Gun test: Webley Alecto MK5 (part one)
- Credit: Archant
Tim Finley gets to grips with a sporting pistol that packs a real punch
This month’s ‘Top Value Gun’ is a real treat. There aren’t many single-stroke pneumatic pistols made for general shooting; even the one I am reviewing now can be used for pure 10m Olympic-style shooting, but it’s not aimed at that market – excuse the pun. I’ve never reviewed a Webley Alecto. It’s all new to me, even though it’s been around since 2009, and this is its Mark V or fifth iteration for 2019.
This pistol comes in a sturdy, hard-plastic case, inside of which is a foam insert, cut out to accommodate snugly the pistol and it’s accessories – it also has ‘Webley’ written on the outside.
What struck me first was the size of the Alecto. It’s not a small pistol by any means and it resembles a Desert Eagle; the top of the action is moulded to resemble the top slide of the DE, and even the twin catches for releasing the swing-out action look like the action catches on the real, large calibre pistol. I’m not complaining – it’s just what struck me when first getting hold of the Webley.
The power plant is an overlever pneumatic system, so the resemblance to a Desert Eagle sort of makes more sense when you look at the size of the compression tube – it’s 32mm in diameter, so it needs a large action to house that! It even has a 70mm-long Picatinny rail under the front of the frame, and the trigger guard looks like that of a Desert Eagle, too.
The top of the rail behind the front sight has a 75mm-long, 20mm sight rail moulded into it. I’m getting sidetracked again with the whole ‘looks like a firearm’ thing, but no, the Alecto is an impressive air pistol in it’s own right.
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The grip is unashamedly a match-shooting grip. It’s big and anatomically contoured to a right-hand shooter; you can shoot it left-handed, but the ridge rest for the right thumb sticks into your left palm. It has an adjustable palm rest to really get into the whole 10m paper punching vibe, and one clever piece of design is the ventilation holes in the right-hand side of the grip. The whole grip is made of synthetic materials, with a soft touch finish, so after shooting for a while indoors or out in the sun, the palm could get sweaty because the grip is of such a close-fitting plastic, but the ventilation holes prevent this and also add grip to the surface.
Both the levers have to be pulled up to release the top of the action, it can then be swung forward to allow air into the compression cylinder, and it’s then closed with the palm of the hand until the action locks. It can be used as a single-stroke pneumatic pistol, but the manual says it can be charges three times. I tested the power output of one and three charges; with one, it gave 390fps with 7.9 grain pellets – that’s 2.7 ft.lbs., and with three, it is noticeably hard to close the action on the third stroke and the power goes up to 5.5 ft.lbs. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the extra effort, and I stuck to single-stroke for six yards and two for longer plinking – two giving 5 ft.lbs. When you open the action, the safety catch comes on automatically and flips backward to cover the front of the curved silver trigger blade. It can be pushed forward with the tip of the trigger finger to take it off, and can be easily reset to safe at any time.
The trigger is very good for a pistol and comes to a nice stop on the start of the second stage, which has a very short travel and breaks cleanly. The manual states that it can be adjusted from 0.4 to 1.8kg. It measured in at 0.7kg with my electronic trigger scales, and the trigger weight did not vary with one, two or three charges.
A test sheet with metres per second readings, is supplied – every tenth shot for 50 shots, as well as a five-shot group scored electronically at 10m. It shows Webley care about how the Alecto performs.
The sight base is 228mm long and the front post has a small red dot on it. A steel screwdriver to adjust the rear sight for windage and elevation is also supplied, as well as an additional set of bigger sight elements – a 4.3mm-wide rear notch as opposed to 2.4. There is also an oil bottle, brass barrel brush, and a tool to remove the barrel – they have thought of everything. The Webley Alecto is a serious pistol, dressed like a Desert Eagle, and I enjoyed shooting it a lot, mainly because it was so accurate as well as easy to use with superb grips.
Thanks to Ryan for help in production of this article.
Much more than I expected; an accurate and serious pistol in a fun-gun guise.
Distributor: Highland Outdoors / 0845 0990252
Model: Alecto MK5
Power plant: Pneumatic
Action: Over lever – single-stroke
Overall length: 285mm
Barrel length: 190mm
Sights: Open notch and post
Sight base: 225mm
Trigger weight: 0.4-1.8kg
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