Webley Alecto – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Webley Alecto

Well, today’s the special fourth report that I promised you. Last time, I said I wanted to try the pistol with hunting pellets on maximum power because of the showing I got with Beeman Kodiaks on three pumps. That’s what today is all about.

Again, I’ll tell you that these are 5-shot groups simply because the Alecto is so darned hard to pump 3 times. Ten-shot groups would have worn me out.

The trigger is the biggest drawback to this pistol. It’s a single-stage pull that doesn’t work for accurate shooting. The stage is heavy, long and creepy with an indistinct release. If the pistol had a better trigger, I think I could have done better with it. It needs a nice crisp two-stage trigger.

Accuracy test
I tested the gun supported from 10 meters. I used a two-hand hold, which is uncharacteristic for me, but necessary with the Alecto because the pumping effort left my shooting arm weak. My forearms rested on the bag, and the pistol was held by only my hands. It touched nothing else.

I changed the lighting during the test, so a couple pellets were shot a second time to ensure they got every chance to excel with the new lighting. The first arrangement of the light was obscuring the left side of the rear sight, so I moved it for a clearer sight picture.

Beeman Kodiak HP
The first pellet tested was the Beeman Kodiak HP, a new hollowpoint pellet. In .177 caliber, this lead pellet weighs 10.34 grains. In the Alecto, they were all over the place, grouping larger than two inches at 10 meters, so I cannot recommend them for this gun.

JSB Exact 10.2-grain dome
The JSB Exact 10.2-grain dome was pretty accurate in the Alecto. Because I changed the downrange lighting, I tested this pellet twice. Once I got a group about .75 inches for 5 and the second time the group was just over an inch. That seems like consistent performance to me.

This is the better target for the JSB Exacts. The group is just smaller than .75 inches.

Crosman Premier heavy
Next, I tried Crosman Premier 10.5-grain pellets. They grouped about as good as the JSBs.

Crosman Premier heavy pellets made this one-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS Supermags
Someone suggested that I test the RWS Supermag pellet in the Alecto, because, at 9.3 grains, they have the dual advantage of weight and the wadcutter shape that hunters like for close shots. When I shot them, they produced a teaser group in which 4 shots are in a tight cluster of just over a half-inch, but the fifth shot opens the group to double the size. I would say that you should put Supermags on your short list of pellets to try.

What a tease! Four RWS Supermags went into such a tight group, then one opened it to twice the size.

Air Arms Diabolo Field dome
Talk about teasing, the Air Arms Diabolo Field dome pellets did exactly the same thing. Four shots in just over a half inch then one stray that more than doubled the group. These should be on your list to try, as well.

More teasing. Air Arms Diabolo Field domes made this tantalizing group.

H&N hollowpoint pellet
The best showing with the Webley Alecto came with the new H&N hollowpoint pellet. At just 7.1 grains, this pellet is light and fast. In the Alecto, it’s the best pellet I tried. The 5-shot group is just over six-tenths of an inch in size, and I didn’t do anything different. I shot a second group just to be sure. While it was a little larger, it wasn’t more than three-quarters of an inch. That’s superior performance from this new hollowpoint.

Best group of the session came from the H&N hollowpoint.

Bottom line
It was well worth a second look at the accuracy of the Webley Alecto. We know it’s useful both for target work and hunting. Three pumps is hard work, but this pistol can deliver the results many airgun hunters have been waiting for.

Webley Alecto – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Webley Alecto

Well, I think we have another classic air pistol on our hands. Today, I’ll test the accuracy of the Webley Alecto — and I’m impressed with it.

I realize it’s been a long time since the first two parts of this report, but you can use the links to go back and read what I learned. The Alecto seems very robust. I would have no problem accepting it into my collection.

Because the gun can be shot with a single pump, as well as two and even three pumps, I had to test it differently than any other air pistol. And, I shot 5-shot groups instead of 10-shot groups, just because the pumping made each shot take so long to prepare.

I shot at 10 meters and used a rest because I don’t have the arm strength yet to shoot this pistol one-handed. I experimented with different holds and lighting, and discovered something very interesting about the pistol. It is most accurate when shooting wadcutters on just one pump. When you pump it more than once with target pellets, the shot group opens up dramatically.

I expect this is due to the gun needing a new holding technique for two and three pumps, just because of the dynamics of the powerplant. On one pump, it acts just like a single-stroke pneumatic; but on two and three pumps, it acts like a multi-pump pistol. There’s recoil and movement to contend with.

One pump
Like I said, the pistol acts like a single-stroke on one pump of air. In fact, it’s even easier to pump than either the Beeman P3/P17 or the Gamo Compact.

The first pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Pistol. When fired by a single-stroke, they turned in a 5-shot group that looks like it was shot by a target pistol.

