TIM FIN­LEY

WE­B­LEY SPEC­TOR

Airgun World - - Contents -

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.

CURVY SHAPE!

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.

OP­TIC UP­GRADE

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.

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