Author Topic: Belgian 'Puppy'  (Read 1236 times)

Offline Tinker Pearce

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Belgian 'Puppy'
« on: November 21, 2018, 10:11:03 AM »
Webley 'Bulldog' revolvers were widely copied, particularly in Belgium. While Webley never applied the term to guns smaller than .40-caliber the gun makers around Liege were less selective. Among themselves small-caliber Bulldogs with folding triggers were referred to as 'Puppies,' though none were labelled or marketed as such as far as I know.

This one came to me off of Gunbroker; I paid $50 for it as a parts gun,thinking it would make a good project. It's nickel plated and the hammer-spur had been crudely removed, but it the photos it looked as if it were mostly there. The caliber was .320 Revolver/.32 Colt. When I got it it had a broken trigger-return spring- common and easy to fabricate a replacement- and was missing the small piece behind the trigger that causes the hammer to rebound to a 'safe' position after firing. As a result only five of the six chambers may be safely loaded if the gun were to be carried. I cleaned up the hack-job on the hammer, replaced the broken spring and voila- I had a gun.

Sourcing ammo, or even components, for .32 Colt was problematic and the gun languished for some time. Finally after measuring the cylinder and chambers I carefully reamed them to accept .32 S&W (which I reload.) Armed with some light loads I headed to the range. I discovered that, despite the genuinely decent double-action trigger, the gun was very difficult to shoot with any accuracy. It was difficult to grip the tiny handle consistently, and even under the mild recoil of light loads it tended to shift in my hand.

A few decades back I saw a similar gun that had a feature that seemed designed to counter these evil tendencies, a sort of shelf secured to the front of the frame to help locate your middle-finger on the handle. I don't know if this was a feature that was original to the gun, or if it had been added by the owner.  Whatever, it seemed just the thing and there was a spare screw-hole in the front of the grip-frame. I fabricated the piece and installed it.

This really transforms the gun in terms of shoot-ability. It seems an obvious modification; easy to do and it doesn't affect the gun's concealability, but I have only seen it once and cannot even find a picture of a gun so equipped on the internet. Mind you, the gun is still no tack-driver, and the ludicrous sights limit it's accurate range to a few yards but at close range it can be depended on to put the bullets where I want them.

Yes, I know- I've altered an antique. On the one hand I've ruined the (dubious) collector's value. On the other I have resurrected an interesting little gun from the junk-heap of history. I choose to take the latter view.


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