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Book Review Double Feature: Webley Solid Frame Revolvers

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Joel Black partnered with several coauthors (Joseph L. Davis and Roger G. Michaud for the first and Homer Ficken and Frank Michaels for the second) to produce two volumes cataloging an immense variety of Webley solid-frame revolvers. These books include only small and scattered text segments, with the bulk of the pages consisting of photography of hundred of different Webley revolvers. They are organized by model and serial number, and each gun does have a caption itemizing its characteristics. While this may sound less than helpful, I found it to be very useful. The organization (particularly by serial number) made it easy for me to locate where one of my own revolvers would fit, and see the characteristic it was supposed to have, as well as compare it to the iterations before and after.

These books include not just the standard Webley models, but also a great many variations both rare and common, and also copies made by other shops in Britain and beyond. The small amount of text is well utilized to explain context about different models as well as Webley contracts, relationships with retailers, and other important details.

At $99 per volume, these are not cheap books, particularly as most people who are interested in one would probably prefer to have both. However, for the aspiring collector, that $200 would very likely pay for itself almost immediately by putting a potential purchase in proper context. These books are certainly of only niche interest, for those those folks who do share the interest they are an outstanding reference.

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