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


Maynard Carbine
Maynard Carbine

I Have This Old Gun: Maynard Carbine

Six years after his tape primer’s appearance, Dr. Maynard debuted a unique drop-barrel carbine. It was light, simple and easy to operate. One merely lowered a lever to permit the gun’s barrel to tilt downward off the frame and expose the chamber.

Editor’s Choice: Dementia And Firearm Safety

The 64-page booklet put out by DementiaEducation, Inc., discusses the topic of Alzheimer’s disease and the other causes of dementia with particular emphasis on how they impact responsible firearm ownership and use.

The Armed Citizen® Jan. 30, 2023

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

New For 2023: Glock 47 MOS

Designed initially as a contract gun for United States Customs & Border Protection agents, the Glock 47 MOS is now available to the commercial market.

Preview: Nebo Slim+ 1200

Nebo’s Slim+ 1200 is a multifunctional tool that carries very easily within a pants pocket or a purse, thanks to its convenient footprint.

Glass Bedding A Rifle Stock

Stock bedding isn’t the quickest and easiest process, but it can be done—and done well—with the proper preparation, tools and patience.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.