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Ammo Webley Alecto – Part 3

Webley Alecto – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Webley Alecto

Well, I think we have another classic air pistol on our hands. Today, I’ll test the accuracy of the Webley Alecto — and I’m impressed with it.

I realize it’s been a long time since the first two parts of this report, but you can use the links to go back and read what I learned. The Alecto seems very robust. I would have no problem accepting it into my collection.

Because the gun can be shot with a single pump, as well as two and even three pumps, I had to test it differently than any other air pistol. And, I shot 5-shot groups instead of 10-shot groups, just because the pumping made each shot take so long to prepare.

I shot at 10 meters and used a rest because I don’t have the arm strength yet to shoot this pistol one-handed. I experimented with different holds and lighting, and discovered something very interesting about the pistol. It is most accurate when shooting wadcutters on just one pump. When you pump it more than once with target pellets, the shot group opens up dramatically.

I expect this is due to the gun needing a new holding technique for two and three pumps, just because of the dynamics of the powerplant. On one pump, it acts just like a single-stroke pneumatic; but on two and three pumps, it acts like a multi-pump pistol. There’s recoil and movement to contend with.

One pump
Like I said, the pistol acts like a single-stroke on one pump of air. In fact, it’s even easier to pump than either the Beeman P3/P17 or the Gamo Compact.

The first pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Pistol. When fired by a single-stroke, they turned in a 5-shot group that looks like it was shot by a target pistol.

On a single pump, the Alecto shot H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets like a 10-meter gun.

Next, I tried RWS R10 pellets, which I assumed would shoot just as well. However, they did not. Even though my hold was just as good as before, the R10s opened up.

RWS R10 pellets scattered more with the same tight hold on one pump.

Two pumps
On two pumps, the H&N Target pellets opened up quite a bit. I didn’t believe it, so I shot several groups. The one below is representative of what happened.

On two pumps, H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets opened up.

The R10 pellets also opened up on two pumps, though not quite as much as the H&Ns. If this were a firearm handled, I would think the bullet was going too fast for good accuracy.

RWS R10 pellets also opened up on two pumps

Three pumps
I didn’t try RWS R10s on three pumps, but I did try H&N Match with three. They opened even more to my surprise.

On three pumps, the group with H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets was quite large, if the one hole at the bottom is considered.

Following the three-pump target, I shot another one-pump target with H&N pellets and got essentially the same group I showed before with one pump. So, the gun really likes a single pump, but with wadcutters it doesn’t seem to like more than one.

Then, I remembered that I’d promised one of our readers that I would also shoot the gun with Beeman Kodiaks. It’s a powerful air pistol, after all. I decided to go straight to three pumps for this, as the Kodiak is a very heavy pellet.

Beeman Kodiak Extra Heavy pellets look promising on three pumps.

And the results tell me that we need a part 4 to this test. I need to test this pistol with other domed hunting pellets to see what kind of accuracy potential there is on three pumps.

I must remark that one pump is very easy with the Alecto. Two pumps begin to get hard and three pumps is a real strain for me right now. But, if I were a hunter, I guess I would do whatever it took to get the job done. The pistol certainly wants to do its part.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

63 thoughts on “Webley Alecto – Part 3”

  1. I suspect a longer barrel might help with two and three pump accuracy too.There has to be a good bit
    of unused energy in the muzzel blast.Is it dramatically louder on three pumps?

  2. Morning B.B.,

    This is turning into a very tempting pistol. Now you’ve got us hunting type folks wondering about maybe changing barrels to better utilize its potential? Would you please comment on the feasibility of doing that?


      • B.B. Some time ago, you had recommended that the .177 is generally more desirable in the P1 (having similar power to the Alecto). Here you are recommending the .22. Is that because this comment was in reference to a Hunter? I’m trying to determine which to get for myself. I primarily do target and plinking, with only the occasional pest control need. I’ve generally migrated to .22 for most shooting, as it seems to be more wind resistent, we have wind. With the lower power of the pistol, compared to most rifles anyway, perhaps I should stick with .177. I’d love to test both side by side, then decide, but returning a perfectly good pistol; namely the one not chosen; would NOT be a fair use of the liberal return policy. Can’t do that, so I welcome any thoughts on which to pick. Based on comments, I suspect that I’ll shoot 80% of all the shots at 1 or 2 pumps. Thoughts welcome.

