The Webley Rebel – the New Kid in Town

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Webley Rebel with optional scope mounted.

When I first got interested in adult precision airguns about a dozen years ago, my very purchase was a Benjamin 392 multi-stroke pneumatic. And I can’t tell you how many airgunners I’ve talked to over the years who started with a Crosman, Benjamin, or Sheridan multi-stroke pneumatic . . . it has to be scores of them.

And little wonder – multi-stroke pneumatics (MSPs) have a whole lot going for them. They tend to be very reliable, they are easy to shoot well, and you can vary the power by varying the number of strokes you put into them. There is no recoil, they are self-contained, and MSPs can be left pumped up all day without harm. In short, I like MSPs.

So imagine my delight when I found out that Webley has introduced a new MSP airgun, the Rebel. The .177 caliber Rebel stretches 34.6 inches from end to end and weighs just 4.4 lbs. At the extreme aft end of the Rebel is a rubbery butt page, which is attached to the ambidextrous synthetic stock by a white spacer. The stock is finished with a fine pebbly surface, giving it a matte appearance. On either side of the pistol grip and forestock is a pattern of tiny bumps to improve grip.

The pistol grip and forestock have small bumps to improve gripping.

Forward of the pistol grip, a black plastic trigger guard surrounds a black plastic trigger and push-button safety. Forward of the trigger guard is the forestock which serves as the pumping arm to charge the action. Above the forestock is the barrel which has a plastic fitting on the end that serves as a mount for the fiber-optic front sight. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the receiver, which is molded out of black plastic and has a dovetail on top for mount a scope or rear sight.

The breech closed and bolt forward.

The breech open and bolt back.

On the right side of the receiver is the breech. At the end of the receiver on the right side is a lever. Press it down, and the bolt springs backward, opening the breech for loading a pellet.

The pumping lever/forearm full open.

To ready the Rebel for shooting, grab the air rifle by the pistol grip with one hand and the forearm with the other. Open the forearm all the way and return it to its original position for each charging stroke. Pump the Rebel up to eight times for maximum power. When you’re done pumping, click the lever on the right side of the receiver, and when the breech pops open, load a pellet and push the bolt back to its original position.

Ease the first stage out of the trigger, squeeze the second stage, and the shot goes down range. Now this is where everything starts to get very interesting. First, the Webley Rebel is supposed to have something called a knock-open valve. Now, to be honest, I am not entire sure of the design details, but I do know that it is supposed to mean that the more pumps you put into it, the harder it will be to pull the trigger. So I did a little testing. At three pumps, the first stage was 1 lb. 6.2 oz., and the second stage was 2 lb. 8.6 oz. At five pumps, the first stage was 2 lb. 2 oz., and the second stage was 3 lb. 2.3 oz. At eight pumps, the first stage was 2 lb. 7.9 oz., and the second stage was 3 lb. 9 oz. So, yes, the trigger does get heavier as you increase the number of pumps, but at no point was the trigger so heavy that it was bothersome. Quite the contrary, I found the trigger to be very crisp and manageable.

The velocity, too, varies with the number of pumps. Here are the chrony results with RWS 7 grain Hobby pellets:

4 pumps = 645 fps
5 pumps = 705 fps
6 pumps = 740 fps
7 pumps = 766 fps
8 pumps = 786 fps

This picture speaks volumes for itself.

I save the best part for last: the Rebel delivers excellent accuracy. At 17 yards, at five pumps, using Crosman Premier Light 7.9 grain domed pellets, I shot a five-shot group that measured just .31 inches from edge to edge or just .13 inches from center to center. In addition, at five pumps, the report is remarkably subdued, just a mild pop.

In the end, I can heartily recommend the Webley Rebel. It delivers a whole lot of airgunning performance for not a lot of money. With an inexpensive scope mounted, it would be an excellent choice for an old hand at airgunning or an outright newbie.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

-          Jock Elliott

m4s0n501

13 Comments

  1. Erik says:

    Jock,
    Any experience with .22 cal? Pretty surprised that the .177 was almost 200fps slower than advertised by webley. I realize that most manufacturers overstate, but that just seems like false advertising. Perhaps you were testing a non- FAC gun. Great post.
    Thanks,
    Erik

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Erik,

      Sorry, I have not shot the .22 version. Thanks for the kind words.

  2. Alan VIctor says:

    Hi Jock,

    I’m thinking about buying this Webley Rebel. I heard that loading pellets is difficult due to the small breech. Any thoughts on that? Also, I shoot in my back yard (100 ft. fenced in) Is it loud enough to cause a problem with neighbors?

    Thanks!
    Alan

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Alan,

      If I recall correctly, you have to kind of roll the pellets into the breech from the side, but it’s not too bad once you learn the trick of it.

      The report is really pretty mild but not dead quiet. Of course, the big trick is to “make nice” with the neighbors. Point out that you are concerned about safety, will be shooting into a pellet trap, and also find out if there is any particular time when shooting would be a problem for them (like the when the baby is napping, etc.).

  3. Robert says:

    The FAC edition of the Webley Rebel (sold here in the states), pumps hard and hits hard like a steroids Benjamin. Basically its a Sharp Innova copy that was designed in Japan and was very popular in Europe. The new British edition of the Webley has limited power with a pressure vent but the full power FAC edition is unrestricted. Its a compact, powerful little rifle.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Robert,

      Thanks for your comments.

  4. Stephen says:

    I am curious what scope you have on the Webley Rebel in the pictures, or if you can recommend one.

    Thanks in advance!

    I really enjoy your articles.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Stephen,

      Thanks for the kind words! I believe the scope was a CenterPoint 3-12 x44 mini tactical scope. You could use just about any scope on the Rebel since it is virtually recoilless.

  5. JRMoreau says:

    My girlfriend got me one of these for my 29th birthday and I’m happy with it so far. Seems very well made, even with the plastic. Boy, does it pack a punch too! Wasn’t expecting it from a multi-pump, even thought it was advertised to do so!

  6. JRMoreau says:

    I bought one, scoped it and LOVE it! Thanks for inspiring this purchase with your blog post!

  7. DR longstroke says:

    be careful not to tighten down the trigger pull adjustment screw to tight or the gun can pump its self past the trigger pull and go off in your hands!!! Other than that pumping 4 times will do a squirrel in at 20 yards. Be prepared to take the main chunk of the gun apart to flush out the crap grease the factory used and drown it in wd40 and fluid film it will pump and shoot like a totally different gun after this and is well worth tracking down the diagram and breaking out a Philips head screw driver to do so, a pair of needle nose pliers will fit the holes in the brass end plate of the valve and allow you access to its inners for a proper oil bath remember with this gun the moto is “when in doubt lubricate”

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Dr Lonstroke,

      I do not recommend taking any airgun apart while it is still under warranty, and after that, only if you are absolutely positive that you know what you are doing.

  8. pcp4me says:

    I have a Sharp Innova Puma, which is a copy of the original Sharp. This guns looks like an almost exact copy of the one I have. Even velocities look similar. Mine will not hit 900 fps with 8 pumps, but will with 11 or 12 pumps. But getting than many pumps in it is a big chore! No need for a gym membership if you shoot it 50 – 100 X per day with even 10 pumps! You will build bulging muscles!

    This gun is VERY accurate with a variety of pellets. I got lucky to find one about 2 years ago and love it! Thinking about getting a Webley in .22 to go with it!

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