The Webley Revolver (also known as the Webley Break-Top Revolver or Webley Self-Extracting Revolver) was, in variousmarks, the standard issue service pistol for the armed forces of the United Kingdom, the British Empire, and the Commonwealth from 1887 until 1963.
The Webley is a top-break revolver with automatic extraction; breaking the revolver open for reloading also operates the extractor, removing the spent cartridges from the cylinder. The Webley Mk I service revolver was adopted in 1887, but it was a later version, the Mk IV, which rose to prominence during the Boer War of 1899–1902. The Mk VI, introduced in 1915 duringWorld War I, is perhaps the best-known model.
Webley service revolvers are among the most powerful top-break revolvers ever produced, firing the .455 Webley cartridge. Although the .455 calibre Webley is no longer in military service, the .38/200 Webley Mk IV variant is still in use as a police sidearm in a number of countries.
On May 24, 1915, the Webley Mk VI was adopted as the standard sidearm for British and Commonwealth troops and remained so for the duration of World War I, being issued to officers, airmen, naval crews, boarding parties, trench raiders, machine-gun teams, and tank crews. The Mk VI proved to be a very reliable and hardy weapon, well suited to the mud and adverse conditions of trench warfare, and several accessories were developed for the Mk VI, including a bayonet (made from a converted French Pritchard bayonet), a speedloader device ("Prideaux Device"), and a stock allowing for the revolver to be converted into a carbine.