Webley Service Mark II: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Webley Mark II Service rifle
Webley Mark II Service Rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

A history of airguns

Today’s report is another in the series I did on the Webley Mark II Service rifle. Today’s post is by reader RidgeRunner, who now owns the rifle. He tells us about his rifle’s performance after the maintenance he reported in Part 6.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

And now, take it away, RidgeRunner.

This report covers:

  • A Round Tuit
  • My Chrony Rig
  • Into The Breech!
  • RWS Super H-Point
  • Eley Wasp
  • H&N Sniper Light
  • H&N Field Target
  • JSB Exact Jumbo RS
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • Crosman Premier Hollow Point
  • H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme
  • H&N Baracuda
  • Summary

A Round Tuit

round tuit

Well, it took me a while to get to this, but now that I have a round tuit I can start doing the velocity test on this old gal. Since I spent most of a warm, calm, sunny Sunday shooting this air rifle, you might want to make sure you have a full cup of coffee before you go much further.

My Chrony Rig

Before I get to all of the pellet data, I wanted to show off my data collection equipment.

chronograph
Chronograph is connected to a Kindle Fire.

I recently acquired a Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph. In and of itself, it is probably the most basic of chronographs available today. However, when you add in the software package, I think they call it an app today, you have quite a nice data collection setup.

Since I do not have one of those so-called smart phones, I downloaded the app to my Kindle Fire HD. This also gives me a much larger screen to work with, which is nice since I am half-blind and have large, clumsy fingers.

Kindle
Kindle Fire with the chronograph app installed.

I have yet to find any instructions for using this app, but after fumbling around a bit I even managed to figure it out, at least to where it is usable for me.

The first thing you do is create a file for the projectile you will be shooting.

ready for data
The app is open and ready to accept data.

Once you have done that you can start recording data.

data
Data is entered.

As you can see, it gives you the file name, date and time stamp, shot count, f.p.s. and energy per shot, average f.p.s., standard deviation, minimum and maximum velocity, yada yada yada. It does pretty much everything but swab the bore and wipe it down.

Into The Breech!

Now that I have bragged for a bit about one of my new toys, Let me show you some of that data I collected with it. A couple of these BB used before in this air rifle before I took it apart and put in a new piston ring. Most of these pellets seem to fit the bore nicely. I too am curious as to whether this old gal has a little more pep. We shall see.

RWS Super H-Point

First I tried the RWS Super H-Point in 14.2 grains. Ten shots averaged 454 f.p.s. with a low 446 f.p.s. and a high of 467 f.p.s. Pretty nice velocity, but that is also a pretty wide spread. I don’t know about this one.

Eley Wasp

The Eley Wasp in 14.6 grains is one that BB tried before. In fact, he sent me a tin of these with the Senior pistol. Before he replaced the breech seal, it was averaging 308 f.p.s. After he worked on the breech seal, the velocity jumped to 371 f.p.s. After I replaced the piston ring, this pellet averaged 453 f.p.s. for four recorded shots with a low of 450 f.p.s. and a high of 458 f.p.s. Not only is that a considerable increase in velocity, but the spread seems to have tightened up.

H&N Sniper Light

Up next were 10 H&N Sniper Lights in 14.04 grains. Seven of these averaged 442 f.p.s. with a low of 432 .p.s. and a high of 449 f.p.s. This pellet and the Wasp seem to fit the bore best of all that I tried.

By now some of you may have noticed that although I am shooting ten shot strings, not all of them are recording. Such is life.

H&N Field Target

Ten of the now obsolete H&N Field Target pellets in 16.36 grains averaged 407 f.p.s. for eight of them. The low was 399 f.p.s. and the high was 414 f.p.s. It is a shame they seem to have quit making these. A couple of my air rifles really like them.

JSB Exact Jumbo RS

This is another one of the pellets BB tried in this rifle. In his first test they averaged 325 f.p.s. and in his second test they averaged 373 f.p.s. This time nine of the 13.43 grain JSB Exact Jumbo RS pellets averaged 440 f.p.s. the low of 436 f.p.s. and a high of 444 f.p.s.

JSB Exact Jumbo

Next up was the JSB Exact Jumbo in 15.89 grains. Eight of these averaged 417 f.p.s. with a low of 409 f.p.s. and a high of 422 f.p.s.

Crosman Premier Hollow Point

Since I had some Crosman Premier Hollow Points in 14.3 grains, I thought I would give them a try. Ten of these averaged 437 f.p.s. with a low of 430 f.p.s. and a high of 442 f.p.s. Not too bad considering these were loose enough to drop about an eighth of an inch down the breech.

