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Education / Training Webley Mark II Service: Part 3

Webley Mark II Service: Part 3


Webley Mark II Service
Webley Mark II Service.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The problem
  • Trim the seal
  • Shim the old seal
  • Hole punch
  • Refit the old seal and shim
  • Does it work?

I started this series when I was attending the 2023 Pyramyd Air Cup in Ohio several weeks ago. I published Part 2 on my birthday, which was the day after I returned from that trip. I laid off for a couple weeks but I do intend finishing this series, which is a repeat from the same series that was published back in 2016. Don’t be confused by that. The next words you read are from 2016.

It’s been a while since we looked at the Mark II Service air rifle, and I thought it was time to take another look. You will recall in Part 2 I tested the velocity and found the rifle was shooting very slow. There was also a large puff of air at the breech that told me the breech seal needed to be replaced. I ordered one from the UK that took 3 weeks to arrive. When it got here I discovered it had to be sized to fit the breech. That has been shoving the report to the back burner, week after week, until I decided to do something about it.

The problem

Let me show you what I’m up against.

Webley Service breech seals
The old breech seal (left) is both smaller and thinner than the new one.

Webley Service breech
The breech seal goes into the space in the breech (arrow).

To gain access to the breech I removed the barrel. Thank goodness that is easy to do. Now there is a straight, clear line to the breech.

Trim the seal

The new seal needs to be trimmed to fit into the breech. There are several ways to resize fiber seals. You can trim them with a razor knife, which I did Friday, or you can chuck them in a drill and turn them against a file. That would be the better way, because it is more precise.

Webley Service seal trim
I trimmed the edge of the new seal with a razor knife. It still does not fit.

So I spent a couple hours this past Friday and Saturday working on the seal. I didn’t get it small enough to fit, but then it dawned on me that this was the perfect opportunity to show you a field fix that’s based on redneck engineering. Instead of rushing the seal trimming, I could repair the old seal and probably restore the rifle’s power another way. If that is successful, I can take my time and trim the new seal properly.

Shim the old seal

The trick is to shim the old seal. It really doesn’t matter what sort of shim material I use because this shim will only be temporary. I used a paper business card. I held the card under the old seal and trimmed around the edges with a small scissors. But there is still the hole to make in the center of the shim.

Now it was time to see if my redneck fix worked. The shim went into the breech first and fit well, then the old seal was pressed down over the transfer port pipe. It fit perfectly.

Webley Service breech seal
The shim is trimmed to fit and the center hole has been punched out. It’s ready to go.

Hole punch

I used a small hole punch to make the shim’s center hole. The one I used is close enough to the size of the transfer port pipe in the breech that the shim fit over it snuggly. Then the old breech seal fit over the pipe and stood proud of the breech — the way a new seal will.

Build a Custom Airgun

Refit the old seal and shim

Now it was time to see if my redneck fix worked. The shim went into the breech first and fit well, then the old seal was pressed down over the transfer port pipe. It fit perfectly.

Webley Service breech seal installed
The shimmed breech seal is installed. It stands proud of the breech and should seal better.

There’s just one way to know is the shimmed breech seal works — by shooting the gun. I will save that test for next time.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

9 thoughts on “Webley Mark II Service: Part 3”

  1. BB

    Off subject. When you did the final accuracy tests on your .22 caliber Dragonfly Mk2 was the barrel free floating or had you replaced the front sight muzzle cap assembly? I think you kept this rifle so the easy answer may be to just take a look at it.

    Thanks,
    Deck

  2. “Shoot off”
    I, for one, would love to see RidgeRunner do a shoot off: shoot a group with his Webley Service rifle, and then shoot another group with his 1906 BSA. It would be interesting to see how those ol’ gals stack up against one another. 😉

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