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Ammo Webley Senior spring-piston air pistol: Part Two

Webley Senior spring-piston air pistol: Part Two

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

History of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • First surprise
  • Surprise number two
  • Install the seal
  • Velocity before the seal
  • Velocity after the seal
  • Not the velocity test
  • Summary

This is another great one for the weekend. In fact, it’s a follow-on to last Friday’s report. Remember that one? That was where I showed you my new/old Webley senior air pistol. I told you that it needed a new breech seal, so a week ago yesterday (Thursday) I ordered a seal from T.W. Chambers in the UK. It arrived in my mailbox on Tuesday — just five days later.

First surprise

And that, my friends, is today’s first surprise. The breech seal I needed made it to Texas from England in five days! There is a guy on You Tube showing you his Webley Senior breech seal and he tells you they don’t make them anymore. Phooey on that! They do and they are as close as your computer. It cost me about $7.50 with shipping, so no big deal.

Webley Senior breech
Remember, this is where the Senior breech seal goes.

Webley Senior breech seal
And there is the seal.

Surprise number two

In the years since I have installed one of these seals they have changed. They used to be made of fiber and had a brass liner. This one looks like rubber and there is no liner. I think the rubber will hold its shape better than fiber, so it doesn’t need the brass liner.

Install the seal

If you look at the new seal you’ll see that one side is rounded and the other is flat. The rounded side goes in the hole first. I found it a lot easier to install than the older fiber seal. I used a large pin punch to press down the sides of the seal and they went in quite easily.

To install it I didn’t even cock the pistol. I just opened the barrel and went from there. There is plenty of access that way.

Webley Senior breech seal installed
And there is the seal installed. It stands proud for now, so be careful when closing the barrel on it. It will wear in.

Velocity before the seal

My plan was to give you the velocity before and after installing the seal, but pellets stopped coming out altogether so I couldn’t get the before velocity. Let’s just call it zero. The pellets did come out in my office at about 40-60 f.p.s. but I could have been using smaller 5.5 mm pellets. Let me show you what I’m talking about with an H&N Field and Target Special.

Webley Senior breech with FTT pellet
As you can see, the H&N Field Target Trophy pellet with 5.53 mm head falls deep into the breech.

Webley Senior breech with Eley Wasp pellet
The 5.56 mm Eley Wasp pellet fits the Senior breech much better, though many of them fall in just a little.

Build a Custom Airgun

Velocity after the seal

It is now difficult to close the Senior’s breech all the way, though it can be done. And when the breech is closed, Eley Wasps go out at around 340 f.p.s.

Webley Senior Wasp velocity
With the new seal in everything is better. Sorry for the blur, but I couldn’t use the flash because the chrono senses it and wipes out the display.

Not the velocity test

Today was not the velocity test. All we did today was install the seal and verify that it works. That puts us back on track for the remainder of the test that will be the same as always.


So far I have shown you a great find in a desirable airgun and today we saw how easy it is to fix. There is no need to tear the pistol apart for what we did. Next time we check velocity with different pellets in the usual way.

42 thoughts on “Webley Senior spring-piston air pistol: Part Two”

  1. crackedshot,

    Looks like it but I would be more concerned about the barrel’s wear.
    You talked about Russian (Rushin’) hands and Roman (Roamin’) fingers the other day…i was taught by a young lady early on to do it the other way ’round; Roamin’ hands and Rushin’ fingers. That educated young lady taught me something that stood me in good stead with many sweet things there after!


      • RidgeRunner,

        Nope, not the bore.
        I was talking about the actual breach end of the barrel wearing because of the steel to steel rubbing when closing the barrel after cocking, as you described, pushing on the latch; I AM, however, assuming the latch is steel.


  2. Some of you may have come to the conclusion that I like Webley airguns. The truth is, yes, I do. No, they are not anywhere near the best shooting, but they are fun. They can take tons of abuse and keep on going. The only bad thing about them is in recent times their prices have started to skyrocket. If you find one in halfway decent shape for under $200, it is probably a good deal. One that looks as nice as BB’s new one can easily bring $300-$400.

      • Bill,

        Only if you want a Webley Senior.
        But for that many Euros it probably would be a monetary good deal…for just the box in good to excellent shape and the airgun in fair shape. You know how the “collector” people go stupid about the box and never shoot the gun.
        If you are just a “collector” i will apologize in advance for my frank opinion about them.
        I somehow don’t think you are; even though we have never tipped a pint.


        • :Shootski
          From what I see in the pictures of the gun, box is in fair condition and the pistol looks very nice. Since I am not a collector, just as you understood, but only like the looks of the Webley I will pass on this one. Some training with the HW45 will make me forget…
          Thank you very much for your response.

          • Bill,

            I have my Izzy, a Baikal 46M. If you have never messed with one, it is a very accurate air pistol. They are used in entry level 10-meter competition. My Webleys see far more range time. As I have said, they are not very accurate.
            That is why I foolishly rid myself of my Tempest.

            Is your HW45 more accurate than a Webley. More than likely. Would I buy a Webley with a box. Probably not. The reason is I would be paying for a box. I have no need for a box. The truth is, I have no real need for a Webley, but I do like shooting them.

            Having said all that, I myself would likely buy that Webley. If it looks to be in good condition, that is a very good price, at least over on this side of the pond. If you take a look around, you will likely find a much better price for a nice Webley without the box. Something to remember is even if it looks a bit uncared-for, it will likely work just fine. If it needs parts to rebuild it, most are readily available.

            What can I say, I like them. I have a straight grip Senior, a Junior and a Service MK II rifle. I had a Tempest. I need to find another one. I would like to get my hands on a post-war Mark 1. I used to have one as a kid, but it disappeared over the years.