H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme

Now to try out a couple of honkers. Seven H&N Baracuda Hunter Extremes at 18.52 grains averaged 373 f.p.s. with a low of 369 f.p.s. and a high of 380 f.p.s..

H&N Baracuda

Another heavy I tried was the H&N Baracuda at 21.14 grains. Eight of these averaged 345 f.p.s. The low was 340 f.p.s. and the high was 349 f.p.s.

Summary

All in all I would have to say that not only was there a considerable increase in velocities, with only a couple of exceptions, the velocity spreads indicate she is shooting with a lot more stability than previously.

Now that we know what is happening at the muzzle, let us see what is happening downrange. That’s coming next.

91 thoughts on “Webley Service Mark II: Part 7

  1. RR,

    Looking forwards to the down range part. Those are 2 fine specimen’s you have and it would be fun to try modern pellets in them that did not even exist when they were new. I like your data collection center. I am not sure if my shooting chrony with remote screen has that feature. Maybe the one you have also has graphing capabilities?

    Good Day to you and to all,……….. Chris


    • Chris,

      I do so much enjoy shooting these old gals. Though they usually are not as powerful as their modern counterparts, many shoot superbly.

      One of these days I might explore the “app”.



  2. RR,

    Nice write-up! Like you needed and excuse to spend the day shooting eh!

    I come from the days where there was only one brand of pellet (Eleys) available and you had to make do with that. I always smile when I see a list of different pellets, their performances and wonder what could have been, accuracy wise.

    Curious about the app – is is specific to your chronograph or would it work with my “Chrony”? Will have to look into it.

    I was having (user) problems with shots not being registered over my Chrony until I made a 12 inch long “V-block” to support the barrel of my sproingers. Found that even a small difference in angle (horizontally or vertically) would skew the results. For my PCPs I just use my Predator rest and make sure to bubble-level the barrel for each string.

    I have been doodling plans for a Chrony and gun carrier that would keep things aligned so I could bench shoot targets and record velocities at the same time. It’s looking like a real McGyver “deck-gun turret” contraption at the moment.

    Glad you found your Tuit! I haven’t looked for mine yet but I am sure it is around here some where.

    Happy Friday eh!
    Hank


    • Hank,

      Thanks! Any excuse is better than no excuse. 😉

      The “app” is specific to Caldwell chronographs. You might get lucky and find a generic or get real lucky and find one compatible to yours. By the way, I picked my Caldwell up for under $80 US.

      The issues I had with recording were due to the narrowness of the “window” close to the chrony. If I had been a little higher it would have widened out some.

      Yes, the vertical and horizontal angles will affect the accuracy of the readings, but you also have to consider that every chrony will read differently even with all other variables removed. I try to get everything aligned as straight as possible. Close enough for government work.




      • Thanks for the reminder about the position-indicators – have some LED Christmas lights that would work fine for that RR!

        I was thinking about stepper-motors but a hydraulically operated gimbal has possibilities.

        … you can see that I worked in an engineering environment for a long time. LOL!

        Hank


  3. RidgeRunner,

    Well done blog!

    Do ration out those 5.6mm vintage Eley Wasps. I could be a bit off, but those might still go for $70-$80 a tin on the web, when you can find them, that is.

    Michael


    • Michael,

      Thanks!

      You may rest assured that I fully intend to be real stingy with those Wasps. That is why I am trying so many different pellets out. All of my antique air rifles that I hang on the wall also have a Wilkins Pellet Pouch hanging with it filled with their favorite pellet. 😉


      • RR,

        The 14.66 grain H&N Field Target Trophy pellets are available in 5.55mm, and they still seem to be made. I haven’t tried the Sniper Lights, but I will add a tin of them to my next order so I can try them in my Webley pistol. They are a unique shape. I am curious how accurate they would be.

        Michael


        • Michael,

          I did not have any of the FTTs, but I did put those in my Wish List.

          I had picked up the SLs I while back to try out with my “new” sproingers. They fit the Webley rifle breech pretty good. I do not know how they will do in your pistol, but they did pretty good in my rifle. Hint. 😉


    • Michael,

      WOW – $70-$80 a tin!!!

      To think of how many tins I shot and never thought of putting any aside. Have a can or two of the Crosman ash-can pellets.

      How the value of thing changes over time. A school friend of mine collected comic books – never read them, just collected whole series and stored them in sealed plastic sleeves, packed in boxes. He had thousands of them that he paid 10 an 12 cents each for and jokingly told us that they for his retirement fund. …Wonder what they would be worth now.

      Hank


      • Hank,

        The dynamic of Eley Wasps is different. They are not collectibles. Crosman traschcans are about as accurate as, well, a trash can would be, but they are collectible. But no one I know of buys them to shoot them. They look cool on a man cave shelf.