  3. B.B.,

    In your review, you wrote, “If this were a firearm, I would think the bullet was going too fast for good accuracy.”

    This is something I have not heard of before. Can you explain this statement a little further? What causes the inaccuracy? A quick Google search turned up several references to this phenomenon, but not a clear description of the cause.

    Neil in VA

    • Neil,

      I was hoping this would stimulate a conversation, because bullet velocity can be both good and bad for accuracy.

      For example, at the .22 long rifle standard speed velocity of 1,050 f.p.s., a standard-speed cartridge is usually more accurate than a high-speed one. And subsonic rounds (excepting CB caps, of course) are the most accurate of all, in most cases.

      However, in a fast centerfire cartridge, higher speed doesn’t always mean inaccuracy. There is an optimum for every bullet and the handloader attempts to find out what it is.

      When I wrote that I was thinking about handgun ammo and how overloading cartridges will open the group sizes most of the time. But that is only when the optimum is considered as the starting point. Obviously a .357 caliber 125-grain bullet going 200 f.p.s. would be less accurate than one going 900 f.p.s. But push that same bullet to 1,500 f.p.s. and watch the group open up again. That was what I was referring to when I said what I said.


      • Hi B.B.,

        I understand the statement and accept it as a fact, but I was wondering if you could explain the physics of why the faster bullet becomes less accurate. Is it caused by excessive turbulence behind the bullet as it leaves the muzzle, or something to due with the spin rate of the rifling, or something else entirely? I’m just curious.


        • Neil

          Turbulence over and behind the bullet. Permutations are factored by, caliber, bullet weight vs. shape, jacket/no-jacket, load/charge, rifling depth, rifling twist, twist per inch, spin induced, muzzle crowned/un-crowned, etc, etc etc.

          This is the reason for ballistic programs on computers, there are many bullet & barrel characteristics and causes (good and bad) for bullet behavior in firearms.

        • Neil, for firearms, you want the heaviest bullet that you can spin sufficiently. Other things being equal, heavier is better than lighter for stability because there is more inertia to the turbulence the bullet encounters in flight. However, spin rate is probably more important for stability than weight and there is a narrow range of rates that is optimum. Spin too slow and your bullet will be affected by turbulence. Too fast and the bullet will not change its orientation to align with the flight path as it arcs.

          For airguns, things should be simpler since spin is not really a factor. I suspect that the major factors are finding the heaviest pellet that will also give you a flat trajectory. There are subtler things that match the pellet to details of the construction of the rifle as Brian mentioned.

          B.B. firearms barrels are supposed to oscillate in a circular manner–I suppose because of the spinning bullet. Is this true of airguns as well with the lesser spin? Is the circular oscillation just less pronounced or is there a different motion?


            • This sine wave motion of a barrel was a shocker to me when I first saw it. I don’t remember where the link came from, on this blog or a friend, but it was of an AR-15 captured in slo-mo and the barrel was bending in the sine wave motion and looked like it was going to jump right off the gun.

          • Great answers, guys! Thanks!

            I grew up shooting air guns and .22’s all the time, but only got back into shooting in the last year or so after ~20 years away. As an adult (and an engineer) now, I’m finding there is WAY more science to this sport than I ever realized when I was out plinking cans & bottles as a teen.

            Thanks again,

          • Matt,

            “Too fast and the bullet will not change its orientation to align with the flight path as it arcs.”.

            That is a fascinating dynamic! Man! Like orbital mechanics, someone could make a career out of this stuff!


            • Victor, one of us does and her name is Jane Hansen…. By the way, I looked into the question I raised when we had that discussion about what forces cause a projectile to rotate so as to align with the flight path. My initial suggestion of Bernoulli’s force that describes pressures exerted by a fluid as a function of velocity turned out to be totally wrong. I finally came across a paper that analyzed this phenomenon and claimed that the reason the projectile rotates in this manner is to minimize its energy state in the presence of drag. A little evasive but the beauty of energy calculations is that you don’t have to describe the forces which can be hugely complicated. Besides, as Einstein said, “The mark of genius is to turn a problem into a postulate.” Here’s an example of fluent thinking by the expert learner if there ever was one.


