Sporting Gun's gunsmith tests the new Webley & Scott 1012 Sporter, but how does the Italian-bulit gun compare to its predecessor?
Having sold a lot of Webley & Scott 900 series shotguns over the last few years, I hold them in high regard. So high, in fact, that I bought a 920 game gun for my good lady. When Stuart Grant, Highland Outdoors Southern Sales Manager, popped in on his monthly visit and told me that there were new models arriving shortly, I was looking forward to having a good look at them.
Two new models
Webley & Scott is in the process of releasing two new models to the market. The 950 series Turkish-built entry-level gun with an RRP of £649 and the new Italian-built 1000 series, which is a re-styled and upgraded successor to the Turkish 900 series.
I was sent a new 1012 Sporter, with 30in barrels and a price of £999.99 I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed!
Nice touches to the Webley & Scott 1012 Sporter
The Webley design team has been hard at work with Italian manufacturers. They have come up with some really nice touches that give this gun some real class, with the added beauty of staying below the £1,000 mark. Available in both 12 and 20-bore with 28in and 30in barrels, the gun also has Sporter (scroll engraved with ventilated barrel optic sight) and game gun (game scene engraved with brass bead and auto safety) options.
The first thing I noticed was an upgrade to the packaging, from the expensive handmade cardboard box to a nicely made maker’s plastic carry case. A full set of nicely finished flush fitting chokes complete with a nicely made solid choke key rather than the obligatory cheap, flat spanner.
Stock and action
The gun has a really good, nice solid stock and action with a nice improved palm swell, which is normally something lacking in the sub-£1,000 shotgun range. There is a little right-hand cast, but nothing I couldn’t get around as a left-hander. The Grade 2 wood comes as standard and the wood-to-metal fit was nicely executed. There’s a nice floral scroll engraved all around the action and trigger guard. The engraved clay target on the top lever is a really nice touch – nothing gaudy but you notice it. It has an almost round bottom to the action, which is comfortable on the forearm when carrying the gun.
The butt pad is made of chunky 20mm thick rubber, but it was nice and soft to absorb the recoil. It wasn’t sticky going in to the shoulder, like some rubber pads can be, which was a bonus, but it did take the length of pull up to 15in, which may put some people off , but it certainly didn’t feel long to me and I’m not the biggest person in the world.
The 30in vented sporting barrels were nicely blued and polished, with a nice wide rib starting 10mm wide at the action tapering down to 5mm at the fibre optic red bead, which came up nicely to the eye. The chamber is 3in and the tubes are steel proof. The ejectors and metal work are all finished as you’d expect and the engine turning was nicely done. One nice touch was that there was an indication on the chokes saying whether they were suitable for steel shot or not. They also had the full description marked on them; for example, star/written/notches – so for anyone struggling with decoding chokes you’re fully covered. As with most new Italian-made barrels, they are marked clearly with calibre, chamber length and date of manufacture in date format and in the Italian date code, which can be like decoding algebra if you don’t know what to look for!
I found the fore-end fit and form was nicely executed and very comfortable to hold. For a new gun, the chequering was very comfortable and not too sharp.
Overall it was a really nice, well thought out and put together gun that I would gladly recommend to anyone looking to start clay shooting. It comes with a three year manufacturer’s warranty, which puts your mind at rest. If Webley & Scott follows what it did with the 900 series – that is providing short stock and barrel length variations and including a left-handed version – I think they will have a really good product. I look forward to seeing the game version.
I took the gun down to Ivythorn Sporting to try it out on clay layout there. It’s a good test site because I can book in on my own and work the traps via buttons and I don’t hold anybody up, especially when I try to shoot right handed! Not my natural stance, but I wanted to see if the palm swell made a difference. It certainly felt a lot more comfortable but I can’t say it made me shoot any better. I shot from both shoulders with similar results. So we shall have to see what comes back from the reader’s test.
I found it to be well balanced and not too barrel heavy, even with the 30in barrels and multi-chokes. It mounted nicely to the shoulder, handled well and was very “pointable”. It managed recoil admirably, which is not surprising because it weighs in at nearly 8lb.
Importers: Highland Outdoors
Webley & Scott
As an arms manufacturer, Webley & Scott was founded in Birmingham in 1834. Webley produced handguns and rifles from 1834 to 1979, when the company ceased to manufacture firearms and instead focused on its production of air pistols and air rifles.
However in 2010 Webley & Scott restarted the production of shotguns for commercial sale. Although design research and development are all UK-based, its guns are now made overseas in Turkey and Italy.
Webley is famous for the revolvers and automatic pistols it supplied to the British Empire’s military, particularly the British Army from 1887 through both World Wars.
See the Webley & Scott 900 at the IWA Trade Show in Nuremburg, Germany.
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A really good product and look forward to seeing the game version