        The original Eley wasps in .22 were actually more like .22-point-something, 5.6mm instead of 5.5mm. Some of the older English air guns were bored specifically for 5.6. The Eley Wasp was a premier pellet in this caliber, known in particular for being accurate in older .22 Webleys.

        Then, Eley was sold and manufacturing changed. The old molds were not used, uniformity of size and shape suffered, and the newer pellets were often deformed and dirty. Reports were that roughly 50-60 percent of the newer pellets in a tin were usable. But New Old Stock Eley Wasps were still the good performing, high quality pellets, albeit in a quickly dwindling, finite supply.

        Hence the greatly increased value. The aren’t collectors items. They are expensive because they are in limited supply and shoot better than all the rest.

        Michael




      • RR
        Then there’s those that get mad and just sit there and spin when you hit them.

        But I like the ones that jump the most. Heck I even seen some of the tin can ilk fly.

        Yep them feral cans can be tricky critters. But at least they don’t run far when you hit them. And you can gather them up and take them away and they reproduce into new ones. And the new ones are very tasty even. What’s not to like. 🙂



    • RR,
      That RP5 looks cool. I hope it’s released here in the US. All depends on power and it’s it pricey or not. I like the pump action, but wish it had a bigger magazine than 5 rounds.

      Doc


      • Doc,

        The price will be the deciding factor. A larger capacity mag would be nice, but I can live with 5. They will probably be cheap also, so I could have a handful of them ready to go.


    • RR
      Definitely a cool gun. I like the short carbine tactical style. I’m betting it would be fun to shoot. Next closes thing to a semi-auto. I know I like my pump shot guns.

      But check this out. I think you would like it if you like the one in your video link. And it’s even a 14 shot clip. And it’s been available for some time in the 3 small bore calibers. And just to say Hatsan USA has them for a pretty good price on the refurb ones if you catch them when available.
      https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Hatsan_AT44_Pump_Action_PCP_Air_Rifle_Black/2779



        • RR
          Yep that’s why I had my eye on the Hatsan Sortie-tact before I got my Hatsan bullmaster. I liked the more lightweight carbine tactical style the Sortie-tact has. But I just couldn’t pass up the bullmaster deal I got. No regrets yet. And the bullmaster definitely has the tactical look. So I’m happy.

          But if I didn’t have the bullmaster I would for sure like to add the RD5 to the rest of my gang. I think they would all get along fine. Maybe one day. You never know.


    • RR,

      I like to see innovation. The (spring fed) straight mag. seems like an innovation to me. It does look like a nice plinker. I like the 2 cartridges to add to the shot count. Sub $100.00? The (drop) in mag. is not good. Pushes sight height up. Side load/entry would be better. All in all,…. I like innovation.

      Chris


    • R.R.,

      Continue to enjoy your report on the old gals! Looking forward to the next part for sure.
      The crony work looks like there should be some groups!

      If you get the RP5 will you use a tripod?
      Looked like Giles shot it better offhand and with much less frustration.

      shootski


    • RR,

      I am not keen on Co2 (for temperature reasons) and I prefer traditional rifles but there is something about the RP5 that is very appealing.

      It looks like a “fun gun” for family shoots – I’ll pick one (or two) up if the price is reasonable. Good that they are ambidextrous – my son and daughter are left-eye dominate.

      At two cartridges a fill, the cost of Co2 could be a concern. It would be particularly interesting if they came out with a PCP version.

      Hank

      P.S. I love Giles reviews, always some humor to them – particularly liked the elephant hat LOL!


      • Hank,

        I am not much of a CO2 guy either, but this one might make it.

        There are HPA conversions for TCFKAC pistols. I am certain it can be adapted.

        Giles is my favorite Youtube dude. I also like AEAC.


  4. RR,

    Nice report. That is a lot of chronograph for $80, good deal.

    I have not considered myself a collector, more of a hoarder with pellet guns. You are putting images in my head of great old airguns solidly built with wood and steel. Who knows what I will find at the next show.

    Here is the next show coming up in April. It is in Old Hangtown, Placerville California:
    https://www.pacificairgunexpo.com

    It looks like it should be a good show.

    Don


    • Don,

      Though it is not a big show compared to some, it is one of the top shows for some superb airguns. There are more than a few on this rack I would like to have move into RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.



    • RR,

      Great review that clearly shows the performance improvements that you achieved. I always look forward to accuracy results and I think I saw a hint that you may have some goodins to share next time.

