The editor gets to grips with a modern incarnation of a true classic
The editor puts the modern version of the Webley Typhoon through its paces and has fun at the same time
The Webley & Scott Typhoon used to be the big brother of the Tempest, sharing a great deal in common, apart from the sights and a slightly longer barrel. Today, it’s a completely different pistol, sharing nothing but the name. The modern Typhoon is a conventional break-barrel, spring-piston gun, but with a few tricks up its sleeve. It has the look of a large, high-power springer, but when I handled it, it wasn’t as big as I thought. Like many pistols of this kind, it’s naturally top heavy, a condition that’s exacerbated if you add a scope or red- dot sight. This is made more pronounced by the fact that the pistol grip is quite small and slender.
Like many modern pistols, the grip is made from a tough, synthetic material that’s impervious to water and mud, so all it needs after a wet day’s shooting is a quick wipe off. Of course, the blued steel still needs proper drying and oiling to prevent corrosion. To ease the cocking effort, a slide- on barrel extension is included that increases the leverage of the barrel, and this can be left on as you shoot, which is what I did. I didn’t see any downside to it remaining in place, and perhaps it might even steady the muzzle a touch. The front sight element is spring-loaded, so that if you press on it whilst cocking the pistol, it sinks down inside the housing so that it doesn’t dig into your skin - a neat trick that’s been incorporated.
The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation and sits well back on the action. This makes for a long (14”) sight base, which is a great help to accuracy. There are also dovetails machined into the top of the action to accept scopes or red- dot
“The pellets weigh 8.18 grains in .177 which means that the Typhoon was making 5.7 ft.lbs! No wonder it’s lively”
sights of your choice. I find this is the best way to get the most from the accuracy, but at the expense of handling and extra weight.
The grip is slender, as mentioned, and ambidextrous, above which we find the unusual safety. It’s a flat tab that slides from one side to the other through the action, and is set to fire when it protrudes to the left. It can be disengaged with the trigger finger whilst on aim, but it’s a bit of a wriggle to get to without changing your grip, so it’s best to disengage it before taking final aim.
The Typhoon’s real party piece is its recoil absorption system. The action slides along the grip assembly as it drives backward on firing, so you feel less of the rearward motion. Inside the assembly, a large spring is stretched by the recoil and presses the action forward after the shot is fired. The firing cycle is very quick and clean, and to be honest, it’s hard to tell the effect that the recoil absorption is having. That being said, it does feel pleasant to shoot, which might be a good enough recommendation in itself.
The trigger’s action is single-stage and quite wooden. The blade moves very little, exhibiting almost no creep at all, and this is far from what I’m used to, so it took a little time to adjust to its action. However, now I’m used to it, I don’t notice it at all and I quite like it. It’s a lively gun in your hands and, from the very first shot, I noticed that it was ringing my steel pellet catcher pretty loudly. I kept shooting to let the gun settle down and for the dieseling to reduce. Plenty of smoke was blowing around my range after every shot, but it soon began to die down. Once it had, I went into my workshop and chronographed it with an interesting pellet from Webley - a VMXPel that has an ‘Aero-Dome’ head. This is a very shallow roundhead that’s half way to being a wadcutter. They felt a good fit in the Typhoon’s rifling and gave decent accuracy as well. Average velocity over 30 shots was 560 fps varying 15 fps. The pellets weigh 8.18 grains in .177 which means that the Typhoon was making 5.7 ft.lbs. No wonder it’s lively! This makes it one of the most powerful pistols you can buy.
During accuracy testing, I realised that my two-handed combat hold was causing inaccuracy. This is because my thumbs were resting against the side of the moving slide, which then changed the recoil pattern from shot to shot. Once I realised my mistake, my groups improved immediately. This is a great plinker and tons of fun to use, so if you’re looking for a pistol with plenty of wallop, you might have just found it.
This time my twohanded combat hold worked against me
It’s a stiff pistol to cock, but there’s a good reason for that
It’s not as big a pistol as it first looks
The safety slides through the action
This cocking aid comes with the gun and is very welcome