Gun test

– This at­trac­tive, af­ford­able We­b­ley & Scott per­forms well at the range and would be just as at home on a walked-up day

Sporting Shooter - - THE MARKETPLACE -

Now that the game sea­son has be­gun, we’re look­ing at a We­b­ley & Scott 1020 20-bore over-and-un­der this month – one of a range of new 1000 se­ries guns on of­fer from the firm. It is Ital­ian made, which is no­table, as re­cently many shot­guns bear­ing the We­b­ley & Scott name have been man­u­fac­tured in Turkey. The test gun has a com­pet­i­tive RRP of £999. It is brought into the UK by High­land Out­doors, which now owns the We­b­ley name.

First im­pres­sions are gen­er­ally very good. It’s a mod­ernistic de­sign, and quite typ­i­cal of many masspro­duced ‘Euro guns’ com­ing out of Gar­donne these days; this is no bad thing, as the stan­dards of pro­duc­tion there are so high nowa­days with the use of CNC ma­chin­ing and laser en­grav­ing. The ac­tion has a bright-ish coin fin­ish and is pleas­antly en­graved. The fairly short 27½" bar­rels are multi-choked (five sup­plied).

Ac­tion

This is an at­trac­tive little gun with game scene dec­o­ra­tion on its brightly fin­ished, asym­met­ri­cally scal­loped ac­tion. There are ducks and pheas­ants on the walls of the ac­tion, and scroll­work on the belly and the trig­ger guard. The styling will ap­peal to many – it is in good taste and well ex­e­cuted. All the new We­b­ley guns are sim­i­lar in this re­spect. The test gun, like the oth­ers in the range, is gen­er­ally well fin­ished too.

Mount­ing the 1020 con­firms an ini­tial im­pres­sion of a solid, com­pact gun. My scales sadly de­cided to give up the ghost for this test, but I would es­ti­mate the weight at around 6¾lbs. The We­b­ley comes up without a glitch, but the 27½" bar­relled test piece still felt a little muz­zle heavy – the bal­ance point was sig­nif­i­cantly for­ward of the hinge pin. Some peo­ple pre­fer this; gen­er­ally, it is my pref­er­ence in long-bar­relled guns, but not in mid-length ones. Nev­er­the­less, it would be eas­ily reme­died if so de­sired with a little lead in the butt. The 1020 presents a good sight pic­ture, the stock shapes are com­fort­able, and the di­men­sions are on the money. It has a slight palm swell, a fea­ture of which I am not nor­mally es­pe­cially fond, but which is in­of­fen­sive here.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.high­land­out­doors. co.uk or email sales@ high­land­out­doors. co.uk

Wood

The full pis­tol grip was quite tightly ra­diused and se­cured the hand well with a sub­tle palm swell, as noted. The grip, more­over, was of fairly even depth through­out its length – some­thing I al­ways like to see. The rear hand achieves ex­cel­lent pur­chase (and thus con­trol) and would not be en­cour­aged to slip in re­coil. The stock, which is fit­ted with a mod­ern, soft, but not sticky, re­coil pad just un­der 1" in length is made from plainly fig­ured, quite lightly coloured wood fin­ished in matt oil with neat laser-cut che­quer­ing. The schn­abel fore-end was well shaped and pleas­antly slim. The lip to the front is quite sub­tle and might eas­ily be re­moved if so de­sired by those who pre­fer to ex­tend the front hand.

The stock of the 1020 was a cut above the av­er­age with re­gard to form and spec­i­fi­ca­tion. The Ital­ians have long been Trap shoot­ers, and this has in­flu­enced them pro­foundly in the past; they are be­gin­ning to un­der­stand the needs of the Bri­tish mar­ket, how­ever. The comb here is well ta­pered and not too thick. The length of pull with the ef­fi­cient re­coil

pad sup­plied was a full 15", i.e. longer than in the past. Drop at the front of the comb was 13/8" and 21/8" at heel, which are the di­men­sions I would have spec­i­fied my­self. There is slight cast for a right-han­der. Wood-to-metal fit is im­pec­ca­ble. At the price point, one can only be im­pressed.

Bar­rels

Turning to the bar­rels, the 1020 bears Ital­ian proof marks for 3" (76mm) car­tridges. The bores are marked 15.9mm for di­am­e­ter, which is about av­er­age for a mod­ern 20-bore. Forc­ing cones in front of the cham­bers are of mid length. The bar­rels and chokes are steel shot friendly. The bar­rels are made from chrome-moly steel and, of course, of monobloc con­struc­tion (which is near uni­ver­sal now). They have the usual band of en­grav­ing around the joins be­tween tube and monobloc. The joints them­selves are well done with no vis­i­ble gaps. The sides of the monobloc are en­gine turned, which pleases the eye. The gen­eral stan­dard of the bar­rels, es­pe­cially bear­ing in mind the price point, is good, with deep blu­ing over well-pol­ished sur­faces. Strik­ing up ex­ter­nally is com­pe­tent, with no riv­el­ling or ma­jor im­per­fec­tion vis­i­ble. In­ter­nal pre­sen­ta­tion is sim­i­larly im­pres­sive.

Tech­ni­cal

Bar­rels and chokes apart, there is not that much to re­port with re­gard to the me­chan­i­cal de­sign of the gun. The ac­tion – which is CNC ma­chined from block steel – is of typ­i­cal Ital­ian mid-mar­ket pat­tern un­der its sur­face, with stud pins at the knuck­les, like a Beretta, and a full-width bolt meet­ing a bite be­neath the bottom cham­ber mouth, like a Brown­ing. How of­ten we have seen this ar­range­ment! The plan is sound, how­ever, and well proven. This is an evolved boxlock de­sign with ham­mers pow­ered by coil springs piv­ot­ing off the bottom strap. The in­ter­nal me­chan­ics are sound and sim­ple when the stock is re­moved. The safety and bar­rel se­lec­tor on the top strap are well

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