      I want to know more about your text rig. Can all that data that is stored on your Kindle’s app be uploaded into a spreadsheet program like Excel on a desktop or laptop computer or, alternatively, can it go directly from the Kindle to a printer to make a hard copy?

      When I test my guns I shoot them through a chronograph, that I bought in the early ’80s, at my target at the other end of my basement. I get short range accuracy and velocity data at the same time. The problem is that my velocity data is held in the chrony and is accessible by one punch of a button to scroll to the next velocity, over and over. My last test session was 10 shots each of 64 different pellets and all of that had to be entered by hand into my computer. Well, I don’t type and have to look at my number keys as I use them, so going from looking at the chrony display as I index it and back to the keys, then indexing and reading and going back to looking and typing, over and over, is slow and quite tiring. I found that I can record myself reading the velocities off the chrony, 100 at a time, and play them back while I sit at my computer listening and typing, much like if someone was dictating to me. That is more efficient since I don’t have to look over there then back at the keys , look over there then back at the keys, etc. A rig like yours would be the perfect thing if it would upload to my spreadsheet.

      If anyone knows of a chronograph that reads through a Apple device and will upload the data to a spreadsheet, please let me know, unless it costs over 300 bucks, in which case I will suddenly like my current system much more. 🙂

      Half




          • R.R.,

            I think you have most of the capability covered in your setup.
            I have been saving my “spare” change for a while now…
            I think it will prove cheaper than setting out chronographs downrange to collect data to figure the Ballistics for the bullets and ball ammo my DAQs and a few other PCPs prefer. Although spendy it is cheaper than replacing chronies after they take a HIT from a 500+ grain hunk of lead doing 780+ FPS! Even with steel plates and bricks in front the impact usually creates a new pile of replacement parts for the next chronie designated for downrange duty.

            shootski


        • Shootski,

          Think that this is the same one that Steve of AEAC uses. Very nice unit!

          I like everything about that except for the price – not saying that the price is unreasonable, its just out of budget until I win the lottery.

          Maybe somebody will design an economical radar sensor that could be plugged into a USB port on a tablet or laptop. Just checked Amazon for “radar” and came up with a number of radar products for under $200 so it is feasible.

          Hank


          • Vana2,

            Winning the lottery would certainly be easy to take Hank; even one of the smaller amounts. I know I would have some left over from $40 million for Airgun and PB shooting even after Uncle Sam’s taxes, state taxes, my wife’s cut, the house(s,) the rolling stock, the kids, the grandkids and charities.
            See my reply to RidgeRunner above why it is almost economical for me to get the LabRADAR.
            Some consumer Doppler RADAR competition would be good for price and capabilities for sure!

            shootski


        • Shootski,

          This is a very useful tool for the “professional”, but an expensive toy otherwise. I guess if you are a gadget freak it would be great. I am technically challenged myself,even if I am an electrical designer. 😉


        • Shootski,

          I’ve seen that unit on the AEAC channel and I think it is the unit that HAM uses to calculate the BC on the pellets that they test. It’s a nice one, no question, but out of my range for now. Do you have one?

          Half


          • Half,

            I have had my eyes on the LabRADAR for a couple years. They have made substantial functional and accuracy improvements; most of it through firmware and software upgrades. I will have one in the next few months since it is cheaper than shooting up chronographs; see my reply to RidgeRunner above for the details.

            shootski



      • Half,

        I feel your pain on manually transferring the data from the chronograph, about 5 years ago I got one of these; https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Competition_Electronics_ProChrono_Digital_Chronograph/4015 and I see they now have one with bluetooth built in like the Caldwell RR is using, both sweet and in the 100 buck range.

        Since my ProChrono is still working fine these caught my eye; https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Competition_Electronics_Digital_USB_Interface_Fits_ProChrono_Chronographs/4018 and https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Competition_Electronics_Bluetooth_Adapter_Digital_Link_For_ProChrono_Digital_Chronograph/6573 yes it is more money but less than starting fresh with a new chronograph.

        Just something to give a look if you or anyone else is already using the ProChrono without bluetooth..

        Mike


        • Mike,

          Looked at those right after I looked at the Doppler radar that Shootski posted. I think that is the one for me. Will have to start fresh because I don’t use that brand, currently, so the one with built in bluetooth seems best. I need to check into the app they offer to make sure it does what I require. Was researching it yesterday when I discovered that it was 56 degrees outside with a very light wind. Research came to an end and outdoor testing on the Onix Sport Pistol began.

          Half


          • Half,

            Gotta say that LabRadar is cool, but much more than I need.

            As for the Caldwell vs ProChrono, I think either will serve you well, it looks like both will move the data to a pc/smartphone/kindle so you do not have to manually type the data, guess price is the only difference.

