Webley Tempest & Hurricane: What’s the difference?

by B.B. Pelletier

This post is an answer for Earl Cox who asks, “What is the difference between the Webley Tempest and Hurricane, other than the thirty dollar price?” I used to wonder the same thing, Earl, so I took it upon myself to find out.

Airgunners rebelled when Webley tried to cheapen their gun!
The Webley Hurricane arose from the Premier Mark II, which wasn’t appreciated in its day because it was an obvious attempt by Webley to lower the pistol’s manufacturing cost. They had switched from blued steel to painted steel several years earlier, and now they were making the frame from aluminum. The airgun community wasn’t about to let them go any farther.

The prototype of the Hurricane, called the Premier Mark III, had a longer frame with a place for a scope. Webley had created a brand new model rather than resole an old one. They decided on the name Hurricane just as the gun went to market in 1977.

The new pistol had (and still has) an ABS plastic sleeve over the steel compression/mainspring cylinder that’s inserted into the alminum frame. It hides what, on the Premier Mark II, appeared to be an ugly transition between two frame diameters. It also has a long overhang in the rear above the shooting hand. The rear sight, which is a precision click-adjustable unit, can be removed and a scope mount base fastened in its place on this rear extension.


Fine clicks on wheels for both adjustments on the Hurricane rear sight.

Longer barrels fed false rumors of more power
The Hurricane also has a barrel that overhangs the front of the frame. Webley had been producing pistols with barrels ending flush with the frame for many years, though exceptional long-barreled versions of most post-war models exist. The look of the longer barrel generated rumors of greater power – rumors that dealers were reluctant to dispel. These were the quiet days before everyone owned chronographs.

Both the longer barrel and rear frame extension make the Hurricane a large air pistol. That drew some criticism from Webley fans because Webley’s pistols have always been noted for their compact size and power. The Hurricane is powerful, at 425 to 450 f.p.s. in .177. but no more than the Premier Mark II had been. The company needed a companion smaller air pistol!

Webley’s new Typhoon pistol confused airgunners
The small Webley Junior Mark II pistol was replaced for a short time by a gun known as the Typhoon. It looked so much like a Hurricane and was so close in overall size that it muddied the waters. People stayed away from it in droves! It was dropped in 1982 to make way for a new and different-looking gun – a gun with the look of the Premier – the Webley Tempest.

Pick either the Tempest or the Hurricane – you won’t be sorry!
The Tempest is nothing more than a Hurricane with the front and rear overhang cut off. The sights are much simpler, but they are very easy to use. They adjust in both directions, though they use clamping screws instead of sophisticated, spring-loaded detent wheels of the Hurricane. And, the front sight is just a plain post without the Hurricane’s hood.

Robert Beeman made a star of the Tempest in the U.S. in the 1980s. He needed a powerful air pistol, and the Tempest filled the bill. The shorter barrel subtracts no velocity from the Hurricane because this is a spring-piston airgun. It does make the gun much more compact, however. It was a big hit with airgunners who apparently forgot all about the Premier Mark II. Both the Tempest and Hurricane are still being made today.

Those are the main differences between the two guns. The Hurricane has a longer barrel, better front sight, better rear sight and rear frame overhang for a scope mount. Buy the Tempest for its compact size and the Hurricane for its sights. Both guns are classics!

36 Responses to “Webley Tempest & Hurricane: What’s the difference?”

  • turtle Says:

    BB good timing on the pistol posts, at least for me. I was thinking of ordering a Diana RWS P5 this week.

    Ive got a good feel that you like the Hurricane can you say as much for the P5…the nice sight & scope-ability is a good thing to know about the Hurricane!

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Turtle,

    The RWS P5 is a very nice air pistol. I’ll blog it next week for you.

    B.B.

  • turtle Says:

    Thanx…looking forward to it.

  • Jim Says:

    If you’ve ever used one, I’m currious how the Tempest and Hurricane compare to the RWS P5 magnum in overall performance, power, etc…

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Jim,

    I have used a P5 Magnum and I will post a report on it next week.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Hey B.B.

    I like your site! I have had a Hurricane for a few years now, and would really like to get a scope for it, but haven’t a clue as to what is too big and what isn’t. Please could you recommend a budget scope that can sit on the rail of my Hurrican that isn’t too pricey but will make me feel like i have a more accurate gun…?

    Thanks muchly!

    Please could other readers e-mail me any recommendations if they know anything they could suggest?

    plhinton@gmail.com

    Cheers,

    Pete

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Pete,

    Rather than a scope, I would recommend a dot sight, like Leapers SwatForce 40mm red/green dot sight. At $29.50 on the Pyramyd site, it’s about as inexpensive as I would go. And I know Leapers well enough to know this sight will be rugged.

    The reason I recommend a dot sight is the greater field of view. A pistol scope has a limited field and it can take a while to acquire your target. A dot sight, however, is like looking through a window.

    B.B.

