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Advice Servicing Webley Senior Pre-war

Discussion in 'Vintage collectable airguns' started by honkhonk, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. honkhonk

    honkhonk Member

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    Hello,
    I've recently acquired a Webley senior air pistol with the serial number starting "S10"
    It belonged to my Grandfather who passed away earlier this year at the age of 90.
    I remember him telling me that he had, had it as a kid from around the age of 9-12, i can't quite remember the exact age.
    Luckily the pistol is in my hands now and is safe because as soon as my auntie heard about it, she was going to take it to the police station as she believes all guns are bad bla-bla...

    The pistol is very low on power and miss-fires a lot.
    I've taken it apart and plan on servicing it, but with very limited knowledge.

    I've heard there is a book available by Gordon Bruce - Webley Air Pistols: Their History and Development. That is supposed to have a lot of information about the pre-war slant grip Senior.

    Parts i need are as follows: and if anyone can help me out with the cheapest suppliers, i would be grateful.

    Breech seal + Fitting tool
    Pistol Mainspring
    Phosphor Bronze Piston Ring (possibly, can anyone confirm?)

    The part you were waiting for ;)

    Thanks.

    webley7.jpg

    webley1.jpg

    webley5.jpg

    webley2.jpg

    webley3.jpg

    webley4.jpg

    webley6.jpg
     
    pjbingham likes this.
  2. norman

    norman Donator

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    I'd suggest a breech seal & mainspring is all you need (£20)....try fitting those first...John Knibbs/Chambers/Protek supplies are your main suppliers...you don't need a tool to fit the breech seal...good luck..& welcome..:thumb:
     
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  3. Geezer

    Geezer Posting Addict

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    Assuming all the parts are original, that is a very late pre-war Senior. The barrel knurling was introduced in June 1939. The plain grips - slightly later ones had “Webley” moulded into them - were dropped soon after that. Suggesting that your grandfather (my condolences on his loss) most likely got it in the second half of 1939. Or at least, that that was when it was made. Webley apparently sold Seniors until 1942, but they were surely old stock, as by then the factory was devoted 100% to war work.

    A lovely heirloom. I hope you get it up and running and enjoy using it.
     
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  4. ggggr

    ggggr Crap old gun tinkerer and wine maker

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    I'd agree with you Norm----A spring like that wont push much out and a new breech seal should pretty much sort it. A fitting tool would make things easier, but with the neoprene breech seals, if the barrel is off when you do it, its fairy easy (and remember the rounded side faces the barrel and the flat side goes in the breech).
    The other thing I would do is use a fairly thick mineral oil to lube the gun as Webleys seem to like this and it seems to be the best thig to stop the back of the piston digging into the cylinder--which I've come across with a few Webley pistols.
     
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  5. That hurts

    That hurts Barely Active

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    As above, and you are right that the piston seal is a phosphor bronze unit ... I tried to get one for a friend a little while back from Protek, but they were out of stock so eventually he sourced one himself from John Knibbs
     
    honkhonk likes this.
  6. Geezer

    Geezer Posting Addict

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    Incidentally, a Senior back then would have cost 45 shillings, or £2.60 in our money. That works out, inflation corrected, as about £170. Damn nice present for a ten-year old.
     
    JamieB57 likes this.
  7. pjbingham

    pjbingham Prime Kentish Beef

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    Hi,welcome to the forum :up:
    Your Senior is a really nice pistol,I have a couple of a similar age and they are great to shoot.
    Bruce’s Webley book is excellent but don’t be surprised if it leads to buying more Webleys,it’s available still but shop around as prices seem to vary considerably,there’s always a number of them on Fleabay for example.
    You mention that the Senior ‘misfires’ do you mean that a pellet doesn't exit the barrel every time or does it sometimes go off without touching the trigger or with the slightest of touch? If the latter check out the sear and sear spring. The sears are known to wear and the springs become compressed. It will mean taking the trigger and sear pins out but this is easy to do,just make note which way the sear goes back in and reassemble with light oil such as 3in1.
    There is some evidence of wear on the phosphor bronze piston ring but these are most often fit for re-use.
    When you pop your grips back on make sure the little locating pin at the lower rear is nicely fitted into the mating hole in the grip else you will crack the grip as you tighten it,the amount of Webley’s seen with damaged grips is eye watering.
    Atb Phil AEF225E2-6CEA-4F08-B85E-1A04969D6763.jpeg
     
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  8. honkhonk

    honkhonk Member

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    Thanks a lot guys, very helpful.

