Webley & Scott 912B
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- Last updated: 18/12/2022
Webley and Scott’s 900 series has proven to be a big success here in the UK, mainly due to the venerated W&S brand name, which still evokes nostalgia. I have tested a few of these guns now and have always been surprised by how well they handle and pattern, despite the low price. This new 912B has a black action, which I personally prefer to the normal coin finish. All W&S shotguns come with a 5-year warranty and are available in 12g, 20g or .410, with various barrel lengths from 26 to 30”. There is even a Junior 20g combo for beginners that comes with a 28” barrel. It also comes with two stocks (12 3/4” & 14 3/4” Length of Pull), a manual safety catch and an auto safety adaptor.
This 912B retails for £769 and represents good value for money. This model also comes with an auto safety adaptor and an equipoise balance system.
The Turkish stock that is on this model is a grade II version. It has some nice colour and figuring, with a small amount of fiddleback. More importantly, there is a dense grain pattern around the pistol grip for strength.
The wood-to-metal fit is equally fine and the slim black rubber recoil pad has a plastic tip to aid the smooth shouldering of the 912B. It is then complemented by a waffle pattern to the main surface for grip. The pistol grip is quite slim, with no palm swells, but it has a nice relaxed rake to it for ease of support. This is further enhanced by the cut chequering with highlighted radius sectors, which are quite distinct and do grip in the palm.
Remove the butt pad and you can add the four alternative weights to the rear of the stock screw. These come as 75, 100, 150 or 175-gram weights and are a cheap but very useful addition to really perfect the balance of the 912B to your individual requirements or the barrel length that you use.
The forend has the same style of chequering as the pistol grip, with a slim profile and a nice Schnabel tip. As per the rest of the furniture, it has a subtle oiled finish that’s perfect for field use. The blued metal release mechanism is easily accessible and the release lever fits snugly to the barrel catch for a tight attachment.
Barrel-wise, you have a choice of 26, 28 or 30”. The test gun came fitted with the latter, which are proving the most popular these days. The nice blued/ black finish is deep and even, plus is surprisingly resistant to scratches and wear alike.
The mid-rib is solid and the 10mm top-rib sits on nine evenly spaced and sized vents for good ventilation. The red Day-Glo element up by the muzzles is the only sighting device and it works very well on this naturally pointable gun.
The chokes are flush-fit and a full complement of five (CYL, ¼, ½, ¾ and FULL) are supplied along with a polymer choke key that turns and grabs the choke all in one movement. These individual chokes are 50mm long and have a blued finish to them (internally too). They are steelproofed up to ½ choke as normal.
The actual barrels are 3” chambered for a more diverse range of cartridges and are steel shot proofed to high pressure with the Fleur de Lys symbol. Having jewelled sides to the monobloc sections helps keep the oil lubrication at the points where it is needed.
In use, the individual ejectors were very forceful and I experienced no problems ejecting some of the more powerful cartridges tested.
The heart of the 912B is that 900 series action, which is a really good solid steel unit. It offers not only longevity but reliability too. It’s a boxlock action with a monobloc system and I much prefer the steel construction, as its weight makes the 912B feel better in the hands and helps dampen recoil too. It’s well machined, with only a few tooling marks and is made from a single block of chrome-moly steel.
This model carries the ‘B’ designation and has a really lovely blued finish to the entire action, which I really like. To me, it looks far more classy than some of the gaudy silver actions we see. To the sides, we see a single contoured panel with Webley & Scott proudly engraved in relief.
The easy-opening top lever sits quite a way to the right, so presents a good degree of ‘wear’ built into this action for extended use or ownership. The lock-up is equally good, with the barrels locking into the action via a full-width bolt at the back and bottom of the action face. It locks directly into the ‘lump’ below the bottom barrel, so standard monobloc style. The barrels also hinge on stub pins inset into the front of the action sides. The hammers are mechanical, not inertia, so each pull drops a firing pin on a cartridge and does not rely on the first shot to set the second barrel’s hammer. This is handy when the gun is used with light cartridges, as it means the action is cocked irrespective of recoil.
The gun comes with a manual safety but interestingly, you are supplied with an autosafety operating linkage that can be retrofitted if you want. The safety catch, as usual, also selects the barrel, with the left position for the top barrel and the right for the bottom. Triggerwise, there is a quite large, gold-washed and smooth-surfaced trigger blade, plus a generous trigger guard. The pull weight measured 5.25lbs.
I have been using more open chokes recently, especially with steel shot loads, as they seem to respond better overall to produce more even and dense shot patterns. So, we tested the ammunition with the ¼ choke on the pattern boards.
First up were the Gamebore Blue Diamonds. They are so good for so many disciplines ranging from short range vermin to clays. The 24-gram No. 7.5s still put a lot of lead down range and the recoil is very mild. This means you can shoot more in a day than say a 28 or 32-gram loading.
As expected, the patterns were really good, with a whopping 270 pellets striking the board. The overall coverage was really good and the distribution was even. We had 119 inner strikes and 151 outer hits - fantastic! Just a great cartridge to shoot and they really liked this 912B too.
A good steel loading is the Lyalvale Express Ultimate Steel with its 30-grams of No. 5 shot. It utilises an earth wad in its 65mm casing and interestingly, a card front seal instead of a crimp. The felt recoil was a bit more noticeable, but the stock design of the 912B more than compensated by keeping a good aim and swing, plus the stock does not unduly connect with the cheek under recoil. When it comes to the shot pattern, there was a slight lefthand bias, but it was windy
when I was shooting. To be fair, I have found that steel is a bit more wind sensitive anyway. The total pellet count was 214, which for a ¼ choke, especially with the larger No. 5 shot size, was very good. This total was distributed with 73 inner strikes and the remaining 141 around the periphery. A nice and consistent 12-gauge steel cartridge.
Finally, the good old Eley Pigeon Select, which is a great allrounder. This load uses a plastic wad and 30-grams of No. 6 shot, making it dynamite on pigeons.
At 30 yards, we had good coverage but with a slightly left bias again. The total pellet count came to 245 pellets, with a very even 88 pellets in the inner 15” and 157 in the outer 30”. In this Webley, these cartridges were very mild to shoot for a 30-gram loading and I would be happy to use the combo all day.
I really like the blued action and personally, I think all shotguns should be like this! The handling was spot on and very natural, plus the recoil was manageable, even with the heavier loads. The walnut was nice quality but not exceptional, however, when you look at the price and those patterns, the 912B is a great over and under for the money and it will no doubt last longer than its owner.