Webley Alecto – Part 1
by B.B. Pelletier
The Webley Alecto is a HUGE air pistol. If you think a Desert Eagle is large, then this one is just as large. It’s not as heavy as the Desert Eagle firearm, but at 2 lbs., 6 oz., it’s no lightweight. However, the weight seems less because of the size of the gun. The all-synthetic frame and topstrap spread out to cover more acreage than the weight implies.
And this is a multi-pump pneumatic. It works via an overlever pump, so I think you can forget about putting a dot sight or scope on it. You need the top of the topstrap to pump with. I have not yet recovered my strength, but I can say that this pistol is for adults, only, and those who can manage a heavy workload. It is a bear to pump the three strokes needed for maximum power. I will estimate that it takes at least 35 lbs. of effort, which is a lot for a close-coupled gun.
One pump is possible
You can treat this pistol as a single-stroke if you like. Simply pull up on the latches on both sides of the rear of the topstrap, and the topstrap lifts up easily. One pump is relatively easy and feels even easier than pumping the Beeman P3 or Beeman P17 single-strokes. Pump two is only slightly harder than the first pump, but pump three requires a lot of strength. The Alecto becomes the pistol equivalent of the old Webley Patriot rifle on the third pump stroke.
Maybe it’s not so big after all
Oh, the pistol is large, make no mistake about that. But the grip is sculpted for average to large hands, so it doesn’t necessarily hold like a big gun. And the adjustable palm shelf allows each shooter to adjust the grip to his own hand. That’s a target gun feature that I like a lot on an accurate gun.
But is the Alecto accurate?
Well, the manufacturer certainly thinks so, which is why they supply each pistol with a test target that also has a short chronograph ticket attached. So no whining about poor accuracy or weak power when the proof is delivered with the gun. If the test pistol really shoots as well as the test target demonstrates, it’s almost a 10-meter pistol.
The chrono ticket shows an average velocity for this .177 pistol of 197 meters/second, which works out to just over 646 f.p.s. Unfortunately, no information is given about the pellet used to test the gun, so we’ll have to wait for my velocity test to get the real data. Plus, I’ll test the gun with one, two and three pump strokes for all pellets.
In a move back to the 19th century, Webley gives the Alecto a front sight that can be flipped for a different sight picture. The lower sight blade is supposedly zeroed for 25 meters if the gun is zeroed at 10 meters with the higher blade. To swap blades, just push the sight blade forward and it rotates down, bringing the other blade up. Such innovation hasn’t been seen since the Beach sights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I like things like this, because they give the shooter a choice of sights, and I’m all about choices.
The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation. Speaking about adjustability, the trigger blade can be adjusted left and right, forward and back, for the length of pull and for trigger return spring strength.
When the gun is pumped the first time, the safety bar flips back, which prevents the trigger from firing the gun. Push it forward out of the way and the trigger is free to fire the gun.
The gun comes inside a cushioned hard case. It’s packed with the Torx adjustment tool for the trigger, a bore brush, the manual, test target and a small bottle of silicone oil for use in maintenance that is documented in the manual. It’s a pleasingly complete kit.
I’m impressed. Yes, this is an expensive pellet pistol, but if you look at all it offers it really isn’t out of line. It’s more powerful than the Beeman P1 and potentially just as accurate, yet for less money. Whether it’s worth the money is an individual choice, but if you’re an air pistol shooter who likes power and accuracy, I’d put this one on your short list.