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Webley Alecto

Mark Camoccio tests the Webley Alecto multi-pump pneumatic pistol

For as long as I have been involved with airguns, Webley have been around. The original company of Webley and Scott, go way back of course, having produced the Army service revolver among others. The company went on to solely make airguns, yet their sense of tradition has for the most part been upheld.

With air pistols having played a major part in the company’s fortunes too, a return to this sector of the market was always likely. Remember the classic Junior and Premier models of yesteryear, followed by the more modern-looking Tempest and Typhoon versions? What they shared was that time honoured ‘up and over’ barrel cocking system which became a firm favourite, is now synonymous with the brand.

Customers these days can hardly be blamed for failing to keep up with the company’s re-structuring and corporate manoeuvring, yet this world famous British marque continues to surprise. 

Flagship

The Alecto is Webley’s relatively new flagship pistol, and to be honest, I’ve been ultra keen to get my hands on one for some time. As an aficionado of the single-stroke or multi-pump airgun, this product holds immense appeal. Webley supply the pistol as a comprehensive, beautifully presented package, complete with barrel cleaning rod, oil and adjustment tool, all recessed in a padded hard case. Once the specification is listed, it really does all seem like a mouth watering proposition; so let’s take a closer look and see if this model delivers where it matters.

With its multi-pump pneumatic action, shrouded in an ergonomically designed compound chassis, complete with adjustable, anatomical grips, the Alecto offers variable power and a host of features to benefit the shooter.

First impressions are of a solid, hand filling piece of technology, which just feels right from the off. Obviously there will be a little luck involved as to just how well those shapely grips fit, but for me, with fairly large hands, the curvaceous palm shelf and finger grips are supremely comfortable.

Traditional open sights are fitted on the Alecto, with the foresight being formed from a spring loaded bead of plastic. Ingenuity comes with the way this bead can be pushed through 90 degrees to show a slightly longer bead; the idea being that the shooter can switch to a 10m or 25m setting without having to adjust the rear sight. Whilst the theory may be good, I can’t help seeing this as a weak point if the sight was constantly turned.  The rear sight is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation, by careful use of a screw driver, just requiring gentle rotation of the relevant screws in the conventional manner as required.

Made to fit

A key part of the Alecto’s design concerns the fact that it can be adjusted to fit the user. Two key areas combine to achieve this: namely the palm shelf and the trigger.

Firstly the palm shelf can be slid up or down by up to a quarter of an inch once twin screws have been slackened off; offering vital support for smaller hands where necessary.

The trigger is a mini marvel of engineering in itself, offering an impressive array of adjustments any which way. To start with, the physical position of the blade can be altered by slackening off the rear allen screw, allowing the blade assembly to be slid backwards or forwards on it’s axis. Again, around a quarter of an inch of movement is possible, which is significant with regards to a trigger. Just nip up the screw once a position is arrived at where the fore finger pad falls most naturally in place. The leading surface of the blade can then be altered either to the left or right, for those who prefer an offset trigger. Length of pull can be adjusted via the access hole at the rear of the grip, whilst the weight-of-pull adjuster is accessed, curiously, from under the base of the pistol grip.

Finally a re-settable automatic safety catch blocks the front of the blade until it is pushed forwards before each shot, making the Alecto ultra safe in use.

Recoilless accuracy

A pneumatic action, combined with that super-light trigger, means recoilless shooting, which in turn, means accuracy is that bit easier to come by. Cocking the mechanism firstly requires the ambidextrous release catch to be lifted, which then allows the top frame of the chassis, containing the barrel, to be pulled in an arc all the way forward, sucking air into the compression chamber ahead of the piston, as it travels. A pellet can then be pushed into the breech end of the barrel, before the top frame is then pulled back and the action is closed. The return stroke actually compresses the air held within, priming the shot. The clever part is the fact that the Alecto offers variable power. Webley state that a maximum of three pumps can be made to increase the power, yet in practise, the third pump is unnecessary effort, giving only a marginal increase in velocity.

One pump returns approximately 3ft/lbs, whilst two pumps generates around 5ft/lbs. The third stroke will give you another 0.5ft/lb if you’re lucky, so why bother? With the first pump incredibly easy to complete, and the second, significant effort already, I would personally stick to just one.

A point to note at this stage is that consistent pumping technique is vital for consistent power output. Basically, remember to open the mechanism to its fullest extent every time; thereby taking in a precise amount of air each time.

Air pistols are great for target practise at 10-30yds, and at those ranges, accuracy from either one pump or two, was near identical. However, overall enjoyment when minimal effort is expended, for me, makes the choice ‘a no-brainer’ to coin the phrase.

My target cards shows tight clusters shot at 10yds from one, then two pumps - then the difference in trajectory when the Alecto is similarly shot at 25yds. Accuracy was excellent, with groups of a little over an inch at 25yds shot with open sights. Fit a scope, and the Alecto couldn’t fail to impress further.

With no heavy spring bouncing about, the firing cycle just feels superior, with an incredibly fast lock time and slick, snappy action. This style of airgun mechanism is known for the crisp efficient air release, not to mention incredible consistency, and the Alecto is indeed a fine example of the art. Those space-age looking internals are crisply machined, and I really can’t fault the overall design and function of this very capable pistol.

