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WW1 Items

By April 13th, 2022No Comments
Some bullets.

These two objects are being kept in the Museums store so I thought I would do a bit of research on them. One of the items are .303 British shell casings from WW1 and the other is an officers side arm holster also from WW1.


The .303 British bullets were first developed in Britain as a black-powder round put into service in December 1888 for the Lee-Metford rifle. In 1891 the cartridge was adapted to use smokeless powder. It was the standard British and Commonwealth military cartridge from 1889 until the 1950’s when it was replaced by the 7.62x51mm NATO. During a service life of over 70 years with the British Commonwealth armed forces the .303-inch cartridge in its ball pattern progressed through ten marks which eventually extended to a total of about 26 variations. The bolt thrust of the .303 British is relatively low compared to many other service rounds used in the early 20th Century. During World War One British factories alone produced 7 billion rounds of .303 ammunition. Factories in other countries greatly added to this total.



The other item is a leather WW1 British Officers sidearm holster which we believe used to hold a Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver which was used by British Army officers as their side arm. The Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver was designed in 1895 and was produced from 1901-1924, the revolver is easily recognisable by the zig-zag grooves on the cylinder. Though Webley viewed this weapon as an ideal sidearm for cavalry troops, the Webley-Fosbery was never adopted as an official government sidearm. Several models of the Webley-Fosbery revolvers were produced, and the type saw limited action in the Boer Wars as well as World War One, where some privately purchased examples were carried by British Officers in the .455 service bearing. Reports from the field suggested that the Webley-Fosbery, with its precisely machined recoil surfaces, was more susceptible to jamming in wartime conditions of mud and rain than comparable sidearms of the period.



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