              • Victor,

                Read and try to comprehend “The Bullet’s Flight, From Powder to Target.” It was written by F.W. Mann in 1909, I believe, and is the result of 37 years of study into ballistic accuracy and its many problems.

                I say try to comprehend because Mann’s writing style is not good. He leaves a lot to the imagination.


  4. Good morning everyone,

    Long time no comment.. but I drop in to read when I can… I have some time this morning so I’ll blab a little..

    This does seem like a great survival air pistol… especially if it were modded with a longer barrel and in .22 cal. It would be nice to see a report on the conversion and power/accuracy after report.

    Bullet/pellet speed??
    I’m still in love with my 1894 Marlin in .45lc… we have dense second growth forests mostly now, and so, shots over 50 yards are not the norm… or sure one can set up overlooking a large clear cut and wait and watch the clearings with a 7mm rem mag or the like, but that’s not fun for me, so my Rem 700 and Vanguard sit in the gun safe. Josh and I spent the season walking and stalking up the ridges with the Marilin’s in 30-30 and my .45lc.
    No, not a buck to be seen, but we did see a couple nice does. One was very unusual, we spotted her about 40 yards ahead, she was broadside, and her head was behind a tree. She would look around, but small branches made her look like she had horns. I wanted to pop her so bad, I whispered to Josh, “it has to be a buck, look at the size. Josh with younger eyes, said, I don’t think it’s a buck… so, we waited to see for sure.

    Finally after 15 min. of us frozen still and a spare down, she relaxed, and bent back to scratch her ear.. damn it’s a doe! Then she started walking toward us to check us out… we stayed frozen standing there… she would take five or six steps toward us, stamp a foot, I guess to challenge us into moving… we didn’t.. and she got within 10 yards.. told us what for, and walked away.

    Josh said, I think there will be more behind her.. just stay still and wait… we did for another 20 min. then slowly started up the ridge again. There were more, but the wind had changed and and so did their actions.. The next group of three, didn’t stay long, we heard the snorting of a buck, behind a couple does, but didn’t see him as they took off up the ridge… exciting day, but no meat on the table this year:-(

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • Wayne,
      I figured you were old enough to tell a buck from a doe whether you can see the antlers or not :). I envy you the easy elk hunting (not to mention the 1894) — I’ll be old before I get drawn for elk here. Glad you’re still having fun.

      • Hi BG_Farmer!

        Ohh.. maybe that’s why Josh new before me:-)

        a newbie at 60… such a deal:-)

        It’s quite the rush to be stalking the same deer trail as the cougars and bears.. wondering how old the tracks or scat was.. and if we were being stalked as we stalked.. That’s why the lever action carbine is my favorite for this hunting area… and .45 lc is gonna put all the foot pounds she has in the target, not on the ground behind the target. I’d rather have 500 ft lbs in the cougar, than 1,500 ft lbs go through it and into the ground.. how much actually “hit the animal” .. I really wonder?? What do you guys think??.. I’d like to “Knock it off it’s feet”, so a second shot is more effective, if necessary.

        Josh is a good tracker and scat identifier. That makes hunting fun for me.. trying to figure out what animals and how long ago they passed through… moving along the path in short, slow steps, without stepping on branches and making noise… that’s tough.. and fun too… exciting for sure.

        We’re blessed to have some patches of real old growth in this area too. … Six foot diameter firs, pines and cedars intermixed with second and third growth… land that was selectively harvested, not clear-cut. In my mind, that’s the only way to do it.. selectively harvest only old growth, high value, and in high demand, and when managed right, you have an ongoing, never ending supply, of a certain volume, from a given forest, of very high value, old growth timber.. and that’s the way it was done here up to the 1980s when national policy changed… another story…. but I digress..

        …When the path enters those old growth areas, you start looking for the cougars in the trees on the large branches.. ah, but like is good..

