Webley & Scott 912K
By: Mark Stone
After being suitably impressed with their new semi-auto, Mark Stone tries out the latest Webley & Scott over-under and once again is pleasantly surprised
To say I was more than appreciative of the new line of Webley & Scott semi-autos was as much of a revelation to me as the rest of you… but credit where it’s due. New importers Highland Outdoors are now taking care of the Webley brand in the UK and Ireland, and now they have a 12 bore over-under more than worthy of hanging this well respected name on. Still sourced and overseen by two chaps called Paul Garrity and Roger Williams of Webley, the pair have fortuitously been at pains to source shotguns worthy of the original W&S ethos whilst I’m also reliably informed that this is just the start, both Webley and Highland Outdoors promising that future guns will undergo constant evaluation and improvements to ensure the brand once again becomes something to be proud of.
Slip and slide
Arriving in a plastic travelling case, the first surprise is that the barrels and forend and the stock and action are both shrouded in bright blue velvet, draw string slips along with a small black case that contains a full set of flush-fit choke tubes and matching key. The positive impressions continue with the oil finished walnut sporter stock and Schnabel forend; nicely figured with clean cut panels of chequering whilst the slightly old fashioned profiling - where the stock head mates with the deep gloss black – of the mechanical transfer boxlock action is both attractive and one of the strongest designs of it’s type.
The stock cast is nicely angled as are those of the stock whilst the slim semi-pistol grip is actually palm swell free. Whilst this may detract for some, with the right hand freer to move, the 912K is far more active and fluid in the hands, promoting what might well be referred to as a more looser style when reacting to unexpected targets or rapidly opposing pairs, especially for those who prefer to shoot ‘gun down’ on both live quarry and clays such as I do.
The quality and finish of the 28” barrels is exemplary. Topped off with a 10mm vented rib and small brass bead, the vented side ribs and machine finished monobloc 3” chambers, the tubes are well struck whilst the depth and intensity of the gloss black finish ensures they’re a perfect match for the action, trigger-guard and short top and bottom tangs. With the short throw top-lever and barrel selector/ safety-catch continuing the all black theme, only the gold Webley & Scott script on both sides and the gold-plated fixed trigger-blade add a subtle measure of contrast to what is actually a very elegant looking shotgun.
Dimensionally the 912K is roughly about right for everyone, the drops at comb and heel measuring 1 11/16” and 2 1/8” along with a length of 14 5/8” and weight of pull of 5lbs 8oz. Add into this an overall weight of 7lbs 3oz that balances just under half an inch in front of the hinges. In the hands the 912 feels right with that air of purposefulness, ready for whatever target you might want to engage. It’s quick to mount, looks where you do, the wide top rib echoes back to the days of the American broad rib trap guns, over-unders I’ve always liked. It points quickly and switches swiftly between targets, all the while this new W&S endearing itself to the shooter.
After five minutes or so with the Arrow Laser Shot to confirm my initial thoughts and findings, the 912K was loaded up with 28g Express World Cups and shot around a local fifty birder culminated in an eighty percent score straight out of the box. Later on an early evening crow session resulted in nine perfect kills out of eleven shots, the same Cylinder and Improved Cylinder chokes fitted throughout whilst the speed of the action’s mechanical transfer was noticeably impressive, the second barrel discharge as rapid as any shooter could ask for.
Recoil is minimal to a degree its not especially worth mentioning whilst all the flush-fit choke tubes throw a measured, well distributed pattern although they are marginally tight to their indicated restrictions whilst the overall dynamics make the 912K an extremely user friendly 12 bore.
Back on track
Sourcing a range of shotguns that were worth their money in every respect even in the budget category isn’t difficult especially given today’s technology. However, fulfilling this simple edict seemed to elude the last lot who laid claim to tying the Webley & Scott name into some of the most ill conceived shotguns. Highland Outdoors it would seem are a different kettle of fish to a degree, if the 912K is anything to go by, they along with Messer’s Garrity and Williams would appear at long last to have got the Webley & Scott name back on track.
The thing that makes the 912K so attractive apart from the £775 asking price is the overall look and feel of the gun. Everything about it is right, the quality of the walnut, the gloss black of the barrels and action, the handling and the fact you can use it for any and all shotgunning applications actually make this gun stand out from the modestly price crowd.
Yes, the oil finish could be improved on, but I’ve had walnut costing over ten times the amount bleach itself white after a day in the rain and let’s face it, a pot of stock oil costs next to nothing whilst the slow, gentle application is all part and parcel of owning shotguns. Ultimately my advice is to go and try a 912K. In my opinion you’ll be pleasantly surprised and maybe just a little impressed and make no mistake, the new Webley & Scott 912K bears no resemblance to the shotguns that preceded it, an absolute blessing as far as I’m concerned.
|Name||Webley & Scott 912K|
|Calibre||12 – bore|
|Barrels||28” (Steel proofed)|
|Action||Boxlock over – under|
|Chokes||Flush – fit multi|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates