Gun test: Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

Smokin'! - Credit: Archant

Dave Barham reveals the highly anticipated Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver models in .22 pellet calibre

There aren’t that many .22 pellet pistols out there on the market, especially when it comes to the CO2 powerplant, but this latest trio from Webley is exactly what we’ve all been waiting for. Built from original blueprints, these six-shot revolver pistols load, cycle, fire and eject as the originals and feature original 1915 markings. Incorporating single/double-action triggers with full metal construction, they are available in both Black and Battlefield finishes.  

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

There are three barrel lengths to choose from - Credit: Archant

CHOOSE YOUR BARREL
Apart from being available in two different finishes, there are three barrel lengths to choose from; the 2.5-inch ‘Civilian’, 4-inch ‘Police’, as well as the original 6-inch Service Revolver. All the models feature a rifled barrel, which helps to aid accuracy. 

These pistols are made from quality metal and the only bits of plastic you will find on them are the grips themselves. This all-metal construction gives the pistols a decent weight, with the longer 6-inch barrel weighing in at 1043g or 2.3lbs, and the smallest barrel weighing just over 2lbs.

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

Pull the pistol grip off to reveal the CO2 chamber - Credit: Archant

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

Use the lanyard screw at the base of the grip to secure and pierce the CO2 cylinder - Credit: Archant

LOADING THE CO2
When it comes to powering up, it really couldn’t be much easier. The side of the grip simply pulls away to reveal a rather neat slot in which to insert a 12g CO2 cylinder.

At the base of the grip, there is a lanyard ring which also doubles up as the tension/piercing screw. Simply unwind it, insert the CO2 then tighten it down to secure the cylinder in place and pierce it

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

Pushing this lever forward activates the release mechanism - Credit: Archant

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

The weight of the 6-inch barrel is enough to open the action and release the shell casings - Credit: Archant

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

There's a manual safety switch - Credit: Archant

LOADING PELLETS
In order to access the revolving cylinder and eject the empty shell casings ready to load, you have to push forward the lever situated immediately to the right of the hammer. Doing this releases the barrel and the whole thing falls forwards – in the case of the two shorter barrel models you have to pull the barrels downwards. This in turn activates the shell release mechanism that forces the empty casings upwards, making them accessible. You can either pick them out one by one, or just tilt the pistol left or right and allow them to fall into your waiting hand.

The loading principle is exactly the same as many other BB pistols and rifles that use the single shell casing method – you push, in this case a .22 pellet, directly into the end of the shell casing where the hole is. Each shell has a small rubber ‘O’ ring that helps to secure the pellet in place. Make sure you push your pellets all the way so the edge of the skirt sits flush with the rear of the shell casing, then it’s just a case of reloading the cylinder with the loaded ‘bullets’ and closing the action up again.

As far as safety is concerned, there is a small. manual safety switch on the right-hand-side of the pistols, immediately above the trigger guards and underneath the revolving cylinder.

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

The rear sight is fixed to the cylinder release lever - Credit: Archant

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

The front post is built into the barrel - Credit: Archant

OPEN SIGHTS
The rear goalpost sights are actually moulded into the barrel/revolving cylinder release mechanism, just as the front post is built into the barrel. Neither are adjustable, but that really doesn’t matter. With a little bit of practice, I was able to work out roughly where the aim point was and I soon achieved reasonable six-shot groups at 8 yards in my back garden.

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

The Battlefield option is distressed and made to look 'used' - Credit: Archant

THE TRIGGER
I really like the trigger units on these pistols, they feel really comfortable. The heavily-curved blades are wide, measuring in at over 10mm, which gives great stability on the pull. Incidentally, the pull is nice and light at around a pound. This is reduced even further if you cock the hammer with your thumb first. Did I mention these pistols are double-action?

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

Simply push each pellet into the end of each shell casing - Credit: Archant

Webley MKVI .455 Service Revolver in .22

Six loaded shells ready to go - Credit: Archant

THE TEST
I have to say that the guys at Highland Outdoors, the distributors of the magnificent pistols, are very forward thinking. They sent me the three pistols to try out, plus a box of 25 CO2 cylinders and a tin of 500 .22 pellets thrown into the mix. Not that I needed much persuading to spend two or three hours shooting them in my back garden, but having all the necessary gubbins to hand made the experience much more exciting.

I started off with the little ‘snubnose’, 2.5-inch barrel ‘Civilian’ model, and in no time at all I’d pushed best part of 100 shots through it as the CO2 cylinder finally gave up the ghost. It feels really well balanced in your hand, well it would do wouldn’t it – the barrel is tiny!

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I must say that it was very handy to have three lots of shell casings to hand (they’re the same for each model), which meant that I was able to load 18 at a time, and that really added to the fun factor. Hopefully, Webley will make these shell casings available as an extra, and if they do then I suggest buying a spare set or two to cut down on loading times in between shooting. All that I was missing from the mix was a speed loader!

On to the 4-inch ‘Police’ barrel, and this one too feels really well balanced. I was surprised at the accuracy I was achieving, nailing 2-inch groups at 8 yards in a strong wind. I bet with a bit more time spent on the range I can get this down to 1.5 or even 1 inch. The rifled barrels certainly play their part in all of this, for sure.

Last, but not least, was the original 6-inch Service Revolver model, and yet again it feels extremely well balanced. After shooting the other two shorter barrels I was wondering if there would be much difference with the added weight of the longer barrel, which is 113g heavier than the ‘Civilian model’, but there was no tendency for the barrel to pull down and the centre of balance is perfectly situated on the trigger. Again I pushed my way through another 100 shots and came to the conclusion that at such short range (8 yards) there is very little difference in accuracy between the three models – testament to the quality of manufacture.

These pistols aren’t designed to be super accurate, they’re not competition pellet pistols, rather extremely good replicas of an iconic family of historical pistols. If you love your pistols, especially pellet pistols, then you’ve really got to take a good look at these – you won’t be disappointed. 

SPECS
Manufacturer: Webley & Scott
Model: Mark VI .455 Service Revolvers
Distributor: Highland Outdoors
Website: www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk 
Calibres: .22 and .177
Powerplant: CO2
Velocity: <430 fps
Energy: 2.1 ft.lbs 
Trigger: Double-action
Mag Capacity: 6 shots
Finish: Black or Battlefield
Barrel Lengths: 6, 4 and 2.5 inch
Weights: 1043g, 984g and 930g
Shot Count: Around 100
Price: £199.99 to £209.99

FEATURES

  • Built from original blueprints
  • Loads, cycles, fires and ejects as the original
  • Original 1915 markings
  • Full size
  • Field strippable
  • Full metal construction
  • 6 shot
  • Black or Battlefield finish