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Second-series Webley Mk 3

May 27 2013 at 10:28 PM
MDriskill  (Login MDriskill)
Group #188948

This fairly recent addition to the fold has ticked a couple of long-standing boxes--an early Webley Mk 3 with the initial style "monk's cowl" stock, and with the gorgeous factory-option Parker-Hale aperture sight.




The serial is in the 16xxx range and best as I can tell from Chris Thrale's superb recent tome on Webley rifles, it dates from about 1954, thus it represents fairly early production after the first-series two-stage trigger was discontinued. The rifle is in really excellent condition, and shows off Webley's high finish standards of the time. I was also very pleased to find it had been gone through by a first-rate tuner! It shoots every bit as nice as it looks.

The different feel from the later more rounded stock (introduced around 1958) is very noticeable. The later stock (top rifle in photo below) balances and handles very well in its own right, but the older rifle feels more slender and compact, easier to carry and with a more front-heavy balance.


I've certainly seen fancier walnut on Mk 3's, but that's not to say this one is anything to be ashamed of!




The action has several interesting details: 1. artfully shaped, comfortable trigger blade:


2. beautifully done stamped markings:


3. interesting "notch" in the cocking link to clear the cocking lever:


4. fine ribbing on the end of the cocking lever to improve grip:


5. knurling at the rear of the receiver, which is actually a separate removable piece on this older rifle (a legacy from the different trigger on the first series Mk 3's):


This Mk 3 does not appear to have ever had the typical open rear sight mounted in the provided dovetail, so the peep sight has likely been there since it left the factory.

The PH 16M sight is one of my favorite airgun accessories ever, a really superbly-designed sporting sight. The mechanism is small and sturdy, and well away from the line of sight for an unobstructed view of the target--a superb detail for a sporting sight. Note how both windage and elevation scales are easily visible from behind. The arm carrying the eye disk can swing out of the way, for use on rifles that have an open sight zeroed at a different distance.



Parker-Hale made all types of sights, and a bewildering variety of eyepieces for them! The Mk 3's PH 16M usually came with a tiny eyepiece which gives an unobtrusive "ghost ring" sight picture; but all manner of different styles were available, including some with adjustable-size apertures built in.


This PH 59 "Midget" eyepiece has an internal rotating ring with 6 different diameter apertures. It is 3/4" in diameter to conform to certain UK shooting rules.


This PH 60 sight works similarly to the Midget, but has a separate eyeshade and can take colored filter lenses.


The PH "Iris" aperture is a continuously-variable aperture opening of overlapping thin steel blades, similar to later German sights. The separate PH 62 eyeshade is beautifully made of blued steel with a matte phosphate finish on the rear face, and will also fit other Parker-Hale eyepieces, including the PH 60.


The Mk 3 has long been one of my favorites, and I like this one a lot!


This message has been edited by MDriskill on Jul 28, 2017 1:41 PM

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(Login leonardj)
Group #188948

An excelent write-up of one of my favourite rifles.....

May 28 2013, 12:33 AM 

Alas, neither of mine are equipped with the Parker-Hale peep sight, but if I can find one, it will have a proper home.

If I may add one additional bit of info to your thread, my two early Mark III rifles both have different trigger designs. I have been unable to find any mention of any such engineering change in Chris Thrale's book, nor any of my other refrence materials, but both triggers do appear to me to be OEM parts. The differences are subtle, but definitely noticeable.

[linked image]

[linked image]

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(Login MDriskill)
Group #188948

Trigger variations

May 28 2013, 8:15 AM 

Thanks Len, that's very interesting! I've never seen that second style of blade. FWIW, I have another Mk 3 with a 19,xxx serial, and its trigger blade is identical to my 16,xxx one above.

It would be interesting to know if that was a permanent change datable to a particular serial number, or some sort of temporary aberration along the way! These sorts of changes in old airguns are always fascinating for sure.

These things always remind me of a humorous article that was in "Gun Digest" years ago. It was called "The World's Greatest Webley Collector," and was about a guy who had gone insane in his attempt to own every Webley revolver variation! happy.gif

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(Login MDriskill)
Group #188948

(deleted) NT

May 28 2013, 10:45 AM 


This message has been edited by MDriskill on Jun 12, 2013 6:31 AM

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(Premier Login Garvin2)
Group #188948

A beautiful example

May 28 2013, 7:33 AM 

of an early Mk3 and a very educational write-up. You have a real knack of bringing these guns to life through careful observation and great pics, Mike. I also think those swing-out PH16M sights are the bees knees! Thanks for posting.


The Vintage Diana Forum

The Vintage BSA Forum

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(Login MDriskill)
Group #188948


July 27 2017, 9:27 PM 

Another one back from Photo-muck-it hell. Courtesy of "Postimage" this time. Still playing with sizes and such...

Not really trying to bury you guys in ancient stale Webley posts, LOL--these pics just happen to be the low-hanging fruit currently stored on the old desktop.

My P*********t account is so thoroughly buggy, I can't even download pics from it now, so I'll have to find older material on thumb drives and camera cards, etc.

This message has been edited by MDriskill on Jul 28, 2017 6:17 AM

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(Login AndrewR7)
Group #188948

Keep em com'n Mike

July 28 2017, 3:48 AM 

Like seeing your oldies.

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(Login socalmatt)
Group #188948

Very nice addition.

July 29 2017, 1:04 AM 

Thanks for the tip on Postimage. I feel complete again now that I can post photos!

Here are a couple of pics of a MK 3 I picked up a few years ago.



This message has been edited by socalmatt on Jul 29, 2017 1:06 AM

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