            Here we are January 6th and I got 65 and sunny I was out shooting as well, I love it when the weather plays fair.

            Mike


  5. R.R.
    I like this idea of the kindle plus app for keeping performance records too.
    All my chrony notes are on paper, plus specific gun settings for strings.
    Be nice if the app could save file formats and so on too..
    I was franticly looking for said notes, as is normal for me, thank you for sharing
    about data collecting. Nice tripod man. Peace.
    Oh, For a long time I wanted to make my Prod pump action, way more fun, but being a lefty,
    a bolt is almost as fast. The RP5 might be next best thing.
    R


    • R,

      I am not sure what all the app will do. I am getting what I need out of it and leave it at that. There is a company that makes a side lever for the MRod, but not yet for the PRod. If I get one I just might have to sit down at the drawing board.




        • Shootski,

          My “dream” yard sale would be a spurned, vengeful, soon to be X-wife looking for ultimate in pay back for her soon to be X-husband’s luxury “boy toys” for said husband’s indiscretion’s. Profit?, not a motive. Only payback. Now that would be a yard sale! Not that that I would relish that situation/circumstance for either,…. but a bargain is bargain. The internet has made it much harder to find such deals, with quick and easy access to item values.

          Chris



  6. By the way, my laptop died this week. I am using my Kindle. This is why my responses have been a lot more cryptic than I would have preferred.It takes a lot of poking to put out just a little bit.




        • RidgeRunner,

          Sorry to hear that your HD crashed. Did you have any important documents, pictures, etc. on it? Does it just not boot any more, or does it not spin up? Listen closely and you can hear if spins up, if it’s a mechanical drive. Mechanical HDs can fail at any time, so always back up your data to an external USB drive or external backup drive. If your old drive doesn’t spin up, it’s toast. But, if you can hear it spin up, you can still retrieve the data from it. You can find hard drives on ebay or Amazon at a very inexpensive prices, and on a laptop, it’s very easy to replace one. You can buy a cable to connect your old drive to a USB port on any computer and retrieve the data from it. These are inexpensive too. Many people dispose of their old laptops because repairing one is too expensive. I’ve repaired many old laptops and can keep them running. They are usually replaced simply because of age and slowness, and also cannot be upgraded to Windows 10. If there’s anything I can help you with…please don’t hesitate to ask.

          Geo


          • Geo,

            Thanks for the recommendations. I took it to someone I trust. The hard drive crashed, but he is retrieving the data. I have ordered a new one. I will also likely fix the old one to give to my grandson. 😉


            • RR,

              Glad to hear that the data could still be retrieved. Remember…backup, backup, backup 🙂
              Also, a suggestion. Buy an SSD drive of about 250 GBs. When you get the new laptop, clone the drive to the SSD drive and then replace the drive in the new laptop with the SSD drive. Then you could use the drive from the new laptop to fix the old laptop. SSD drives are approximately five time faster than mechanical drives and have no moving parts to fail. The reliability and longevity are much better with an SSD also. The SSD drive may cost a bit more than a mechanical drive but the benefits far outweigh the added cost.

              This sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. Ask the guy working on your laptop and he will confirm that this would be a good idea and fairly easy to accomplish.

              Geo


      • Shootski,

        The motherboard battery only supplies power to maintain the BIOS settings. The best indication that the MB battery cell needs replacing is if the time and date are lost after shutting down the computer and restarting it. These are lithium ion batteries and last many years. I’ve rarely seen one go bad.


  7. Hank and RR,

    Maybe I misunderstood your question regarding data files from a chronograph, but the Caldwell “app” you have on the tablet offers some of the features you seek. It loads on an Apple device (iPhone). It allows you to log the conditions, pellet, etc for each shooting session. Under the “Share” button for a “Saved Group”, you can export the entire session either by SMS or email. For email a CSV file is automatically created with all the data. One can then save the CSV as desired. A little spreadsheet script could conveniently use that format to log the data from the chronograph session. If you already knew all this, sorry for belaboring the description.

    Jumpin



    • Jumpin,

      It was actually me ,I think, that asked for the info on exporting into a spreadsheet, so thanks for belaboring. You have helped me out with that.

      Could Excel use that CSV format? If you know.

      Half



  8. Hank and RR,

    You are welcome. I realize my method is not a direct export from chronograph app to Excel, but using Shootski’s method its pretty easy. The Apple spreadsheet (Numbers) can import and convert the CSV file directly.

    I mostly “share” with myself; a convenient way to create the CSV file. I mis-spoke about a script on the CSV file. The script would be applied to the spreadsheet file.

    Jumpin


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