        Yes, bro, the “sportsman package” ($140), gives one a deer tag, elk tag, cougar tag, bear tag, turkey, salmon and steelhead tags.. and the right to fish and hunt year round for what’s in season… The cougar season is almost all year, and the bear season half yr. You can enter for special hunts drawings for does, in deer and elk, and for eastern Oregon antelope and big horn too….

        Oregon is cool… no sales tax, buy a firearm in 20 min… many times a year.. ( I don’t know if there is a limit.. but .. I bought 20 or so last year)… mostly friendly folks who are tolerant of each others points of views… don’t always agree, but always fun to debate the issues and shoot together.

        Wacky Wayne

        • Wayne,
          Sounds like you have it figured out. Those lever actions were made for that kind of hunting. I may try for a deer, but I generally just wind up going for a hike in the woods. Next time I’m there without a gun, I’ll usually step on one:).

          Regarding the .45LC, it should have plenty of power. I read a test on .50 cal. round ball (just over half the weight) to the effect that it could kill a deer easily at 200 yards, but the trajectory wouldn’t make that practical, so 125 was a more realistic upper limit, if I’m remembering correctly. Sounded convincing, although I doubt the original users ever shot much past 50 routinely; I would be hesitant to shoot much past that, but the woods don’t normally offer the opportunity to see much farther anyway :).

      • Brian,

        Yes, I’m having fun… retirement has not really happened.. but I steal away… anyway. That’s what’s nice about having the national forest 10 min away… or the field target range a walk down the driveway.

        After the frustration of not firing a shot for six hours on the hunt.. I can come home and knock over the steel ones.. and get my “Satisfaction”:-)

        Speaking of Field Target, I’m pretty solid into the 85 to 90% hit rate, now in open class.. which was good enough with the low turnout, to win our last match (87/100)… I’m shooting a different USFT in open class now, and she seems to be as accurate as 2005 champion #6, which I set up for to loan newbies in hunter class and bench rest shooting at 20fpe… LD and Tim are making me a 32fpe bench rest gun now too.. did I say… like is good??

        Wacky Wayne,
        Match Director,
        Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • Wayne, this is pretty traditional. Actually, a lever-action chambered for a pistol cartridge is more like the Old West than my Winchester 1894 30-30. But is a .45lc enough for deer?

      There’s a John Wayne movie where he meets up with estranged and grown-up sons and they combine forces and technologies in some kind of search for bad guys. At one point John Wayne, armed with a lever-action, was coaching his son to hunt a deer who was drinking at a water hole. The son fumbles around and the deer is spooked. Wayne says something like, “Too late, moron.” But the son says, “Ha” and pulls up his scoped bolt-action rifle and drops the deer. However, the motorcycles of the younger generation fall apart in the wilderness and John Wayne triumphs with his horse and general savvy.


      • Matt,

        Like I said, above, I think, and have read.. that .45lc is desired for it’s slow speed that dumps all the foot pounds on and into the target… not on the other side of it… With 300 grain hollow point loads.. It’s good out to 75 yards in my mind.. again.. I would like to “knock it off it’s feet.. all energy on the target.. not through it.

        How many deer just stand there after a 7mm rem mag passes through it with 2,000 ft lbs… how many ft lbs. “hit the animal” (does anyone have any idea???) .. yes it has a hole in it now… it will bleed to death.. maybe run until it does.. this is the only choice for a 150 plus yard shots of course.. but at 100 yards.. the scoped 30-30 with the right ammo should work.. Josh carries that one..

        When we get tired of walking up the mountain, we go back to the car and get the 7mm rem mags and post up over the clear cuts..

        Wacky Wayne

        • Hi Wayne,

          Nice to hear from you. I’d forgotten about your old growth woods–lucky you! What ever happened with the gold mining? At today’s price I hope you’re digging it out by the ton.

          Congratulations on your FT win. Do you shoot a Keith style bullet? Don’t stay away so long.


          • Hi Mr B.

