The Haenel model 28 pellet pistol by Tom Gaylord from Pyramyd Air” /> The Haenel model 28 pellet pistol, airguns report post” />

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blast from the past
The Haenel model 28 pellet pistol

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we begin today, attention bargain hunters. Pyramyd Air has a great sale on H&N Baracuda Match pellets in .22 caliber.


The Haenel 28 is a stout single-shot spring pistol from before WWII.


I was at a gun show 10 years ago and saw a strange-looking pistol on a table. Something about its shape told me it was an airgun and not a firearm. When I picked it up, though, the substantial weight of 38 oz. told me that this was an airgun built to LAST! Probably made before WWII (it was), it was all steel and wood with leather seals.

That first gun show model 28 was overpriced at $100, but I bargained the seller down to $80. The gun had no finish and a fair bit of pitting from former neglect, so that was about the maximum it would be worth. Someone had wire brushed all the metal, so there was no collector's value left, but it still functioned in every way. With a gun that old, that's something.

When I got the gun home, it had no power. I stripped the powerplant by unscrewing the end cap. That gave me access to the piston, which had no seal, so my first job was to make a new one out of an old leather belt. When that was finished, I had a gun that shot .177 RWS Hobby pellets at about 250 f.p.s. Not a magnum! My mainspring was canted, so I guessed that a new one might get 300-350 f.p.s.

A breakbarrel and more!
The model 28 has a conventional breakbarrel for loading, but the gun is cocked another way. The barrel is only held by a chisel detent, so all you do is break the barrel down at any time to load. The action is cocked by unlatching the pistol grip, which is a subframe, from the upper frame of the gun and swinging it down and to the rear. The picture shows it more clearly. Once the gun is cocked and the pistol grip is locked with the upper frame, you're ready to fire.


The Haenel 28 is a stout single-shot spring pistol from before WWII.



Bottom subframe unlatches from the top and pivots back to cock. Note that the trigger is now disconnected from the powerplant. That's why the trigger can never be great.


Trigger
The trigger is a single-stage, but slop in the trigger mechanism allows the blade to wiggle like a false first stage. The pull is even and breaks at 7 lbs., which sounds very heavy, but for some reason doesn't feel that way. I suspect the deeply curved trigger blade has something to do with that. With the pistol breaking apart the way it does, the trigger linkage has to do a lot more than a conventional trigger.

A little history
Hugo Schmeisser designed this pistol in 1927, but production didn't start until around 1933. It continued up to the start of WWII, but ended there. Approximately 25,000 model 28s were made, along with a few thousand earlier unnumbered guns. You cannot help but notice the similarity of the shape to the famous P08 or Luger, which has given rise to speculation that Haenel 28s were used for military training. However, I know of no hard evidence to support that claim. Germany did make use of many long airguns as rifle trainers, but they used no pistols that I know of.

Second pistol
I sold the first model 28 after playing with it a few years, but about a month ago a second gun came into my hands. This one is in much nicer condition with some bluing, while the remainder of the metal has turned to be a pleasing plumb patina. It has a stronger mainspring than the first gun, and the piston seal is fresh, yet the velocity with RWS Hobbys is still between 250 and 270 f.p.s. So, my guess about a new mainspring may be overstating the capability.

Sights and accuracy
The front sight is a barleycorn mounted on a dovetail. The rear is a V-notch mounted on an adjustable leaf with its own dovetail. Adjustment comes via a small screw at the back of the leaf. Accuracy with an air pistol of this vintage is a problematic thing. Expect to hold groups of 2.5" to 3" at 10 meters in spite of the rifled barrel. Actually, there are some smoothbore 28s known, as well as some in .22 caliber, though a rifled .177 is the most common type.

Of all the heavy steel pre-war air pistols, only the Webley Senior is more common than the Haenel model 28. So, if you want one, they're available. I would guess that a nice one with lots of blue will cost $175-225 - more if there's a box with it.

33 Comments:

At April 19, 2007 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi
at first glance i thought this was a co2 pistol with the powerlet in line with the barrel! anyway the mainspring must be very short because it looks like it just goes from the pivot on the back of the grip to the end cap. an i missing something here?

Field Targetier

 
At April 19, 2007 9:32 AM, Blogger george said...

BB.
Wouldn't a Beeman pell seat take care of our issues with pellet skirt size. In your Mendoza report you mentioned pellet skirt size had a great impact on power and accuracy. Maybe I dodn't really know what this tool is for.
I want you to know I really enjoy your daily reports. George

 
At April 19, 2007 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting article on the Haenel. I think your on to something. More articles like that. I enjoy the gun tests too.

