Beeman HW 70A air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Beeman HW 70A air pistol
Beeman’s HW 70A breakbarrel spring pistol.

Remember that I said I would return and do another accuracy test of the Beeman HW 70A pistol because I didn’t test the best pellet seated? I felt a little guilty about missing that; but after my wife, Edith, got done with me, I felt really guilty. Good job, Edith!

Today is a revisit to see the effects of deep-seating the best pellet, which you may recall was the Beeman H&N Match. The other two pellets I shot last time aren’t in the running, so they don’t get retested.

However, a reader commented that his HW 70A really likes the JSB Exact RS dome, so that one got tested, too.

Several readers described their pistols as very accurate. One person even said his was a tackdriver. That really drives me nuts because of the results I’m getting. And I’m a good pistol shot — plus, I’m shooting the gun rested! I ought to be there with the best of you, but up to this point I’m not.

Beeman H&N Match
This was the best pellet in the first accuracy test, so this is the one I started with. And I started with the deep-seated pellets. I’m using the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Seater, and the adjustment hasn’t changed since the last time, so everything is equal.

The first group was pretty poor. I thought I’d forgotten how to shoot because it looked nothing like the group of flush-seated pellets from the last time.

Beeman HW 70A air pistol Beeman H&N Match deep-seated
Ten deep-seated Beeman H&N Match pellets made this 1.532-inch group at 10 meters.

That prompted me to try a group of the same pellets seated flush. You will remember in Part 3 that, when these were seated flush, 10 of them made a 1.085-inch group. This time 10 flush pellets went into 1.067 inches. That’s pretty close to the last time, and very persuasive that flush-seating is what this pellet likes!

Beeman HW 70A air pistol Beeman H&N Match flush-seated
Ten flush-seated Beeman H&N Match pellets made this 1.067-inch group at 10 meters. That’s close to what they did the last time.

JSB Exact RS
Next I tried some JSB Exact RS domes — just to see if I could duplicate what a blog reader reported. Lo and behold, I did! As I was shooting, I could see that the group didn’t seems to be growing, and I had a sense that the pistol was drilling the target. As you can see, it was doing exactly that! Ten pellets in 0.761 inches at 10 meters. I wouldn’t call it a tackdriver, but it’s the next best thing.

Beeman HW 70A air pistol Beeman JSB Exact RS flush-seated
Ten flush-seated JSB Exact RS pellets made this 0.761-inch group at 10 meters. Pretty good!

Next, I was going to try the same pellet seated deep, but that’s when I saw that the barrel was flopping from side to side at the breech! Oh, no! All that work for nothing!

Fortunately, this pistol has a pivot bolt that can be both tightened and also locked in position with a jam screw. However, I didn’t have time to do that because I was crashing on tests to put in the bank for my trip to see my friend Mac.

When I return from my trip, I’ll tighten the breech and rerun this entire test — plus shoot the RS pellet deep-seated. So, there’s fifth part coming.

68 thoughts on “Beeman HW 70A air pistol: Part 4

  1. I’m not keen on pistol shooting, never tried it never liked it.,,, Sorry that was yesterday’s article wasn’t it. Sorry again, English sense of humour.

    TTFN

    Best Wishes, Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe


    • B.B. Your bad fortune with the side play in the barrel might turn out to be my good fortune for my HW35, i think i might have a smidgen of side play on her. And it was turning out to look like a good article as well, looking forward to part 4.5.

      TTFN

      Sir Nigel


      • Sir Nigel,

        And lucky you — the HW 35 has an adjustable pivot bolt, too. Many new guns don’t, you know.

        B.B.


      • Sir Nigel,

        For what it’s worth my HW35E also had side play in the barrel. The forks that hold the breech block were too wide. Tightening the pivot bolt was not enough to correct the problem. Paul Watts had tuned this rifle before I purchased it. He is a very well respected airgunsmith. I sent it back to him to address this issue as well as some other concerns I had with the rifle. He told me the forks were wider than they should have been and by how much though I don’t remember exact measurements. He said he has seen this flaw before and that my 35E was as bad as he had seen. Ended up shimming the breech block with a custom delrin washer to eliminate the side play. It looks funny but it’s effective.

        I hope yours can be corrected with just tightening the bolt.

