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.442 Webley

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Type  Revolver
Designed  1868
Case type  rimmed, straight
Place of origin  British Empire
Produced  1868-1950s
Bullet diameter  .444 in (11.3 mm)
.442 Webley

The .442 Webley (also known as the ".442 Revolver Centre Fire" in Great Britain, the "10.5x17mmR" or ".442 Kurz" in Europe, and ".44 Webley" or ".442 R.I.C." in the United States) is a British centrefire revolver cartridge.

Introduced in 1868, the .442 (11.2mm) Webley round was used in the Webley RIC revolver. This was the standard service weapon of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, whence the revolver's name), which were also chambered in (among others) .450 Adams and 476/.455. Lt. Col. George Custer is believed to have carried a pair of RIC revolvers (presented to him in 1869 by Lord Berkley Paget) at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

A black powder round, the .442 originally used a 15-19 gr (0.972-1.23 g) charge behind a 200-220 gr (13-14.3 g) bullet. This loading was later joined by a smokeless variety.

At one time, the .442 Webley was a popular chambering in self-defence or "pocket" guns (so named for being designed to be carried in a pocket, what today might be a known as a snubnose or carry gun), such as the widely copied Webley British Bulldog pocket revolver. The .442 Webley should not be confused with the short, low-powered .44 Bulldog cartridge offered by American manufacturers as an optional loading for .442 Webley caliber arms.

The cartridge was moderately effective, being roughly similar in power to the contemporary .38 S&W, .41 Colt, or .44 S&W American, and somewhat less potent than the later 7.65mm Parabellum, .38 Special or .45 ACP. As a consequence, it was not very suitable at anything but close range.

Smokeless .442 Webley loads continued to be commercially offered in the U.S. until 1940 and in the United Kingdom and Europe until the 1950s.

References

.442 Webley Wikipedia


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