site.

I am in the computer business and alot of forums are not very friendly with newbies.... so again thanks

Walan
 

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EvilMaster said:
...I was wondering how old it is. The serial number is 131,186.
I don't know how old it is, but I had one that was re-cylindered for .45 Colt and despite the heavy DA pull, it shot great. I bought it for $65.00 in a pawnshop, sold it to a friend for $250.00, and felt guilty. I regret selling it now.
By the way, the SN was 849XX, so I'd imagine it was older.
ML
 

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Do you know a gunsmith in your area?

He will probably be the best person to talk to about your pistol and to determine what caliber it is in. If he is a nice guy and not too pressed for time, he probably would look it over while you wait and may charge you 20 - 30 dollars or nothing at all.

It is probably the safest route to go.

If the pistol has been modified or refurbished, it probably be impossible to tell by you looking at it. Now if the gun had been modified by an arsenal, then there would be new proof and acceptance marks and the old serial number stroked out and a new one applied, quite common for British Commonwealth arms and many a Webley has had this done.

Sorry, I couldn't offer anything definitive.
 

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131,xxx = 1917

If your revolver accepts 45 Colt ammo , it has been physically altered . The .455 chamber length will not accept the longer 45 Colt ammo . If any of you have a .455 New Service , you will be able to visually inspect the chambers and see that they are too short to accept the Colt round .

If you will open the cylinder on your New Service and carefully inspect the rear cylinder face and ejector , you will see that it has a different appearance . Not a factory "look" . This is because the gunsmith had to face off this area to accept the thicker rim of the .45 Colt brass as mentioned earlier by other members . Some of these conversions are pretty well done , but most I've seen were fairly crudely machined and then cold blued or not blued at all .

But , more importantly there will be no proof marks on the rear of a modified/converted cylinder . I happen to have a British military purchased New Service revolver in the 90,xxx range . There are 2 proof marks visible on the rear of the cylinder. A Colt number applied by the workman at Colt as well as a Common Wealth proof mark .

As for being safe , as mentioned earlier , an inspection by a professional is recommended .
 

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Do you reload? I'm not sure if they are interchangeable but Bertram Brass makes brass for the .455 Webley. The book Gun Cartridges of the World by Frank Barnes lists the dimensions of just about every rifle and handgun cartridge you can think of. That may be a place to start to find .455 Eley (or if they are interchangable, .455 Webley) loads.

What a great gun! Let us know how it shoots.

I have a Colt 1917 in .45 ACP that belonged to my grandfather. Some pitting in the barrel but still shoots great! I just love those old guns!!
 

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I would not take that gun out until I knew everything possible about it. Tell your buddies you are sorry. Let them look at it. let them hold ti but don't fire it until you have all the info you can get about it. Tell them they can shoot it as soon as you know more about it. They will understand (though they may not be happy about it).
 

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IMO
The gun won't function with .455 anymore . The alterations will prevent the cartridge from head spacing properly . It is now chambered / head spaced for 45 Colt .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to all for the input.

Guy,
You are correct, I can tell the back of the cylinder has been machined. I will take it to the only gunsmith we have and let him look at it.
I have six colt 45 shells and they fit in the gun fine. Is there a difference in the Colt 45 and the Colt "Long" 45 shells? And if so how can I tell which type I have. Three of the shells has "Colt 45 and WW" the other three have "Colt 45 and fs"

THanks
wk
 

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45 Colt and 45 Long Colt are the same .
45 Colt is the "official" designation .

Great guns . The New Service is my favorite vintage Colt revolver .
 

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Those guns did not necessarily have the rear of the cylinder faced off. The .45 Colt reamer includes the cut for the rim, and it is necessary only to ream deep enough to cut a counterbore for the .45 Colt rim. This works fine, and no one needs to have any qualms about shooting the converted gun.

Jim
 

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Your right Jim .

Too bad when these old war horses were brought back into the US , the smiths doing the work didn't do it the way you recommend .
I assume it was easier/cheaper to simply face off the required material from the back of the cylinder and run the chamber reamer deep enough for the Colt round . I've seen dozens of these conversions and unfortunately none were performed as you recommended .
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I had the gunsmith look at it and as suspected the cylinder was shortened. But he said it looked like the work was done ok.
All moving parts were fine and the cylinder was very solid with very little movement.

New Colt 45 shells fit fine.
The smith said it should be a good shoot'n gun.

I got a box of new shells - only $22 and will fire the old beast this weekend.

Thanks for all the info.

wk
 
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