        Mark N


        • Thanks again there Mark. I was not aware of this problem in some of the HW35′s, with a bit of luck it could just be down to the fact that someone put an Ox Accelerator spring in her. So when i strip her down for a decent Titan spring, I’ll go the whole way and see if i need to run up some delrin shims on the lathe and also replace any other stuff needed to make her the delight she should be. Your advice and knowledge is well appreciated as ever, take care buddy.

          TTFN

          Sir Nigel



      • No way, the Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics are hysterical if you listen to them. For instance:

        If you want to know who we are,
        We are gentlemen of Japan:
        On vase and jar,
        On screen and fan,
        On many, many, many, many,
        Many, many, many, many, a JAR,
        Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!

        All that pellet seating with a whippy barrel has got to be frustrating.

        CowboyStar Dad, I didn’t know you’d already acquired the Enfield. Have you shot it? What did you think? Ah yes, the Battle of Stalingrad. One account from the German side said that you should try to imagine a half hour of close combat, then think of 81 uninterrupted days of it. Then there was the -30 cold, and the starvation, and the knowledge that you were never getting out of there. Read The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer for a real evocation. Unbelievable, that’s mainly why I bought my Mauser 98. Shooting it is secondary.

        Mike, good point about the hidden nuclear bomb. Hope someone in the military has thought of that one.

        Victor, glad to hear that good work was done in SDI, and perhaps the basic research had some benefits, but it looks like after all that the main idea did not pan out.

        Matt61


        • Matt61,

          I will tell you one thing…you never disappoint. Where else on the internet can you get lots of airgunning advice and the lyrics to a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta?
          :-)

          Edith


        • “Wrestlers of Japan” (Veggie Tales, “Sumo of the Opera”)

          If you want to know who we are?
          We are wrestlers of Japan!
          On many a mat and ring!
          For many a sumo fan!

          Behold The Sumo Champion Wrestler;
          A massive gourd and holder of the title.
          Many have tried, but none have beaten him;
          A fact that is particularly vital.”

          Defer! Defer!
          To the sumo champion wrestler!

          Defer! Defer!
          To the champion, to the champion
          To the champion sumo wrestler!




            • I never could get /him/…

              KTEH used to run one guy in the 80s/90s — I forgot his name; may have been Irish… Definitely had fun with Dr. Who and the Catholic church (at the same time! I recall one episode where the holy water font starts rolling up the aisle enunciating “Exterminate”, and the cleric ducks into a pulpit which vanishes with the TARDIS gronk…)


        • Matt61,

          Lots of great fundamental research came out of SDI that really had benefits to defense and other fields. But details are something that can neither be denied nor confirmed. Again, I really wish that the trillions wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan had been directed towards a Moon, or SDI, type of a goal. Something of real vision that lifted the entire country. I’m not trying to harp on the more recent fiasco, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to the real power of education. Most Americans will never know that in the past the US used education as a weapon, including controlling what other nations were allowed to teach. It seems that the US lost that understanding, and thus that advantage in recent decades. To me, that signifies a country out of control, and in particular, a nation that no longer knows what it’s true interest should be.

          Victor

          Victor


        • Yes CowboystarDad, why didn’t you shoot it at -30? Come on, the rifle was made for it ;-) LOL
          I can’t stand winter either, I’ve had enough, we’re supposed to get close to a foot of snow on friday again.

          J-F


  2. It’s always with mixed feelings when I discover loose screws. Happy because now I know why the gun isn’t shooting well, and unhappy because now I need to retest everything that I just finished testing. A lot of work when sometimes I just feel like having a little trigger time with no thinking or drudgery involved…

    /Dave


    • /Dave,

      Yes, and it always comes right when you’re on a tight schedule! Like the phone when you’re in the shower, I suppose.

      B.B.



  3. I’m new to the airgun side of things, so I have a lot of questions but here’s one that is really bugging me. I have read all of the reviews here by Tom and also the blogs over at that “other airgun retailer” written by Jack Elliot. One message that has come through loud and clear is that each gun will tend to like specific pellets and only experience will tell the shooter which one is best. What is the best approach for testing various pellets? Do you pick a velocity that you want to shoot at and then try all the pellets that will get you to that velocity range or do you simply have favorite pellet brands and types that you’ve come to love over the years and that’s what you go with? With the hundreds of pellets available out there, what is the “short list” of pellets that a newbie needs to start with? Thanks for any help. Jim H.


