Webley Tempest Pistol
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- Last updated: 20/03/2017
If ever there was an iconic,instantly recognisable air pistol design it has to be one of the Webley range. That age old forward hinging barrel on top of the action cocking design is as simple as it is reliable.
The Webley Tempest has changed very little over the years and you still get a reasonably priced easy to use plinking pistol for some backyard tin can or target sessions.It is a single shot spring piston powered pistol that is available in .177 or .22 calibre. It features a manual safety catch,adjustable trigger, simple open sights and comes with a twelve month warranty.
This model is finished in all black with part blacked and part blued finish with nice twin moulded side panels as grips with a comfy thumb rest to aid in a steady hold and ultimately better aim.
Barrel,Action and Sights
Webley quote a precision rifled barrel and yes it looks very nice. It is 6.85 inches long with a small 0.45 inch girth and finished in matt bluing.The rifling is 12 groove shallow lands with the muzzle crowned to avoid damage and I am not sure but it might be slightly choked as lead does build up 0.5 inch from the muzzle end.
To cock you have to release the barrel from the “stirrup” type latch. There is a section of machine turning on the barrel which is gripped in the left hand whilst the right thumb pushes in the release latch rearward and the barrel can now be moved upwards.
It is best to reverse your left hand so the thumb rests towards the muzzle with the other fingers gripped around the barrel to cock fully with the barrel moving up and over to the muzzle end. Sounds a bit about face, but is works!You will hear and feel the trigger sear engage and the barrel is left loose at a 60 degree angle. The barrel is sealed by a large synthetic “O” ring with the barrel end lightly chamfered to give a good seal and keep power output up. It`s worth checking it every now and again to check it has not become damaged or scored from debris when the barrel is locked in place.
The piston is now completely compressed and a pellet can be popped into the breech end of the barrel which is then returned to battery.You can un-cock by holding the barrel fully open, and under control, release the trigger and slowly decompress the spring - watch fingers your fingers.
There are simple open sights, a shallow fore sight which is nothing more than a raised notch with the rear sight being a leaf blade with square notch that can be adjusted for height and windage via two large securing screws.
Trigger and Safety
The trigger is a smooth finished black metal curved trigger blade that combined with the very nice and comfortable hand grips with thumb rest allows a good constant trigger pull. Pull weight is adjusted by varying the spring tension on the return spring from 3-5 lbs, as such this model broke at 4.25lbs so nice and safe. Adjustment is made via a hole in the trigger guard once the trigger is cocked, turn the adjustment clockwise to increase trigger pull and anti clockwise to lighten it.
The safety is a manual affair and cannot be operated if the pistol is not cocked. When done so the large toggle safety lever sited on the left hand side in front of the thumb rest is pushed upward to engage to conceal the visiblered dot for fire mode.
Ammunition Compatibility Test Results
Pellet Weight Velocity fps Energy ft/lbs Accuracy at 6 yds (inch)
RWS Superdome 8.0gr 447.7 3.6 1.0
Defiant 7.4gr 501.0 4.1 1.5
Bisley Magnum 10.6gr 398.3 3.7 1.25
Beeman Silver Arrow 11.6gr 375.3 3.6 2.0
Accupells 7.8gr 476.0 3.9 1.25
Lazadome 8.6gr 464.6 4.1 1.0
Bisley LRG 7.4gr 468.6 3.6 1.75
RWS Hobby 6.8gr 500.2 3.8 0.85
FTT 8.6gr 468.9 4.2 1.0
A A Field 8.6gr 463.4 4.1 1.45
RWS Superpoint 8.4gr 431.5 3.5 1.25
JSB Exact Heavy 10.0gr 379.7 3.2 1.5
JSB Exact 8.6gr 477.0 4.4 1.0
Bisley Pest Control 8.6gr 436.9 3.7 1.75
RWS Hyper Velocity 6.0gr 536.8 3.8 1.85
I was pleasantly surprised at both the accuracy and power of this little pistol especially when you consider the ancient design behind the Tempest.
I mustered all the .177 pellets I could and tested them over the chronograph and target set at 6 yards.
Once you have become accustomed to the simple open sights the Tempest actually sits very nicely in the hand and points quite naturally to the target.There is a knack to opening the barrel latch with the right hand and then reaching over with the left to pull the barrel up and forward to cock. Little effort is needed and after some prolonged plinking sessions it becomes easier and smoother.
Best velocity went to the RWS Hyper but they do weigh the least at 6.0 grains so velocity of 536.8 fps for 3.8 ft/lbs was expected but accuracy was poor at 1.85 inch.
The Defiant’s with 7.4gr pellets sped along at 501.0 fps for 4.1 ft/lbs and shot better at 1.5 inches. But third best velocity of 500.2 fps and 3.8 ft/lbs energy from the RWS Hobbies turned in really good 0.85 five shot groups at 6 yards.
If you justlook at power output then the JSB Exacts punched out 4.4 ft/lbs with a healthy 477.0 fps and good 1.0 inch accuracy nearly mimicked by the FTT at 4.2 ft/lbs and 468.9 ft/lbs and 1.0 accuracy.
As stated the RWS Hobbies were most accurate at 0.85 inch with four more pellets, the RWS Superdome, Lazadome, FTT and JSB Exacts all in second place on 1.25 inch.
I would choose either the RWS Hobbies for accuracy or JSB Exact`s (8.6gr) for sheer power – and pretty good accuracy too.
The Tempest is a compact reasonably accurate and powerful air pistol designed for some good old fashioned plinking. As such its design has lasted for decades now and it’s nice to see its legacy continuing. There is also a very good instruction book explaining trigger adjustment and disassembly if necessary. The finish is very good and handling excellent with very comfortable grips and thumb rest and well worth the price tag in my view.
CONTACT: Highland Outdoors 01858 410683