Webley The British Bull Dog Revolver

An uncommon Webley marked but Belgian made Bull Dog revolver.

Although correctly marked with "THE BRITISH BULL DOG" and "P. WEBLEY & SON, LONDON & BIRMINGHAM" this revolver looks nothing like a real Webley British Bull Dog. The shape of the frame, style of trigger, absence of a protruding sear, shape of trigger and loading gate, and style of extractor all indicate Belgian manufacture. 

Apart from the stampings on the top strap and barrel the revolver shows none of the markings you expect to see on true Webley. It does have Birmingham proof marks on the barrel, cylinder and left frame but no serial number is evident except for a tiny "444" stamped on the cylinder body and the letter "A" stamped on the cylinder face. There is also no caliber marking and I've had to confirm the caliber as .442CF through measurement.

This revolver is well made, with a unfluted five shot cylinder, short walnut grips and a blued finish. It's chambered in .442CF with a 2 3/8" (63mm) barrel.

Copies of Webley's British Bull Dog revolvers are not uncommon. The Bull Dog was a highly successful design and numerous copies were made by American, European and other British makers. What is unusual in this case is the Webley markings on an obviously Belgian (Liege) made revolver. Measurements of the top strap markings show they are indistinguishable to the same markings on true Webley Bull Dog and RIC revolvers. They've been made with the same die.

The question then is what is an obviously Belgian made Bull Dog copy doing with genuine Webley markings? One possible explanation is that Webley was attempting to compete against the numerous cheap Bull Dog copies in the US market. The genuine British made Webley was relatively expensive and could not compete against the cheap European and American made products that were flooding the US market in the 1880's. It's possible Webley turned to a Belgian manufacturer in order to bring down the cost. This is speculation of course, the truth may never be known.

This exact revolver is pictured on page 219 of the book "Webley Solid Frame Revolvers: Nos 1, 1½ , 2,  Bull Dogs and Pugs" by Black, Ficken & Michaels


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.