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Lengthening of chamber and possible re-proof for steel


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I own an old, bolt action,Webley and Scott .410 and I am considering having the chamber extended so it will take 3” shells and I would also like it re-proofed for steel. Has anyone had something similar done and could they recommend a good gunsmith that I could discuss this with? The gun is in excellent condition despite its age and has a a very heavy looking barrel which makes me think this might be possible.  I appreciate this gun is not worth very much in terms of money but it has been in the family a long time and means a lot to me and i wish to “future proof” it. I do still occasionally use it and 3” cartridges would be more practical. 

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I can’t see why it couldn’t be done, but are .410 steel cartridges really a feasibility? Any commercial loads will be very costly I would think. There again, I may be totally wrong. 🙂

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My 2p worth. Have a friend lend you a three inch fired .410 cartridge. As much as it can feed it into the chamber...yes it won't go all the way but that's not why I'm suggesting this test. You'll have to do this by placing it on the bolt under the extractor and then feeding the bolt into the Webley from the rear. As you would if you'd removed the bolt for cleaning and now wanted to put it back. See if in fact the three inch cartridge will eject or not. I think that it may probably not? 

Edited by enfieldspares
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I've just tried a couple of fired 3" cases in my 2.5" Webley and Scott. The fired roll crimp 3" cases are shorter than star crimped cases (2.85" vs 2.97"). The shorter cases extract and eject on their own, the longer case does not eject but can be removed manually. Not sure if all Webley & Scotts will be the same.

I'd be interested to hear how you get on, one can hope steel .410 cartridges will be available at some point and not stupidly expensive...

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Yes, the Webley three shot was three inch AFAIR as was/is a similar Spanish (?) three shot bolt action .410.

1 hour ago, Windswept said:

I've just tried a couple of fired 3" cases in my 2.5" Webley and Scott. The fired roll crimp 3" cases are shorter than star crimped cases (2.85" vs 2.97"). The shorter cases extract and eject on their own, the longer case does not eject but can be removed manually. Not sure if all Webley & Scotts will be the same.

I'd be interested to hear how you get on, one can hope steel .410 cartridges will be available at some point and not stupidly expensive...

I hope that is helpful to the OP. Everyday a schoolday on PW and I'm glad a fellow member was able to answer my query.

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With the barrel thickness of the W & S .410  ther should be no problem , however there are 2 points to consider .

1 will the bolt that only has one point of locking stand the 3" magnum loads ?

2 is the bolt mouth long enough to take a 3" cartridge ? 

Another point to mention is that when the guns were originally chambered W & S had purpose made reamers with very long shafts to fit through the receiver  .A standard .410 chamber reamer will not reach and are very difficult to drive , thats if you can find some one who has one .

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1 hour ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, interesting post, with points raised is there not a 3inch steel proof  single barrel 410 ? and keep the Webley as was intended, 

The problem with that is it makes the Webley obsolete once lead is banned. 

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8 hours ago, Scully said:

The problem with that is it makes the Webley obsolete once lead is banned. 

Hello, Ah never thought of that Scully, I've got 4000 cartridges stored so just hope it's a few years away to a full lead ban, that's a lot of misses 🤔🙄😁

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1 hour ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, Ah never thought of that Scully, I've got 4000 cartridges stored so just hope it's a few years away to a full lead ban, that's a lot of misses 🤔🙄😁

🙂Think positive! It’s also a lot of hits! 
I haven’t got 4000 stashed away yet, but I’m getting there! 👍

 

Edited by Scully
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1 hour ago, Scully said:

🙂Think positive! It’s also a lot of hits! 
I haven’t got 4000 stashed away yet, but I’m getting there! 👍

 

Hello, missed out much of last year's shooting as I am sure many other PW members, hope to use a few this year but I might top up later in year, 

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On 23/04/2021 at 20:39, ph5172 said:

Give Norman Clarke Gunsmiths of Rugby a call. 
they are more than willing to discuss the feasibility of things over the phone. 

Thank you i will contact them znd see if they can help

On 23/04/2021 at 22:37, enfieldspares said:

My 2p worth. Have a friend lend you a three inch fired .410 cartridge. As much as it can feed it into the chamber...yes it won't go all the way but that's not why I'm suggesting this test. You'll have to do this by placing it on the bolt under the extractor and then feeding the bolt into the Webley from the rear. As you would if you'd removed the bolt for cleaning and now wanted to put it back. See if in fact the three inch cartridge will eject or not. I think that it may probably not? 

I will try that when i go home at the weekend as i have a mossberg 3” moderated and will fire a couole shots through it and try the cases in the old webley

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On 25/04/2021 at 22:21, GingerCat said:

Given how much it would cost and the trouble to do it, would it not be easier to just be a steel proof 3in .410 and keep the old one as well?

It definitely would! i already own a mossberg pump action 3” which is i have no attachment to and is just a tool for using in fields where i want to keep noise disruption to a minimum for walkers, houses etc.  I will happily let it take its chances with any steel load but the same does not go for the webley. The webley has been used by at least 4 generations of my family  and i would like that to continue so just looking to future proof it if possible.  I generally support transitioning away from lead and would rather avoid buying several thousand lead shells if i can. 

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On 23/04/2021 at 20:39, ph5172 said:

Give Norman Clarke Gunsmiths of Rugby a call. 
they are more than willing to discuss the feasibility of things over the phone. 

I have just contacted Norman Clarke gunsmiths any they were very helpful and suggested the issues with doing this job.

1. They can extend the chambers and reproof for 3” but it would be expensive as they would have to make or modify tools to do it.

2. They think it is unlikely the manufacturers will make steel wads for .410 

3. as steel ammunition is not available it might be not be possible to have it reproofed for steel and it would also be necessary to open out the choke.

4. The action may struggle with the pressure more than the barrel. This is a particular problem as .410 has higher pressure per square inch than 12 bore.

I may extend the chamber despite the cost and hold fire on the re proof for steel and choke opening (for now).

Thank you to everyone that took the time to reply to this and if i go ahead with this i will post the outcome. 

 

 

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Thanks for the update. I vaguely thought there were steel .410 shells available somewhere other than the UK. I know you can buy wads from Clay and Game in the UK, details of them here: https://www.ballisticproducts.com/TPS-410-bore-non-toxic-wad-preslit/productinfo/3224100/

I was wondering how much of a gain you'd get from extending the chamber. 2 1/2" loads are 14g and 3" are 18g. One for the experienced .410 users.

If you don't shoot it often then I would expect Bismuth cartridges to reappear and, hopefully, some form of cheaper Bismuth alloy to be available.

 

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Norman's advice is always good. For as good as his rifle work people then fail to remember that he actually served his time in the trade in Birmingham so his expertise in regard to gunsmithing shotguns is also second to none.

Edited by enfieldspares
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