by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Why so much trouble?
• Rebel’s sights not easy to use
• A field fix for the sights?
• Today’s test — Crosman Premier lite pellets
• H&N Field & Target pellets
• JSB Exact Heavy pellets
• H&N Baracuda Match pellets
Today, we’ll look at the first accuracy test of the Webley Rebel multi-pump pneumatic. I told you last week that this test was scheduled for a certain day and I had so much trouble with the rifle that I had to write about something else. Today,I’m going to tell you why.
Why so much trouble?
I’m used to testing airguns. I do it so often that it’s difficult for one to fool me. But the Webley Rebel did! I started shooting the rifle at 10 meters using the open sights. I loaded Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets (Premier lites) for the sight-in and also for the first group. My plan was to shoot 5 pellets, and if the group was small enough — at 10 meters — I would shoot another 5 at the same target, completing the 10-shot group. If it wasn’t small enough, I would move to another bull and shoot a different pellet. That saves me time, which with a multi-pump is really necessary! Naturally I shot from a rest, because we’re interested in how the gun shoots, not how I shoot.
Rebel’s sights not easy to use
The Rebel’s sights are very difficult to use. The rear green fiberoptics are very bright, causing the rear notch to blur, and the front bead is 3 times larger than necessary. So, when I completed 5 shots with Premiers and saw the group was over one inch between centers, I blamed the sights.
I tried to mount optical sights on the gun. As it happened, all my optics were on other guns, and I couldn’t find the right combination of rings to go with the ones that were available. After 90 frustrating minutes, I set the rifle aside and moved to a new topic for that day’s blog.
A field fix for the sights?
Several of you have told me to black out fiberoptics with a Sharpie pen, so before today’s test I remounted the rear sight and attempted to do that. I don’t know if you have ever tried this, but Sharpie ink doesn’t stick to fiberoptic tubes very well. I got them dimmed but not blacked out all the way. Then, I had a thought.
Since it was the upper edge of the rear notch that was blurry, I would hold a fine bead (look it up) and use the bottom of the notch, which is more definite. It worked!
Today’s test — Crosman Premier lite pellets
So, I’m thinking everything is okay and back to normal and won’t this be a humorous anecdote for all of you. Then, I shot the first group of Crosman Premiers. Five shots went onto 1.125 inches — AT 10 METERS! Oh, no! It’s as bad as it was the other day.
But what if this rifle just doesn’t like Crosman Premier lites? Oh, that’s easy enough for me to say, and all you have to do is read it and accept that was the problem; but in many years of testing, I’ve never had Premier lites turn in a performance like this.
But this time they did. But the next pellets I shot did much better.
H&N Field & Target pellets
I tried H&N Field & Target pellets next. In all the years I’ve been testing airguns, I’ve never gotten good results from this pellet. I’m sorry to say the head size isn’t printed on the tin. And don’t look for them on the Pyramyd AIR website — they’re no longer made.
The first 5 shots were okay, so I completed the 10-shot group. Ten pellets went into 0.50 inches at 10 meters. While that isn’t great — when you consider the sights I was using, it wasn’t bad!
JSB Exact Heavy pellets
The H&N Field & Target is a pure lead pellet, where the Premier lite is a hard alloy pellet. I thought that might have something to do with the results, so trying JSB Exact Heavy pellets seemed logical. The head size is 4.52mm. Ten of them made a group that measures 0.703 inches at 10 meters. Not as good as the H&Ns, but much better than the Premier lites.
H&N Baracuda Match pellets
The last pellet I tried was the H&N Baracuda Match. I had a feeling these might be the best pellets for the rifle, because they often are in other pneumatics. But not in the Rebel. Ten Baracudas made a 1.263-inch group at 10 meters. The head size is 4.50mm. This group does have 9 pellets in 0.667 inches, and I know that shot 9 was the one that went to the right, because I saw it hit the paper. But I didn’t pull that shot, so this group is representative of what Baracudas can do in the Rebel I’m testing.
In case you didn’t notice, the pellet I liked the least — the H&N Field & Target — did the best in today’s test. This Rebel turned everything upside-down!
Okay, I overcame the open sights today; but I have to tell you, I’ve already had optical sights on this rifle and they make this rifle very hard to pump! When you can’t hold the receiver with one hand because a scope tube gets in your way, you have to hold the rifle back at the pistol grip. It’s just too hard to pump the Rebel that way. I have to find some way to mount a sight that leaves some room for my hand on the receiver. I have an idea. I just hope it works!