HW 55SF – Part 4 Accuracy

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This is the final report on the HW 55SF. It’s been a while since the last report, so maybe you’ll want to re-read the past three parts to refresh your memory. A quick update is that this is the special HW 55 I found at the Little Rock airgun show and wondered why it didn’t have the traditional barrel lock that all other HW 55s have. In essence, this is an HW 50 with target sights.

I want to make another point. Before I show you the groups, let me remind you that this is a lowly breakbarrel – the kind of spring gun many new airgunners (and a few who should know better) think is less accurate than a fixed-barrel gun. It must be, they reason, because the barrel moves. How could that be accurate?

Well, if it always comes back to the same place, a breakbarrel can be as accurate as any other kind of rifle. An HW 55 won the 1969 World Championship, don’t forget. That was while shooting against a lot of fixed-barrel target rifles from Feinwerkbau and Anschutz.

Pellets
During this test, I was also evaluating some new pellets for Pyramyd Air. I threw them in with the regular test pellets I’d planned to shoot because I knew this rifle would give me a good basis for comparison, which it did. As you may recall from the third part of this report, I’d calculated that RWS Hobby pellets would not shoot as well as RWS Meisterkugeln pellets based on the consistent velocity they gave. Well, that was all wrong! In fact, the Hobbys were the best pellet of the bunch and Meisters weren’t even in the running. H&N Match pellets (light weight) were also less accurate than the Hobbys.


Not a bad group of f5 at 10 meters from a rest. RWS Hobbys were the best of the pellets I tested. This was an average group.


Best group of f5 Hobbys at 10 meters from a rest.


Meisterkugeln pellets were not so hot on target.

The lesson to be learned
I’ve just demonstrated that velocity variations mean very little at 10 meters, but there’s another lesson here. How many of you slavishly use heavy target pellets in target rifles and light target pellets in target pistols? Stop doing that! Thirty years ago, there were no different pellets. We shot whatever was available, and Meisterkugeln were among the best back then. They came only in one weight, and you just shot them without asking. So, in this test, what has been learned? That the lighter, faster pellet is also the more accurate pellet of the three pellets tested in this rifle. So, try them all.

Pellet head sizes
And, what about those pellets I was testing? Well, they didn’t turn out so well. It seems they all had undersized heads, which allow the pellets to cock to one side in the bore. Pellet makers purposely undersize their pellets to get more life out of the dies, because every time they work on them, they grow a little bit. But if the pellets aren’t accurate, what good are they? Who cares that you get 25 million pellets from a die if you can’t sell any of them?

Summary
And the HW 55SF? Well, it’s a wonderful target rifle. Even though it doesn’t have the barrel lock, it still put them right in where they need to be. That’s shooting with non-optical sights and from a rest. The rifle is delightful, and I’ll be keeping this one for a long time.

46 thoughts on “HW 55SF – Part 4 Accuracy

  1. Your findings with the rifle and the different pellets shows that each rifle/pistol is going to have it’s “likes” and “dislikes.” Thus, you need to test different ones and see which they prefer. My CZ631 is rather fond of Meisterkuglens and R-10s (both of the 8.2gr weight), for example.


  2. BB,

    Still on the Olympics, are those 10m air rifle Olympians making child’s play of our Metallic Silhouette at 20, 30, 36 and 45 yards?

    Thanks.

    David


  3. B.B.

    That sure sounds like a sweet little air rifle… the closest I have to it might be the HW30.. I know the trigger is not even close, but the rifle shoots so smooth and it’s very accurate at 10 to 30 yards.. even farther when I adjust the scope..

    The problem I had with the Mendoza line and Avenger 1100 break barrels, was that they were perfect for about 3,000 shots, very accurate, but then the barrels became loose… PA is working with Mendoza on the issue, but it’s taking a long time.. it really scared me about break barrels…

    It’s nice to know that some makers can build them tough enough to last a very long time.. I haven’t bought a break barrel since that experience.. but I had bought a lot of different ones during the 3 months it took to find out the Mendoza barrels got loose.. I guess I can consider them again, with careful research.. thanks again for sharing your knowledge..

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range



  4. Wayne,

    What do you mean by “… the barrels became loose.”? Doe you mean they started turning in the base block or just the base block got loose? Because it has to be tightened periodically on a Weihrauch, too.

