A rare W.J. Hill marked Webley RIC Model/82 revolver
This rare revolver is a forerunner to Webley's successful M.P. range of revolvers. Basically a short barreled Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) revolver they were for a period in 1882, marketed as the RIC Model/82. After being adopted by the London Metropolitan Police in late 1883, these revolvers were renamed the M.P.
W.J. Hill was a Birmingham based wholesaler and retailer with extensive police and government connections. In the early 1880's, Webley supplied Hill with unmarked RIC Model/82 revolvers in both .442CF and .430CF to which Hill applied his name, monogram and winged hourglass trademark. Hill then retailed these revolvers to police agencies and the public.
This 6 shot revolver is a chambered in .442CF. It has a short 2 3/8" (63mm) barrel, an unfluted cylinder, a full size walnut grip and flat pointed webbed extractor. With the exception of the short barrel, it is the exact dimensions of the standard RIC revolver of the period. On the left frame is engraved "W.J. HILL" over the serial number 9031. On the right frame is engraved the W.J.H. monogram over Hill's flying hourglass trademark. The top strap and barrel are unmarked.
An identical revolver to this (No. 9127) is pictured on page 107 of the book "Webley Solid Frame Revolvers: Models RIC, MP and No.5 by Black, Davis & Michaud