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Webley Senior spring-piston air pistol: Part Six

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

History of airguns

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers

  • The test
  • Start from a place of success
  • Second group
  • H&N Baracuda 18
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Summary

Today I shoot the Webley Senior to see how accurate it is with other pellets. This has been a Cinderella series with the gun going from not shooting pellets out the barrel to spot on for power and great for accuracy — for a vintage Webley Senior. And it all came from just the replacement of the breech seal!

We aren’t done with this pistol yet. Today I look at the accuracy with some different pellets but I also want to test the velocity one last time, now that the new breech seal has had a chance to seat in. That test won’t come today, so we have at least one more report coming.

The test

All shooting today was from 10 meters. I discovered in Part 5 that, after tightening the front barrel link (thanks shootski), this vintage pistol can really shoot, with the right pellets.

Start from a place of success

In Part 5 I discovered that this pistol really likes H&N Baracuda 15 pellets. It was shooting them low and a little left in the last report, so the first thing I did was see if there was any possibility for sight adjustment. And there was! I started with the screwdriver on a Swiss Army knife to loosen the rear sight screw, but I soon switched to a token that fit the screw slot much better. I didn’t want to bugger that slot more than it already has been.

There was rear sight leaf movement up and to the right, so I slid it that way and tightened the screw again. Now that the parts are assembled correctly (thanks hihihi) the sight leaf slides much smoother with no tilting as the screw is tightened.

Then I shot 5 Baracuda 15 pellets from a two-hand sandbag rest at a 10-meter pistol target. Five pellets made a group measuring 1.427-inches between centers. In Part 5 my best group with this pellet measured 0.951-inches, so this is definitely a good pellet for this pistol! Remember, these vintage Webleys are not really target pistols.

Webley Senior Baracuda 15 1
The first group of Baracuda 15s from the Webley Senior went into 1.427-inches at 10 meters.

The rear sight did move the pellets up but it also went too far to the right, so a second sight adjustment was made in an attempt to correct that.

Second group

The second group of Baracuda 15s measures 2.142-inches between centers, but shot five went up high. It wasn’t a called pull but the other 4 shots are in 0.903-inches, which is exactly where this pistol wants to shoot with this pellet. So far so good. This group is lower on the bull, but it is well-centered and I will take it. From this point on I left the sights adjusted where they were.

Webley Baracuda 15 2
The second group of Baracuda 15s measures 2.142-inches between centers, but the first four shots are in 0.903-inches, which is in keeping with the accuracy of the Senior pistol.

H&N Baracuda 18

If Baracuda 15s are good I thought I would try Baracuda 18s. Wow — what a difference they made! Five of them made a group measuring 2.962-inches between centers at 10 meters. The group is open and has nothing to recommend it, other than the fact that it’s centered on the bullseye, left and right.

Webley Senior Baracuda 18
This group of Baracuda 18s measures 2.962-inches between centers. There is nothing good about it.

Isn’t it interesting how the Baracuda 15s can be so good and the Baracuda 18s that seem so similar can be so different?  But it seems so similar. I guess small differences really do make a big difference. This is why we test different pellets.

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RWS Superdomes

The last pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome. It’s the lightest pellet of the test, though I don’t know how that would affect anything.

Five Superdomes went into a 2.163-inch group at 10 meters. It’s not small, but it is nicely centered and good enough for plinking.

Webley Senior Superdome
The Senior put five RWS Superdomes into a 2.163-inch group at 10 meters. It’s not the best, but it is nicely centered and good enough for plinking


Well, that’s my test of the Senior for today. The accuracy is better than I had hoped from the start. At this point I have found one good pellet. 

The next step will be to test the velocity again, now that the breech seal is broken in. I’m hoping to see a small increase. Stay tuned.

23 thoughts on “Webley Senior spring-piston air pistol: Part Six”

        • B.B.,

          Crosman had the .50 caliber Cap-Chur back in the late ’60’s but it was CO2 powered. Not much required to turn it into hpa.
          Currently Cap-Chur seems to be a stand-alone company and they power it with .22 blanks.

          aka, unusual shooter, Lol!

          • Cap-Chur still sells the CO2 powered long Range Projector that appears to be the same as the old Red’s Special. I’m assuming they are now using QB78s as the basis instead of the original Crosman 160s. PneuDart is using Benjamin Sheridan for their units.

      • The WHOLE point of this blog is to help the UNUSUAL shooter. Usual shooters use powder burners and think airguns are for kids…..

        It uses air, shoots a projectile, what is not to like?


        • Yogi,

          The whole point of this blog is NOT to help the unusual shooter. We have some of those as readers, I admit. The whole point of this blog is to help the AIR GUNNER. That means pellet, dart and BB guns. A tranquilizer gun is made to tranq animals for various purposes. Nobody I know has ever shot a tranq gun for accuracy or sport.


