A FIRST LOVE REKINDLED Tim Finley finds and refurbishes his long-lost Webley Tempest
Ibought my Webley Tempest air pistol just two years after it came out, and with my first wage packet, no less. That was in October 1982; roll forward to 2010 and I turned my mum and dad’s house upside down to try to find it, but as hard as I looked I couldn’t find it. I thought I had lost it and was most distraught. Roll further forward to 2016, and Mike Bunn, my best friend from school, showed up with my Tempest. I had totally forgotten that I had given it to him back in 1995 result or what! What was not so good was the state it was in. I’d made wooden grips for it back in the 1990s, but they were long gone and had been replaced by standard, black plastic ones. The plastic fore end cover was gone – I’d snapped that in half, way back in the day myself. The front pin attaching the barrel to the cocking linkage had snapped at some point and Mike had replaced it with a bent-over nail - he is a college lecturer, NOT an engineer, which was clear – and the dangerous end of the nail had worn the paint away from the body. The front long cocking link was worn away and the spring to keep the links flat was broken – and were just the mechanical issues that I could see.
Next were the cosmetic issues; the barrel had red rust patches along the top, and the rear sight and its screws were also a red rusty mess. There were grinding, or file marks on the rear of the action, which took the black surface finish off right down to the shiny base aluminium. There were three bare patches of alloy, one on the front frame and two on the barrel latch plunger housing – not to mention a large slice that had been taken
My old Webley Tempest.
The nail in place of the front pin caused a lot of damage. The parts ready to put my old gun back together. The barrel is marked 5.6 CAL, showing that it’s old.
The old and new springs.