A touch of the master...Ivan Hancock
by Tom Gaylord
Exclusively for PyramydAir.com. Copyright © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
They call it the "baby Patriot," in reference to Webley's monster 30-foot-pound springer. But, where the Patriot is big, heavy and takes lots of muscle to cock, the Tomahawk is svelte and easy on the arm. Plus, it’s a delight to look at!
The Tomahawk comes from the bench of Webley custom designer Ivan Hancock. Ivan operated the Venom company for many years, turning out some of the most innovative and expensive spring air rifles in the world. The Venom Mach I was a highly custom breakbarrel that was the first spring rifle to regularly exceed the sound barrier with lightweight .177 pellets. Besides that, it ushered in the famous Mach I trigger, which later became the Mach II.
A few years later, Ivan went to work on an underlever design at the request of U.S. enthusiast Trooper Walsh. Originally called the Wonderlever by Trooper, Ivan eventually created the famous Venom Mach II. That rifle led to the development of the TX200 and especially to the Pro Sport underlever rifles from Air Arms.
What does any of this have to do with the Tomahawk? Well, the Tomahawk has Ivan Hancock's hand all over it. Here is a spring rifle retailing under $400 with the features, styling and much of the quality of hand-built air rifles costing $2,000 and up. What it lacks is the superior grades of wood and the extensive hand checkering. Even there, Webley has found a way to put in a high percentage of the quality.
One specific example is the trigger, which is an example of what can be done when a Rekord trigger design is made by hand and modified to be extremely user-friendly.
What Webley has done with the Tomahawk trigger is turn it into a design that can be manufactured, yet still retain much of the fine sensitivity and crispness of the Mach II. A new Mach II trigger sold for over $300 when they were still available, yet this entire RIFLE costs only $100 more! In my book, that’s worth mentioning!
The shooter can adjust the length of the first-stage pull and the length and weight of the second-stage pull. There is no trigger stop as of this writing, but here’s hoping the folks at Webley will find a way to incorporate one in the future.
The pull is as light as many would like. Two pounds seems to be the safe lower limit. But for hunters - and this is a hunting rifle, first and foremost - a 2-lb. pull is very light. During inclement weather, when freezing fingers loose their sensitivity, two crisp pounds are as little as you want. It may seem a bit heavy when shooting off the bench, but the Tomahawk was made to carried afield in search of game.
More Venom styling
Look closely at the shape and contour of the stock, and you can see Ivan’s influence. The forearm is fluted on both sides and there’s a subtle flat spot forward of the triggerguard for the off hand or to be used as a knee rest. The pistol grip is relatively vertical, which gives the shooting hand the best possible anchor. Note the characteristic slight flare at the bottom front of the grip. It doesn’t look like an electric guitar like some modern custom rifles - just a classic rifle stock.
The pistol grip is full and symetrical, for ambidextrous operation. An ever-so-slight palm swell fits the palm of either hand - yes, this is an ambidextrous stock with a cheekpiece on both sides.
The Tomahawk not only looks good to the eye, it also feels good when you bring it to your shoulder. There's something very right about how the gun sits in your hands, and you'll just have to experience it for yourself. Every air rifle Ivan designs has the same feel, though the individual styling points may differ quite a lot.
Cocking is easy
The first thing you notice when preparing to shoot is the extreme ease of the cocking effort. It feels more like a 15 foot-pound gun than the 20 it actually is. Webley put in their trademark bank-vault detent breech lock, so you may have to slap the muzzle to open it. But, the cocking stroke is pure Venom! It cocks with an unbelievably light 33 lbs. of effort that remains constant throughout the barrel stroke. It would seem that Ivan knows a thing or two about spring powerplants. It’s definitely a rifle to keep away from the kitchen-table tinkerers.
Check the tightness of what Webley calls the stock screw carriage screw. Keeping this screw secure is important to the smooth firing behavior and accuracy of your Tomahawk. Don’t over tighten the screw and strip the head or ruin your wrench - just be sure it's snug and remains so.
