Fossies

by
posted on September 20, 2012
wiley-clapp.jpg (3)

Webley-Fosbery (or Fossies) revolvers are beautifully made gun from the Golden Age of British armsmaking, and they are quite unique. I am sorry to say that I have never fired one—you have to go to my old friend and fellow Field Editor Garry James for that kind of experience. While the recent Italian Mateba revolver has some distinct similarities, the Fossie stands different in the history of small arms.

Developed by George Fosbery in the late Victorian era and marketed by Webley at the turn of the century, the Webley-Fosbery was a big heavy service revolver. Chambered initially for the .455 service cartridge (later for the .38 ACP), the gun was loaded by breaking the action muzzle down to expose the rear of the cylinder. This was a popular system of loading and worked well if the gun has a strong hinge. The unique feature of the Fossie was a recoiling upper—barrel, cylinder, hammer, etc.—that rode back a short distance when fired. The recoiling movement both turned the cylinder and cocked the hammer, while a strong spring returned the upper to battery. This presented the shooter with another crisp, short, single-action trigger pull.

Despite the obvious complexity of the system, the gun worked well in rough service and was popular with British officers.You will not see their like again.

Photo courtesy of Adams Guns

Latest

The Armed Citizen
The Armed Citizen

The Armed Citizen® Sept. 27, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

The Rifleman Report: Your American Rifleman

American Rifleman is “The World’s Oldest And Largest Firearm Authority” for reasons that extend far beyond the printed page.

Preview: Scalarworks Peak Iron Sights

Scalarworks and Special Operations veteran Larry Vickers join to create the ultimate set of front and rear fixed iron sights for a fighting carbine.

Preview: Real Avid Bore-Max Speed Clean System

Real Avid introduces a new set of bore brushes, jags and jag patches, aimed at simplifying the process of cleaning out barrels with fewer passes needed.

American Arms of the Battle of the Bulge

American G.I.s thwarted Hitler’s last-ditch offensive, even though Hitler threw the best men and weapons that he had available against America's troops in the Ardennes. Here the author looks at the small arms used by our troops to stop the Nazi war machine dead in its tracks.

Heckler & Koch P7: H&K's 'Squeeze-Cocking' Pistol

First designed in 1976, Heckler & Koch's P7 gas-delayed blowback pistol stand out from most all other handguns with its unique squeeze-cocking mechanism.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.