    B.B.


  5. BB

    Off topic, I work in product development for a traditional archery and custom knife shop, Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear, in Arvada, Colorado. We are adding a line of airguns. Many of our customers are also rifle hunters. High gas and ammo prices along with range fees are making it difficult for them to practice off season. I think this is a great opportunity to offer and sell airguns.

    I want to feature rifles and pistols with as much wood and metal and as little plastic as possible to match up with our handmade bows, arrows and custom knives. It seems like Crosman, especially Benjamin Sheridan fits our needs. Whenever possible, we stock Made in America items first.

    We are going to start with a limited line, to test the market. Any recommendations?

    Thanks,

    Marc
    Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear


  6. B.B.

    On the Mendoza/Avenger 1100s… the barrels moves side to side almost 1/8"…Chris in the tech dept. at PA said they are talking with Mendoza about it.. I didn't see how I could tighten it up… It has a longer hinge area than any other of the springers I've tried… I think that might have something to do with it.. PA has them now so I can't look to see anymore… Maybe you can talk with Chris at PA about it for me…

    Wayne

    Ashland Air Rifle Range & Rentals


  7. Marc,

    I'm addressing the same market.. I have been testing a lot of lines that PA sells since the first of the year..

    I too, need the quality end of things… because, people will be using them right here.. and the idea is for them to rent to own, so they can transfer credit to another gun if they find a rifle they want more… and they almost always do, only now after they have already bought something else..

    So we want them to move up in quality, not be unhappy with the performance of the guns they rent and shoot here at the range..Only happy customers come back, right?

    So if you want to email me, I'll give you my phone number and we can talk… there is too much for me to type here on the blog…

    Also as soon a you can, sign up to be a dealer with PA.. I don't think you can beat their selection, service or prices..

    Wayne

    wayne.burns@naturalyards.com

    Ashland Air Rifle Range & Rentals
    Ashland Oregon


  8. Marc,

    We, the Benjamin Discovery, for starters. It’s perfect for experiences firearm shooters because there is no new technique to learn, like there is with spring guns.

    All the Benjamin and Sheridan pneumatics. You’ll figure the rest out.

    B.B.


  9. Wayne,

    Side to side barrel movement usually means a pivot bolt isn’t tight. Unless there is something special I don’t know, that’s an easy fix. But if Pyramyd is talking to Mendoza, there must be something more.

    B.B.


  10. Anatoly,

    I don’t answer direct emails.

    Yes, it is possible to make a shroud for an AR-6, but since you are asking, I assume you don’t have the machining skills to make it yourself. So you really want to know whether anyone is making such a shroud. To the best of my knowledge, nobody it.

    You say that you are not sure how a shroud works. Please read this report:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2007/11/how-do-barrel-shrouds-work.html

    But you don’t need a shroud to shoot quietly indoors. You can make a separate silencer box that you shoot through. I will blog it for you next week.

    B.B.


  11. Wayne,
    Following the deer-rifle-saga, did you check out the Marlin 336C?

    That 8mm will hurt you as much as the deer, if it’s anything like the one I shot (pointy iron butt-plate), and I’m not recoil sensitive. The Remington 700 seems overpriced, but then so does everything to me:). I would just get a new Savage 10 in .243 or .308 or a Savage 110 in .270 or .30-06. The G version is wood stock, and most have accu-triggers. If a “safe” trigger and synthetic stock are OK, the Savage Stevens 200 is the same rifle w/o accu-trigger for a very nice price.


  12. BB,

    I am sorry about my previous post. What I wanted to ask is that if those 10m air rifle Olympians shoot in Airgun Metallic Silhouette competition, will they find it so easy to hit all our chickens, boars, turkeys and rams?

    Just curious.

    Thanks.

    David


  13. B.B., bg_farmer & Volvo,

    Update on the deer rifle saga…

    I haven't seen a Marlin 336C yet, but I just got back from the pawn shop, where the owner loves air guns…

    I traded some less favorite springers (about $375 my wholesale cost) for a Winchester 70 .270 WIN … the numbers on it are G1164346 any idea how old it is? It has the dark wood/white stripe on the front and back of the stock, which is pretty good, a few dents, but no deep scratches… a nice rubber butt pad,… the action is tight, the bluing very good still, it has scope mounts too. I love the way it shoulders…

    I picked up some Remington .270 115 gr core-lokt PSP, that say 50% less recoil and a box of regular 130 grain.. are those the right ones….