  • Bob Says:

    I own a Tempest in .22 cal which I purchased new in 1990. It was manufactured in San Rafael CA. I understand that the newer ones were made somewhere else. Do the ones made in San Rafael have more value than the newer ones and why?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Bob,

    Your Tempest was made in England, the same as most other Webley airguns, except for the precharged rifles. Beeman is just an importer. They don’t make anything.

    The only Beeman address that has any collector value is the San Anselmo adfdress that was used briefly in the early 1970s.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I just found out the other day that Weblley & Scott just went into recivership (seen their UK web site). It’s too bad, they have produced some fine fire arms. I wonder who will pick up the pattents and designs?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Everyone is wondering that! Did you hear that Winchester is shutting their doors, also?

    B.B.

  • BOPLEO Says:

    Beeman tempest pistol, .177 cal.

    How come this pistol is all over the place with different brands of ammo? I am a good shot but i am not very consistent with this pistol. Does any one have any ideans on type of pellets, modifications, or any other ideas to make it shoot better. I would like to know if someone does trigger mods to make it smoohter, or is there any i can do myself.

  • Anonymous Says:

    hi im not sure if anyone does make a trigger mod,however having owned numerous tempests seniors and premeiers as well as the hideous hurricane.i feel i can offer some advice,unfortunatley 22 versions seem more acurate than 177,however,the trigger can be polished,another thing to try is to remove and grease to mainspring this will make the whole firing cycle smoother also try eley wasp pellets,or rws hobby if this dosnt work try pushing a pellet through the barrel to see if theres a rough spot,or get a 22 barrel

  • dan Says:

    I own two tempest pistols and shoot them extensively (500-1000 rounds a week) and they both need rehad. any suggestions on where to send them? I enjoy shooting the air guns immensely and have a p2 I am shooting right now.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Here’s the man who can make them both like new:

    John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Dear B.B.,

    I’d like to buy a new Hurricane.22. Is it still available or still beeing produced? We don’t have it in Hungary.

    Can you suggest me a place to start to ask about it?

    Thank you in advance,

    Janko from Hungary

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Janko,

    Webley has reorganized their company and moved the production of spring guns from England to other countries. I don’t think the pistols are being produced yet, because they told me they would do the rifles first and I haven’t seen the new ones.

    When they do get the production line back up, I believe they will be making the pistols again. I would look for that to happen later in 2007.

    Whether the Hurricane will be made in .22 again is another question. I guess we will have to wait and see.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Dear B.B.,

    Thank you for the sad informations.

    Don’t you know or suggest a few places (stores) which maybe have in stock?

    How old is this modell?

    When I was a little guy, 22-23 years ago, I remember a type which is the same or similar in my memory with Webley Hurricane. It was a German catalogue of a big supermarket. Since then I’ve been dreaming about this type.

    So, I realy need a new Webley Hurricane.

    Where can I start? (Maybe at Beeman?)

    Can you help with some ideas?

    Thank you in advance,

    Janko from Hungary
    szabo_pete@freemail.hu

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Janko,

    I don’t know of any stores here in the U.S. that still have the Hurricane. Webley closed down two years ago and the supply of guns has run out.

    You might try one of the dealers in England.

    B.B.

  • Paul Says:

    BB,
    I have the tempest and haven’t been able to shoot it with the type of consistency i’d like or that i think it’s capable of. I have sighted it in and at 35ft get 5 shot patterns of 2-3 inches. I get smaller patterns with my cheapo Crossman 760, and it’s 30 years old! I know i’m comparing apples to oranges but i do hope to get a little better accuracy from the tempest. I think the issue is the trigger pull–it is a little difficult and not smooth. I feel like i’m squeezing too hard and my arm sometimes shakes. Also sometimes the trigger seems to almost get hung up part way through the pull and i have to squeeze harder to get it to fire. I have adjusted the trigger pull to minimum while still keeping some tension on the spring as described in the owner’s manual and this helps but is there something else i can do? My P3 is much more accurate, but louder than i want to always shoot in my neighborhood. Thanks in advance for the advice of you and fellow posters.
    Paul

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Paul,

    The Tempest is a spring gun and takes a lot of technique to shoot well. Your other guns are pneumatics that are easier to shoot well.

    That trigger hangup is called creep, and it’s the bane of good shooting. The gun can be disassembled and the trigger greased with moly grease that will lighten the creep but not remove it entirely. No amount of adjustment will do anything more than you’ve already done.

    Hold the pistol loosely and allow it to recoil as much as it wants. Do not press back with your last two fingers; use only your middle finger to press back the grip into the web of your hand. Do not apply pressure with your thumb. This is how all recoiling pistols have to be held for accuracy.

    B.B.

  • Paul Says:

    B.B.,
    Thanks for the suggestions, i had read them before and trying to follow them but still learning. I know you posted specific instructions for one handed pistol shooting before because of the requirement for competitive shooting, but for accuracy is one hand best or two? And if two, can you instruct how to hold?
    best,
    Paul

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Paul,

    Target shooters always shoot with one hand. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s the most accurate way to hold a pistol unless you get into the Creedmore position where you are lying down. Then two hands are best.

