The good news about the Webley & Scott 600 series shotgun is that our test gun shot exactly to point of aim at 10 yards with popular home defense load, and the patterns were consistently perfect.
The gun has what can only be described as a “slingshot” action. It isn’t a pump and it isn’t an autoloader. You pull back the forearm as shown, then let it go, like a slingshot. A spring assembly in the gun returns it to battery, seating the next round. The action release is at the front of the trigger guard, if you are starting from a hammer cocked condition you need to pull the lever to break the action, like you would with a pump gun.
If you forget and push the forearm forward like a traditional pump, more than not this results in a jam that looks like this. The shell is not being held by the extractor, so you have to shake the gun sideways to remove the shell. In a funfight it would mean certain death.
Otherwise the gun performed flawlessly with modern combat loads. We had a few failures with the longer SAAMI length Winchester Mil-Spec 9 pellet OO buck. The slightly longer shell not only makes the gun sluggish to go into battery, it also reduces the magazine campacity from 5 to 4.
If you are buying this gun over the internet, beware that our local gun dealer in Okeechobee Florida had two of these guns and both had severely blemished paint.
These may look like oil stains but they are not. The guns look like they were spray painted in someone’s garage with Krylon from Wal-Mart.
The image of a centuries old gunmaker does not match the truth of what you are buying. These Webley & Scott home defense guns are made in Turkey by a factory of dubious lineage and quality control. The side by sides and over/unders being sold under the W&S name are a different story. They are apparently being made by Fausti in Italy, which are great guns, but still not the Birmingham, England based Webley & Scott that closed up decades ago.
Check out this PDX1-12 pattern. Though the lineage of the gun is not what you would think, you can’t discount that it worked really well when you used the slingshot correctly with ammo it liked. This is a picture perfect pattern, aimed exactly at point of impact, and they were all like this.
The messed up paint was strange for Turkish guns, because as you can see from the buttpad, generally the guns from Turkey are neat and clean. This pad looks nice but it did little to negate the punishing recoil of buckshot in this six pound fixed breech shotgun.
Webley & Scott
One of the byproducts of the artificial gun shortage we just experienced is that a lot of guns that otherwise wouldn’t have made it to dealer shelves not only made it, but sold out. One of those was a new line of shotguns from an old brand called Webley & Scott. Don’t be fooled. This is a purchased name that is being put on guns that are made by modern manufacturers in Turkey and Italy. The old Webley & Scott, originally from Birmingham, England, is long dead and buried, and with them went their production of some of the finest shotguns and rifles in history. Still, these new guns coming out under the W&S name are very interesting. We haven’t gotten a look at the Italian SxS and O/U guns, but in the home defense realm, they have a new “slingshot action” that is somewhat unique. It isn’t a true pump and it isn’t a true autoloader, but rather something in between. We bought one, just to see if it works, and to see if this type of action could be the next revolution in home defense shotguns. The street price is around $300 for our tested model, and for the most part it worked great. The slingshot action is something that you would have to get used to, but for a new fangled gimmick, at least it mostly works. The only problem is that new shooters might see the Webley & Scott moniker and buy this gun thinking that it is tried and true design from a trusted name. It isn’t, and they aren’t. The original Webley & Scott engineers are most likely wretching in their graves knowing that someone is pawning off Turkish junk under the auspices of their good names, but the guns do work, and they are inexpensive.
The action of the gun works like a standard pump, except you don’t push the forearm back to lock up the next shell into the action. Instead, you pull it back and let go, like a slingshot. A spring assembly built into the pump returns the gun to battery. That means you have to have to, um… let go of the forearm oops. This would be the downside to this new “technology,” and good luck finding even one tactical expert that would suggest that you buy such an ill conceived “feature” for any kind of defensive situation. Still, the Webley & Scott slingshot action shotgun does work. You can train yourself to jack the forearm back and let it go, following it forward with your hand, and grabbing it again when the gun is in battery. Is it quicker than pumping it yourself? Maybe, but only in a 3-Gun competition type of situation where you are using very light loads in timed fire. In that case, why not just use a semi-auto? In a defensive situation, with full snot defense loads, you wouldn’t be jacking shells quick enough for it to matter. But theoretically, maybe, if you are of the ilk to not keep a round in the chamber on your home defense weapon, you could, if you were well rehearsed at doing so, potentially get that first round quicker into battery than you would be able to with a standard pump gun. Again, good luck finding anyone who would give you the advice to depend on it for a quick first shot.
