During the First World War, the British Government used Webley revolvers that fired the .455 (11.6 mm) cartridge. This round was effective but it produced a substantial recoil that affected a trained soldier’s marksmanship.
After the War, the Government decided to adopt a smaller and lighter double-action revolver that could be quickly mastered by recruit soldiers.
The selection was to use a revolver firing .a 38 Calibre (9.2mm) Smith and Wesson cartridge with a 200-grain (13g) lead bullet. This round, known as the .38/200, had proven to be effective and it was very popular with civilian shooters and the Police. The British firm of Webley & Scott submitted their Webley Mk IV revolver in .38/200 calibre. Rather than adopting it, the British authorities took the design to their Government run Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield (RSAF), who designed a revolver that was similar to the Webley Mk IV, but was slightly different. The Enfield designed pistol was quickly accepted under the designation Revolver, No 2 Mk I, and this was adopted in 1931, followed in 1938 by the Mk I* (spurless hammer, double-action only), and finally the Mk I** (simplified for wartime production) in 1942.
The example shown here was known as the No.2 MkI*. It had a bobbed 'anti snag' hammer due to troubles reported by tank crewmen as the hammer spur would catch and snag inside the tanks.
· Originally designed by Webley and Scott, the British Government produced these pistols without license. Webley and Scott sued the British Government for patent infringement and was awarded £2,250. 
· The Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) Enfield were not able to manufacture enough No 2 revolvers to meet the war time needs so, the Webley Mk IV was also issued as a standard side arm.
· The ‘Tanker’ model could not be cocked before firing because it did not have a hammer spur. A double action trigger pull affects the shooter’s accuracy for targets greater than 14m (15yd).
· Most of these revolvers were produced at the RSAF Enfield but wartime needs resulted in other companies to be contracted for production. Contracts were awarded to Albion Motors in Scotland, Conventry Gauge and Tool, and various components were made by the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Clydebank.
· This revolver is fast to load and is very popular among civilian collectors and shooters for its historical significance.
1. Smith, W.H.B, 1943 Basic Manual of Military Small Arms (facsimile)
2. Weeks, John, World War II Small Arms, London: Orbis Publishing Ltd. (1979)
3. Stamps, Mark, and Ian Skennerton, .380 Enfield Revolver No. 2 in another more suitable rope suitable for the task at hand