On a single pump, the Alecto shot H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets like a 10-meter gun.

Next, I tried RWS R10 pellets, which I assumed would shoot just as well. However, they did not. Even though my hold was just as good as before, the R10s opened up.

RWS R10 pellets scattered more with the same tight hold on one pump.

Two pumps
On two pumps, the H&N Target pellets opened up quite a bit. I didn’t believe it, so I shot several groups. The one below is representative of what happened.

On two pumps, H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets opened up.

The R10 pellets also opened up on two pumps, though not quite as much as the H&Ns. If this were a firearm handled, I would think the bullet was going too fast for good accuracy.

RWS R10 pellets also opened up on two pumps

Three pumps
I didn’t try RWS R10s on three pumps, but I did try H&N Match with three. They opened even more to my surprise.

On three pumps, the group with H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets was quite large, if the one hole at the bottom is considered.

Following the three-pump target, I shot another one-pump target with H&N pellets and got essentially the same group I showed before with one pump. So, the gun really likes a single pump, but with wadcutters it doesn’t seem to like more than one.

Then, I remembered that I’d promised one of our readers that I would also shoot the gun with Beeman Kodiaks. It’s a powerful air pistol, after all. I decided to go straight to three pumps for this, as the Kodiak is a very heavy pellet.

Beeman Kodiak Extra Heavy pellets look promising on three pumps.

And the results tell me that we need a part 4 to this test. I need to test this pistol with other domed hunting pellets to see what kind of accuracy potential there is on three pumps.

I must remark that one pump is very easy with the Alecto. Two pumps begin to get hard and three pumps is a real strain for me right now. But, if I were a hunter, I guess I would do whatever it took to get the job done. The pistol certainly wants to do its part.

The Webley Alecto – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Webley Alecto

Well, Mac and I will arrive in Roanoke this evening. Tomorrow, we plan to go to the civic center and help set up for the show.

Today, we’re looking at the new Webley Alecto multi-pump pneumatic air pistol, and it promises to be one of the most powerful non-PCP air pistols to ever come along. As I mentioned in Part 1, this gun is for grown men who eat their Wheaties. The first pump is relatively easy, pump two is not too difficult but pump three is a real bear! I like this gun because of all the flexibility it gives the shooter, but I don’t want to hear how it’s too hard to pump. So, I’m giving you fair warning.

Edith holds the Webley Alecto. You can see the size, relative to her medium-sized hand. The grip does fit her though.

Since it’s possible to shoot the gun on one, two or three pumps, that’s how I conducted the test. I picked three pellets, a lightweight one, a medium-weight one and a heavyweight. I shot them repeatedly at one, two and three pumps to get the averages. You need to know that multi-pump pneumatics are among the most well-regulated of all airguns. And single-strokes are at the absolute top. Single strokes will often be more consistent than regulated PCPs, which is hard to imagine but true, nevertheless.

So lets take a look at the Alecto as it performs. First, we’ll look at a single pump.

Alecto on one pump
The first pellets I tried were RWS Hobbys. And I discovered that on one pump, the Alecto is extremely stable –just like a single-stroke pneumatic. The Hobbys averaged 422 f.p.s. and ranged from 421 to 423 f.p.s. That’s an average energy of 2.77 foot-pounds.

Air Arms domes were next with a weight of 8.4 grains. They represent the middle of the .177 caliber weight range. On a single pump, they averaged 390 f.p.s. with a spread from 389 to 391 f.p.s. Once again, a tight spread! That works out to an average energy of 2.84 foot-pounds.

Beeman Kodiaks were last. Though they aren’t the absolutely heaviest pellets around, they do represent the heavyweight range quite well. They averaged 353 f.p.s., with a total spread from 352 to 354 f.p.s. Like I said, the Alecto is like a single-stroke on one pump. The average muzzle energy is 2.82 foot-pounds.

I also discovered that as you shoot the Alecto, it wakes up and shoots harder. That was demonstrated on two pumps.

Alecto on two pumps
RWS Hobbys averaged 556 f.p.s., but the spread went from 546 to 562. The average energy was 4.81 foot-pounds. The second pump is fairly easy to make as long as the gun’s butt is anchored on your leg.

Air Arms domes averaged 523 f.p.s. The spread was much tighter, from 519 to 525 f.p.s., and the average muzzle energy was 5.1 foot-pounds. The sleeping tiger is awakening!

Beeman Kodiaks averaged 483 f.p.s. with a spread from, 482 to 484 f.p.s. That’s as tight as the same pellet on one pump. The average muzzle energy was 5.29 foot-pounds. We’re getting into Beeman P1 territory on two pumps.

