Popular Tags:

Webley Venom Viper .22 Carbine (PCP)

December 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm

The Webley Viper Venom is a precharged pneumatic legal limit air rifle in .22 calibre. This was one of the last rifles produced by Webley before going into receivership and in my opinion, one of the best made. It is basically a carbine version of the acclaimed Webley Raider, benefiting from a shorter Walther barrel, fitted with a silencing shroud. In use I found the silencing inefficient and modified the screwed in end cap on my lathe, to take a light weight plastic silencer. The report on firing is now inaudible beyond ten yards, which means more chance of a second shot. On one occasion, I had set out pigeon decoys, with sweet corn as bait to keep the birds on the ground and managed to shoot five from a down wind hide before they took flight. This did highlight one deficiency of the Viper, a two shot shuttle magazine, which had me frantically feeding    pellets, having to take my eyes off the pigeons, while I reloaded the shuttle. An upgrade was available later, a ten shot rotary magazine, intended for the Raider, fitting straight in, but the original set up worked OK for me. What ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Fitted with an inexpensive 9-3 x40 scope, the Viper accounted for over two hundred rabbits in my first year on a couple of infested farms. The rifle comes up to the shoulder easily and presents a steady shooting platform, allowing accurate kills out to thirty yards, while from rest, forty yard head shots were successful, although at that range a drop of three inches had to be allowed, when using Bisley Magnums.

This rifle operates on the precharged system. A pump, or on my case, a small diver’s bottle is used to deliver pressurised air through an inlet port to charge the air cylinder. A bolt is pulled back , carrying a spring loaded hammer with it, cocking the trigger and also the pellet probe is withdrawn, allowing the shuttle to align a pellet with the barrel. The bolt is then moved forward, the probe pushing the pellet in position ahead of the transfer port. When the trigger is pulled, the spring loaded hammer is released, which pushes a valve forward, it’s drilling aligning with the transfer port, momentarily allowing air to pass at speed through the port, to enter the barrel behind the pellet. The probe seals the rear end of the barrel, so the pellet accelerates along the rifled barrel to it’s exit. Due to the light spring acting on the hammer, there is little mechanical noise and even less vibration, resulting in very accurate shots every time. The cylinder holds enough pressure for about forty shots.

CZ Relum .177 (springer)

December 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

My first rifle the .177 Relum was bought brand new in the ’60’s for £7 from a high street store that seemed to sell everything. I wanted a .22, but they were out of stock and being made in Czechoslovakia, I was told by the sales girl, that there could be a long wait. Being no difference in price, just the barrel calibre and not wanting to make a fuss, as I was only fifteen and not the required seventeen, a tin of pellets was added to the sale and I left with the box to catch the bus home.

Although cheap compared to my friend’s .22 BSA Meteor, the Relum proved very accurate and powerful, giving me entry to a band of scruffy lads, who spent many hours sinking cans and bottles along our local canal, or staking out likely rat runs at the dump, an area where unsold vegetables were left to rot in heaps along the towpath. A volley of shots would announce the untimely end of another pink tailed rodent. The older lads taught us the basics, safety, trajectory, cover, stalking and importantly, keeping quiet. This was in the days when owning an air rifle was considered a rite of passage for a teen age boy and to carry one on open land was not a criminal act, the law of armed trespass nowhere near the statute book.

The construction of this rifle was the then standard springer action. The barrel was “broken” and pulled down, compressing the mainspring, until it was cocked and held by the trigger. This exposed the rear end of the barrel, into which the waisted pellet was pushed, being held by the pellet skirt. On snapping back the barrel to the locked position, the pellet sealed against the air cylinder exhaust port. When the trigger was pulled, the spring was released, accelerating an attatched leather washer down the cylinder, until the air in the cylinder compressed enough to overcome the resistance of the pellet skirt and sent it down and out of the rifled barrel.

I recently overhauled the Relum, fitting a new spring, which brought it close to the now legal limit of 12 ft lb muzzle power and it gives good service picking off pigeons in a farmer’s barns at close range up to fifteen yards, the small calibre easily penetrated their feathery armour. I made the mistake of using one of my more powerful .22 rifles previously and noticed too late the holes appearing in the roof. Oops!