            I don’t really know if it’s a “Keith style bullet”.. these are some .45 long colt that Ed reloaded for me, he said they are 300gr. They appear to have about a 5/32″ hollow point and slits in a full metal jacket. He loaded them “pretty hot” he said, but they would be fine in my Ruger Blackhawk also,.. which I carry as my sidearm.

            Ah.. the gold mine.. well no time to go play there yet. I guess the value of gold isn’t going down, so no big hurry to get it out right now.. right??

            Thanks for the congrats on the FT win.. but again, not many shooters at that match.. I’m more proud of 5th at the Ca state match, and third at Wa state, where most of the folks who beat me there, went on to be in the top finishers at the nationals.
            I think it’s gonna be a much longer road from the 85% I’m shooting now, to the 95% they be shooting:-) but no matter, it’s more about all the fun times together and shooting a little better than my last score… when I can.

            Wacky Wayne,
            Match Director,
            Ashland Air Rifle Range

  5. BB,
    Interesting pistol. I went back to recheck velocities in Part 2 and was again amazed at how huge that gun looks in Edith’s hand. But I compared the weight to the IZH-46M and the IZH is actually a few tenths heavier.

    Mr B,
    I was able to duplicate the premature firing of the IZH-46M. On one shot I noticed the end of the cocking effort seemed a bit softer than normal and as a result the gun fired when I closed the bolt. Everything else seemed normal, the bolt appeared upright as it should be before I closed it. Since then I made sure there is a crisp snap at the end of the stroke and it hasn’t happened again, yet.

    Unfortunately the part of the cycle that cocks the bolt, which takes some effort, is at the point where you have the least leverage. I’m hoping the cocking cycle gets better as the gun wears in.

    I do still like this pistol very much and it is a joy to shoot. If only there was a pill that would give me a stronger, steadier arm.


  6. b.b., I hope that your next segment on the Steel Storm is coming soon…I’m itching to tell of my initial impression but I don’t want to steal your thunder.
    But a little ‘preview’…my sons Storms arrived Friday and this weekend while they were out with mom I wanted to give them a try just so I know they work. I was especially concerned that one would be faulty so that on Christmas day I’d have one happy and one sad boy.
    Both worked great.
    One of the things I did was set up a dozen or so shatterblast in the back yard and have at them on the full auto 6 round burst at 25’.
    All I can say is…more fun than a barrel of monkees ‘;)

  7. Good accuracy report – very thorough.

    So one pump looks like a great for an informal target and silhouette pistol… With two and three pumps potentially good hunting with the right pellet. I noticed you used Kodiaks…maybe worth trying the Kodiak Match and some of the JSB heavy pellets. Another wadcutter that I’ve had luck in magnums is the RWS SuperMag – very good fit an finish and 9gn to boot.

  8. Rikib,

    congratulations on your Suzuki DR650 aka the “Wee-Strom”.. I’ve had one for 3 years and find it does exactly what I need as my riding style has changed as I’ve aged. There are a ton of accessories available for it to make it do whatever you want it to – fire road travel to touring.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • Fred ProNJ,
      Really enjoying it! Half the size of my last bike but that was 15 years ago. Seems to be a do all bike. A lot of dirt roads down here in SWGA. Need to renew my license for the street though. Right now just having fun in the dirt.


    • Do you have a “DR” or a “DL”? Sounds like you have a “DL” when you use the name “Wee-Strom”. Maybe I’m wrong, but I would not do any touring on my bike strictly dual sport. Street worthy to get you to the trails or around town.


        • Rikib

          my mistake – I have the DL and not the DR. From what I understand, many former enduro riders prefer the DR for dual purpose riding over any of the other brands available including Honda and Kawasaki. Sorry for mixing the two up. Ride Safe.

          Fred PRoNJ

          • FredPRoNJ,
            Not a problem at all you’ve got a nice bike there. I just needed more off-road, quick zip into town than touring ability. The Wee-Strom is a beauty to behold.


  9. B.B.,

    This Webley-Alecto shoots it’s best, accuracy-wise, with a single pump, but I don’t think it’s nearly as accurate as the Gamo Compact. Would you agree?


