I would just like to add to Joe Wood's posting with a little further information about the 700 series that was given the name "the plain Jane" this was a perfect description of the 700. The gun had no frills it was down to earth basic with no disk set strikers, very little but quirky engraving though done by a man with a hand graver, and wood that would not look too much out of place in the firewood pile. With that said I do own two of these Birmingham offerings, one from may be the first of the factory,s output 1949, Plain Jane it really is, I did not purchase it from new and the case is another basic though sturdy, made by another bygone name "Brady" who had a reputation of well made value for money.
Now at the tine this gun was built it was only intended only for the home market here in Brit Land, and I doubt that any of the first batch ever found their way to your side of the pond, though you never know because all the very early guns where built with 21/2 inch chambers as in the photograph. Now I have often looked at photographs of proof marks on this forum and find them difficult to read, it is amazing how a little Chalk or Flower tubed in to the marks make things stand out.
The gun is the usual Brit size 12 bore twin trigger with improved cylinder right barrel and three quarter in the left. It balances a quarter of an inch forward of the hinge pin just giving that light barrel heavy swing, fourteen and a half inch length of pull with no but plate weighing in at a little over six pounds. At the time I purchased the gun it fitted me like a glove but tine age and weight the gun fit is now not so good though I still used it for long days of hedge walking up.
My other is a Twin Barrel set from the 1952 with semi pistol grip and 2 3/4 chambers.
Now some other reasons why the guns are so reliable other than they where built entirely by hand that encompass the age old skills of Birmingham g unmaking. The entire 700 output of the factory was between 26000 to 28000 including all the variants and one known .410 that is roughly 800 to a 1000 guns a year so not mass production by today's standards.
Some of the main reasons besides craftsmanship that makes these guns so mechanically reliable was from the early days there was a lot of left over top quality steel left from WWII a lot of it came from your side of the pond that went in to the guns because at the time EN 8 was cheap,no frills box Lock design tried and tested south gate ejectors plain wood for the stocks, basic but quality hand finishing, Also there is not one internal part that a craftsman could not file up from a block of quality steel.
I would like to think that some person in fifty years time will be writing that the Webley & Scott 700 series is a gun that was not appreciated at the time but now very desirable.