    I guess I won't be shooting the 8mm Mauser too much by the sounds of it.. I was mostly thinking of it as a collector… Can I put a temporary rubber butt pad on it, just to try it out, or is that a no no?

    So with the the 8mm, the .270 win, the little .243 New England Handy rifle, my two Marlin semi-auto 60 .22s and my Dads 60 year old Remington semi-auto .22… I've got a good selection of calibers at least… Ready for Bear, as they say… but still collecting..


  14. BB, I don’t believe the Mendoza has a bolt. I believe it uses a pin which cannot be tightened – except by disassembling the pivot and installing some shim washers.


  15. B.B.,
    Since you have better things to do, such as answer my questions too, here is what Tom requested the other day…The chrony results from a Condor set to lowest power, to evaluate creep upwards in velocity. Although I use a .25 from Van with shroud and typically use 26 gr hp for both hunting and accuracy supremacy from 10-40 yards, for this test I chose to use 21 gr wadcutters, so as to best approximate the creep effects on the weight of pellet that 95% of the readers would be using (viz., .22). Plus, I did not want to use my better pellets with this – they are reserved for squirrels’ heads and 10 yard target shooting. I will send all my information eggs in different email baskets, so as to avoid writing for awhile and losing it all at once. PLease note that all figures are measured at 10 yards, not at themuzzle… – Dr. G.


  16. CONDOR CREEP, velocity reported in fps followed in some cases by energy reported in ft. lbs. for reference purposes if you hunt raccoons/beavers,etc.
    825 (32 ft/lbs), 816 (31 ft/lbs), 838=33, 846, 850=34, 837,850,865,880=36, 886. NOTE: this is the 10th shot, and now the POI has shifted up and the gun is noticeably louder – it has gone from 32 to 36 ft./lbs. Because of the shroud, it is still quiet enough to shoot indoors in the summer with open windows and not disturb passers by. Nevertheless, the evidence thus far is a creep up in velocity. – Dr. G.


  17. CONDOR CREEP PART II: 896 (at this POI shifts to left), 893,903,908,916=39 (at this point there is a noticeably louder metal ca-chunk sound),917,917,(3 unchronied shots here), 910. This is the 20th shot, and the velocity has crept up about 11% which has wrecked any target consistency at 10 yards, requiring two adjustments as the 20 shots were fired in order to remain on a dime. The energy went up from 32 to 39, which is a 20% increase in energy. See, when the velocity goes up, the energy seems to be roughly increased by the squaring, i.e. E=mv2 So, this is good for hunting, but not targets. At this energy setting the wadcutter pellet creates a massive entrance hole of 5/8″ into the side of a 1 1/2″ cube of non-hardening modeling clay, travelling 1 1/2″ to exit with a 2/8″ hole. This energy, when shooting lenghtwise into Neutrogena glycerine soap, will produce an oval shock entry hole of 3/4″. If any readers are interested, I can tell you the differences that 28-35 ft. lbs. versus over 40 ft.lbs. has on a squirrel. These light 21 gr pellets produced noticeably less energy than the 26 gr pellets I normally shoot – the Condor is more effiecient with heavier pellets. For example, with Eun Jin pellets, over 50 ft.lbs. are created with this rifle. Dr. G.


  18. CONDOR CREEP PART III: The point has already been made in parts 1 and 2, but we’ve gone this far, so…886,22nd shot here,916,917,906, 3 shots here, 902. This was the 29th shot, and we see a welcoming string of around 18 shots 903-917-902 fps. At this point the demonstration was complete and it was time to crank up the power wheel to 7 (the best setting for this rifle for a number of reasons that I will not go into here) in order to see if there would be any effect. Remember, the average of the 3 most recently recorded shots was 908. Well, the next shots were..928=40 ft. lbs., 905,32nd shot here, 900. The average of these shots was 911. Mebbe an effect, but practically completely insignificant. The wheel was then cranked to 11 (the highest that this rifle uses without dumping excess gas) and the results were…897,895. The wheel was turned back to the minimum for the final 36th and 37th shots of the evening, yielding 882, 881. The PCP air rifle was slightly, but noticeably, smoother with the power wheel set at the low point in terms of harshness and vibration. I hope that you all appreciate the work that went into this report, as well as the attention that was spent to grammar and spelling. – Dr. G.


