Enfield No.2 MkI Revolver
The British Army had been equipped with Webley revolvers since 1887, when they replaced the Enfield MkI Revolver. However, following the end of the First World War the army felt that a pistol with a smaller round would be better suited than the Webley’s heavy .455 calibre bullet. A .38/200 round was decided upon and in 1931 Webley submitted a new pistol design, the MkIV.
To Webley’s dismay the Government took the MkIV’s design to the state-owned small arms factory at Enfield. Where the design was adapted enough to not infringe Webley’s patents by Captain H.C. Boys, who would later design the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle. Boys simply gave the Webley design a slightly different trigger mechanism stopping the parts from being interchangeable. As a result Webley sued the British Government for £2,250 compensation, roughly half a million pounds today. Webley were eventually awarded £1,250, still a substantial amount, in 1935.
Ironically during the Second World War the Webley MkIV was also adopted by the British Army as the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield could not produce enough No.2 MkIs. Webley produced some 500,000 MkIVs while Enfield produced approximately 270,000 No.2 MkI Revolvers.
The Enfield had a 12 cm barrel and a 6-round cylinder capacity and could be fired both single and double-action. By 1942, many of the original No.2 MkI’s had their hammer spurs removed when the No.2 MkI* was introduced for tank crews. Regardless of the revolver being double-action it had a fairly light trigger pull but once the transition was made to the No.2 MkI* troops favoured the Webley or Smith & Wesson, which could still be fired single action.
Both the Enfield No.2 and Webley MkIV saw extensive service with all branches of the British Military during World War Two and the Korean War, both remained in service until 1969 when they were entirely replaced by the Browning Hi-Power.
Image One Source
The Gun Digest Book of Exploded Gun Drawings, H. A. Murtz, (2005)