Webley Raider 10 - Part 3
by B.B. Pelletier
Homework assignment first!
In part two of this report, I gave you a puzzle to solve. I asked you to calculate the average velocity of a 15.8-grain JSB Exact Jumbo pellet from the Webley Raider 10 using the data I presented for the other pellets.
As I saw it, there were two ways to approach this project. One way was simple. Just look at the average velocity of the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier, which was 796 f.p.s., and the average velocity of the 21-grain Baracuda Match, which was 692 f.p.s., and guess where the 15.8-grain JSB Exact would fall. I guessed between 750 and 760 f.p.s. I based that on the JSB being much closer in weight to the Premier and also being pure lead instead of the hard lead alloy of the Premier. I guessed that the JSB would go a little faster than its weight might indicate because pure lead is slipperier than lead alloy.
The second method is to look at the energy of the Premier (20.12 foot-pounds) and the energy of the Baracuda (22.34 foot-pounds) and guess where the JSB will fall. Then, take that energy and calculate the velocity using the Pyramyd Air conversion table. I guessed the JSB would be about 21 foot-pounds (halfway between the Premier and the Baracuda), which works out to 773.58 f.p.s.
And the answer is...?
Reader Malan guessed the JSB would average 773 f.p.s., so he was closest of those who responded in the comments section. The actual average of the JSB pellet tested through a chronograph was 772 f.p.s.! See how much you can discover when you learn to apply some simple rules of airgun behavior?
On with the accuracy test
I finally got a day at the range to test the Webley Raider 10 rifle for accuracy. The wind wasn't strong, but it was steady from the right at 5-10 m.p.h., with gusts up to 15 m.p.h. For that reason, I placed the targets at 35 yards instead of farther. Even with that, I saw a 3" drift to the left with RWS Hobby pellets. So, I waited until the wind was as calm as it would get for every shot.
Cocking and clip-loading behavior loosening
In both parts 1 and 2, I told you the rifle cocks stiffly and the pellet clip is difficult to load. Well, on this day both those traits seemed to be coming to an end. I guess the rifle is wearing in after all the shooting I've done.
I mounted a Leapers 3-12x44 30mm Mini SWAT scope in 2-piece Accushot 30mm high rings. You don't need the high rings for the objective bell, but you do need them to clear the 10-shot clip that rides above the top of the receiver. There's also an issue with removing the clip while the scope is mounted. I found it fairly easy to remove and install, even though the scope's objective bell appears to be very close to the clip.
JSBs not good
I tried both 15.8-grain Exacts and 14.3-grain Exacts, but neither wanted to group in this rifle. So, our homework assignment availed us no usable pellet.
RWS Hobbys also no good
RWS Hobbys were also a waste of time. Not only were they blowing to the left in the wind, they didn't seem to want to group. Of course, 35 yards is a bit far to shoot such an unaerodynamic pellet. They're much better when held to 25 yards or less. At shorter range, wadcutters make a good hunting choice because of the damage they do to tissue.
Baracudas to the rescue!
Fortunately, I had a tin of Baracudas to try. They're also sold as Beeman Kodiaks, and these were the Match pellets. Not only do they produce great energy in this rifle, they also group pretty well. At 35 yards on this windy day, they tended to group under 0.90", and they showed a potential for grouping even better when the wind isn't there.
Premiers were the best!
If Kodiaks/Baracudas were good, then Crosman Premiers ruled. Of course, they're nearly 6 grains lighter, but perhaps they fly so fast the wind doesn't have time to work on them. Or perhaps they're more aerodynamically contoured. Perhaps a little of both. After all these years and the challenge of the JSB, it's refreshing to see that Crosman Premiers haven't entirely left the building.
The Webley Raider 10 is a compact hunting air rifle. It carries more shots than many similar air rifles, but it has a small reservoir that keeps the number of powerful accurate shots low. Accuracy is fine, though nothing extraordinary among similar guns in this price range. It wears in to become a smooth shooter, so cut it some slack in the beginning.