Friday, July 3, 2015

Weapons Of The Irish Civil War - Pistols

Webley Revolver

 The Webley Revolver was the standard sidearm of the British Forces. It was issued starting in 1887 and had the advantage of being a break-top action. That means it opened by folding in half exposing all six chambers in the cylinder at the same time. When it was opened it ejected all the spent cartridges at the same time and could be loaded quickly. It was issued in .455 caliber with a very heavy and effective bullet. It saw minor changes over the years but the Mark VI was the most common in the WWI era.


Mauser C96

  The Mauser C96 was the first truly successful semi-automatic handgun. It was originaly manufactured by Mauser in Germany and quickly became popular, seeing action in the Boer War only three years later. By the end of production in 1937 Mauser had made over one million. Add to that the unlicensed production in Spain and China and no one knows what the real numbers are.
The pistol was originally produced in 7.63 x 25 mm. The one shown above has a 9 inscibed on the handle which designates it was produced in 9mm so the ammunition could be shared with the 9mm Luger. The 7.63 cal. was the most powerful pistol cartridge until the introduction of the .357 Magnum in 1935. The most identifiable parts of the pistol are the box magazine forward of the trigger guard, the detachable wood stock that also acts as a holster and the straight blowback action.
This weapon was exceedingly popular with both Winston Churchill, who carried a brace of them in the Boer War, and the Irish Volunteer officer corps. In English Speaking countries the weapon was nicknamed  a “Broomhandle” based on the form of the grip. In Ireland it was frequently called a “Peter the Painter” since a C96 was allegedly used by the anarchist Peter the Painter in the Sidney Street Siege of 1911. The C96 was another star of the Star Wars movies. Han Solo carried one on his hip all the time.

 Watson’s Pocket Pistol

 The Colt Model .32 Pocket Pistol was invented by John Browning who would go on to design the ubiquitous  Colt M1911 .45 ACP pistol still in use today, a hundred years later, by the US Military. The pistol was made in .32 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) and in 1908 was redesigned to shoot .38cal.
The Model 1903 was a very popular pistol. Light (33 oz.), thin, compact, and with an eight round magazine was easy to carry concealed in a pocket. It was also adopted as the US Army’s issue handguns for General Officers and used up into the 1970’s. Gangsters such as Al Capone were enamored of the weapon and it even reflected in the gangster movies of the ‘30’s and ‘40’s. James Cagney and Edgar G. Robinson always carried a Colt
pocket pistol when playing the bad guy.
About 570,000 Pocket Pistols were made from 1903 until 1945. Considering the quantity made, they still bring a good price. The simplicity of design, double safety (grip and manual), covered hammer (doesn’t get caught on a coat pocket when you need it NOW) and magazine capacity, all made the Model 1903 a very popular gun.


  1. THANK YOU so much. My favorite side arm is the Mauser (if you read my prose my heroes carry it.) I've never seen that yt clip. Brilliant. Thank you again. PS my most favorite weapon is the 7.62 SLR, a real gun.

    1. Yeh the Mauser is a great looking weapon, I think all my heros will carry it as well, I think it should have a better range than a standard pistols, a mid range between pistols and rifles, you have to love the gun that inspired Han Solos side arm,

    2. Love the SLR had some paratrooper toy soldiers as a kid and they where always a favourite. My dad cut me one of of some spare wood at work when I was a kid and painted it jet black loved it!

  2. Classic weapons. I do like the iconic look of them all. I think if I had to choose it would be the webley. I just like its blunt look.

  3. Hi.
    0,455 its very heavy bullet.
    It's made stops the men, mostly all / once and for all

    I have never likes parabellum, it is too big and clumsy
    wooden enclosure which also the rifle butt..