            As I said, I like them.

          • Bill,

            I’m glad you are a shooter…to many are collecting.
            I wince every time I see an aircraft mounted on a pedestal in front of some building; always reminds me of bug collectors using pins to mount their collected bugs!

            Shoot what you have until it or you can’t shoot anymore!


  3. BB
    Hope you had a memorable birthday. I have been away. Mine was extremely memorable. Started off with a Sheriff banging on my door… “You need to evacuate! … right now! The fire is heading this way!” No time to put on socks but I did grab my FX Independence by the door.
    A couple of days and 4,400 burned acres later ( Border Fire 32 ) I was able to return. All was well. Just missed me but I think it was talented Firemen. They get a lot of practice out here. Hence the number ’32’ after the fire.
    All of which are at the border with Mexico. Easy to figure out the cause for most. They usually start in the brush, where ‘Nobody’ lives and they never identify burned people caught in the brush.
    Need more fire proofing around the property for sure. Talk about stress. Neighborhood is now black and gray and the boulders are very obvious.
    Good part, those 4,400 acres will not burn again for some time to come. And our friendly neighbors from the South will seek other areas to cross over.


        • Look at Northern Oh. and NW Pa. We get all 4 seasons, not too much sun, rain, or snow, except just south of I-90 in the “snow belt” but still a lot less than other parts of the US. By the time people start complaining about the weather, it changes again! Only a rare tornado and tiny quakes once in a great while. And the nastiest critters we have are black widow and brown recluse spiders. No fire ants, rattlers, scorpions, sharks, or gators. Oh, and P.A. is close by!

      • I have looked at a lot of Webley pistols. There seem to be a very large crowd who are too lazy to move the barrel latch out of the way when they close them. Even BB’s new Senior has a small wear spot.

        • RR
          I guess the latch is spring loaded to hold latched when closed?

          Maybe people don’t think that it is suppose to be held open when latching the barrel.

          Is there anything mentioned in a owners manual?

    • Bob M,

      Glad you have a home after that ordeal!
      At the SkiShed out West I use one of these: https://flameengineering.com/collections/heavydutytorches/products/vt360svcombo to control the understory (you probably don’t have an understory weed/brush problem) scrub brush and Cottonwood in general. If you do it right after a rain you really don’t set fire to anything but rather just heat to the point the leaves wilt; most plants die off including the roots with one toasting. When it is dry and no rain is forecast and no wind I use a pressurized water tank and coiled hose with a vapor nozzle to knock down any spots I heat a little too much. I also carry an ancient tool (heavy dampened cotton canvas sheet) to beat out flames.
      But your situation might lend itself to a D-9 to just get those Fire Breaks cleared.


      • Shootski
        Might work around structures but a full time job for 3.3 acres.
        I have a big Ford Tractor with a box blade scraper but the ground is too hard. No real dirt just desert rock sand and hardpan below. Minerals that melt and reharden just below the surface after a rain. Like cement! Weeds and brush love it and you need a pick axe to dig into it. Haven’t seen grass in a few years.. it needs that wet stuff, rain I think they call it.

        Good part I can always tell where a pellet hit the ground by the dust cloud it leaves.
        Everything in life is a compromise. I’ll try it on a small scale.

        • Bob M,

          I guess I should have recommended the CAT D-11, Lol! You could probably get one for less with a busted blade system since it sounds like you just need the Ripper in the rear given your conditions.
          I think i know the kind of terrain you call home. I did dessert survival in that part of California before many folks started moving out/down there.
          Beautiful country as long as you know how quickly it can kill you and what to do to avoid the perils.


  4. Hi Tom,
    Sorry to post his here, but the e-mail that I have for you no longer works.
    While it is off topic you are a firearms expert.
    The pistol that did not work during the attempt on the VP of Argentina was a Argentine-made 32-caliber Bersa 380 pistol. My understanding is that this pistol has some rather unusual features. Wondering if you could/would explain them all?



    • Yogi

      I am by no means an expert,, but, I do happen to own and use an Argentine built Bersa in .380. I have used it as my carry piece for the last 20 years ( and it wasn’t close to new even then). I have probably fired in excess of a couple thousand rounds, mostly in the first four or five years that I owned it. I have yet to have a misfire or malfunction of any kind.

      It has been both reliable and accurate and I would recommend it to anyone. It doesn’t hold a great many rounds, but for it’s purpose, it has been ideal for me.


    • Yogi,
      Regarding the recent attempt on the life of the Argentinian VP, local police sources indicate that the 32 ACP Bersa pistol used was in good working conditions but that there was no cartridge in the chamber. Apparently he forgot to rack the slide. There were rounds in the magazine.
      Of course, with news of this nature, I wouldn’t be surprised if the story evolves with time.

  5. I have been waiting to see what the special features are. I have a .380 Bersa and it seems about as standard as can be. Mine has a place to insert a key to lock it, but I have no key and don’t care. It is a solid pistol, reasonably accurate and has never failed to function in 15 years and several boxes of ammo. No cheap stuff.

    It has been semi retired for most of those years…since I saw a bear. Moved up to m&p40 as hip pocket carry when out working. With current ammo, .380 would be ok for people problems. The lady was lucky the fellow wasn’t using my Bersa.

    • I am not an expert in any way, but I have an old Bersa 380 that I shot a few times, just for target practice. I would define the original model as loosely based on the Walther PP series, sharing general appearance, blowback operation and the return spring coiled around the barrel. The disassembly is slightly different. Originally it came in 22 LR, the most common in Argentina as any larger caliber requires proper paperwork, 32 ACP and 380 ACP. As far as I know they are very reliable as long as good quality ammo is used.
      There is a newer version in 9mm but I don’t know anything about it.

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