Webley Venom Viper - Second hand focus
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- Last updated: 28/02/2017
The famous Webley brand have gone through quite a cycle of changes over the years, and one big influence came back in 1998, when it was decided to invite the Venomac Custom team (formerly Venom Arms) to actually set up within Webley & Scott’s premises in Frankley, Birmingham.
The ‘Webley-Venom Custom Shop’ was born, and from this arrangement, Webley could exploit the knowledge and skills ‘in house’ of the likes of Ivan Hancock, and Steve Pope, (Steve was the son of Dave Pope of course, who was by now considering a well earned retirement). Venom were a specialist outfit, well known for customising, tuning and rebuilding airguns of all types, and with their input, and close eye on production, it allowed Webley to up their game, and develop a few specialist models along the way.
One such to emerge from this collaboration, was the Webley Venom Viper, and this sleek pre-charged pneumatic really looked the part, with its luxurious walnut sporter stock, and full-length shrouded barrel. Based around the Webley Raider action, this stylish sporter has plenty to recommend and certainly elevates the appeal of the original specification.
The woodwork is classic Venom, with that full length finger groove running along the top rim of the forend, adding style as well as function. A gold coloured trigger and bolt handle add to the looks, but more unusual is the incorporation of a 2-shot, shuttle-type magazine, allowing for an extremely quick back-up shot to be taken. This sees one pellet in the breech and another waiting, to be simply pushed across, once the bolt is pulled back. Push the carrier through, and the empty chamber will then show on either side, ready to be refilled. All very simple, but it works a treat. If functioning correctly, this model should produce between 50-70 shots. Maybe not as quiet as it should be, despite having an integral silencer built into that barrel shroud, but a super sleek and elegant airgun for sure.
Webley’s realignment as a brand subsequently saw production move to other locations, but the Venom influence lived on. On show here is a later .22 version, bearing a stamped serial number 880778, and the quality of the walnut on show, really is exceptional. As far as date of manufacture goes, Webley list this model as between 2000 and 2005, and I think this one falls towards the latter end of that range.
As for buying second hand, check the screws for damage on top of the pellet carrier, and signs of wear around where the pellet carriers travel. For the record, the asking price for this beautiful looking pneumatic is £350; and given its excellent condition, presentation, and the fact that they don’t come up for sale too often, that sounds very reasonable indeed
Many thanks go to Andrew, CJ, and Craig at MGR Guns, and for further details on this and other guns in stock, see their website at www.mgrguns.co.uk . The shop can be found at the main crossroads, where the B1191 crosses over the B1192, near the centre of Woodhall Spa; and parking is easy, with plenty of free space available in the high street.
MGR Guns, 1, Witham ROAD, Woodhall Spa, Lincs., LN10 6RW, Tel 01526 351750 Opening hours are Mon, Tues, Fri and Sat- open 9-5, Thur late9-7, closed Wed and Sun.
* Steve Pope still trades today as V-Mach, customising and rebuilding airguns www.air-rifle-tuning.com
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