by B.B. Pelletier
This posting reflects my personal taste, and I don’t want to offend any of our readers. When it comes to good spring-piston air rifles, my list becomes very short. I’m only going to comment on guns that are available today.
This is my favorite spring-piston air rifle. I used one in field target competition for many years and, whenever there was a job to be done with a pellet rifle, my underlever TX was one of three airguns I would consider. The TX 200 HC looks just like the standard rifle, only it’s a few inches shorter. Since the regular TX already has a super-short barrel (less than 10 inches), nothing is lost with the HC except a little length and weight in the extreior package.
The trigger is a copy of the famous Rekord trigger that’s been around since the mid-1950s and has earned a spot in the airgun hall of fame. I believe it is as good as a factory Rekord, or maybe a little better. The adjustability seems better on the TX, where the Rekord is easier to disassemble and lubricate. Both are wonderful airgun triggers.
The firing behavior of this gun is very smooth. It’s to the point that a tuneup can make very little improvement over what is already there. And, accuracy is first-class. It’s my top spring gun choice.
The HW 77, made by Weihrauch, served as the foundation for the TX 200. The TX is not a copy, but a lot of the design technology is similar. The HW 77 is a classic underlever spring gun. At one time (the late 1980s to very early 1990s), it was the top spring gun in the world.
The 77 has the Rekord trigger, so enough said. I find the firing behavior to be smooth, but this rifle can benefit from a tuneup. Like the TX 200, the HW 77 is very accurate, but I do find that it requires a bit more technique to get all the accuracy that it has to offer. It’s not completely neutral and should be handled gingerly when fired.
The Webley Tomahawk
The Tomahawk is the result of a Webley custom shop effort that resulted in a production spring gun of near-custom performance. It’s a breakbarrel, but it’s also a Webley, which means the barrel joint will be held tightly closed until YOU want it open!
The trigger is in the same class as the Rekord and TX. The firing behavior is ultra-smooth, but there is forward recoil that requires shooting technique. The one criticism I have of the Tomahawk is the strange-looking muzzle weight that Webley claims is some sort of advanced technology. It looks like a squirrel-cage muzzlebrake to me.
That’s all, folks! That’s my shortest of short lists for spring rifles. Yes, they’re all expensive. If your goal is to save money, just cut a slot in your tummy and pretend you’re a piggybank. This is airgunning – and, sometimes, fun costs money!