Our test gun weighs just over 6 lbs. empty, and the recoil is fairly stiff with 2 3/4″ buckshot and home defense specialty loads. This is the non-pistol grip version, and they also have one with a pistol grip. Both guns have 20″ barrels, and theoretically hold 5 rounds in the magazine. Our tests showed that with standard 2 3/4″ shells you can only fit 4, but with the new shorter defense shells, it does reach the 5 shell capacity. It has a 3″ chamber, but we did not test it with 3″ shells. The 2 3/4″ shells are more punishment than most shooters would choose to take.
The major problem with the gun is when you forget and pump the forearm forward by mistake. It nearly always results in a failure to feed. This doesn’t bode well for anyone’s ability to get woken up at 3 a.m. and be able to get the gun into quick service. Maybe a new shooter, who has not grown up with traditional pump guns, could train him or herself to reliably let go of that forearm, but for the rest of us, it’s a no go. Even after half a dozen magazines we had problems remembering to let go in snapfire types of drills. In a gunfight nearly everyone turns into a slave to tunnelvision, where you can only concentrate on the threat. Pumping this gun forward for your first round will put the gun out of action, and most likely lead to the untimely demise of the shooter and those she or he had hoped (past tense) to protect. Did I mention that the guns are cheap though?
I find it somewhat fraudulent to use the tagline “Gunmakers 1790″ on any of these guns. Buying that name was most likely intended to take advantage of the ignorance of new shooters, of which there are millions since the elections of 2008, 2012, and the Sandy Hook powergrab crisis. If you count yourself among our new ranks, be aware that there are games like these going on in the market . Selling guns like these from Turkey that are of dubious lineage, and come with little if any prior history of reliability, parts availability or customer service, under the names of famous gunmakers from ages past, is being done by design. Lifetime shooters would never guy one of these except as a curiosity. If you are a new shooting enthusiast looking for the most home defense shotgun for the money, on a tight budget, you would be much better off buying a Made in USA Maverick shotgun from Mossberg than this Webley & Scott, for about the same price.
To end on a positive note, the nice thing we found about this shotgun is that it shot exactly to point of aim, and that it is choked properly for the performance of high end self defense loads. Ultimately that is what matters most in a home defense gun. If you work the action exactly as it is supposed to be worked on this gun, it never fails with modern defense loads. The longer standard SAAMI shells did have some failures, but if you stuck to the new shells that come in 10 packs you’d be ok.
If we were still back several months ago, when the only home defense shotgun you could buy at a gun store may have been this Webley & Scott slingshotgun, the bottom line is that that it works and shoots well. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have done a video to show you the absurdity of the action and letting go of the front of the gun in a gun fight. Maybe we’ll still do one and add it to the article later. It is comical. But a gun is a gun is a gun when you have no gun, and this gun works, at a very reasonable price. Now that the artificial gun boom has subsided, we’ll see a lot of these come onto the market used, so be aware that they were originally cheap guns from Turkey based on an ill conceived concept, and that they should be treated as such. The Italian Webley & Scott side by sides and over/unders are being made by Fausti in Italy, and that is a whole other story, so don’t take this as a review of those gun whatsoever. Most likely they are a great buy, and we have heard that Bass Pro is carrying them as standard inventory. These Turkish guns were just a play at getting a cut of the home defense market using an old and trusted name, and though they work as advertised, the Webley & Scott slingsshots are probably not the best choice when full fledged Mossbergs, Mavericks and Remingtons are in the market and available at normal prices.