Pis­tol Star

Phill Price tries the very lat­est ver­sion of the much praised Alecto

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price gets to grips with the new MkV Alecto pis­tol from We­b­ley

Al­though I’m a ri­fle­man for the greater part of my shoot­ing life, there’s a spe­cial place in my heart for hand­guns. The chal­lenge of hit­ting the tar­get is the whole point of shoot­ing sports, and clearly, plac­ing pel­lets ac­cu­rately is tougher with a pis­tol than any long gun. Be­cause of this, I find ad­vanced de­signs that aid ac­cu­racy es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing, and I’ve en­joyed the many in­car­na­tions of the ul­tra-pop­u­lar We­b­ley Alecto as they’ve passed through my hands over the years. The sup­ply of this fine pis­tol has been dif­fi­cult at times, but this, the Mk V, is in stock now with the UK im­porter, so I wel­comed the chance to see what the very lat­est ver­sion could of­fer.

For those un­aware of the Alecto, it’s a large-framed, pump-up, sin­gle-shot pneu­matic that has highly de­vel­oped grips de­signed to max­imise sup­port and sta­bil­ity on aim. Al­though it’s a tough field pis­tol, it takes a strong in­flu­ence from six me­tre, Olympic-style tar­get guns, which is where the grip shape comes from, along­side the ad­justable height palm shelf. What’s also un­usual about this tar­get grip de­sign is that it works with two hands, which is great for me be­cause it’s the only way I can shoot ac­cu­rately. It’s a big, hand-fill­ing grip and I like that. It al­lows full con­trol with­out the need for any per­ceived pres­sure and that makes for re­laxed mus­cles.

SIGHTS

Speak­ing of sights, the open sights fit­ted are big and clear, plus a sec­ond set is sup­plied that of­fers a dif­fer­ent view, so that you can ex­per­i­ment to see which pair suits you best. Al­ter­na­tively, if you pre­fer, you can fit a scope or a red-dot sight to the rail moulded into the top. This is the Weaver/Pi­catinny width, so you need to be aware of that when choos­ing mounts. I like scopes be­cause they al­low me to ex­tract all the ac­cu­racy the pis­tol has to of­fer, but they are a com­pro­mise on ac­tions such as this be­cause to cock the pis­tol you un­lock the up­per sec­tion of the frame at the rear, which then piv­ots up and for­ward. A pel­let can then be in­serted into the breech be­fore the up­per is brought back down, com­press­ing the air in the cylin­der. You can choose one, two or three strokes to ad­just the power out­put you’d like. Ac­cord­ing to We­b­ley, one stroke delivers 2.6 ft.lbs, two strokes, 4.1 ft.lbs and three strokes delivers a mighty 5.9 ft.lbs. My chrono­graph showed 2.8 ft.lbs for one stroke, 5.1 ft.lbs. for two strokes and 5.4 ft.lbs. for three strokes with the su­perb We­b­ley Mos­quito .177 pel­let. If you feel you need more power, I’ve noted that the .22 ver­sions I’ve tested be­fore tended to pack a lit­tle more

punch. Each stroke re­quires more force than the last and if you’re won­der­ing what hap­pens if you in­put four strokes, the an­swer is that a bleed valve re­leases any fur­ther pres­sure, so the up­per power limit is fixed.

RECOILLESS

Once pumped, the Alecto is ef­fec­tively a pre-charged pneu­matic and is there­fore recoilless, which is a huge aid to ac­cu­rate shot place­ment. An­other big fac­tor in ac­cu­racy is the trig­ger qual­ity and this, the Mk V, boasts a ‘match grade’ trig­ger unit that I was look­ing for­ward to test­ing. A great trig­ger is a thing of true de­light for me, and some of the ear­lier mod­els were at bit hit or miss in trig­ger qual­ity, so I was hop­ing for bet­ter. My test gun’s trig­ger was set very light and broke cleanly and con­sis­tently, so I had high hopes for the ac­cu­racy phase of the test. In front of the trig­ger blade is an au­to­matic safety lever that’s eas­ily dis­en­gaged with the trig­ger finger whilst on aim, so it can be left on un­til you’re ready to fire.

The recoilless claim in­trigued me be­cause if a pis­tol can make 5-plus ft.lbs. it must re­coil to some de­gree, so I stud­ied the move­ment very care­fully on fir­ing and I have to say, it’s so small that it’s not worth wor­ry­ing about. There’s quite a sharp muz­zle crack, so I en­quired if a si­lencer was avail­able and the an­swer was no.

I knew ex­actly where I wanted to go with this ex­cel­lent pis­tol, which was the pis­tol range at my gun club. The choice of tar­gets is huge and they’re placed from 8 yards out to 25 and vary from tiny to huge, with the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor of all mak­ing noise. Plates, gongs and bells all re­ward a well-placed shot, so I knew I was in for a good time. Cock­ing and load­ing were no dif­fer­ent from ear­lier mod­els, so I was im­me­di­ately at home. Just as I’d hoped, the new trig­ger was light and crisp, de­liv­er­ing a pre­dictable shot re­lease ev­ery time. Need­less to say, I had a ball, ring­ing and ding­ing on tar­gets. A few very de­lib­er­ate shots on pa­per tar­gets showed tight group­ing, but I was soon back to hav­ing fun on the re­ac­tive tar­gets.

This ver­sion of the Alecto is ev­ery­thing I’d hoped, bring­ing all the good qual­i­ties of the older mod­els to­gether with a truly ex­cel­lent trig­ger to make a great pis­tol. Whether you sim­ply want to have fun or be more se­ri­ous about pis­tol ac­cu­racy, the Alecto MkV can do it all.

We­b­ley’s Mos­quito pel­let worked well.

I had a real blast plink­ing fun tar­gets out to 25 yards.

A well-padded case is in­cluded in the price.

Each com­pres­sion stroke is harder than the last, but not too hard at all.

Big, bold sights suit me well.

The anatom­i­cal grip is truly ex­cel­lent.

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