 
At April 19, 2007 2:03 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Field Targetier,

No, that's how long the mainspring is when inside the gun. It's two inches longer when the end cap is off.

B.B.

 
At April 19, 2007 2:05 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

George,

Yes, a pell seat will resolve pellet sizing issues, but in the case of the RM-200, the rifle wants the pellet to be as large as possible. See it tomorrow.

B.B.

 
At April 19, 2007 8:46 PM, Anonymous Bryan said...

Will a "Low-Profile Dragon Claw Clamp-on Barrel Bi-pod" on a under lever rifle (B3-1 I have been working on, re-finished stock, spring work, muzzle break added, ect...) work?

 
At April 20, 2007 6:42 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

bryan,

Not really. The underlever of a B3-1 is too small to accept the Dragon Claw clamp. It will not be secure.

B.B.

 
At April 20, 2007 8:43 AM, Anonymous Bryan said...

What if I get some cloth and some rubber type things and wrap it around the underlever?

 
At April 20, 2007 9:55 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Bryan,

Yes, you can always shim up the clamp, but I don't think you will like it.

However, that's your decision.

B.B.

 
At June 05, 2007 10:51 AM, Blogger airmojoken said...

I came across a Haenel air pistol last weekend at an 'antique' show--from what I remember, it looks identical to your Haenel 28.

The dealer claimed it was a multi-shot pistol... is that possible ? was there a multi-shot model ?

It had a price tag of $190, which I figured was way too high, especially since the condition was fair at best, and not knowing anything about this air pistol, I passed on it (I probably would've only offered about $50, if that).

Sure helps to know something about it before buying!

I now know a little more, if I should encounter another... but I probably still won't buy it!

airmojo

 
At June 05, 2007 11:07 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

airmojo,

Yes, there is also a 28R (repeater). You can tell it by the steel magazine tube sticking out the back. In fair condition, a rare 28R is worth about $150 if complete and working. If it is as nice as the one pictured above, it's worth $250 at least.

B.B.

 
At January 21, 2009 7:48 PM, Blogger donna said...

my husband has a haenel mod 28 air handgun he would like to find out its value he played with it as a child any help would be appreciated

 
At January 21, 2009 10:28 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Donna,

I don't know what your husbands Haenel model 28 would bring in the "real world" (gun shows, auctions, etc.) but the current Blue Book of Airguns ( similar to the blue book of firearm values or the nada guide to used automobile values) says that your model 28 is worth $75.00 in 40% condition and $150.00 in 90% condition. If you have the original factory box it came in add 30% to the value and/or if you have "Super 28" markings on the gun add 30% to the value.

Please look closely at the markings on the gun. If it is the repeater, marked "28R" (R for repeater) the value, according to the blue book is $100.00 for 40% condition and $235.00 for 90% condition with another 30% added for having the original box.

Remember, these are blue book values and can be different than the "real world".

B.B. would be able to put a finer point on these values since he attends airgun shows worldwide.

You have posted your question that is attached to an article written on this blog almost 2 years ago. Not many people check back on the comments for a post almost 2 years old. Because of this I would also encourage you to copy your question that you posted here and enter it or retype it on the current/active comments so that all the other knowledgable airgunners have a chance to respond to your query. You can access the current/active comments here:

http://www.pyramydair.com/blog

kevin

 
At January 22, 2009 5:26 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Donna,

I put prices in the last paragraph of the report above. Those are from airgun shows. I sold the gun pictured above for $175.

B.B.

 
At January 22, 2009 6:40 PM, Anonymous ryboyd323@gmail.com said...

Haenel 28 i have one of theese in great condition, i am 14 and use it alot it is a great gun

 
At January 29, 2009 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,
I ran across a Model 26 in its original box, in decent condition and have no idea of the value. It is probably manufactured earlier than the model 28. Do you have any information of this? Value?
Thanks

 
At January 29, 2009 8:19 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Anonymous with the Haenel Model 26,

The model 26 was manufactured 1926-late 1930's. The model 28 was manufactured 1930-1940. Basically the same period. If your model 26 is in the same condition as the model 28 pictured above in the article, based on what B.B. said in the last paragraph of this article, your gun with the box should be worth $200-$250.

kevin

 
At January 29, 2009 8:22 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The 26 was made about 1926 to the late '30s. That puts it a few years before the start of the 28 in 1928.

In good working condition it is worth at least $150 and add another $75 for the box. I wouldn't part with it for less than $250.

B.B.