    • Jim H.,

      That question is almost a good blog topic. What I do is first select a pellet from a small group that I know perform well in most guns. I do this by caliber, by power level and by powerplant type. Then I try those pellets and look at the results. Then…

      Heck, you know what? This IS a good blog subject. Watch for it next week!

      If you can’t wait that long, give me some specifics of the gun you are shooting and we’ll cut to the chase.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        For an air-pistol in this power range, wouldn’t you want a pellet that is in the mid-range in terms of weight. Maybe something in the range from 7.0 to 7.5 gains? Also, wouldn’t a wad-cutter be best?

        Victor


        • Victor…

          If you are looking at lead pellets only, then 7.0-7.5 ARE light.
          Forget wadcutters except for two reasons…
          Either you would be shooting competition (scoring reasons), or if they simply shoot the best.

          twotalon



            • kevin…

              In this velocity range, wadcutters may even be the worst choice for small vermin. My 853 (475 f.p.s.) is about hopless on starlings with anything but head shots. They can’t get through the feathers. All they do is bruise up starlings. Ever try to chase one down on foot ????

              twotalon


              • twotalon,

                Of course velocity plays a large role in pellet selection. Especially in pesting/hunting.

                No, I’ve never chased down a starling. That’s what dogs and cats are for :-)

                kevin


              • I used a scoped 1377 head shot at approx. 10 yards with JSB Exact 4.52 8.4gr on those stupid starlings. I’m still cleaning up their mess after they’ve been gone a couple of years. If you scope a 1377, use a good steel breech rail kit rather the clamp on the barrel type.


                • aj..

                  Hard for me to get that close to those filthy things.
                  Had a good time this winter knocking them down at 20-25 yds with the T200 when there was not much wind.

                  twotalon


              • Considering that your are starting with a muzzle energy in the 3.75 ft-lb range… even point-blank range may not suffice to kill a baby mouse. Don’t some of the recommendation sites list 5 ft-lb as the limit for very small pests (and that’s probably terminal energy, not muzzle).


            • Thanks for the replies from all. I’m trying to figure out how people decide which pellet to try first when getting a new gun, not necessarily the pistol being evaluated here. These responses are all leading me to the same conclusion…”it all depends”! It depends on what’s worked before in other guns, whether it’s target shooting or hunting, so on and so on. I’m starting to see that the real answer is that each person has to develop a feel for this with experience and reading blogs like this one for suggestions. Thanks, Jim H.


              • Jim…

                It can be complicated . I use (or at least start with) pellets that are known for consistency in quality and accuracy. They are the ones that will usually work at least reasonably well, but not always.
                Light pellet for low power, medium pellet for medium power, heavy pellet for high power.
                But any gun may fool you. They may severely dislike the pellets that they SHOULD like, and prefer something that makes no sense.

                I am very much “purpose oriented”. I want enough (or MORE than enough) power for getting certain jobs done. I also look at what kind of range and shooting conditions I will be working with. Sometimes you need to do a bit of a compromise.

                twotalon



                  • Jim..

                    Let’s split this two ways….
                    Nearly all of my target shooting is hunting oriented, so I select and shoot what is best (round nose).
                    I don’t do competition, so what little I have done target with wadcutters has been with the H&N match pellets of different sizes (FMR and FMP). Have not done any of the RWS match.
                    Sometimes just one size difference makes a lot of distance on targets. Example 4.50 as opposed to 4.51 mm.

                    Wadcutters suck for range in both power and accuracy compared to round nose.

                    twotalon


                    • Interesting info…what about pointed pellets or hollow-points for longer distances? How do they compare to domed pellets for accuracy/power? Also, is the skirt diameter important because of the barrel diameter? I assume that a snug fit is better than a tight fit or a loose fit, is that right?



                    • I’ve run out of room for more comments on the right side and time on the computer for this morning. Thanks for all the help. Later, Jim H.


              • Jim..
                I jumped up here because the thread was getting thin.
                Pointed and hollow point are not usually very good for distance for accuracy. Sometimes you caan find a pointed that carries power a little longer, but you still ahve the accuracy problem.
                Of course, it depends on just how far you want to shoot, and how much power and accuracy you need at that range. The biggest difference that you should worry about is accuracy. There would probably not be enough difference in power to make a hoot.