  19. Hi BB!
    Greetings from Europe! I have to say I like Your blog very much. Thank You for doing this!

    Currently I have CFX with GRT-III trigger installed. I also can shoot 6-7 mm (it’s about ~0,236″-0,275″) five shot groups at 20 m with JSB Exacts (~21,8 yards, CTC, from bench). Now I’m thinking of upgrading my CFX to HW 97k.

    I hope, that HW 97K is a bit more accurate and much nicer to shoot. But I can’t test it before making a decicion. So what is Your opinion, is it worth to upgrade?

    Thank You,

    Chris




  20. Dr. G.,

    Thank you! I appreciate that work and especially that you posted it through the comments section. That was a whole guest blog!

    Also, you stayed up quite late to make your report.

    I’d like to turn this into a guest blog under your Dr. G. handle, if you are willing. It’s worth preserving so it can be found by a search in the future.

    Whadda ya say?

    B.B.


  21. Chris,

    I think it is worth it to upgrade to the HW 97K, just for the Rekord trigger. Also, the HW 97K is much easier to work on, so if you ever want to tune your rifle, you will appreciate that.

    As far as accuracy goes, it won’t be that much better. Your CF-X is already shooting very accurately.

    B.B.


  22. David,

    A 10-meter shooter might do okay on silhouettes uot to 20 yards, but beyond that they are not used to trajectory. I doubt they could hold up in a match.

    It would be like a football player trying to play rugby.

    B.B.


  23. B.B.

    Gun broker has an HW 55 Weihrauch with Tyrolean Stock. It is available for about a half hour still. I just bought an FWB 124 at your suggestion, that they are under priced, the 55 seems a little high?

    I think I’ll pass, looks beautiful however.

    Volvo



  24. B.B.

    Looks like I’m a day late and a dollar short again.

    I guess I should of asked first, I already bought the FWB124 yesterday, and so the 55 in the same week would be a little much.

    I think I must have just looked at the STD stock HW55 in the Blue Book for pricing.

    There is an HW55 with the same stock in the UK for 350 Euro, which is about $514.00 US. My hesitation on that one is that you never know if it will actually arrive. I would also guess that shipping would make then almost equal in price?

    Have you purchased from overseas before?

    Volvo

    Ps – looks like Wayne is going to get the HW55, finders fee??


  25. Volvo,

    You and B.B. both…. credit in the membership fee for the rifle range and or gun rental…

    Wayne

    Ashland Rifle Range and Rentals


  26. BB,

    Thank you so much for your answer. That is enough to motivate me to practice. Along that line, any tips on how to dryfire for silhouette? I could not find a dry fire procedure specific for scoped rifles though I am aware of walling technique for the 10m shooters with the global sights.

    David



  27. Chris,

    I have a HW-77, almost the same as the HW-97.. and I have 5 CFXs (3 of them gas springs)….. for the rifle range… I would trade 3 CFXs for another HW-77 or 97…. any takers?

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range and Rentals


  28. Volvo,

    Well, Wayne did get the 55 Tyrolean. No, I haven’t purchased anything from overseas, unless you count my Whiscombe that came through a U.S. agent. I guess I am as reticent as you about that.

    But $514 is quite a low price for a Tyrolean. They usually start around $1,000 at airgun shows. It might be worth the risk.

    B.B.



  29. B.B.

    I think I’m going give the HW55 a try. The curious thing is the dealer is in England and has a plethora of old English made airguns at higher prices. His German pieces all seem on the low side. The HW55 could pass for LNIB, and appears stock.

    The only thing I can think of, is just as we may covet an old Daisy, they feel the same way about a Webley?

    I only ordered once from England before, and had given up by the time the package arrived. If I go for it now, it will make a wonderful Christmas gift. (for myself)

    Wayne – congrats on the win. As far as an HW97, mine has every goodie PW offers, and is a personal favorite.
    I would not trade it for a dozen CFX’s. No offense to you Gamo guys, but this is the one I would pick to be buried with.

    Volvo

    Wayne – I have a poodle mix also; enjoy the minimal shedding very much.


