Fol­low-up Test

The editor gets to grips with the fol­low-up test of the We­b­ley En4cer

Airgun World - - Contents -

The editor still hates the name, but loves the We­b­ley En4cer

Ihad all sorts of clever plans for this sec­ond test of the We­b­ley En4cer, mostly in­volv­ing leav­ing it with my fa­ther, so he could shoot the rats that were in­vad­ing his hen­house, then give me a full re­port on it. As it turned out, dad’s mates rocked up with their ter­ri­ers and smoke ma­chines and cleared the rats in a morn­ing. He still did a bit of test­ing for me, al­though his 28-yard zero range was never go­ing to push the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of this ri­fle.

Dad’s ver­dict was as di­rect and down-toearth as he is; ‘a man shouldn’t miss much with that gun. If the cross-hairs are on it, that’s the end of it.’ Dad told me he’d been hit­ting some of his home grown tiny toma­toes that had split, some of which are less than an inch in di­am­e­ter, and in my dad’s world, that’s per­fect ac­cu­racy. More im­por­tantly, at the age of 86, he could reload the We­b­ley’s multi-shot mag­a­zine and charge the ri­fle with air, so ‘easy to use’ is an­other box he ticked for me.

GET­TING A HAN­DLE ON IT

Once I’d re­claimed the En4cer 12 – I still hate that name, by the way – I set aside a four-hour in­ten­sive shoot­ing ses­sion, notebook at the ready, to dis­till what I’ve learned about this ri­fle, so I can best ad­vise those who are think­ing of buy­ing one.

Here’s a mas­sively im­por­tant tip; learn to man­age that gun case. Yes, re­ally. First, never try to pick up the case with­out both sec­tions of the han­dle in your hand. If you do, that sin­gle sec­tion could let go and you’ll drop the case. Sec­ond, the latches WILL de­tach them­selves oc­ca­sion­ally, but this is no big deal be­cause they sim­ply snap back on. The case does its job per­fectly well, but you need to be aware of its ‘pe­cu­liar­i­ties’.

GET AN­OTHER HAN­DLE ON IT

Speak­ing of han­dles, that in­ge­nious, fore end mounted, ver­ti­cal grip that turns into a bi­pod, is a top ad­di­tion to this ri­fle’s fea­tures line-up. The more I used the En4cer, the more I came to rely on the drop-down grip. Grip­ping this in­stead of a con­ven­tional fore end con­sid­er­ably re­duced the ten­sion in my left wrist and made that four-hour ses­sion far more com­fort­able. That could well be pe­cu­liar to me, though, due to a bro­ken wrist and arm in a fish­ing ac­ci­dent (I broke the other arm, too, within weeks, and in an­other fish­ing ac­ci­dent; ask me about it when you see me at a show – it’s quite a story). Oth­ers ap­proved of the grip, so it’s cer­tainly worth giv­ing it a chance to im­press you.

BI­POD

The grip’s func­tion as an ex­tend­able bi­pod is also use­ful and I used it ex­ten­sively dur­ing bench tests. A spinal fu­sion pre­vents me from shoot­ing prone – I’m a bit of a med­i­cal wreck, re­ally – but again, a cou­ple of shoot­ing mates tried the We­b­ley in that stance and were im­pressed with it. My only real crit­i­cism of the grip-bi­pod, is that it’s a bit of a faff to fit it to the Pi­catinny mount on the un­der­side of the fore end. Oth­er­wise, this has to be one of the most use­ful ‘ex­tras’ I’ve seen on any ri­fle.

GEN­ERAL FUNC­TION AND FEA­TURES

An in­ten­sive ses­sion def­i­nitely flags up any­thing ma­jor in the han­dling and us­abil­ity depart­ment, and on the com­mend­able side, I found the En4cer 12’s ba­sic func­tions ef­fi­cient, easy and de­pend­able. The sidelever ac­tion cy­cled fault­lessly, and like my dad, I found reload­ing the mag­a­zines about as straight­for­ward as it could be.

The ad­justable butt sec­tion is def­i­nitely a stand­out fea­ture, and as I said in my test last month, it’s some­thing that needs time and prac­tice to ex­ploit to its full po­ten­tial. I’m sure, given the fact that the ri­fle’s pull-length can be al­tered at the press of a catch, that retro-fit­ting an ad­justable butt pad sys­tem wouldn’t be too much of a hard­ship. I’d go for it, no doubt

about it, and the over­all per­for­mance of the En4cer makes this a worth­while in­vest­ment.

CON­SIS­TENCY

My ini­tial tests showed a shot-to-shot vari­a­tion of 18 f.p.s. over 50 shots, which even­tu­ally set­tled to 15 f.p.s. That’s mi­grated slightly back to 17 f.p.s., but my best group sizes have re­duced slightly, too, and at 40 yards I put in sev­eral 5-shot clus­ters of 16mm in di­am­e­ter. In real-world terms, these shifts make not one jot of dif­fer­ence, of course, but in our heads they mat­ter enough to calm or un­set­tle us. Here’s my rem­edy for this af­flic­tion.

GET MAP­PING

Set out pa­per tar­gets from 5 yards to 45, and shoot your way up and down them through­out the ri­fle’s charge, map­ping those aim points at each range and not­ing how many shots you’ve taken. Even­tu­ally, you’ll no­tice the pel­lets drop­ping from the point of aim on the longer tar­gets, so that’s your us­able shot count es­tab­lished, along with where to aim for all the ranges you’ll need in the field.

Now, try the same ex­er­cise, but this time recharge af­ter 50 shots. Per­son­ally, I al­ways recharge my ri­fles be­fore I shoot them, es­pe­cially if I’m go­ing hunt­ing. I shoot ex­ten­sively, but it’s a rare ses­sion, in­deed, when I need more than 50 shots. En4cer 12 own­ers will find that even the ini­tial 18 f.p.s. shot-to-shot vari­a­tion I found dur­ing that first test will make no dis­cern­able dif­fer­ence to where those pel­lets land at the ranges needed to put ver­min in the bag with a sub-12 ri­fle.

FI­NAL AD­VICE

Just make sure you get those stock ad­just­ments per­fect, find the ideal pel­let, map your aim points and learn them, and the We­b­ley En4cer 12 will serve you well. Its text-speak name might an­noy me, but it’s per­for­mance and value for money that counts – and those come as stan­dard with this ri­fle.

This ri­fle will do a proper job in the hunt­ing field, have no doubts about that.

The We­b­ley En4cer 12. Silly name se­ri­ously im­pres­sive ri­fle.

I’m a big fan of this add-on, as a grip and as a bi­pod.

Tweak it un­til per­fect, and make sure the ad­just­ments you make don’t need re­fine­ment.

Reload­ing the En4cer’s mag­a­zine pre­sented no prob­lems to my dad, and you’ll find it easy, too.

I’d fit an ad­justable pad to that rub­ber butt plate, but the cheek­piece ad­just­ment is just the job.

This is the ONLY way to lift the En4cer’s case.

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