  10. Sounds like you don’t want to go harder than one pump with this pistol.

    For all those who want to hear the Eastern Front speak to them without having an artifact, like a bayonet, available, you should read Guy Sajer’s The Forgotten Soldier. Whew. A quick look at the Amazon comments will show you why that book is a classic. They are supposed to be making a movie of it, but I don’t see how it could recreate that book, and I don’t believe I would want to see it if it really could.

    CowBoyStar Dad, has your 10m rifle shooting progressed beyond your Daisy 853? What rifle did you use to try out for the Olympic team?


  11. Matt, my tryout was not for air-rifle. At the time I was shooting an Anschutz Model 64 (.22) in the prone division. I have to admit…I was (am) very proud to have had the try out. I was the best at the club I was shooting at….but when it came to the crunch I was not good enough to make the national team.
    I shoot now strictly for enjoyment. A lot of shooting is at the outdoor range with my boys (air-rifle) or in my basement range (pistol and the Avanti). We’ve purposely finished our basement for ‘fun’…very open with an electric train table and slot car setup on one side…and a shooting range on the other side. I’ve just (and I mean by inches) squeaked out 10m. I don’t have to fully extend my arm to touch the wall behind me. As well I compete in a local ‘fun’ group of 7 shooters. A couple have expensive aluminum FWB’s…a couple shoot with springers with Williams peeps. I definitely have the most experience with this kind of shooting so usually clean up…meaning I never pay for coffee/desert afterwords. No big stakes here 😉
    So, to actually answer your question, I find the Avanti quite sufficient for what I do. I’ve put on a real competition diopter (Gehmann) and had the entire trigger mechanism polished. If I ever purchase a better 10m gun it will be because one of my boys is showing promise and wants to pursue competition.
    I had my kids very late..they’re 7 & 9, I’m 55 (best thing I ever did…I never have to explain why I’m going through my second childhood 😉 ). But my eyes/reflexes/etc are nowhere near being good enough for serious 10m competition.

    • CowBoyStar Dad, when I was purchasing my Anschutz 1907, the salesman said that the Anschutz 64 was just as accurate at half the price. He said that Anschutz does not make anything that will not put 10 shots into the size of a dime at 50 yards. If that’s true, I wanted to know, why spend all the extra money on the 54 action in the 1907? Hm, he said that the 54 had a better action and a better trigger. It didn’t really matter since I had my heart set on a genuine Olympic rifle and also to experience the same rifle I had on my high school rifle team (club rifle with a 54 action) when I was not worthy of the arms I bore as you might say. I wish you could see this 1907 that I have now. It would crack you up…those Germans certainly know how to build a rifle.

      That’s quite the boy’s clubhouse you have in your basement. I remember asking my financial advisor about the prospects for investing in the action figure industry (at a time when I was quite engrossed with action figures). She just made a face and said that maybe there was something to that since the baby boomers were entering into their mid-life crises. Give her low marks for empathy.


  12. I’ve had a Gammo Compact for several years, and I just got an Alecto Ultra .22. I would say that the Alecto is every bit as accurate as the Compact. At basement-range (20 ft or so) with a two-hand hold and single pump, using domed pellets, I routinely stack three pellets nose-to-tail in the putty of my pellet trap. It also seems accurate at two pumps, but three pumps is a real chore, and I haven’t done much shooting at that pressure. Here’s a question: after about 100 pellets, the gun started exhibiting a faint “plink” sound about a half-second after the shot, on every shot. It sounds like a diaphragm releasing or something. Anyone else experience this, or know the cause?

  13. hi guys i have ordered a webley alecto .22 and was woundering which pellets being hollow points would be very accurate i was also woundering i ordered a silencer adapter off ebay which is a 1/2inch unf and was woundering which would be the best silencer for it even if the silencer would be to good as i might be thinking of powering it up for when i move to the states in a few years with family
    many thanks answering my questions would be extremely thanked

    • Marty,

      Hollowpoints are generally not that accurate past 25 yards. Crosman Premier hollowpoints are probably the most accurate at long range. And Beeman Devastators are great out to 25 yards, at least.

      Can’t help you with the silencer question as they are not so common here in the States.


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