          • BB

            In Yogi’s defense, this is the only gun in the manufacturer’s line that shoots tranquilizers. The rest are all shooting .177, .22, .25 and .30 caliber pellets. Of course, it is up to a manufacturer to approach YOU about testing their wares, but it might be of use to you to toss them an inquiry.

            The other stuff in their line are all very similar to what is pictured (their Vulcan 1 is what that gun in the link actually is). I had not heard of Airgun Technology before. It is possible that they are tossing something unusual into the web to see if it gets them any attention. I have no idea if they deserve any.


          • With all due respect, I do not believe that anybody ever shaved with a straight razor for accuracy or sport either.
            It is a gun, it shoots air, I want to know more. Surprised other reader do not either?
            The tranquilliser dart gun better be accurate or you have a very angry lion, elephant, bear that is really pissed off!


          • B.B.,
            I recalled reading about so called “green hunts,” where the hunter uses a tranquilizer gun to immobilize and animal that needs to be relocated, or needs to get a tracking collar for scientific purposes. It took me a while to find the article:
            If they use an air-powered tranquilizer gun, that would indeed be a weird little side niche of airgun use.
            Blessings to you,

  1. BB,

    I wish the fix on my Junior was as simple. I guess I am going to have to break out the torch again for this sear issue. The replacement sear from Chambers was not quite right. I wish the one that came with the pistol had been hardened. Ah well.

    I am certainly glad to see that Senior up and running and also found THE pellet. I originally was disappointed with the Webley guns until I came to realize they were not match pistols and rifles. Once you grasp that, they are great.

    • RidgeRunner,

      No! No! No!
      “I wish the one that came with the pistol had been hardened. Ah well.”
      There is NO, “Ah well.” There is ONLY DO!
      At some point you may need to decide it is above your ken. Have a good metalsmith near you or a specialized blacksmith…knife/sword maker. You could call Dennis to see if he would make it.
      I hope you get the sear right on your very next try.


      • We were never not on speaking terms, Shootski. 🙂 FM is quite happy with the Whisky3; very good optics for tired eyes, and got it at a good price. What’s not to like? You helped enable me into it and for that, thanks!

    • Point of interest.
      My daughter took me on a tour of Hollywood when I visited her a while back and we drove through the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A lot of Stars are there.
      One grave caught my eye and I will never forget the words on that one in particular. It was Mel Blanc’s grave stone. The voice of many of our favorite cartoon characters, including Porky Pig and I thought it was undeniably appropriate … ” That’s All Folks ”
      Funny thing is I remember it being black with picture on it and belonging to Mel Brooks.
      So much for my Rememberer. 🙁

    • Shootski,

      Interesting blog. Seems that these days amateur product reviews (well filtered and seasoned with the appropriate amount of salt) are the best way to determine a product’s worth.

      Read a bunch of the comments (and I thought that I was “wordy” LOL) from different perspectives – some good points made. No easy answer.


      • Vana2,
        You are probably right about that Hank.
        Personally I prefer the Try Before You Buy method. That is difficult to have these days unless you live in a spot blessed with one of the few brick and mortar airgun shops; and an unusual one at that with a range for customers to try before purchasing!


  2. BB
    I was a bit surprised to find out you did not check the barrel for play until Shootski recommended it. I assumed you checked all the obvious possible causes first, like a loose barrel?
    Otherwise I would not have recommended turning this particular pistol upside down and holding the barrel in a vice to see if it was the cause of its inaccuracy.

    I usually check out every airgun that has a separate inner barrel for any play ( a pencil down the front of the barrel ) so I know right off not to expect too much accuracy and see if I can reduce it right of the bat. Usually with metal tape to reduce the play. I know this is not an inner barrel but it obviously has movement to some degree.
    Just about all the revolvers now have inner barrels that move back and forth to seat in the cylinder bore (spring loaded cones) so they need to be loose and some what sloppy, in the cone and at the end of the barrel.

    And it gets worse. When we were on the short barrel Webley Mk VI, I checked my long barrel out and found the barrel, cylinder and barrel pivoting half of the frame to be loose as well.
    Pulling the trigger forces a centering key up into the bottom of the cylinder to center it, well almost. But as it does so it actually pushes up on the cylinder and actually cocks it out of parallel with the barrel . Then as you continue to pull the trigger further back the entire outer barrel and pivoting frame is pushed up into the bottom of the top latch that secures it. It has the rear sight incorporated in it and automatically changes the sight alignment dropping the front barrel / sight so fast you never see it happen.
    Just pull the trigger very slow and watch it all happen.
    Not positive now but I think the cylinder actually moved to one side as well as side play in the cylinder aloud it to pushed over.

    I’m not too critical of these factors. You obviously need to compromise the airguns design to achieve a working replica without the use of real ammunition. Just nice to know information.

    I found the same thing with the M11 pistol and the Mosin Nagant air rifle even though that one did not move it was very loose inside.

    On a last thought. If all that movement and play turns out to be consistently the same for each shot it may not mater if the sights are adjusted to compensate for it. There is hope !

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