Ever a fan of military-looking air rifles, the Webley Spector caught my eye. It’s black, tactical-looking, and better still, a break-barrel springer and not a Co2 plinker as they normally are. It’s also exceptionally good value for money, but it has a lot more going for it other than being a black, cheap boinger.
The stock is ambidextrous. Well, I say ‘stock’ – the Spector is a very AR’ish, black rifle-type gun, so it has a pistol grip. The steel action is covered in a polymer chassis designed to mimic a tactical firearm. As well as looking good, it gives the stock another advantage; it’s more hard-wearing than a wooden version. It is a bit short, pull-length wise, at 361mm, and the ambidextrous cheek piece is a little low for a gun that only uses optical sights. The stock in front of the faux magazine well is fashioned to resemble the front rails of an AR fitted with grip Picatinny rail add-ons, and I like the look and feel of it. The rear of the stock is made to look like an adjustable AR stock, but it is not adjustable. The thin 4mm web at the back is ideal for drilling a hole to fit a rear sling swivel, and a front swivel can be clamped around the barrel. The action is a breakbarrel, spring-powered air rifle of classic layout. It has a solid steel 10x8mm cocking arm, and ‘solid’ is the word I would use for the build of the Spector.
PLENTY OF POWER
Over the chronograph, with 14.5grain pellets, it ran in at 560 fps or 10.7ft.lbs. Webley call it their ‘VMX power system’ in the blurb, but is has Powr-Lok on the steel action – either way, it works. It also has SR and OS after the Webley Spector name. I presume the ‘OS’ stands for OverSize, relating to the truly huge moderator the Spector is blessed with, and the ‘SR’ must mean Spring Rifle.
The rifled steel barrel sits inside a 26.8mm diameter outer sleeve, and the barrel ends 170mm back from the end of the moderator, which has a 10.8mm exit hole. Webley have a name for this system too, the ‘Quantum©’. They have done all they can to eliminate
all sound generated by the pellet exiting the barrel, but it does not have any effect on the noise generated by the power plant. The Quantum© Oversleeved Silencer design works by using the first chamber to back reflex excess air form behind the pellet into the cavity and silencer wall. This slows down the air without the loss of power, which in turn, reduces the sound. The remaining chambers incorporate extra baffles and two acoustic felt cages to absorb any build-up of pressure whilst the pellet travels through the silencer. The spring decompressing and moving the piston forward inside the action, generates its own noises, and this is a greater noise in any spring-powered airgun than the pellet exiting the barrel. Hunters also know that the loudest sound can be the smack of the pellet hitting the quarry. Anyhoo, it does look good with a big rack-off moderator.
The trigger blade is pressed steel and has a very pronounced curve, and it seems a tad out of place to me and doesn’t resemble a firearm trigger at all. The safety catch is situated at the very rear of the action and, as such, is ambidextrous. It pops out upon cocking the rifle, to set the catch on ‘safe’; the Spector also has an anti-bear trap mechanism. The safety catch is pushed back into the action to move it to the ‘fire’ position. This also shows a red dot on each side of the rifle. The safety can be reset at any time.
The trigger pull measures in at 2kg and is two stage-ish in operation. You don’t get true, two-stage triggers on springpowered airguns these days. It has a massive initial travel on a light spring, but the final stage is short, and the blade slides back into a hole in the stock to a point where the finger pad almost touches the rear section of the stock. It is still useable and predictable so will serve you well.
I fitted an AGS scope that looked as if it would sit well on an AR. The scope is a fixed, six times magnification, with an illuminated mil-dot reticle. Its sight even came with an 11mm airgun clamp, or a Picatinny/Weaver clamp. I had to take the scope arrestor plate off the 142mm long scope rail to get the correct eye relief. The plate has two possible positions and fitting it to either does shorten the rail a bit, but I could fit a pin to the underside of the AGS sight clamping system to locate into one of the threaded holes for the arrestor, so this will work just as well.
The Spector was a good ‘shooter’ at the range, and I’d have no problem using it to shoot feral pigeons and rats, so it’s a cool and very cheap springer. Its ‘modern firearm’ look belies its power, and usefulness as a pest control tool. It’s not just a plinker because it looks like one. Nice job, Webley!
Many thanks to John and Bevin for the help in production of this article. I
Tim loves these military-looking guns.
The Webley Spector fitted with a 6x AGS scope.
The recoil arrestor plate in its rear setting.
The safety catch set to shoot - showing the red dot.
The faux magazine well makes a fantastic platform on which to rest the front supporting hand.
The breech face carries the ‘O’ ring seal.