    @pjbingham - By misfiring i mean the pellet does not always exit the barrel, maybe 1 in 5 shots will work.

    I also just remembered that the barrel catch does not always hold the barrel in place, and sometimes pops up when firing.
     
    pjbingham likes this.
  9. norman

    norman Donator

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    Breech seal is fooked..replace this along with a new mainspring...good lube..job's a good un..:thumb:
     
  10. honkhonk

    honkhonk Member

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    Thanks.
    For the lube, I've found Abbey Gun Grease LT2 (Molybdenum) and Abbey Gun & Rifle Oil (Light Viscocity Mineral Oil)

    Would this be ok, or should i go for Bisley Brand?
     
    pjbingham likes this.
  11. ggggr

    ggggr Crap old gun tinkerer and wine maker

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    I would go for something thicker for the cylinder and piston.I think the original Webley oil was a straight sae 40 engine oil. I use chainsaw Sae 30? oil in mine as I have some here. If you use LT2 on the mainsping, just put a tiny amount on an old toothbrush and scrub it onto the spring. I have see quite a few guns with grease dropping off them!:eek:
    If you get problems with the gun not cocking when you fit the new mainspring, shout up on here.:) Often with the Webley pistols, the little cocking shoe wears and rather than change it, people use more and more force and can cause damage to the linkage, fulcrum, piston and sear.
     
    pjbingham likes this.
  12. norman

    norman Donator

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    Grrr & PJbingham will be along soon to advise...they are the resident Webley pistol sexpert's....;)


    Bingo...beat me to it...:up:
     
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  13. pjbingham

    pjbingham Prime Kentish Beef

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    I use the Abbey LT2 grease it’s good stuff. As Grrr says just don’t over do it. I use it on the spring and on the cocking shoe and I make sure there’s some on the inside of the cocking slot,i don’t find oil lasts long enough in this area. Use the light oil you have for the trigger and sear components but it’s too light for a Senior piston. I use a oil from work that we use on exposed worm drives but it’s basically the same as chainsaw oil that Guy uses (except it’s ridiculous price tag) so I’d go for the chainsaw oil,think you can buy a small bottle of it at Screwfix or Tool station for about £4 if you don’t have any.
     
    honkhonk likes this.
  14. pjbingham

    pjbingham Prime Kentish Beef

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    Won’t catch me working on them there Wobbly pistols..... awful they are....truly awful :mao:
     
  15. Radlad

    Radlad Well-Known Member

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    Entirely agree. They all need getting rid of and putting out of harms way. I can arrange safe disposal if required, just post them to me! Especially if they are the early Mk1 model
     
    pjbingham likes this.
  16. pjbingham

    pjbingham Prime Kentish Beef

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    0F82E0E0-F3C2-4EC8-B6FB-356C1D3C93A1.jpeg
    Can’t stand them but they seem to breed like cockroaches round my way, here’s a few
     
    honkhonk likes this.
  17. Troubledshooter

    Troubledshooter Active Member

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    Webley mineral oil was straight SAE30, same as used to be used in 2/ mixtures.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    pjbingham and honkhonk like this.
  18. honkhonk

    honkhonk Member

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    Lovely collection there pjbingham.

    Thanks for all the responses guys, time to order the parts and get to work :)
     
    pjbingham likes this.
  19. Troubledshooter

    Troubledshooter Active Member

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    I can supply all the new original parts you require. Send me an email for details.
     
  20. Radlad

    Radlad Well-Known Member

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    That should be easy enough to get. It's the main oil used in most classic British motorcycles pre about 1970. Hasn't been used in 2 stroke mix for years, modern synthetics burn cleaner and don't foul plugs.
     

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