The Webley & Scott 912G (900 series 12-bore game model) is part of an expanding selection in a broad price range.
In the 900 range there are game and sporter models, barrel lengths from 26in to 32in, 12- or 20-bore versions and internal or external (protruding) chokes to choose from.
All are supplied with cases, a selection of choke tubes, a key and owner’s manual.
The first impression of the game model on test is of a cobby, handy gun, enhanced by its 26in barrels. Interestingly, even at 26in, the weight distribution has a positive bias towards the barrels, giving a firm feel.
The chunky fore-end and a good handful of stock combine to make a useful general-purpose gun.
Well thought-out safety
The 912G’s appearance is one of contrasts – silky black barrels against reddish-brown wood and a striking light-coloured action boldly bearing the Webley & Scott name.
The action body is machined from a substantial piece of steel incorporating hinge discs for the barrels to pivot and lockwork of a design which is the norm for a modern over-and-under.
The barrel selection is operated from a button in the middle of the ramped safety catch and the changeover is mechanical rather than relying on an inertia block. The cranked arm, which operates the automatic function of the safety, is well designed. The helical mainsprings are conventional for this design and though these seem a little on the small side, they are good quality.
Attention to detail
Proofed in Birmingham for steel shot and a 76mm (3in) cartridge, the barrels are assembled on the monoblock system. There is extensive jewelling around the sides of the block where it fits into the action and the sprung ejectors.
The proof sizes on the two barrels are 18.3mm and 18.4mm. In old British Imperial measurements both qualify as ‘tight’ 12. They were both exactly in the middle of the size range.
The barrels’ exterior is true with well-laid side ribs and a slim non-glare top rib fitted with a conventional brass bead foresight.
Very good attention to detail has been applied to the finishing at the muzzles – something users now notice with screw-in chokes. The bores are flawless inside as indeed they now need to be to pass the viewing stage of the UK Proof Houses.
Five internal chokes are provided. Two are already fitted and the others come in separate containers for protection. They are all well marked, including those not for use with steel shot, and have a notch-mark at the muzzle for quick reference.
They are easily interchangeable and sizes range from cylinder to full choke, so there is something suitable for most purposes.
The length of pull is 14¾in and combined with its other substantial dimensions this makes the 912G a man-sized gun.
Drop across the comb is 1½in at the tip and just over 2in at the heel. These dimensions and the fairly wide comb follow a trend among major manufacturers. I normally find such dimensions a bit high for a game gun, but the results showed up on the pattern plate.
The laser-produced chequering is uniform and deeply cut, giving an outstanding grip. This is not an expensive gun so one cannot expect superb-grade walnut. However, the fore-end had some attractive dark veining and fiddleback.
Even the stock – a plainer piece of wood – had some nice fiddleback around the pistol grip.
An oiled finish is always a good idea, though at first the stock felt a little sticky. It may have been too fresh from fi ishing, but with a bit of handling it soon felt as dry as the fore-end. This type of finish is a boon to the enthusiast who likes to do some palming-in of stock oil.
Impressive shot patterns
On test, the 912G showed another side of its character. The trigger pulls are almost 6lb and a little long but even. This is the norm and a legacy of the ultra-safety conscious approach manufacturers have to take nowadays. The ejection of fired cases was crisp and clean and the timing of double ejections was spot-on.
The safety button snicked back into place each time the gun was opened. Initially the primer strikes were a bit lighter than expected but got better as the gun was used.
The biggest surprise of all was to be found on the pattern plate. The shot patterns with the cartridges I used were most impressive and on a par with some much more expensive guns.
However, with my shooting style it threw the patterns rather high. Though well-centred on the plate, due largely to a reasonable amount of cast-off on the stock, the bottom of the patterns from more open chokes was only clipping the aiming mark by 2in or 3in.
With full choke it was possible to place the pattern a little above the mark – good for more traditional shooters who like to see the bird as though perched on the foresight bead. This is not a problem for someone whose sight picture is the target in full view above the rib.
Results that count
The 912G is an interesting gun as you get more than you might think. At 26in the barrels might be thought short and yet they are entirely suited to the gun on test and they look right. Having had the chance to try a longer-barrelled model, I would have no hesitation in choosing this gun.
If there is a modern advertisement for the benefit of shorter barrels the 912G 26in is a worthy contender.
As for the shot patterns, it is important to remember it is good shot patterns and pellet energy that make consistent clean kills possible – not fancy wood or engraving. In the end, with any gun, it is the results that count.
Shot patterns: 4/5
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