Webley Senior
My new/old Webley Senior slant grip pellet pistol.

History of airguns

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Missed the target trap box
  • Adjusting the sights
  • Back to the first “group”
  • 10 Meters with Wasps
  • What to do?
  • What now?
  • BB shoots pistol
  • Eley Wasps
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Field and Target Trophy
  • BB’s plan
  • Summary

Today’s report will be the first test of the accuracy of the new/old Webley Senior. This will be a very strange test and it may be of some benefit to a few of you. For the rest it will be a time to laugh at old BB. Grab your coffee or tea and let’s go.

The test

The test was SUPPOSED to be a test for accuracy off a sandbag rest at 10 meters, so that is how it began. I also intended shooting 5-shot groups, but as you will see that didn’t always work as planned.

I’m shooting with the open sights that come on the pistol and therein lies a huge part of today’s report. I didn’t know where it was last sighted in so I fired a pellet at the target that was taped to the rubber mulch pellet trap box. I shot from 10 meters with my two hands resting on the sandbag and holding the pistol. And I began with the Eley Wasp.

Missed the target trap box

Shot one missed the 12-inch by 12-inch target trap box altogether. Oh, my! From just 10 meters it’s hard for BB to miss a foot-square target. So I went down to 12 feet from the target and used a two-handed hold with a door jamb for support. That shot hit the box several inches below the target paper. Time to adjust the sights.

Adjusting the sights

Webley pistols all use the same method to adjust the sights. The rear sight is a flat plate (more on that in a moment) that slides up and down when a single screw is loosened. There is no scale for this, so it’s an eyeball thing. HOWEVER — that “flat” plate is on top of a second dovetailed plate that slides left and right, and it is also held by that single screw. It sounds and even looks good, but it’s really difficult to adjust with any precision or hope of repeatability. Crosman has used the same rear sight on some of their pistols and I have had the same problems adjusting those.

Webley Senior rear sight
The Webley rear sight adjusts up and down and left and right by loosening a single screw.

Now, because there is just a single screw, that “flat” plate is also free to rotate left and right, and it does. So besides eyeballing where the rear notch ends up you also have to level the top of the sight. And here comes the worst part.

That “flat” plate isn’t completely flat! So, as you tighten the one screw, that flat/curved plate rotates as it wants to and moves the rear notch wherever it wants. That makes adjusting the rear sight a chancy thing.

Back to the first “group”

I adjusted the rear sight up and the next shot that I fired from 12 feet went below the bull but did land on the target paper. It’s roughly okay left and right, so I adjusted the rear sight as high as it would go and fired again. The pellet went 2.5-inches to the right and also up by about an inch. I felt it was now okay to back up to 10 meters and shoot again.

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10 Meters with Wasps

This time I put five Eley Wasps into a 1.355-inch group at 10 meters. Look long and hard because this is my last 10-meter group for today.

Webley Senior Wasp 10 meter
There you go! The five holes by the dime are the group I shot at 10 meters. The two lower holes are me sighting in and adjusting the sights.

What to do?

I tried adjusting the sights again. Let me show you what I got.

Webley Senior Wasp stuff
This is me playing with the rear sight and shooting from 10 meters. Not so good, huh? No group here, just some stuff.

What now?

Do I abandon this pistol and get something else to test? I had already spent a lot of time today because I also had to change rubber mulch boxes. No, I don’t want to give up.

BB shoots pistols

BB Pelletier knows how to shoot a handgun. That much is certain. What does he do when one fights him like this Senior? Ahhh! He remembers teaching his former father-in-law how to shoot a 10-meter target pistol. He moves up to 12 feet and uses a two-hand hold with a door jamb brace. Yes — 12 FEET! What you are about to see was all shot from 12 feet.

Eley Wasps

Five Eley Wasps landed in a group that measures 0.506-inches between centers. Great group, but way, way too close. Hold your horses — BB has a plan.

Webley Senior Wasp 12
From 12 feet the Senior put five Wasps into 0.506-inches.

RWS Hobby

There will be no more sight adjustments today. The next pellet I tried in the Senior was the RWS Hobby. They were also shot from 12 feet, as described above. Five Hobbys went into 0.862-inches from 12 feet. Maybe the Hobby isn’t the best pellet for the Senior. They did hit closer to the center line though.

Webley Senior Hobby 12
From 12 feet the Senior put five RWS Hobbys into 0.862-inches.

H&N Field and Target Trophy

The last pellet I tested at 12 feet was the H&N Field and Target Trophy that has a 5.53 mm head. The Senior put five of them into a 0.519-inch group. Now we’re cooking!

Webley Senior FTT 12
The Senior put five H&N FTT pellets into a 0.519-inch group at 12 feet. This group is also centered pretty well.

BB’s plan

Now that I know the Senior is reasonable accurate, I plan to back up in stages and shoot the two best pellets from today’s test, plus I’ll pick one more. I have other plans yet to come, like flaring the skirts of the most accurate pellet to see whether that makes a difference. But first I have to get this pistol grouping at more than 12 feet.

I would also like to put them into the bullseye, so there is work to do with the sights. I won’t modify the pistol in any way, but I plan to find out a lot more about it as we go.

Summary

As I said in the beginning, today’s test was one of the strangest ones I have ever done. If some of you have airguns that are giving you accuracy problems you might like to try this approach, or some variant of it. If you do please tell us what you did and how it worked for you.