 
At February 09, 2009 8:35 AM, Blogger gary said...

I came across a Haenel model 28 air pistol from my late father's posessions. It is missing the rear site & the upper "claw" part of the closing/safety mechanism. Are there parts available to make the gun whole again?? & where?? TY for your time!

 
At February 09, 2009 8:38 AM, Blogger gary said...

My follow-up email address is gardood@aol.com.......

 
At February 09, 2009 8:41 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Gary,

Haenel parts are only available from parts guns, so be prepared to pay.

Contact this man:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
http://www.jgairguns.biz

B.B.

 
At May 02, 2009 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was doing a web search on an old pellet gun I have, it seems it is a bit rare. I have a Model 28, but it is a rifled bore, 22 cal. It says on the barrel: Cal. 5.5mm(,22) On the top of the body, it says "Brit Pat number 277265. As far as condition goes, it seems to be very good, but the body has much "patina" The barrel has less patina and more of the original finish left on it. Any additional information you can add would be appreciated. FC

 
At May 03, 2009 9:28 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

FC,

Most 28s have rifled bores. The gun is low-powered, so in .22 it's probably a real dog. Expect 200 f.p.s., at so, would be my guess. The .177 does about 300.

The one shown here is down to mostly patina, so it probably looks like yours.

The prices mentioned above are still about right.

B.B.

 
At May 11, 2009 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just discovered your post, and I now know more about my grandfather's old pellet pistol!

Mine is also a .22 and I can verify it is a dog. Pels bounce off a cardboard box. I was hoping MY piston seal was shot too, but no such luck. Just a dog. My kids don't even like to shoot it that much. Very cool pistol...but a dog.

-cork

 
At August 03, 2009 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I just acquired a Hansel mod 28, it had been left out in the rain and is badly rusted.I have the barrel freed up and the back cap off, the piston inside is free and in good shape. the latching mechanism that unlocks the front of the action from the barrel is stuck with rust. How does it work. Would appreciate some help. Thanks.John

 
At August 04, 2009 5:17 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

John,

The latch unlocks the frame from the upper part of the pistol. The grip is pilled down and the upper pulled up to cock then pistol. It latches at the front.

B.B.

 
At August 25, 2009 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Haenel model 28 DRP pistol
with no spring ,is there a blueprint or schematic for this air gun anywhere ?
I would like to get it back in working condition.
There is nothing when I take the end cap off.but everything else is solid and excellent condition

 
At August 25, 2009 5:33 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Anonymous with the Haenel Model 28,

Sounds like your spring has been removed. Never seen a schematic for these old pistols. If it exists the guys on this vintage airgun site would know:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/405945/

I know that Dan had one of his Haenel Model 28's worked on by John Groenwold and he was very pleased with the results. You may want to contact John about fixing your gun:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
http://www.jgairguns.biz

kevin

 
At August 29, 2009 11:27 AM, Blogger C J said...

I am delighted to find this site! I have a Haenel Model 26 which my cousin bought in the early 1930's. He passed it on to me just before WWII, and I have had it ever since. I am not interested in its value, as I will pass it on to ,my son, and eventually to grandchildren.

It is pretty rough looking, as the finish, which appears to be paint, is about 2/3's off, and the riser on the sight is missing. It has shot hundreds of pellets, and has the original leather on the piston.

In all these years (I am 80), I have never seen another one. It feels good to read about it here.

Thanks for providing the opportunity for me to comment!

Popwood

 
At August 29, 2009 5:34 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Popwood,

The 26 is the smaller cousin to the 28. Yes, the finish is black paint. They do show up at airgun shows, but they are not common.

Enjoy yours!

B.B.

 
At August 31, 2009 4:30 PM, Anonymous Jacques said...

Hi

Any suggestions on removing the piston. Got the end cap off and the spring out. The piston I can only get as far bask to the edge of the pistol/thread where the end cap goes on...
(Mine is the 28-R)
Thanks
Jacques

 
At August 31, 2009 4:38 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Jacques,

Pull the trigger and the piston will come out. Remember to pull it when putting the piston back in.

B.B.

 
At August 31, 2009 5:03 PM, Anonymous Jacques said...

Thanks B.B. That got me going on the right track. It moved a bit more but got stuck again.
Removed the sear (I think its the sear) and saw it got stuck because of debris on the piston.
Sprayed some gun treatment in there and let it soak.
Tried again, got movement and voila, piston out!

The 'gunk' feels/looks like lube and leather fibres. Now tp clean it out and attempt the making of a seal.

Thanks for the advice and for the great articles.

Jacques, South Africa

 

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