Precision detailing

Detail is everywhere, and whilst the majority of the Alecto is indeed formed from composite, the precision afforded to the moulding process has resulted in some well defined features. Note the integral accessory rail, just forward of the trigger guard, which allows for the addition of a plethora of add-ons. Lasers, torches, counter weight bars and the like, can all be slid on and attached as desired, giving further flexibility and versatility to this pistol.

As far as any negatives to report, all I can muster is the rather significant muzzle crack, as compressed air rapidly expands as it exits the barrel. Modern economic reality also dictates that the Alecto is produced overseas in Turkey, rather than Webley’s spiritual home in Birmingham, yet this sad observation apart, there is simply no faulting the build quality.

In short, the Alecto is a fitting addition to this famous old company’s product list, offering the serious shooter high performance and superb features, all at a realistic price. By the way, I’m putting my money where my mouth is too, since I’ve no plans to return this beauty!

Technical Specifications
Model Alecto
Manufacturer Webley International Ltd
Type Single/multi stroke pneumatic (maximum 3 pumps)
Calibre .22 on test, .177 available
Weight 2.5lbs
Overall Length 11.5inches
Barrel Length 7.25inches
Stock Composite with anatomical grips
Trigger 2-stage adjustable
Performance Using Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets: 1pump, 2pumps, 3pumps
Average velocity 1pump:286fps, 2pumps:386fps, 3pumps:391fps
Average spread over 10 shots 1pump:5fps, 2pumps:4fps, 3pumps:4fps
Average energy 1pump: 2.9ft/lbs, 2pumps: 5.3ft/lbs, 3pumps: 5.4ft/lbs

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

Gun Mart Shooters Forum - Get Involved in the Discussion!
User Comments
  • Just picked up one of these second hand but hardly used from a fellow rifle club member (who did not want to let it go) and it is one of the best pieces of kit I have bought. Absolutely a joy to use, especially for garden target/plinking.

    The accessory rails provide ample opportunity to bling it up as I have done with a multi-recticle red dot sight and occasionly even a FAB Defense combined bipod and foregrip (sad I know).

    Very impressed.

    Thank you Webley (and the Turkish manufacturers).

    Comment by: Adrian Bartlett     Posted on: 22 Aug 2011 at 11:16 PM

  • i am in india I would like to buy this pistol how much do I have to pay with duty payment on delivery of course

    Comment by: parambir singh     Posted on: 19 Nov 2011 at 04:14 PM

  • Sorry, we are not a shop and we don't these products. GunMart is a magazine for shooters which independently reviews guns and accessories.

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 20 Nov 2011 at 04:22 PM

  • Just bought one .wow . First pistol for some years and it doesn't disappoint .

    Comment by: Bquinn     Posted on: 03 Jul 2012 at 10:33 AM

  • Amazingly accurate. Less than 1 inch groups at 25metres using 2 pumps. Better than some rifles. I'm well pleased.

    Comment by: notgnilrad     Posted on: 26 Jul 2012 at 07:51 PM

  • Nice shooting!

    Iron sights or a scope?

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 26 Jul 2012 at 08:13 PM

  • I purchased the Webley Alecto Ultra in .177 for the extended barrel. The gun performs very well, keeping 7.9 gr hollow points inside one inch at both ten and twenty yards. Using the recommended maximum three pumps, the pistol achieves an average of 555.9 fps with muzzle energy of 5.42 ft lbs.The ten yard groups are usually just one ragged hole, slightly larger than the diameter of a .177 caliber pelet! I account for this 'enlarged' grouping to my age (66 years) and failing eyesight! The adjustments available fitted my large hand quite nicely and the trigger turned out to be a dream, breaking crisply. I use open sights, for now, but have a laser hung below and a red dot sight ordered to take better advantage of the excellent accuracy that this gun is capable of.

    Comment by: Charles Aldridge     Posted on: 01 Mar 2014 at 02:35 PM

  • Do these need recharging, if so how often?

    Comment by: David Dawes     Posted on: 22 Apr 2014 at 08:34 PM

  • No recharging is needed other than pumping once, twice or three times per shot; it all depends on what power level you want to shoot at.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 22 Apr 2014 at 08:59 PM

  • I am very impressed with the Webley Alecto Ultra Air Pistol and thank you for this very good review. If you can give me the right answers to my questions I will buy one. My wife and I live in the Philippines 8 to 9 months a year and then we spend 3 or 4 months a year in Michigan, USA. I would like to hand carry this air pistol in it's case unloaded aboard the air planes we fly on when we fly back and forth. Often baggage handlers steal things out of suitcases. This is the reason I want to hand carry this air pistol aboard each plane we fly on. I see no reason why this could not be done but sometimes they have some very foolish laws. I am retired and my wife and I live on a fixed income. I plan on using the Webley Alecto Ultra Air Pistol in competition; 5 meter standing, 10 meter standing and 10 meter open class standing. I'll be 70 in July. I have a clean record and I pose no threat to anyone. Please be absolutely positive your answer to my question is correct. Thank you for your help. Respectfully, Bud Wilson

    Comment by: Bud Wilson     Posted on: 13 May 2014 at 11:53 PM

  • Hi Bud, Yes these air pistols are very good.

    However, your desire to carry one as part of your hand luggage isn't going to be acceptable by any airline I know of!

    If you can't even take a pair of nail scissors, Swiss Army knife or certain liquids in your carry on bag, they're not going to let you have anything like an air pistol. I'm no aviation expert, so you'd be best off asking your airline but I'm sure you'll get the same answer anywhere.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 14 May 2014 at 07:49 AM

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