Gun test: Webley & Scott 912XS - a great gun for under a grand!
- Credit: Archant
Drennan is impressed by the Webley & Scott 912XS shotgun, which offers an entry-level competition gun and a great tool for newcomers to the sport for less than £1k!
Webley & Scott is a name ingrained in British history, having been a supplier of fine arms for many decades, from its pistols and air rifles to its shotguns. Like many other traditional manufacturers of arms here in the UK, Webley & Scott have embraced the opportunity of having guns made for them in Turkey, and the new 912XS is such a gun. Those clever Turks have done quite a marvel on this particular Webley & Scott. When I was first introduced to the tech specs of this gun by Becky White of Highland Outdoors, the importers, I wasn’t dancing around the office with delight or stroking my beard with a sense of admiration. I mean, come on, it isn't exactly packed with impressive features that you wouldn’t expect to find on any gun!
But then... Becky informed me that this gun is less than £1k. Now, you’ve got no soul if you don’t do a double-take and reply to her statement, as I did, with an exhaled “whaaat did you just say?” Turns out my ears are and were working perfectly. So, the tech specs list – especially the inclusion of an adjustable stock – is something to be impressed by when also considering its price range. However, shooting a gun is a testament to its actual value, especially considering I recently shot an English hand-built gun costing more than the national debt of Nigeria, and it shot like an angry hornet nest.
First impressions of the Webley & Scott 912XS
Once I got my mitts on this Webley, it was clear that some considerable thought had gone into it, especially with regards to the market that the team at Highland are aiming it at; which, incidentally, is entry-level competition. It’s heavy... like, I need a can of spinach heavy.
This can be looked at both positively and negatively, but, first things first, it was time to bring some balance to the thing as it was as nose-heavy as an aircraft carrier. So, bundling a rather hefty chunk of weight into the stock (now supplied with the guns), the 912XS was heavier than ever but felt nicely connected. It’s incredible just what balance will do to guns, from the cheapest to the most expensive. To be honest, cheap or costly, without balance they all feel dreadful anyway!
Webley & Scott 912XS features
With it having a steel action, this again adds weight to the gun, and to look at weight positively, you can just use Newton’s third law. It’s a relatively simple mathematical equation, which in layman’s terms means more weight = less recoil. You’re not going to get a much simpler equation than that. Another benefit of it having a steel action is that it’s strong – you could back a Land Rover over this thing, and it’s just going to require a quick wipe off of dust before you’ll be on your way.
Manual triggers means the 912XS will fire any shell, which I proved by putting a range of loads from as little as 19g right up to 50g through it. It breezed through this test like a professor doing an 11+ exam.
The Turkish walnut woodwork with the gentle palm swell, which is incredible to have on a gun of this value, is actually rather nice. Certainly, it moulds into the hand nicely and, dare I say it, just as well as firearms costing 10 times the price... it’s true! The laser-cut chequering layout is set out neatly and the style, which is a little too close to modern art for me, is still tasteful whilst being both functional and comfortable on the pink stuff. The adjustable stock is a welcome addition and means you can achieve a better fit of the shelf.
The barrels... well, I have mixed feelings about these. I get that they have made the centre rib solid (it's cheaper and easier to install), but in my opinion, W&S would have created something truly astonishing if they’d made the centre rib ventilated, especially when they’ve gone to the trouble to make this multi-choke.
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Again, another fantastic addition to a competition gun that makes you wonder how they’ve made it at such a low price point.
Is the Webley & Scott 912XS nice to shoot?
We can examine the bells and whistles on this thing all day long and sum up nothing more than how it looks and feels in a static environment. Hand-on-heart and the truth spoken, I found this a hard gun to get on with at first. Please note: at FIRST.
I took a little time out and re-evaluated why I was shooting this thing like a complete beginner. With a word from the greatest coach I’ve got, ‘The Ode Hen’, aka the wife, to just slow things down a bit, I settled into the latter half of the Sporting course at Oakedge and filled in the last six stands like a charm.
I then shot it on a simulated day, and it honestly turned the partridge and high pheasant drives inside out. Proof of this will be seen soon on the Shooting & Country TV channel on YouTube, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
There’s no question that the 912XS is a gun that’s going to be seen a lot on shooting grounds; I predict that this gun will become a popular option among new shooters who are just coming into the sport, and I can envisage clubs using them for clients and corporate events.
I found it heavy to start with, which is why I struggled at first with it. But once you are used to the weight, this shoots rather well. I bundled a few hundred through it on the simulated day, and Newton’s third law did a lot of work for me. So much so that I actually shot this gem on some very long neighbouring targets because the weight gave a steadiness that you generally only find in much more expensive guns.
With its five-year warranty, which I’m told by Becky is bomb-proof, the whole package that Highland Outdoors are offering is a
bundle of considerable value; you just can’t go wrong with a gun like this if you’re coming into the sport, or are already involved and looking for a competition gun to suit your needs and your wallet.
Stock: Adjustable with competition palm swell
Comb: Fully Adjustable
Balancing: Equipoise Balancing System
Front sight: Hi-Viz
Proof: High Performance Steel Shot
Action: Silver with engraving
Chokes: Multi-choked with 5x extended supplied
Warranty: 5 year
Safety: Manual or Automatic
Contact: Highland Outdoors