Silencer Secrets: Webley’s oversleeve technology
PUBLISHED: 10:13 25 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:43 25 November 2015
“This system effectively captures and decelerates the high-pressure air”
Webley is very strong in the affordable, spring-piston rifle world. They have a range of price points to cover everybody’s pocket, including the VMX, Spector and Stingray models. Some have been offered with silencers in the past, but now all are offered with what Webley describes as an ‘oversleeve’ named Quantum. Other brands have called this a barrel shroud, or perhaps a silencer, but Webley likes to differentiate theirs because it contains some unique features.
At the muzzle, the first chamber ‘back reflexes’ the high-pressure air from behind the pellet into the cavity between the barrel and the sleeve. This slows down the air, reducing the sound. In this section, there’s a bleed hole that eliminates any over-pressure. The following chambers incorporate baffles and two acoustic felt cages, to absorb any remaining pressurised air as the pellet passes through. This staged pressure absorption technique is common in firearm moderators where the volume and temperature of the propellant gas is far greater, and now it’s showing its worth on the airgun scene. Webley has huge experience with firearms and this is just one example of how technology is shared.
This system effectively captures and decelerates the high-pressure air that follows the pellet from the muzzle. It’s this that makes the sharp ‘crack’ that can disturb our quarry, and for that matter, our neighbours. Once the energy in the air has been absorbed inside the oversleeve, the noise has been deadened and so as the air exits the end of the silencer; it makes little if any sound.
The oversleeve has other advantages. It’s made from hard, anodised aluminium, which won’t corrode from the sweat on our hands. The salts from our skin easily corrode blued steel, and you so often see old break-barrel rifles with no bluing left at the muzzle, where they’ve been gripped thousands of times. The oversleeve protects the Webley barrels from that fate. Also, being thicker than a bare barrel, it acts as an aid, apparently reducing the perceived cocking effort needed.
Quite a few readers have told me that they like the look of a sleeved barrel. They feel that the bull-barrel look gives the rifle a more substantial appeal, and we all like a good-looking gun, don’t we? The assembly is strippable, and I’m told that no maintenance is needed in normal use, but it could be dismantled if, for example, you got dirt inside from catching the muzzle on the ground.
For full details and where to locate your nearest dealer visit www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk or call
0845 099 0252