                You might run into situations where you will need to limit your range more with one pellet than another. Let’s say that H&N FTT and AA 4.52 field pellets shoot equally well at 30 yds, but if you stretch it out to 40-50 yds the AA pellets fall apart . So how far do you intend to shoot? See what I’m getting at?

                twotalon

                twotalon


              • PA main page has links to buying guide and article that are very useful.

                Basically, find out what you want out of an airgun, read reviews and experiment.

                Every airgun is unique, but there some good places to start.

                JSB rules my journal, followed by upper RWS, H&N, Crosman & Gamo.

                Sometimes an odd duck will rule the day. I have many tins of pellets I use for testing, but I acquired them slowly over the years.


            • To add to Kevin’s advice on wadcutter pellets being good to prevent pass thru on pests at short range: If you go up in cal from .177 to .22 , to say 5-600fps in .22 or better a.25 cal with a quality round nose pellet, you will have a very effective small pest thumper. The caveat is that the max range should be not over 20-25 yards to limit holdover guess work do to trajectory. My BSA Supersport in .25 does a tad over 600fps with H&N FTT 20 gr. pellets. Sends pest squirrels home without hardly ever a pass thru. That is why a serious airgunner with a pest problem , likes his QB-78′s, Crosman 2250′s , and new guns like the Walther LGV in 22. My wife hates to have her fancy bird feeders perforated.



      • Testing for the best pellet in an airgun is a HUGE topic.

        Random thoughts………

        1-Clean your barrel. Snug your stock screws and scope mount screws. Check your pivot bolt if you have one. Is your breech seal sealing? Dial the parallax out of your scope. Okay, ready for pellet testing.

        2-Is a pellet sampler a good investment for those airgunners that have not had the time or money to buy 80 tins of pellets of (the 20 most popular pellets in all 4 small bore calibers)?

        3-Don’t shoot pellets with badly damaged skirts. Set those pellets aside for plinking. We’re testing for accuracy today.

        3-Shooting wadcutters beyond 20 yards is usually a waste of time and pellets

        4-A little research on the internet can narrow down the POTENTIALLY most accurate pellet in your airgun. A good place to start is researching this blog.

        5-Generally lighter pellets group better in lower velocity guns and generally heavier pellets group better in higher velocity guns. Don’t let this generalization restrict testing of all pellets. Sometimes you’ll be surprised.

        6-Pay attention to pellet fit in your gun. A loose fitting pellet rarely groups well. Same goes for very tight fitting pellets.

        7-Before you give up on a pellet try deep seating a few.

        8-If you get a decent group with a pellet it’s time to try all the different head sizes offered for that pellet (if a variety of head sizes are offered for that pellet).

        9-Ready to sort pellets? Ready to weigh your pellets? Ready to try different lubes on your pellets? etc., etc., etc.

        kevin


        • Kevin, those are definitely more that just random thoughts. Those are great suggestions that I’ve just copied and pasted to my notebook. Thank you.


        • Tell me more about the 2nd #3 in your list about waste of time shooting wadcutters beyond 20 yds. What is the best profile for distances of 50 yds plus?


          • Jim H.,

            Now you’re entering the land of pellet design, aerodynamics, yaw, spin, drag stablization, BC (Ballistic Coefficent), etc. to be able to better understand best pellets for testing in your gun at various distances.

            I’ll let B.B. address all these things in his upcoming article.

            kevin


          • Jim H.,

            Two more thoughts……

            1-I’m an idiot. I typed 2 number 3′s!! LOL!

            2-I said USUALLY a waste of time. Try them.

            kevin


            • Kevin, I thought maybe you were just testing me to see if I were really reading your comments closely!!! Trust me, you are no idiot. Thanks for the help.


          • 50 yards is probably extreme range… And the most sensitive to pellet design.

            Domes are probably the most aerodynamic at that range, but if the target is pestilence, you might need a pointed pellet to penetrate at the terminal energy for the distance. At 25 yards, from a high power, pure lead hollow points may be effective depending on shape (some HPs are deep-dish wad-cutters |\_/| or truncated cones /|_||, others are domes with a pit in the center (\_/) or (-|_|-) ; and then there are those oddities that combine forms (\^/) having a spike in the hollow).


        • Basically, try everything and repeat those things that work. Write it down so you don’t forget. Consistency on every level is the key….. the trouble is…..If you look close enough……every shot is truly unique.



