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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
Of the PCP mechanical action air pistols, I’d think there’s none better than the Webley Alecto. I say this as not only is it one of the finest examples of internal engineering I’ve seen and used but it also has great handling characteristics and many practical features.
The black, polymer mainframe and grip, combined with its modern styling, make the Alecto an imposing gun, in both looks and build. If anything it has a bit of an IMI Desert Eagle and Jericho look about it. From the box it comes with open sights; up front a blade with a red insert and at the rear a fully adjustable, low profile U-notch. On either side of the slide are dummy safety levers that are actually the unlocking catches to allow you to open it. Once unlatched the top frame carrying the barrel easily hinges forward for the outward stroke that draws air into the cylinder. When fully open this allows direct pellet loading into the barrel’s exposed breech. Returning (or closing) the top frame compresses the air in the cylinder and also cocks the pistol.
The forward/top section of the over-lever features a five inch Weaver-type dovetail with a single recoil slot. Which will allow the use of optical sighting systems – red dots and long eye relief pistol scopes. Though given their base width you might need an adaptor. This is mirrored by a shorter length of multi-slotted Picatinny rail underneath, so if you wish you can put a light or laser on too.
The large trigger guard is square and has a forward finger hold if a double handed is used. Inside the guard is the chrome plated trigger blade and in front of this is the cruciform auto safety lever. The safety is pushed forward to FIRE and pulls back for SAFE, and is easy and natural to operate.
The pistol grip is quite target-orientated with a moulding that conforms to the hand along with finger grips plus thumb and palm shelve. The latter is adjustable, so can be tailored to suit just about anyone. Webley provides a star key for this purpose. If that was not enough the whole grip is dimpled for even more adhesion. If you are a south paw don’t worry as a left handed option is also available, which is smart marketing. Overall for what I would term as a general purpose pistol this arrangement is pretty sophisticated.
Unlocking the over lever and lifting it up to loading position reveals the Alecto’s 7 ½” rifled steel barrel. This is a familiar build also used by Weihrauch and Gamo on their manual PCP pistols. At this point you decide on how many pumps you want, as we’ve now reached the variable power system. One gives a plinking-usable 3 ft/lbs, two jacks it up to 5ft/lbs and a third only adds a measly extra ½ ft/lb more. An integral dump valve automatically keeps the gun at the legal 6 ft/lb limit so don’t waste your effort. I’d say two pumps are ideal for most uses!
For a rifle shooter like myself, handguns can prove to be the hardest to shoot well. There’s no butt to pull into your shoulder with a steadying second hand grip on the forend – instead it’s all done at arm’s length with sight picture, stance and trigger release totally down to you. Many airgun hunters have long known if you want to improve, brush up or assess your trigger technique – there’s no better way than to take out the air pistol and have some target time. If you think that ‘codswallop’ try it and see what you think.
When you start shooting the Alecto you’ll soon appreciate the gun’s adjustable, 2-stage trigger. It can be set up to almost any level of let off and travel. Incidentally, the foresight flips over to offer a choice of blade width as well as positioning within the housing. Webley include tools for all tweaking required.
Shooting the Alecto on one pump will soon have you printing tight groups using the open sights out to 12-15 yards, given you input a solid stance, good hold and trigger technique. Up the power with two pumps and you can push the range out to 40-50 yards; yes you read it right. Here it will easily handle suitable spinners or even knock over targets. This I hasten to add is best done with some form of optic fitted.
At full power there’s a measure of muzzle flip, which is to be expected. I rigged it up with a UTG red/green dot sight in a raised, angle-back mount and underneath fitted a Guntuff laser. The Alecto now excelled, the extra weight helped quell muzzle flip. Using this set-up and a two handed, isosceles hold, I set the laser to coincide with the green dot at 50 yards. Incidentally there’s an AGS pistol scope to suit and a combination laser/flashlight option available. My only gripe is; wouldn’t it be cool if they made a retrofit and effective silencer!
Despite how long it’s been available, the Webley Alecto is still amongst the best of the pump-up single shot air pistols available. Considering its accuracy potential, variable power versatility and ability it offers for mounting alternative and multiple sighting options, this is undoubtedly a landmark air pistol.
PRICE: £229.95 includes hard case, instructions, tools and cleaning kit