Hello, I’m Jonathan and
I look after the guns here at the Royal Armouries.
We have a selection here on the table here to show you.
This is a TV-based short video that we’re doing about the show Peaky blinders,
a British made historical drama
that hopefully, if you’re watching this,
you’re already watching.
I’m a big fan of it,
and so I thought I would see what we have in the collection
that’s similar to what’s used in the show
and talk you through some of the thoughts I had watching the show
and give you an idea of the sort of historical weapons
that were used by criminal gangs and others in the UK.
The obvious criminal weapon I suppose throughout history has been the pistol or handgun if you’re in the States.
We’ve got a selection here of revolvers.
The revolver was still a dominant type at the time,
we’ll be coming to an example of the self-loading pistol.
So probably, if you had to pick one iconic firearm
from this particular TV show it
would probably be the Webley Mk VI service revolver
and this this speaks to the origin of the show of a character,
main character Tommy Shelby and various others.
as engineers, miners, soldiers doing that work
或工程师 矿工 士兵等等做这类工作的人
you might be armed with a sidearm of this nature.
Typically this was an officer’s weapon,
also issued to people like vehicle crews, artillery men, things
like that. People who did not need a rifle as their primary weapon.
Lots and lots of these came
back with servicemen,
officers purchased their own
but they were also available on issue.
We get more offers of donation of these
than probably anything else or historically we certainly have
and as time goes on it will be less,
there will be fewer of them.
But they are still out there in huge numbers
considering only about 400,000 of these were made,
we see them quite frequently.
It’s a standard British military weapon
so of course, you find lots of them in Britain.
This is a.455 caliber weapon, so
similar diameter to the American 45 ACP
but it’s a revolver cartridge,
it’s got a rim on it.
You load it quite simply either singularly or with a speed loader,
We don’t see that in the show.
In fact, we very rarely see loading in film and TV
unless it’s done for effect.
Six rounds as we’d expect from a revolver.
We close it up and
we can begin firing on a double action or
as we often see on TV,
cock it for what’s called a single action.
In other words, the trigger is performing the signal action
of firing the gun,
not revolving the cylinder and firing the gun which is what happens
if you pull through on the trigger.
single action or double action and
some other YouTube videos about that if you want to know more.
This one I’ve chosen specifically as a late example,
so the show starts in 1919 and we’re
up to I think 1926 now
if you’re keeping up with your season four.
This one’s dated 1924
because it’s the Mk VI Webley
and this one’s made at Enfield Production
did happen at Enfield,
it’s not too widely known
and the Royal Crown appears in there
as well so it’s a slightly different one,
typical British prick marks on it apart from that.
So this is Tommy’s weapon of choice,
for a long time anyway
other characters make extensive use of it as well
it’s the sort of go-to of the series.
The other Major Webley in the show is the mark IV.
We see this in the hands of various characters as well
and it’s, as the mark IV name would suggest, t he early version.
It has what’s called the bird’s head grip which is not
as ergonomic perhaps,
but that’s subjective
and typically the shorter barrel,
although MK IV frames were fitted with a long barrel as well
if you want to get nerdy about it, which we do.
Otherwise, exactly the same, functions in exactly the same way
it’s just a little bit more concealable under your overcoat
or whatever you happen to be wearing
and this one, unlike the MKVI example we have,
this Webley MKIV has got some additional markings on it. So,
two arrows facing each other,
hopefully you can see that there,
and also up here.
this perhaps could have been brought home
by a a soldier, this one has been officially sold out of military service,
that’s what this mark means.
the single arrow means it belongs
to the government and double opposing arrows mean
they’ve sold it.
This was at a time when firearms were sold routinely from
military service and anyone potentially could buy them.
So this is one that you might have bought after you’d come back,
if that makes sense.
though they’re very similar things
and you’ll find these marks on a MKVI Webley as well
They’re just an interesting detail as to
how a character like this might get a gun
since they were much more available in the UK then than they are now,
from various different channels
but this one could have been bought directly from the government
or from an authorized seller.
