The Webley’s Reprise Part 4
Reevaluating the nickel MK VI
By Dennis Adler
To be continued…That is where we left the new rifled barrel Webley MK VI model last month awaiting a second test gun to find out if there is a difference in the new MKVI rifled barrel models (other than the rifled barrel) and specifically, differences in the double action/single action triggers on these latest Webley & Scott CO2 models.
Let’s begin by going back briefly to the original smoothbore models introduced in 2015 which had an average double action trigger pull of 7 pounds, 10.5 ounces, and single action trigger pull of 4 pounds, 9.2 ounces. In comparison, the first nickel model MK VI tested in Airgun Experience No. 198 had a heavier double action trigger pull averaging 9 pounds, 7 ounces and did not stage the hammer as easily as the older smoothbore model. Single action trigger pull averaged 4 pounds, 5.1 ounces, just a little lighter than the smoothbore, but the trigger on the newer gun exhibited noticeable creep in the take up which was not evident in the smoothbore’s trigger.
At 10 meters the rifled barrel test gun began to continuously hit below POA by 2 inches. However, this only occurred when fired single action. When fired double action the MK VI became more manageable by carefully staging the hammer, a simple task with the older smoothbore model but not with the new nickel MK VI. What we discovered was that shooting double action with the rifled barrel model changed the trigger dynamics and the creep in the single action pull all but vanished.
At 10 meters my best 6-shot group fired double action measured 0.81 inches. Not bad but accuracy should not suffer when a double action/single action pistol is fired single action; in fact, it should be just the opposite. The question than arose among readers, that this was a new trigger system and not the same as the 2015 models. To check out that assumption I ordered a new smoothbore model and it delivered the exact same handling as the 2015 gun; trigger pull and capability to stage the hammer shooting double action was also the same.
The next evaluation was to be with the Battlefield finish rifled barrel model to see if sighting improves and how the trigger and action on that pistol would compare to the nickel Exhibition Model, but that version is not yet available. And the question still remained as to whether there was an actual difference in the triggers used for the rifled barrel models vs. the original black Parkerized smoothbore Service Models. Thus we left the MK VI with “To be continued…” and this is the answer to at least one of the big questions, the trigger design. The MK VI smoothbore guns have smoother triggers.
Nickel MK VI Take 2
Single action trigger pull on the new nickel rifled barrel test gun averaged 4 pounds, 15 ounces; the original nickel test gun averaged 4 pounds, 5.1 ounces, so the newer gun has a heavier average single action pull. Double action averaged 9 pounds, 2.0 ounces on the new test gun, but only 8 pounds, 5.0 ounces for the first, almost a pound apart on double action trigger pull. What’s important here is “felt” resistance and how the hammer stages as you pull through on double action. And more so, if the new nickel gun exhibits the same trigger creep fired single action. It does not, but there is more resistance and shooting double action is harder because of the overall increased trigger pull on this gun. Why the inconsistency with triggers on the nickel guns while the smoothbores are virtually identical remains unanswered.
Creep and accuracy
Single action trigger pull should be as smooth as glass with little or no stacking, considering that trigger travel is just 0.125 inches (2/16ths of an inch) to drop the hammer. Creep in the trigger take up is enough to throw off your accuracy, especially with a CO2 air pistol at 10 meters; the new nickel test gun exhibits none, just like the smoothbores but average single action trigger pull on this new test gun is heavier. Both nickel models have the same sighting issue of keeping that narrow, shiny front blade dead center in the rear notch atop the stirrup latch. That’s the one constant.
The Single Action Test
For the shooting evaluation I am using the same 10 meter targets and two different types of pellets, Meisterkugeln 7.0 grain lead wadcutters and heavier 7.48 grain Air Venturi lead wadcutters to see if a slightly heavier grain weight helps with this pistol’s accuracy.
The issues encountered with the first nickel MK VI fired single action were trigger creep, shooting below POA, and poor accuracy. The first target with the new nickel MK VI test gun exhibited the same tendency to shoot below POA at 10 meters fired single action, and the heavier but smoother trigger pull made no difference. I switched to the 7.48 grain Air Venturi lead wadcutters for test 2. Again the MK VI hit below POA but not as much. I switched back to the original gun and shot the heavier 7.48 grain rounds. The older gun with its slightly lighter, creepy trigger shot better but not great. My conclusion at this point is that firing the MK VI pellet guns single action is not going to get the best accuracy. Having said that, I closed the distance to my target to 21 feet and shot the nickel MK VI single action once again; accuracy and POA were much improved and I got the results I was expecting from the gun at 10 meters. My impression is that the MK VI is perhaps better suited for 21 feet if you want to shoot it single action. That’s totally backwards but it is what it is.
Double Action tests
Beginning with the new gun and staging the trigger (or staging the hammer if you prefer), gave me the same general results as shooting double action with the first test gun. Bottom line, the rifled barrel nickel MK VI guns shoot better double action than single action at 10 meters. There is still no reasonable explanation for this but if you are knocking tin cans around at 10 meters you’re not going to miss with the Webley single or double action. If you’re target shooting you’re not going to miss either, but don’t expect the kind of dime circumference groups you would get with a target pistol. If you like the nickel MK VI (and I do), and you like shooting at 10 meters, then my conclusion remains the same as before, shoot it the way Webley intended, double action.