View Full Version : unknown smith and wesson 455

January 27, 2015, 22:21
Guy, what the heck is this...guy has it for sale by me and says it's a 455 webley..has brit proof marks and stamped "notbritishmade" on barrel? Hodge podge smith and wesson? Sorry for crappy pics but best I could do....

http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/willmiami/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150127_170318.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1 http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/willmiami/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150127_170257.jpg.html?sort=3&o=3 http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/willmiami/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150127_170303.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2 http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/willmiami/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150127_170324.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0


January 27, 2015, 23:01
Appears to be a Smith and Wesson Hand Ejector 455 Eley with aftermarket grips, and a clipped barrel.


January 27, 2015, 23:02
That looks like a S&W made for England during the War. It also looks like it has been chopped and had target sights put on it at some point. Collector value little to none. It's worth ~$200
Check and make sure it hasn't been converted to .45 ACP or .45 long Colt!!!

Retired Bum
January 27, 2015, 23:43
That revolver appears to be a .455 Hand Ejector Mark 1 (English Service). The integral ejector rod shroud identifies as a Triplelock of which 5000 were produced in 1914. This run of .455 Triplelocks had their own serial number range that ran from 1 to 5000. So check the serial number on the butt of the revolver. The serial number will also be found on the back of the cylinder, on the barrel, on the underside of the ejector star, and on the crane.

Obviously at some time the revolver was modified with the shortened barrel and the replacement front sight. So a $1000 plus collector's item was ruined by somebody wanting a more compact revolver.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

January 28, 2015, 00:01
Excellent guys, thank you...sounds sorta close to what this guy said except he wants 400.00 for it..told him no as I figured it was altered and I really don't want to add the 455 to my reloading bench....thanks for the cast replies as I knew someone here would know....shame it was chopped up because it looks like an interesting piece.

January 28, 2015, 10:49
What these guys have said is true except that I'd have $400 out of my wallet so fast I'd probably hurt myself. It hasn't been converted to .45ACP yet, but that would be the next step. Yes, it has no collector value but if it were still a collector gun it would have no practical value. The 'practical' value is well over $400 imho.

January 28, 2015, 10:57
Wonder how hard it is to convert to 45acp..makes it more interesting

January 28, 2015, 11:24
Chuck the cylinder in a lathe and take off .020-.030" or so,......I'd have to look up the specifics but it's probably a little more than converting from .45Colt due to the thin rim of the Webley.

Then you load with full moons. Best accuracy will probably require reloading with over-size slugs but .451 will work.

January 28, 2015, 11:27
I have to concur with kev in post number 6. I would give $900 right now for one similar in 45ACP that I had to give up.

I bought one like that from a trucker / gunsmith in Melbourne. He chopped the barrel to 3 inches with a ramped front sight, and nickel plated it, but it was already in 45ACP. The rear sight was the original groove. In other words, none.

Here is the sad part. I had to sell it for $260 at a Melbourne gun show. I talked to the guy I sold it to a few months later at another show and he said it was his nightstand gun.

That little bad boy shot point of aim with the fixed sights at normal revolver ranges with hardball, and the action was smooth as glass. I still hope I might run into it. If I saw it now I would give $900 for it.

So if any of you guys in the Melbourne, FL area would like to make a quick buck....?????

January 28, 2015, 11:36
Before you make that into a 45 acp remember the 455 is a little larger in case diameter. Shooting 45 acp will budge the cases. See that a lot with the old Webleys that were converted. Enjoy it for what it is.

January 28, 2015, 11:38
You would be better off trying to get this one that has been converted to 45 acp.


Notice the gap between the cylinder and recoil shield. It's about 1/8" more than the one you are looking at. The cylinder has been shaved.

January 28, 2015, 11:55
There are a couple more on GB that are no bid at $599 so why would you fuk with this abomination for $400?
Call the gun shop listed and ask if they would take less on either of the 2 they have.


January 28, 2015, 12:06
Here ya go S&W 45 acp.


Have it parked or cerakoted and you'll be GTG.

January 28, 2015, 12:31
None of those are Triple Locks,.....none of them have the barrels cut back to a usable length and the front sight mounted,.......and none of them are close to $400. You'd have a grand in any one of them before you'd be where this one is now except for the cylinder turning which I'd do myself on the lathe. Remember, when these things were coming in as surplus way back when they were being converted by the importer and still selling retail for $15.95. Cutting the cylinder back for .45ACP is nothing.

