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Smith & Wesson .455

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by nwwoodsman, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. nwwoodsman

    nwwoodsman Vernonia Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Just inherited this pistol. Stamped on side of barrel Smith & Wesson .455, with thesecond 5 x'ed out and "ar" stamped after that. Has BV, BP, and NP stamped after that, all with a circle around them and what looks like a crown on top. I was told I could shoot .45 long colt and .45 acp with moon clips out of it. Can anyone help verify that?
    Also if anyone has anymore info on this particular make I would really really appreciate it. Thanks
     
  2. nwwoodsman

    nwwoodsman Vernonia Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    This is a photo of the pistol
     
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  3. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Sounds like a S&W that was made for the 455 Webley cartridge and has been modified to shoot 45 Auto Rim cartridges. It may even shoot 45 ACP with moon clips, but I'd be very suspect that it would chamber and shoot 45 Colts.
     
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  4. justdp

    justdp Mid Willamette Valley New Member

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    What orygun says sounds right to me....I have a Webley Mark VI, that was originally chambered in .455 Webley. it was converted to shoot 45 auto rim "ar" or 45 acp using half moon clips or full moon clips. the conversion involves machining a little material off of the cylinder where the cartridge rim rests. It is my understanding that it was a common conversion in past years, as .455 Webley ammo is not nearly as common as 45 acp.....It should not be able to chamber a 45 colt, the rim on a 45 colt case is thinner than the rim of a 45 auto rim case, (which is the same thickness as a 45 acp in a moon clip)
     
  5. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Just saw one of those the other day.
     
  6. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    These were variants of the S&W 2nd Model Hand Ejector - to give the proper model name. The original N-frame .44 Special model. They were ordered up by the British to supplement Webleys in WWI and were made from early 1915 up to 1917. They were originally .455 caliber, of course.

    The marks on yours indicate it was proofed and sold surplus out of British stocks - US dealers usually bought them then did quick conversions to .45 AR (auto rim), and it could take .45 ACP with clips by machining the cylinder face. Some were converted to .45 Colt, but that was a different process with lengthening the bore and rebating the the cylinder face (recessing them for some of the cartridge rim).

    Yours looks like it might have the original finish, though someone filed the sights to alter the POI, it appears. These are extremely well-made guns. Here's one in original appearance:

    faef691c.jpg
     
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  7. nwwoodsman

    nwwoodsman Vernonia Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Definately the original finish. Ok, for some reason it really bothers me when others ask "do you know the value of..." but I'd really like to know how to figure out the value. I've seen them for $300, and I've seen some really nice ones for $1500. It was inherited, but right now due to the possibilities of a SHTF situation, if I can get something out of it that would be more practical then I'm going to do it.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    Well, the fact it's not original caliber, missing the grips, and the sight is filed, I'd figure you are in the $300 to $400 range. It's valuable to someone who appreciates the old models, but has no collector value or value as a practical gun to a modern shooter. Putting it on Gunbroker or similar would be the test of that. PM or em me if you need more help, but that's the general overview of the market for these.