    I’m not a two-handed handgunner, so I’m not the person to ask, but the key is to use both arms to form a triangle that stiffens your hold.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    While I have two Tempest’s, I am tempted to get the Hurricane. A local shop still has a new one in stock (.177). Is there any reason to think the ones made in England would be better than wherever they are going to be produced next?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    It’s not even clear that the Hurricane will be made again. The rifles that were supposed to be out in mid-2006 are late, so I’d get that pistol if you want one.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for the info, I’ll go pick it up.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I just sent my 10+ year old Hurricane to Beeman for service. Not sure what’s wrong, but it won’t penetrate a cardboard target at 15′- even after cleaning. I don’t have the tools, skills to do a proper service so I’ll let Beeman do a super-tune and figure out what’s wrong.

    At any rate, I asked customer service what the deal was with Hurricane production, as I’ve heard on the internet that the gun was no longer produced.

    The story I got was that Webley-Scott sold out to a 3rd party who will manufacture in Turkey. They needed new molds for the Tempest and Hurricane and the new company wouldn’t do the new molds (or couldn’t get them, not sure) . In any case, Beeman is no longer selling parts and is holding the remaining inventory in-house for factory repairs.

    I really like this design and hope that they can come up with something close to replace the Hurricane. However, I’m hoping that the super-tune will allow me to enjoy my pistol for many years to come.

    The only problem I’m having is that my eyesight is changing and it’s very hard to focus on the sight- still blurry even with eyeglass correction. Will a red-dot (or other type) sight help? The reason I got this model over the Tempest is because it can accept a scope mount (and I like the way it looks). What do you suggest? I can’t find any info in the manual on what will fit it.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Webley just brought back the Typhoon, which is similar to the Hurricane. I expect to see the Hurricane back on the market soon.

    I don’t have a Hurricane in front of me, but I know you need a very short dot sight to allow the barrel to move. You might try this one:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=282

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I have a Beeman/Webley&Scott Tempest that I bought in 1989. I always liked the feel and looks of the gun but was never happy with the way it shot. Accuracy-wise, it was a plinker. Put it away and rarely got it out. Last year I bought the Baikal IZH-46M and was amazed at its trigger and accuracy. Just think “fire” and it goes off.

    Curiously I got out the Tempest the other day and was surprized at how heavy and crappy the trigger was. I didn’t recall it being so heavy. No wonder the accuracy was lousy.

    Thankfully the manual has detailed disassembly and re-assembly instructions. I took out the trigger and sear to polish them (used 1000 grit & 1500 grit sandpaper), and saw how very stiff the trigger spring was. Went through all of the ball point pens in the house, but none of them had a spring small enough in diameter to work; but many had the right light-weight springiness I wanted.

    I measured the stock spring = 0.137″ diam x 0.615″ length. Went on Internet and found Smallparts.com. Ordered P/N# CSXX-0057-02, which is a stainless steel wire compression spring for precision instruments, almost the same size as the stock trigger spring (within 0.02″) and rated at only 2 lbs/in. compression rate. Come two for about $2. Shipping is twice as much.

    Put it in, re-assembled, and WOW!.
    No creep, and breaks at 2.5 lbs. pull, measured with the Lyman trigger pull guage. (I should have measured it before I took it apart but it was so heavy I just didn’t care – would guess about 8 lbs). Pellets actually go now where I’m pointing. Nowhere near what an IZH can do, but at least I can get 1″ groups at 25′ now.

    I noticed in the Tempest manual that trigger spring and the spring for the barrel catch lever are the same. So to be cheap and efficient, I guess Webley & Scott thought re-using the heavy barrel catch spring for the trigger spring was a good idea. NOT.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Thank you for sucj a thorough and detailed report. I may have to try that spring in my Hurricane.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Greetings,
    Great site!
    Can anyone assist me in locating an online copy of the Hurricane User Manual? I’ve got a 20 year old Beeman Webley Hurricane. Beeman was still in San Rafael, Ca at the time.
    Cheers
    Joe

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Joe,

    There is a HUGE manuals section on this website! Go to the home page and scroll to the bottom. Click on Manuals and you’re there.

    Here’s the one you want:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/site/manuals/hurricane/

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    looking for webley tempest .22 cal
    new or used in vancouver b.c. area.

    e-mail donroetrucking2000@yahoo.ca

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    You’re never going to find what you want here. Try the classified airgun ads.

    http://www.airguninfo.com/

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Can you tell me how much a beeman hurricane should cost?
    Thank You
    John

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    John,

    The Hurricane has taken on a life of its own, now that it has been obsolete for a few years. When it was last offered a used one in excellent condition (perfect finish and operation) might sell for $125 or so. Now it seems to be higher. I would top it out at $200 on the worst of days, because at airgun shows they do sell for less.

    B.B.

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