Now, it’s time to test the gun on three pump strokes. I had to anchor the butt in my lap and push down on the topstrap with more than just my arm strength to close it.

Alecto on three pumps
RWS Hobbys averaged 630 f.p.s., with a spread from 618 to 634 f.p.s. The average energy was 6.17 foot-pounds. We have surpassed the P1 and are bearing down on the Browning 800 Magnum.

Air Arms domes averaged 596 f.p.s.. The spread went from 584 to 598 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 6.63 foot-pounds. The gun is really screaming now.

With Beeman Kodiaks, the average was 556 f.p.s. The spread went from 542 to 559 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 7 foot-pounds, even!

Through this all, the two-stage trigger was light but mushy. The first stage is deceptively heavy, but stage two has a definite stop before breaking. This one breaks at 2 lbs. exactly and nearly all of that is in stage one. So, don’t go horsing the trigger until you learn it.

The more I shoot the Alecto, the better I like it. Here’s an air pistol that goes from 2.77 foot-pounds to 7 foot-pounds, which is a broad spectrum of power to offer. And, I get the feeling that it’s going to be very accurate, too. We’ll see!

Webley Alecto – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Webley Alecto

The Webley Alecto is a HUGE air pistol. If you think a Desert Eagle is large, then this one is just as large. It’s not as heavy as the Desert Eagle firearm, but at 2 lbs., 6 oz., it’s no lightweight. However, the weight seems less because of the size of the gun. The all-synthetic frame and topstrap spread out to cover more acreage than the weight implies.

And this is a multi-pump pneumatic. It works via an overlever pump, so I think you can forget about putting a dot sight or scope on it. You need the top of the topstrap to pump with. I have not yet recovered my strength, but I can say that this pistol is for adults, only, and those who can manage a heavy workload. It is a bear to pump the three strokes needed for maximum power. I will estimate that it takes at least 35 lbs. of effort, which is a lot for a close-coupled gun.

The topstrap lifts up and forward to pump the gun.

One pump is possible
You can treat this pistol as a single-stroke if you like. Simply pull up on the latches on both sides of the rear of the topstrap, and the topstrap lifts up easily. One pump is relatively easy and feels even easier than pumping the Beeman P3 or Beeman P17 single-strokes. Pump two is only slightly harder than the first pump, but pump three requires a lot of strength. The Alecto becomes the pistol equivalent of the old Webley Patriot rifle on the third pump stroke.

Maybe it’s not so big after all
Oh, the pistol is large, make no mistake about that. But the grip is sculpted for average to large hands, so it doesn’t necessarily hold like a big gun. And the adjustable palm shelf allows each shooter to adjust the grip to his own hand. That’s a target gun feature that I like a lot on an accurate gun.

But is the Alecto accurate?
Well, the manufacturer certainly thinks so, which is why they supply each pistol with a test target that also has a short chronograph ticket attached. So no whining about poor accuracy or weak power when the proof is delivered with the gun. If the test pistol really shoots as well as the test target demonstrates, it’s almost a 10-meter pistol.

Each gun comes with a factory target.

The chrono ticket shows an average velocity for this .177 pistol of 197 meters/second, which works out to just over 646 f.p.s. Unfortunately, no information is given about the pellet used to test the gun, so we’ll have to wait for my velocity test to get the real data. Plus, I’ll test the gun with one, two and three pump strokes for all pellets.

Sight options
In a move back to the 19th century, Webley gives the Alecto a front sight that can be flipped for a different sight picture. The lower sight blade is supposedly zeroed for 25 meters if the gun is zeroed at 10 meters with the higher blade. To swap blades, just push the sight blade forward and it rotates down, bringing the other blade up. Such innovation hasn’t been seen since the Beach sights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I like things like this, because they give the shooter a choice of sights, and I’m all about choices.

The front sight flips for a long-range or close-range post.

Very adjustable
The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation. Speaking about adjustability, the trigger blade can be adjusted left and right, forward and back, for the length of pull and for trigger return spring strength.

When the gun is pumped the first time, the safety bar flips back, which prevents the trigger from firing the gun. Push it forward out of the way and the trigger is free to fire the gun.

Nice presentation
The gun comes inside a cushioned hard case. It’s packed with the Torx adjustment tool for the trigger, a bore brush, the manual, test target and a small bottle of silicone oil for use in maintenance that is documented in the manual. It’s a pleasingly complete kit.

The Alecto comes in an attractive hard case with all the equipment you need to shoot.

First impression
I’m impressed. Yes, this is an expensive pellet pistol, but if you look at all it offers it really isn’t out of line. It’s more powerful than the Beeman P1 and potentially just as accurate, yet for less money. Whether it’s worth the money is an individual choice, but if you’re an air pistol shooter who likes power and accuracy, I’d put this one on your short list.