Mike Morton test the Webley Mosquito Express in .22 calibre, finding a pellet that’s a little lighter and a little faster than the norm.
Webley Mosquito Express pellets were a big hit when they first came out, but then to the dismay of many shooters they went out of production for a while. Luckily they were reintroduced a while ago, and are now available in both .177 and .22 calibres.
I’ve looked at the .177 variety previously, finding these pellets to be consistent over the chrono and turning in some sub-five pence piece-sized groups downrange at my standard three distances. But that was then, and it was now time to put these pellets to the test once more, this time in the larger calibre.
Mosquito Express are made for Webley by JSB and follow the Czech manufacturer’s own Express concept of offering a pellet that’s slightly shorter and lighter than normal, in this case an advertised 14.35 grains compared with a typical 16 grain .22, making it a touch faster than normal. The weight saving appears to have been made in the almost non-existent waist and the length of the skirt, which is slightly shorter than usual.
Webley Mosquito Express are supplied in a standard tin with a press-on lid of 500 pellets in .22 calibre. It’s nice to see the full “normal” amount be included when some other .22 calibre pellets are sold in tins containing only 200 or 300 pellets. That comes at a cost though, as they have a suggested retail price of £20.99 from UK supplier Highland Outdoors.
They look to be worth it though, as not a single pellet in my tin of 500 had suffered any crush damage or manufacturing deformity. There was a fair bit of loose lead swarf in the tin however, which I wasn’t expecting.
As usual, I weighed a random sample of 50 pellets using my digital scales. They’re not necessarily perfectly calibrated, but have nevertheless proven to be very consistent.
Eleven pellets came in at 14.2 grains, 10 weighed 14.4 grains and 29 were measured as being 14.6 grains, yielding an average weight of 14.47 grains compared with the stated weight of 14.35 grains – close enough, especially considering my uncalibrated scales.
Webley Mosquito Express .22 – key specs
Pellet: Webley Mosquito Express
Manufacturer: JSB for Webley
Supplied by: Highland Outdoors (www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk)
Pellet type: Roundhead diabolo
Calibre tested: .22 (5.5mm)
Head size: 5.52mm
Supplied in: Tin of 500
Advertised weight: 14.35 grains
Measured weight: 14.47 grains
Uses: Target shooting, hunting and plinking
This shoot was conducted outdoors from a covered firing point on a cold, damp and overcast, but totally windless day All shots were taken at a 1” Birchwood Casey Target Spot, with the rifle zeroed at 30 yards, with me having to hold under at 20 yards and having to hold over at 40.
As usual, the pellets were taken straight from the tin, and five shots were taken at each of the three Target Spots.
I decided to use my new Weihrauch HW100 S for this test. This is one of those rifles that just gets on with things nice and calmly and does what it’s told. It’s the golden retriever of the airgun world.
It was paired with a Hawke Sidewinder scope and was supported fore and aft by two Dog-Gone-Good bench and wedge bags. As usual, the test began with the bore being leaded and the Mosquito Express being fired over my Shooting Chrony F1, with a 10-shot string giving an average muzzle velocity of 604.4 feet per second, a variation of 6.6 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 11.74 foot pounds.
Test results analysis
At 20 yards, group size was a very pleasing 6.5mm centre-to-centre, with 20mm of holdunder required. At 30 yards group size expanded slightly to 10.8mm centre-to-centre, with one shot very slightly off to the left, although it was still a one-hole group. Taking this pellet out of the mix would have yielded a group of just 6.4mm.
Back at 40 yards group size was 20.4mm centre-to centre. I used 50mm of holdover, but when I started shooting I realised I should have been using a few millimetres more, as the group was below my point of aim. Nevertheless the intention is always to show the initial five-shot group at each of the three ranges, and so I didn’t shoot another target.
All three groups fell within the outline of a 10 pence piece, which has a diameter of 24.5mm, while the 20- and 30-yard groups were within the 18mm diameter of a five pence piece.
Rifle and ammo combos vary greatly. In my gun, these groups prove the .22 Mosquito Express to be a good performer, but put them through your own .22 rifle and you might find you’ve got a great one.
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