            • check this pyramyd site under ammo, the sample pack is a good way to start. But please do not wait to buy your first air rifle. A cane pole and a can of worms will catch fish. If we were to wait till we had the money for a $60K bass boat and a $40K tow truck, many will never catch a fish. Unlike wifes, we can have more than one air rifle. LOL


    • http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/RWS_Pellet_Sampler/393

      yes on the sampler pack, like the above.

      In my opinion, don’t wait to buy your first air rifle. It is not like a wife, we can have 2 rifles, or 200. Don’t wait till you have the money for the perfect air rifle, buy one now and shoot shoot shoot. A cane pole and a can of worms will catch fish, but if we wait to buy that $60,000 bass boat and 40K truck, some will never catch their first fish.


  4. Thanks, Tom, I will really be looking forward to your blog. I do not have an airgun yet so I can’t give you specifics for my case, but I will give you an example if that will help. I’ll pick one that I know is very popular with shooters and that I know is one of your favorites- the Talon SS. I know this will shoot well over 1050 fps and is power adjustable. I also have picked up somehow the idea that shooting around 850 fps is a sweet spot for accuracy. (Please correct me if i’m wrong here). For simplicity sake, let’s assume I shoot at full power all the time and don’t use the power adjustment feature. I can get to 850 fps by varying the caliber or pellet weight. What logic would you use to get there?


    • Jim H.,

      Are you talking about a Talon SS in .177 caliber? Because the .22 tops out around 850 with Crosman Premiers.

      Tell me the caliber and I will tell you the best pellets (probably). I’ll also describe the best velocity, which I have recently tested.

      B.B.


      • Sorry, Tom, I think my followup just created more confusion than I intended. It’s probably better just to ignore that question about the TalonSS and go back to square one. I’m really trying to learn what logic you use to match caliber/pellet to any gun that you might be evaluating. It sounds like this is exactly what you intend to blog about so it’s probably best that I wait to see that blog before asking more questions. I’ll just wait to read your blog. Hope that makes sense. Regards, Jim H.


        • Hiya Jim. They do make sample packs of pellets…

          http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/RWS_Pellet_Sampler/393

          That will give you a chance to try a few kinds without buying a whole tin. As BB will probably tell us next week, there may be a rifles of the same model and made the same day that may like 2 different pellets.

          In my opinion, don’t wait to buy your first air rifle. It is not like a wife, you can have 2 or 200. You can keep them or get rid of them, or enjoy them for what they are until you have the money to get what you really want. I don’t have any air rifle or pistol that cost more than 150$, and I will shoot my 1377 (50 bucks ?) more than any other gun. Saddle up man, we are wasting day light!!! LOL


        • Jim H.,

          Don’t fret. Everyone is allowed to ask questions here. I just didn’t understand where you were coming from.

          I will do my best to write a good report for you.

          B.B.


        • Don’t rush to buy an airgun. You came to the right spot. There are no dumb questions. Airguns are a whole other world and learning about them is the first step…………but done right, they’re a lot of fun!!!!


      • he he he…….was thinking about the great .177 vs .22 debates.

        How about springer vs PCP?

        Ok I’ll shut up now.

        Have a great day!!!!

        -AJ



  5. Jim H,

    Welcome.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/RWS_Pellet_Sampler/393

    yes on the sampler pack, like the above.

    In my opinion, don’t wait to buy your first air rifle. It is not like a wife, we can have 2 rifles, or 200. Don’t wait till you have the money for the perfect air rifle, buy one now and shoot shoot shoot. A cane pole and a can of worms will catch fish, but if we wait to buy that $60,000 bass boat and 40K truck, some will never catch their first fish.


  6. B.B.

    Hope I didn’t do too much to whittle away your blog for Jim. I tried to stick to general “porpose oriented” stuff. I tried to stay away form Talon specific stuff.

    twotalon.



    • This blog doesn’t force us to include any name. I wish it did, rather than automatically assigning “Anonymous” as a name (or, I still like the idea of assigning Anonymous Coward). ~Ken


      • ken…

        If you log in with word press and stay logged in, your name will always appear. You will not have to do any math to post.
        Word Press logs me off about once a week, and I have to log in again or go through the other hassle of math and name entering.

        twotalon



        • Unless I clear the “form data” from Firefox, it’s kept my name for replies as long as the host site doesn’t change… That is — I have to enter the name/email once per computer used to connect, but that’s been it…


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