  30. Volvo

    We have too much in common.. cars, dogs, air guns and now I’m dabbling in rim fire at your, Bills and B.B. encouragement…

    I only have 5 CFXs and I agree with B.B. they are accurate, but the trigger is bad training for anything else you might shoot, it’s great if you don’t shoot anything else…

    So, I guess you’ll be buried with the 97… I’ll choose the S410 at this point…

    Come play at the range..

    Haven’t heard back yet from the seller of the HW-55 yet hope he’s out there…

    Wayne

    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  31. Wayne,

    I’m sticking with a Springer for burial, as I would guess the dive tank may not hold up to the heat…don’t worry about not hearing from the seller right away, since it’s the weekend, maybe check your “junk” e-mail file.

    Volvo



  32. Volvo,

    How’s the bidding overseas going, I hope you get that one and come over and play with me…Then B.B. might bring his and will have the rifle ranges grand opening contest with the HW-55′s or similar and different classes too of course …. How about it folks everyone bring a HW-55 or the like, and let’s have a contest..

    I’ll put up a prize like a new Air Arms S410 carbine or TX200 … HOW ABOUT THAT FOR AN IDEA!!! Help me work out the details if you think it’s a good idea…

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  33. Volvo,

    Please keep us posted on your Tyrolean transaction. The price you are getting the rifle for is phenomenal. Even with import duty and transportation you are coming out hundreds ahead.

    Can you share your source with me, or is this your happy hunting ground?

    B.B.


  34. B.B.
    Here is a sample from his site. I have shown the prices in US dollars.
    I will let you know how the transaction proceeds. I sent an e-mail about a month ago on the HW 55 and he responded in just one day. I have not heard back from this past Friday however.
    He said he had not sent Airguns to the States before, but was fine with it as long as they were legal. Some of the guns have detachable moderators, like the one Theoben, so I assume those would need to come off first.

    I’m guessing the R-1 (HW80) is low power, but nothing an export spring could not fix. Since the HW55 is well under 12ft lbs, it should be the same as what was imported to the US ?

    I don’t have my Blue Book with me to check prices, but the BSA is a multi shot with built in moderator. Probably just 12ft lbs, but looks like new with case and glass for $367.

    Daisy Model 25 ,1914 $183US

    BSA Ultra PCP, case w scope $367US

    Weihrauch HW80 22 LN, $220US

    Theoben 22 Caliber rifle Walnut wscope, $661.US

    Theoben break barrel air rifle $367US

    Weihrauch HW55 Tyrolean $514.US

    Crossman 400 Co2 $367US

    BENJAMIN Model 30-30 Co2 $257 US

    Webley Service Air Rifle MkII wall3 calibers $1102US

    Volvo


  35. Volvo,

    Of course it all boils down to the condition of each rifle. The Daisy 25 that’s a 1914 variation, for example, is underpriced unless it’s a dog. I have one I wouldn’t take less than $300 for, but mine has lots of shiny deep blue.

    The HW 55 is a steal if it’s really in great condition. And, yes, it will be identical to what was imported into the U.S. The Crosman 400 is worth $100, but the scarcity in the UK is driving the price. Same for the Benjamin 30-30.

    This will be an interesting transaction.

    B.B.


  36. B.B.

    They also have a not too special looking Daisy Powerline 880 for $146.00.
    My thoughts were similar, in a perfect world we would ship them a case of “rare” US made airguns, and they would in turn fill the box back up with boring everyday guns like the HW55.

    I went back and looked at the Daisy 25, and my best guess is that it has been painted – which would explain the low value.

    I’ll keep you up dated, and give you contact info soon. Wayne seems to have deep pockets, so I’ll hold my cards close to my chest for now. : )

    Volvo


  37. Volvo,

    I’m done this week, the Air Arms shipment came in, and I just bought the 3 firearms I had no plans at all to buy until you guys started talking about them here on the blog… so you can share with B.B. or not actually.. he might be after it…

    But then again not, he helped me decide to get the one I got… I offered to let him shoot it first for a week and he said as much as he wants to, it wasn’t worth the risk of another shipment… pretty swell guy, don’t you think?

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  38. Wayne,

    No doubt B.B. is a stand up guy.

    If he had wanted the HW55 T, he could have just agreed that it was over priced and pursued it for himself.



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