History on the Auction Block: Churchill’s .32 Cal. Webley & Scott

by
posted on November 23, 2015
si-news-2015-5-28-15.jpg (33)

Those persons interested in antique firearms, World War II history and heroic wartime leaders will want to take note of the upcoming auction of Sir Winston Churchill’s personal 7.65 mm (.32 ACP) Webley & Scott pistol next month in Great Britain. 

This pistol was one of a number of firearms owned by Churchill—an avid shooter and gun owner—while he served as Prime Minister of England during the war. It is estimated to sell for £2,000 to £3,000 ($3,100 to $4,600 U.S.) at Bonhams Sporting Guns Sale in Knightsbridge, UK on Dec. 2.

Patrick Hawes, Director of the Sporting Guns Department at Bonhams called the pistol “a remarkable link to Churchill’s war years.”

The pistol is described as having a “much blued finish, (with) the left side of the slide stamped Webley & Scott Ltd, London & Birmingham, 7.65mm & .32 Automatic Pistol, the butt with diamond pattern ebonite grips (the left with small chip the right with larger chip missing), magazine missing 3in. barrel, contemporary Birmingham nitro proof.”

In an effort to create interest in the auction, Bonhams notes in its press material that there were some 20 failed attempts to assassinate Churchill during the war, including one involving a bizarre exploding chocolate bar.

Another of the alleged attempts on his life, known as ‘Operation Long Jump’ (Unternehmen Weitsprung), involved a plan to simultaneously assassinate Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill at the 1943 Teheran Conference. The plot, led by the Waffen SS, was uncovered by the Russians and the mission was never launched.

The Prime Minister, arguably a source of some the most memorable and colorful quotes of the past century, once said, “nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” That famous line was later paraphrased by President Ronald Reagan, a well-read Churchillian, after surviving an attempted assassination in 1981.

As provenance, the pistol is offered with two letters certifying its authenticity and signed by Sir Winston Churchill's grandson, Winston Spencer-Churchill MP. 

Latest

Mesa tactical shotshell holder
Mesa tactical shotshell holder

First Look: Mesa Tactical Sureshell Carrier with RMR Mount

Mount a red dot to your shotgun and keep your spare shotgun ammo close at hand.

The Best of the Blowbacks: Mauser HSc and the Heckler & Koch Model 4

In the April 2022 issue of Shooting Illustrated, this column looked at my all-time favorite carry gun, the Colt Model M or 1903/1908. This month we look at my favorite European semi-automatic, the Mauser HSc and its cousin, the Heckler & Koch Model 4.

Wilson Acquires New Ultralight Arms

The bolt-action rifle manufacturer joins other companies such as Lehigh Defense and Chip McCormick Customs.

First Look: New FN 15 DMR Rifles from FN America

New Geissele triggers, SureFire muzzle devices and hybrid barrel profies are just some of the upgrades.

First Look: Bond Arms Grizzly

Packing the power of either .45 Colt or .410-bore shotshells in a pint-sized package.

Developing Good Shooting Habits

Consistency and repetition are the keys to building on-demand skills.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.