Written on: 14/03/2005 by 180SX (2 reviews written)
lightweight, well balanced, carbine length, accurate (has a Lothar-Walther barrel), smooth, resettable safety, excellent finish and very good looking
Note about my ratings: if comparing the Longbow to other spring guns, I'd give the accuracy a 10 but I also consider the accuracy of precharged rifles to be relevant for these ratings, hence, the 9.
cost is a little high but the Longbow is worth it
After getting into precharged, I sold off all of my high powered spring rifles because they were too much of a hassle for me (not that I couldn't shoot them accurately). The only spring guns that now appeals to me are medium powered ones because I see no sense in shooting a 20 fpe spring gun that may shatter even the toughest $300 scope. The Webley Longbow nicely fits into this category of medium powered springers.
Since its release, I have drooled over it and I finally gave in and bought a .22 walnut Longbow. Since I am spoiled from shooting precharged rifles, I opted to get the Longbow tuned for smoothness and have the spring replaced with a JM Paladin spring which might have increased the power slightly. My Longbow shoots Beeman FTS (H&N 14.6 grain round head) at 670 fps for about 14.5 fpe.
I have a Weaver 4-16x42 with a Beeman 5040 one piece mount for my rifle's optical equipment. With the combination of great optics and the Longbow, I can hit a 1/4" target from 25 yards almost everytime from a benchrest and have produced 3/4" groups at 50 yards. As for shooting offhand, the Longbow's extraordinary balance makes it very easy to keep on target. I rarely miss small game with this gun out to 40 yards.
I don't know how a stock/untuned Longbow would feel but mine's is very smooth and accurate. The trigger is great (mine's is set just about 2 lbs. pull; very little second stage creep but it doesn't bother me) and the resettable safety is in a convenient location which makes it easy to operate. I like Webley's stock designs and find them to be very comfortable while providing a stable shooting platform. Webley has so far provided me excellent experiences with their rifles and the Longbow is no exception.
Before the release of the Longbow, I've considered the Stingray (I sold my old one after I acquired my Longbow) to be a good competitor from Webley for the R9/HW95. In my opinion, the Longbow now fills those shoes and outdoes the R9 except that it cannot reach power levels as high as the R9 after tunes. Any difference in accuracy between the Longbow and R9 are negligible as I have seen from shooting my friend's tuned .20 R9. Some of the things that make me like the Longbow more than the R9 are the sharper recoil of the Longbow compared to the lenthier recoil of the R9 and the Longbow's excellent egronomics (size, weight, balance, etc.).
By the way, I am not at all trashing the R9. It is an excellent gun with a better trigger than the Longbow. I use it for comparison because I feel that the R9 has set the standard for mid-weight/mid-powered spring air rifles. Some people may like the R9/HW95 more, but personally, I can't find any spring rifle that I'd rather hunt with than my Longbow. It's got a permanent home here along with my Falcon.