...a weapons reference from Simon Titterington
First of all, my thanks to Simon for this set of pictures of his Enfield .38 revolver along with the webbing holster.
The name of course comes from the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock in Middlesex. The design stemmed from a .476 revolver first approved in 1880. It went into service but suffered various deficiences that it was withdrawn in the 1890's. Production of pistols at Enfield then ceased for some years but re-started in 1921 when they produced copies of the Webley Mk VI. An identical pistol, but stamped instead with 'Enfield'. Experience in WW1 had also shown the .455 calibre to be over large, so they changed to the .38. The result was the 'Pistol, Revolver, No2 Mk1', otherwise known as the .38 Enfield, which was produced from 1932.
The Army generally liked the new pistol, though the Royal Tank regiment found the hammer spur caught on internal fittings as the crew climbed in and out of their vehicles, so the Mark I* appeared, without the spur, and was a self-cocking model (as seen here). Other detail changes such as lightening the main spring and thumb recesses put into the grip were also incorporated. This new version was produced from 1938.
Further simplification in the design during 1942 resulted in the Mark I** but this proved unreliable, as if dropped, it tended to fire! Hence these were later recalled and converted back to Mark I* standard. Production ceased in 1957, when the British Army converted to the Browning GP35 Automatic.
The photos in the album below show the pistol in detail, but we are also lucky enough to see the webbing holster, along with ammunition and the cleaning rod.
Reference: Pistols of the World, by Ian Hogg and John Weeks, from Arms and Armour Press.