A CLAS­SIC WE­B­LEY Tim Fin­ley is pleased to find the We­b­ley Raider Clas­sic lives up to its name

Airgun World - - Top-value Guns -

aider’ is a well-known We­b­ley name, and the lat­est ri­fle to bear it is a cracker. This up-to-date ver­sion, the Clas­sic, has all of the fea­tures that a clas­sic PCP should have, in­clud­ing a built-in pres­sure gauge on the un­der­side and a quick-fill sys­tem to fill it up. Its main­frame is ca­pa­ble of mul­ti­ple or sin­gle shots, guarded by a man­ual safety catch, and it comes ready-threaded for a mod­er­a­tor or muz­zle brake. All these fea­tures and more are im­pres­sive in such an af­ford­able sported, but it’s the lit­tle de­sign touches that set the Raider Clas­sic apart.

AC­TION POINTS

Let’s start with the ac­tion. It’s a sturdy, solid chunk of air­craft grade alu­minium. Ma­chined across the top is a scope rail, but not a nor­mal one be­cause there are two spec­i­fi­ca­tions of scope rails avail­able; a 20mm Pi­catinny type nor­mally seen in the firearms world, com­plete with ten slots to ac­com­mo­date Weaver and Pi­catinny scope mounts, and an 11mm dove­tail for nor­mal airgun mounts, run­ning raised along the cen­tre of the Pi­catinny rail, so the owner can use ei­ther type of mount. It’s a very clever idea and one that more man­u­fac­tur­ers should use, in my opinion.

TWO MAG’S

The breech block is split by the mag­a­zine slot – the rear sec­tion is 97mm long and the front is 50mm – with the cock­ing bolt is on the right-hand side of the ac­tion, where two re­cessed rings and a matte fin­ish give it a nice grippy sur­face. One point to note is that the bolt is not part of the pel­let probe. It sits lower in the ac­tion and puts it closer to the shooter’s hand, thus mak­ing cy­cling the ac­tion quicker and slicker.

You get two, 12-shot, ro­tary mag­a­zines that fol­low the tried and true, in­ter­nal spring-loaded sec­tion, with a clear cover and load­ing hole. We­b­ley also give the shooter a sin­gle-shot tray for when a mag­a­zine is not needed – if you are us­ing it for tar­get shoot­ing, for ex­am­ple. Al­though the .177 ver­sion has 14-shot mag­a­zines, the Raider Clas­sic is an out-and-out hunter. It has a half-inch UNF thread on the steel bar­rel and the threads are pro­tected by a steel col­lar, sealed and held in with an ‘O’ ring. A mod­er­a­tor for hunt­ing or a muz­zle brake for tar­get and plink­ing work can be screwed on.

RED WARN­ING

We­b­ley give you a probe for fill­ing the com­pressed air reser­voir. The front of the 326mm-long air cylin­der has a plas­tic, ro­tat­ing pro­tec­tive col­lar, which you ro­tate to ex­pose the fill­ing/probe hole, stick in the probe and fill to a max of 200 bar. With RWS Su­per­dome 14.2

“the mag­a­zine is fault­less, the fill­ing is quick and easy and the trig­ger is pre­dictable”

grain pel­lets, it ran at 600 feet per sec­ond – that’s 11.3 ft.lbs.

The ri­fle has a man­ual safety catch on the right-hand side of the ac­tion, above the base of the pis­tol grip – for­ward for the ‘fire’ po­si­tion, and to the rear for ‘safe’. Re­mem­ber to use it – it’s there for a rea­son! A large red dot ap­pears on the rear of the ac­tion when the catch is pushed for­ward, warn­ing the shooter that it can be fired. It is eas­ily reached by the thumb of the trig­ger hand if you are right-handed.

AM­BIDEX­TROUS STOCK

The trig­ger has three ad­just­ment screws; first stage, sec­ond stage, and trig­ger load. Full in­struc­tions are given in the com­pre­hen­sive man­ual, but I left it as fac­tory-set at 1.4kg.

The wooden stock is am­bidex­trous – the one I had on test was quite well fig­ured and of a re­ally good de­sign. The fore end is deep, with the deep­est sec­tion right in front of the trig­ger guard. This has fin­ger grooves run­ning from the guard area to the front grip panel. I like that

We­b­ley have kept the small grip panel on the bot­tom of the me­tal trig­ger guard. It’s a We­b­ley fea­ture of old, and it’s ac­tu­ally very use­ful for stand­ing shots if you use ‘rest­ing on the fin­ger­tips’ style be­cause the thumb plants firmly in the che­quered grip panel.

The large grip pan­els have the We­b­ley name picked out on the top cor­ner and they have put a thumb groove dead cen­tre on the stock at the rear of the ac­tion. A plas­tic ramp on the back of the steel ac­tion con­tin­ues this fea­ture.

EV­ERY­THING WORKS

I fit­ted a qual­ity Bush­nell 6500 2.5-16 x 42 scope for range test­ing and found the big cal­i­bre gun to be ac­cu­rate, and I got on very well with the nicely de­signed stock. Ev­ery­thing about the gun works; the mag­a­zine is fault­less, the fill­ing is quick and easy and the trig­ger is pre­dictable. With a three-year war­ranty, to boot, the gun re­ally is value for money.

Many thanks to Oliver and Lee for the help in pro­duc­tion of this ar­ti­cle. I

Side views of the We­b­ley Raider Clas­sic with scope at­tached.

Tim, shoot­ing the We­b­ley Raider Clas­sic.

Ex­posed, the gun can be charged with com­pressed air.

The ac­tion at full cock; note also the fact that it does not line up with the pel­let probe.

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