And most importantly,.......none of them are Triple Locks! Making any mods to a Triple Lock today is grounds for summary execution. The opportunity to customize S&W's greatest revolver and pack one around for cheap is a rarity. Like I said,........I'd hurt myself getting the money out and nearby windows would shatter from the sonic boom.

There's only .004" difference between the Webley base and the .45ACP/AutoRim. Not a factor. You'll won't be loading bear stomper loads anyway,.......it's not a magnum. In fact, it's a century old revolver manufactured back before Smith hardened the cylinders. I'd be loading to Webley ballistics. A .45 belly gun tossing slugs at 650fps is a hoot. Shooting east in the evening with the setting sun over your shoulder is like firing tracers,.............you can actually watch the slugs truckin' downrange.

January 28, 2015, 12:52
Look and make sure it said S&W it could be a Spanish made one. I do know during war time they bought pistols from other nations. Germany bought pistols from Spain also. British bought rifles from Japan before WW11. Japan bought British machine guns for their Navy. :uhoh:

January 28, 2015, 13:14
agreed with Kev that this is the legendary "triple lock" that inspired E Keith to create the 44 mag. the ejector rod shroud was dropped the next year in the canadian and english contract 1915 pattern guns as they feared it would mud up and stop the cylinder from closing on a reload, and so continued in the 1917 pattern American contract guns. My fav S&W is a 1915 canadian that is marked 455 and canadian proofed, but shaved to 45 ACP. if it had this barrel and sight config i would prise it even more.

January 28, 2015, 13:57
Cheapest triple lock you are going to find to play with.

January 28, 2015, 15:59
So the OP buys it because it is a triple lock that has been fuked up. Chopped and a Redfield rifle sight put on the bbl, and still needs to have the cylinder and ejector turned ~0.060" to use .45 acp. Then he is going to shoot softball 45 acp loads.

Kev wants to carry it as a belly gun shooting softball loads. :tinfoilhat:
To each their own.

It has no collector value. $400 is still high in my opinion. If the OP is looking for a S&W 45 acp revolver there are plenty out there that need nothing to shoot.

January 28, 2015, 16:08
Just for Kev a real belly gun :biggrin:


Retired Bum
January 28, 2015, 18:51
I went through my records and found that I had purchased my .455 Hand Ejector Mark 1 Triplelock back in Dec 1995 for $600. It is in original condition with a serial numer of 123X. I wonder what it would bring at today's prices?

I clicked on the link that SAFN49 provided and had a look at that S&W Model 1917. I have seen worse condition Model 1917's but that is one fairly beat up piece IMHO. What it will sell for is anybody's guess. If it sells at all....

The M1917 I bought back in December for $900 in almost cherry condition is looking better and better after seeing photo's and prices on some of these sad old relics of a century old war.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

January 28, 2015, 19:44
This thread has become very interesting. ....I'm gonna buy it...I figure if I don't want to fix it up I can always sell it here. ..might just reload me some 455s...

January 28, 2015, 22:23
Just for Kev a real belly gun :biggrin:


Nice find. There's a gun I wouldn't give a hundred dollars for,.......but the seller values it at $500 minimum. He may be wrong but whatever the true value I'd say the OP's Triple Lock is worth ten times as much.

It has no collector value,.......is that not the first thing I said? Have you priced .45 wheelguns lately? In the last year I've bought six of them,.......two cutdown 25-2 Smiths, two 1917 Smiths, and two .45 converted Webleys. All of them fun shooters and none of them have any collector value. That's why I bought them. That's why none of them cost me a thousand dollars(they were all in the $500-$700 range). Not everybody is impressed with 'collector' guns. Personally, I detest them. I'm not running a museum.

January 28, 2015, 22:57
All of them fun shooters and none of them have any collector value. That's why I bought them. That's why none of them cost me a thousand dollars(they were all in the $500-$700 range). Not everybody is impressed with 'collector' guns. Personally, I detest them. I'm not running a museum.

For $700 I would buy a factory original 25 series and shoot the crap out of it. It would still have value down the road.

