by B.B. Pelletier
Before I begin today, just a word about the upcoming Daisy Get Together in Michigan. It’s in Kalamazoo on Sunday, August 22. That’s a one-day show. Admission is $2 to see a room full of fine collectible BB guns. For a flyer and more information, contact Bill Duimstra (616-738-2425) or Wes Powers (517-423-4148).
Today, I’ll test the velocity of the new Webley Junior. These guns are supposed to be low-powered, so expect velocities in the 275 f.p.s.region.
One thing I know about older vintage airguns is that they have leather piston seals. The Webley pistols also have a leather breech seal connecting the air transfer port to the breech. It’s a hollow metal tube surrounded by leather that also needs to be oiled. So, the first order of business is to oil the seals.
Since I didn’t know how long the gun had gone since its last oiling, I intentionally overdid it. The oil gets dropped into the transfer port with the piston retracted in the cocked position. That took care of both the piston seal and the breech seal. Then, I waited two full days before firing.
Despite being made for younger shooters, the Junior is still quite a handful to cock. I doubt most 12-year-olds have the strength. As I cocked the pistol, I felt some scraping that I didn’t like. I’ve not felt that before in a Webley pistol.
The first pellets I tried were RWS Hobbys, but they didn’t come out of the barrel when shot. Not a good start. The Hobby fits the bore fairly tight, but it should still fire okay, so I began to wonder if something might be wrong.
I tried JSB Exact RS pellets next. They exited the bore at an average of 146 f.p.s., with a spread from 144 to 150 f.p.s. That’s definitely slow. They should hit at least 250 f.p.s. with ease. They fit the breech loosely, which I think helped them to shoot at all.
Next, I tried some vintage Eley Wasp pellets. These are what might have been shot in the gun when it was fairly new. They fit relatively loosely and averaged 94 f.p.s., with a spread from 81 to 97 f.p.s. Egad! That told me there’s something wrong inside the powerplant. Maybe, under the circumstances, most people would be upset that a new gun needs repairs. Not me. That gives me the justification to disassemble the pistol and let everyone see what’s inside. Then, we’ll see just what’s needed.
Just to double-check my numbers, I shot a string of Gamo Match pellets that averaged 56 f.p.s. with a spread from 52 to 59 f.p.s. So, there was no longer any doubt that the powerplant needs attention and may even be disintegrating as I shoot.
What’s the next step?
What’s next is to disassemble the pistol and see what’s inside. The breech seal looks good at this point, but I’ve had to replace them before, too. What ever happens, I’ll show you what I do and where I get any parts that may be needed. Like my FWB 124, this will be a voyage of exploration for us. Accuracy testing will wait until the gun is shooting properly.