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Follow-up gun test: Webley En4cer 12

PUBLISHED: 14:54 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:54 11 December 2018

This rifle will do a proper job in the hunting field, have no doubts about that.

This rifle will do a proper job in the hunting field, have no doubts about that.

Archant

The editor gets to grips with the follow-up test of the Webley En4cer

Click here to read editor Terry Doe’s first review of the Webley En4cer.

I had all sorts of clever plans for this second test of the Webley En4cer, mostly involving leaving it with my father, so he could shoot the rats that were invading his henhouse, then give me a full report on it. As it turned out, dad’s mates rocked up with their terriers and smoke machines and cleared the rats in a morning. He still did a bit of testing for me, although his 28-yard zero range was never going to push the capabilities of this rifle.

Dad’s verdict was as direct and down-to-earth as he is; ‘a man shouldn’t miss much with that gun. If the cross-hairs are on it, that’s the end of it.’ Dad told me he’d been hitting some of his home grown tiny tomatoes that had split, some of which are less than an inch in diameter, and in my dad’s world, that’s perfect accuracy. More importantly, at the age of 86, he could reload the Webley’s multi-shot magazine and charge the rifle with air, so ‘easy to use’ is another box he ticked for me.

Tweak it until perfect, and make sure the adjustments you make don't need refinement.Tweak it until perfect, and make sure the adjustments you make don't need refinement.

Getting a handle on it

Once I’d reclaimed the En4cer 12 – I still hate that name, by the way – I set aside a four-hour intensive shooting session, notebook at the ready, to distill what I’ve learned about this rifle, so I can best advise those who are thinking of buying one.

Here’s a massively important tip; learn to manage that gun case. Yes, really. First, never try to pick up the case without both sections of the handle in your hand. If you do, that single section could let go and you’ll drop the case. Second, the latches WILL detach themselves occasionally, but this is no big deal because they simply snap back on. The case does its job perfectly well, but you need to be aware of its ‘peculiarities’.

I'd fit an adjustable pad to that rubber butt plate, but the cheekpiece adjustment is just the job.I'd fit an adjustable pad to that rubber butt plate, but the cheekpiece adjustment is just the job.

Get another handle on it

Speaking of handles, that ingenious, fore end mounted, vertical grip that turns into a bipod, is a top addition to this rifle’s features line-up. The more I used the En4cer, the more I came to rely on the drop-down grip. Gripping this instead of a conventional fore end considerably reduced the tension in my left wrist and made that four-hour session far more comfortable. That could well be peculiar to me, though, due to a broken wrist and arm in a fishing accident (I broke the other arm, too, within weeks, and in another fishing accident; ask me about it when you see me at a show – it’s quite a story). Others approved of the grip, so it’s certainly worth giving it a chance to impress you.

Reloading the En4cer's magazine presented no problems to my dad, and you'll find it easy, too. Reloading the En4cer's magazine presented no problems to my dad, and you'll find it easy, too.

Bipod

The grip’s function as an extendable bipod is also useful and I used it extensively during bench tests. A spinal fusion prevents me from shooting prone – I’m a bit of a medical wreck, really – but again, a couple of shooting mates tried the Webley in that stance and were impressed with it. My only real criticism of the grip-bipod, is that it’s a bit of a faff to fit it to the Picatinny mount on the underside of the fore end. Otherwise, this has to be one of the most useful ‘extras’ I’ve seen on any rifle.

This is the ONLY way to lift the En4cer's case.This is the ONLY way to lift the En4cer's case.

General function and features

An intensive session definitely flags up anything major in the handling and usability department, and on the commendable side, I found the En4cer 12’s basic functions efficient, easy and dependable. The sidelever action cycled faultlessly, and like my dad, I found reloading the magazines about as straightforward as it could be.

The adjustable butt section is definitely a standout feature, and as I said in my test last month, it’s something that needs time and practice to exploit to its full potential. I’m sure, given the fact that the rifle’s pull-length can be altered at the press of a catch, that retro-fitting an adjustable butt pad system wouldn’t be too much of a hardship. I’d go for it, no doubt about it, and the overall performance of the En4cer makes this a worthwhile investment.

The Webley En4cer 12. Silly name - seriously impressive rifle.The Webley En4cer 12. Silly name - seriously impressive rifle.

Consistency

My initial tests showed a shot-to-shot variation of 18 f.p.s. over 50 shots, which eventually settled to 15 f.p.s. That’s migrated slightly back to 17 f.p.s., but my best group sizes have reduced slightly, too, and at 40 yards I put in several 5-shot clusters of 16mm in diameter. In real-world terms, these shifts make not one jot of difference, of course, but in our heads they matter enough to calm or unsettle us. Here’s my remedy for this affliction.

Get mapping

Set out paper targets from 5 yards to 45, and shoot your way up and down them throughout the rifle’s charge, mapping those aim points at each range and noting how many shots you’ve taken. Eventually, you’ll notice the pellets dropping from the point of aim on the longer targets, so that’s your usable shot count established, along with where to aim for all the ranges you’ll need in the field.

Now, try the same exercise, but this time recharge after 50 shots. Personally, I always recharge my rifles before I shoot them, especially if I’m going hunting. I shoot extensively, but it’s a rare session, indeed, when I need more than 50 shots. En4cer 12 owners will find that even the initial 18 f.p.s. shot-to-shot variation I found during that first test will make no discernable difference to where those pellets land at the ranges needed to put vermin in the bag with a sub-12 rifle.

Final advice

Just make sure you get those stock adjustments perfect, find the ideal pellet, map your aim points and learn them, and the Webley En4cer 12 will serve you well. Its text-speak name might annoy me, but it’s performance and value for money that counts – and those come as standard with this rifle.

Specification

Model: En4cer 12

Manufacturer: Webley

Country of origin: UK/Turkey

Type: Pre-charged, multi-shot, sporter

Calibre: .22, .177

Cocking/loading: Sidelever and supplied single-shot tray

Loading: Via removable, rotary 12 or 14-shot magazine

Trigger: 2-stage, adjustable

Stock type: Ambidextrous black synthetic, adjustable for pull-length and comb height

Weight: 3.3kg (7.2lbs) rifle only

Length: 940mm (37ins) to 1016 (40ins)

Fill pressure: Max 200 bar

Shots per charge: 180 in .22, 160 in .177

Variation over first 50 shots: 15 fps for .177 on test

Average energy: 11.1 ft.lbs.

Contact: Webley at webleyandscott.com

Tel: 01785 859122

RRP: £529

Missed the first test? Read it here.

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