So both of those are in use.
There’s also, well there’s something called the Webley Bulldog, which is a generic type
but also a specific Webley model, they are Webley II, Bulldog.
There’s some suggestion that Polly,
Tommy’s aunt Helen McCrory’s character
has one of these.
I’m not entirely sure of that,
I’d have to go back and freeze frame it
but I’ve chosen a generic Bulldog type revolver.
I’ve chosen this one because it was
actually made in Birmingham and that would not be uncommon.
Birmingham was a manufacturing center for firearms second,
not even second, it was parallel to London depending on the period for gun manufacturer.
So perfectly plausible that
a character in the show would be carrying a Birmingham made revolver,
London made original Webley.
So this one is,
I’m going to have to read this and we’ll look at it in close-up
as well’Lincoln Jeffries,
gun, rifle and revolver manufacturer,
121 Steel House Lane, Birmingham.
A nice little bit of social history in steel there.
Amazing how much writing you can fit on
a tiny little pocket revolver.
unlike the one of the show,
I think the one in the show is a larger caliber,
something like that This is a.320 or 32 in American.
Fixed cylinder, so you open up the loading gate, put it on safety
notch and rotate to each loading position,
load it that way and realistically
actual criminal gunfights, when they did happen,
you’re not reloading probably at all,
you’re firing the the contents of your
weapon and either running away or getting shot.
It’s extremely unusual that any reloading takes place even today
and gunfights in the street when they happen
and perhaps you might carry more than one gun to fire more shots
That’s partly because it’s so fiddly to accomplish with these relatively primitive handguns
. We’ve got yet another Webley here,
or a version of it at least
So, this is，em，the Webley’s nomenclature at this time
was a number 1 for the RIC,
number 2 for the Bulldog
so this is like the big brother of the Bulldog revolver.
For full caliber, this is just a particularly nice,
very high quality blued finish.
It’s Webley standard but many
examples have worn and aged over the years as you might imagine.
This is older I should say,
the MKVI Webley, 1915 this was introduced,
sort of the ultimate version of the Victorian series
of Webley’s and this is one of those
Victorian guns, 1880s,
the unfluted cylinder is typically an earlier feature as is
their oval or ovoid barrel profile as well
and again the simpler loading system,
more complicated loading system
with a loading gate
and you roll the cylinder from there.
This one’s full of grease and this this
actually has a ejector rod so you
pivot that out into alignment with the case
you wish to reject and you push it out
so you can imagine that would take some time
and the Italians have probably shot you by the time you’ve reloaded,
in context of this piece of fiction that we’re talking about.
So, I’ll put that down,
I have also pulled out a
version of what we see the character Grace using in the first series,
which is this Harrington & Richardson
another type of revolver
and I’ve gone with that, not only because this is Grace’s secret agent role
and so it’s a different idea of the other side essentially to the criminals who are using these other
revolvers but also because it’s a top break,
designed with a different latch from the Webley, so works
in a similar way
but doesn’t have the side latch,
it’s a little fiddly but
if you have to draw this from a handbag or a vest pocket or something
chances are you’re going to fire what’s in it,
which in this case is five rounds of.32 Smith and Western
and this is also a double action,
or double action / single action mechanism.
But much much smaller
and, you’ll find, historically most pistols, most handguns
will be used in self-defense or by criminals or both.
You don’t have to be a legal owner to engage in self-defense
, were of this sort of size and power because they are so concealable,
this will just sit under a jacket,
you won’t know it’s there.
Something like the sort of macho Webley,
good luck hiding that anywhere, that’s huge.
你自求多福吧 不太好藏 它真的太大了
You do need a big overcoat to conceal that.
The MKVI here has come to us with this leather flap holster.
We usually see, in Peaky Blinders it’s a sort of shoulder holster of some sort.
They did exist at that period,
for the military role it was always a leather flap holster on the belt.