|Closeup view of the Webley & Scott Series 3000 over/under shotgun|
“Are you ready to fall in love?”
That’s not the usual question I hear when walking up to the firing line on a trap range. I was at the Lee Kay Center, a public shooting facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, and operated by the Utah Division of Wildlife. It’s an outstanding facility, with trap, skeet, archery, airgun, rifle and pistol ranges. I was there with other outdoor writers from around the country in connection with this year’s annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, held this year at Snowbird.
People were skiing at Snowbird on the 4th of July, just before our conference started, though summer was in full bloom at the time of our conference.
Getting back to the question, however, the object of expected affection was a new shotgun just coming to U.S. markets, an over/under shotgun with an old name, Webley & Scott.
Webley & Scott, in various corporate identities, has been around since the 1790s. W. C. Scott & Sons made guns and gun components that ended up in a variety of classic shotguns back in the Victorian era. Webley & Son was known for revolvers and other sidearms. Among their customers was George Armstrong Custer, and it’s believed that Custer was carrying a Webley revolver at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The companies merged in 1897 and Webley & Scott produced several models of handguns for the British military through both World Wars, as well as for police forces. Webley & Scott also manufactured various air rifles and pistols after 1920 when the UK began to strictly control civilian firearms.
Webley & Scott went through a number of corporate reorganizations and ownerships over the years, including the latest just a year ago, with the new management’s plan to bring the Webley & Scott name back to the American shotgunning market. Webley & Scott previously marketed a line of shotguns in the U.S. in the 1970s.
The new Webley & Scott guns are made in Turkey to W & S specifications. A lot of guns marketed in the U.S., incidentally, are made in Turkey. The main lines of guns are over/under double barrel shotguns in both 12 and 20-gauge actions. They come with interchangeable choke tubes and several configurations of barrel lengths and safety actions. The guns even come with a padded hard case. Even better, they come with a highly competitive price tag of around $1200 for the 900 series, or $2200 for the somewhat fancier 1200 series version.
They also had one 3000 series 20-gauge gun on hand, which I had only a chance to admire but not shoot. This model, which comes in both side-by-side and over/under configurations, is a sidelock gun, also available in 12-gauge, and comes with both fancy wood and metal work. The price tag is also a bit fancier at $6500, but as sidelocks go, it’s probably a bargain.
Do they shoot? Yes they do. I would have liked to have shot at a lot more clay pigeons than I did, but in my brief test they handled well and when I did my job, the gun did its job and the targets shattered. The guns weigh in at just over seven pounds and I’d sure like to see them whittle some weight off of that, though I concede they don’t weigh any more than most of their competition. The sidelock model is a slimmer 6.5 pounds.
I had a chance to chat with Derick Cole, president of the Webley & Scott U.S. branch. He said the only other people who have had a chance to give these guns a try were at a Pheasants Forever outing where everybody raved about them. We writers were just the second group to try them.
These guns are so new that they aren’t yet available at many retailers, though they’re busy talking to major sporting goods companies. At any rate, people interested in getting a good over/under shotgun without spending a ton of money might check them out now at www.webleyandscott.com.
Maybe I did fall in love.