The Tomahawk is primarily a hunter’s rifle, so shooting off a bench isn’t the best way to sample it. I found it requires technique to group tight from the bench. The artillery hold is definitely needed for best results, and you do that like this: just rest the forearm on the open palm of your off hand - forget sandbags unless your palm is between them and the stock. Do not hold it tight anywhere; just allow it to float in your hands, and it will reward you with very good groups. The crisp trigger is a plus here.
Hunters will find the Tomahawk a very personal experience. They'll have to learn their rifle for best results, but this should prove to be one of those guns that gets better with practice. Start with a light hold and place the palm of the off hand forward, where you can feel the cocking slot. That’s what seems to give the tightest groups.
I tested the gun with Webley's Lazapell and Lazadome pellets. The Lazapells look a lot like Crosman Premiers, but they're made from what looks like pure lead and not the alloy Crosman uses. Though they were the lightest of the two at 14.4 grains, they fit the breech very tightly. The longer 15.8-grain Lazadomes fit much better and proved to be the best pellet in this test. Crosman Premiers were close behind, but they may need to be lubricated at this power level to keep from leading.
I used Webley Lazapells and Lazadomes to test our Tomahawk. The heavier Lazadomes fit the breech better and grouped best.
Webley Tomahawk, .22 caliber rifle
Muzzle 1' from start screen, 10 shots, 73 degrees F
Crosman Premier, 14.3 grains
Webley Lazapell , 14.4 grains
Webley Lazadome, 15.8 grains
|High||808 fps||High||816 fps||High||733 fps|
|Low||765 fps||Low|| |
|Average||786 fps||Average||810 fps||Average||727 fps|
|Extreme spread||43 fps||Extreme spread||16 fps||Extreme spread||11 fps|
|Standard deviation||16 fps||Standard deviation||4 fps||Standard deviation||3 fps|
|Muzzle energy||19.62 ft-lbs||Muzzle energy||20.98 ft-lbs||Muzzle energy||18.55 ft-lbs|
So there it is - 21 foot-pounds in a lightweight, easy-to-cock spring rifle with beautiful firing characteristics! What’s not to love?
This is essentially a Venom air rifle at one-fourth the price or less. Think about that. There was a time when you couldn’t buy a Venom unless you spent around $2,000, give or take, and half of that had to be paid up front - before the guns were produced. Now you can buy a large part of that same technology for just a fraction of the price. While it would be incorrect to say the Tomahawk is truly hand-built rifle like the Venoms were, it contains so much of the same attributes as to allow shooters on a budget to own a piece of history.
Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders!
Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US
will receive the option for free ground shipping during checkout.
Certain restrictions apply.
Additionally, receive free no-hassle shipping for orders under 10 pounds, between $120 - $149 and with a shipping address in the contiguous US including P.O. boxes and military APO, FPO and DPO destinations. Certain restrictions apply.
Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.
View Shipping Info
We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays
because we know how excited you are to receive your order.
Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.
During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.
View Shipping Times
It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products.
It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city.
If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.
U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.
View Shipping Restrictions
We have a team of expert technicians and a complete repair shop that are able to service a large variety of brands/models of airguns.
Additionally, we are a factory-authorized repair/warranty station for popular brands such as
Air Arms, Air Venturi, Crosman, Diana, Seneca, and Weihrauch airguns.
Our experts also offer exclusive 10-for-$10 Test and 20-for-$20 Service, which evaluates your air gun prior to leaving our warehouse. You'll be able to add these services as you place your order.
View Service Info
Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected
by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.
A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.
View Warranty Details
Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We've got you covered!
Return any item in new condition along with its original packaging and any accessories
that might have come with your air gun and receive a full product refund within 60 days of purchase
or, if you'd prefer, exchange for another product.
Our customer service team can help determine the best course of action and provide you with some options in the event you're interested in an exchange.
Learn About Returns
Join the Pyramyd Air mailing list: Our e-mails are filled with new products, deals, sneak peeks, tips and tricks, contests and more - sign up today!
Airgun safety is no accident. You must be 18 years or older to buy any air gun or air rifle in our store.
Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 Off Your Next $50+ Order.