Modified guns just won't hold their value like an original. I don't run a museum, I shoot most everything I have. I just won't over pay for a piece of crap, that has no future value, and even less if I have to further modify it.

Retired Bum
January 29, 2015, 00:25
Most of my .45 revolvers have been S&W's. But I do own a couple of others.

Like the NIB 3rd gen Colt Single Action Army I purchased almost three years ago at a local gun show. It was post 2000 made and came in a blue plastic foam lined box. Color case hardened frame and that lovely blue/black finish on the barrel, cylinder, and grip straps. It wasn't cheap at $1100 but then that is what new 3rd gen SAA's are going for or more these days.

It actually shoots to point of aim at 50 feet with my hand loaded 255 grain LSWC rounds. Gotta love a fixed sighted gun that shoots to POA.

I wish my 1961 made 2nd gen SAA .45 shot as well.....

And so it goes.

The Retired One

January 29, 2015, 14:47
This thread has become very interesting. ....I'm gonna buy it...I figure if I don't want to fix it up I can always sell it here. ..might just reload me some 455s...

Good man.

Rather than destroy a .455 cylinder, let's just keep our eyes out for a .45ACP cylinder that'll fit.

January 29, 2015, 20:31
OK picked it up tonight. ..will post good pictures tomorrow. ..it's actually a pretty cool piece!

January 30, 2015, 08:34
OK, got it last night, paid 425.00.... not bad cause it is a pretty cool piece with all the proofs and the possibilities. nice and heavy, really nice trigger, smooth. feels great even with these replacement grips. Pretty happy.


January 30, 2015, 13:17
anyone know if the ser# is 3 didget or 4? its separated on the frame

January 30, 2015, 13:28
The '2' looks like a Rack Number to me - that filled hole was where the lanyard ring post use to be.

Yours -
Although the Brits bought nearly 5,500 of the S&W .455s, they were not completely pleased with them. The Triplelock’s ejector rod housing was encased in a shroud on its right side. There was also a lock between the cylinder crane and frame that inspired its unique nickname. The Brits rightly feared the mud of trench warfare would gum up such intricate mechanisms.

Any markings on the inside of those grips?

January 30, 2015, 16:45
The only marking not shown in the pictures is a small A next to the post that the grip sits on in the very bottom of the gun handle below the spring on the left side of the gun

January 30, 2015, 17:46
okay here we go change 55... Read the article story sent me and on a whim had 5 light trail boss loads for the 45 Colt with a 200 grain lead bullet...loaded the cylinder with 45 colt and its cycled perfectly and fired it perfectly......ok.....I think I am very happy now!!!!

February 01, 2015, 18:02
455 brass is still available , or try a shortened 45 Colt case.
I wouldn't sell the round as is short ( No pun intended ! )
Throw a 255 grain lead slug on top of it and you have something pretty lethal.

February 01, 2015, 18:14
Yah I actually love the 45colt and have been reloading it for but 20 years...I don't think I would put any strong loads ( I'm used to ruger vaqueros) in her.....actually I think I'm gonna buy some 45acp half moon clips...it may be cut already for it??? If it will rotate with 45colt I think it might work with the half moon clips...the guy who sold it to me had no idea what had been done thankfully or he probably would a charged me a couple hundred more...:)... and I may just sell it, I need to find me another good 5 1/2 in barreled stainless vaquero in 44mag..maybe 44/40 or 45colt. .might put a trade up in the marketplace.

February 02, 2015, 11:16
If .45Colt chambers and fires then the cylinder has been shaved for .45Colt. Colt rim thickness is much greater than the original Webley. If it was cut for .45ACP it would be very obvious because in that case the cylinder must be shaved back for the total thickness of the ACP rim AND the moon clip.

Full moons are cheaper and easier than half moons, but it's all just a wasted expense unless you actually want to recut it for ACP. It's .45Colt now and if you already load and shoot Colt you might as well just be happy with the way it is now. Just don't mix up the pre-war Smith loads and the Vaquaro loads!

February 02, 2015, 16:56
thanks Kev...im just gonna sell it. I like my big boom Vaquerro loads, mostly black powder loads...One more thing i gotta keep separate in the ammo bin.. probably post it in the MP tonight or tomorrow