Out of Sight

Out of Sight

When black sights won’t work and how to fix them

By Dennis Adler

Seeing is believing (and hitting the target) so to make the Air Venturi V10 (rear) and Weihrauch HW 75 a little easier and faster to get on target I added a white dot to the V10’s front sight and a red square to the HW 75’s. Life gets easier if you do this, and it isn’t a permanent change (like nail polish or paint), just one that works.

There are all types of sights for handguns, some you can change and some you can’t, and sometimes you have to play the hand you’re dealt. Or do you? With the series on single shot pneumatics completed, the topic of sights, in particular those on the Air Venturi V10 and Weihrauch HW 75, was brought up, because while fully adjustable, they can be hard for some people to see. I can vouch for that because I’m one of them.

Black rear notch, black front blade, black target, and old eyes. It’s easier to fix the sights.

At some point in life most people end up wearing glasses, others have been wearing them since they were kids. I was fortunate for the first 50 years of my life to have had 20/20 vision. That changed in my early fifties to glasses for reading. Add another decade and it was glasses for reading, driving, and yep, shooting. Shooting glasses are a necessity, prescription shooting glass are as well. But even with glasses and adjustable sights, if you are putting back on black sights (rear notch and front blade) on a black target like a simple Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C it is hard to tell if the sights are perfectly aligned. I do this three times a week and sometime five, so I’ve learned to compensate; that’s a fancy word for putting a piece of masking tape on the front sight to make it easier to see when I have trouble. I’ve mentioned this a few times with certain airguns in the past. It’s a quick fix. Sloppy, and of course, I never photograph the guns with masking tape left on the front sight. Most of the time the guns go right back after the article is done and I don’t want to make any changes that would be permanent, like using nail polish or paint. I’m pretty much that way on airguns I own, too. Like them left as they were. However, there are better things to use than masking tape if you want to make a semi-permanent change to the front sight. Here are two of my favorites, and they are easy to do with simple items you might have around the home or office. read more


Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 8

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 8

Part 7 Part 6 Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Match Pistols – Shooting the Weihrauch HW 75

By Dennis Adler

The Weihrauch HW 75 is a proven design that can make you a better target shooter. It has excellent adjustable target sights, a light short stroke target trigger, and a grip design that provides the best possible support for the shooting hand. Note how the palm shelf supports the base of the hand and fingers around the grip. The ambidextrous design makes this totally repeatable for left-handed shooters.

Throughout this series on single shot pneumatic air pistols each gun has distinguished itself with unique features, the Air Venturi V10 with its specific grip configuration for entry level competitive 10-meter shooting, the Beeman P3 with its excellent fiber optic sights and semi-auto pistol like handling, and now the Weihrauch HW 75 with its superb ambidextrous grip and safety design, target trigger, and ease of operation.

The Grip

As I mentioned in Part 7, the grip design on the HW 75 is similar to centerfire match pistols that use a flared profile with thumb rests, only the Weihrauch’s is ambidextrous. The palm shelf is also seen on centerfire competition guns, some of which are machined as part of the grip frame, others, like the Max Michel (as shown in Airgun Experience No. 175) attached around it. Either way, it provides more support for the shooting hand, whether part of the grip frame or the grip design itself. read more


Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 7

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 7

Part 6  Part 5  Part 4  Part 3  Part 2  Part 1

Match Pistols – Detailing the Weihrauch HW 75

By Dennis Adler

 

One of the finest single stroke pneumatic 4.5mm air pistols you can own today, the Weihrauch HW 75 has been around for 17 years and before that as the Beeman P2 for a decade. The high quality walnut grips provide an ambidextrous hold for right or left-handed shooters with an easily activated ambidextrous manual safety. 

Unlike the spring piston P1, the Beeman P2 and HW 75 are totally recoilless pneumatic designs, which makes the Weihrauch-built models ideal 10-meter Match Pistols. While the Beeman P2 has taken that long journey into the secondary market, the HW 75 has never left the building and remains one of the best, if not the best, single shot pneumatic target pistols on the market, and also one of the most expensive. Back in 2001 when the First Edition Blue Book of Airguns was published, the Beeman P2 had been in production for 10 years and the MSRP was $385. If you wanted the walnut Match Grips used on the Weihrauch HW 75 (introduced in 2000) it was an additional $70. The Weihrauch had an original MSRP of $495. So it was always more expensive than the P2. read more


Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 6

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 6

Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Match Pistols – The Classic Weihrauch HW 75

By Dennis Adler

The trio of top single stroke pneumatics begins with the Air Venturi V10 10-Meter pistol (rear), Beeman P3 Match Pistol (center) and top-of-the-line Weihrauch HW 75 Match Target Pistol. Although it is not a 10-meter competition pistol design the HW 75 costs the most and delivers the most features for precision target shooting.

The word “classic” gets thrown around a lot these days, always has, and is often misused to glorify some piece of past history. I used to get all up in arms back when I was writing books on American and European Classic cars over the misuse of “classic” when describing American cars from the 1950s. Classic was very strictly defined, at least for automobiles, as a period from 1924 to 1948 and only specific makes and models; prior to 1924 an automobile could not be considered a classic (could be an antique or vintage car) and after 1948 it would be a milestone car, (if so deemed by the Milestone Car Society). A 1955 Thunderbird, for all its glory, was not and will never be a Classic Car, even if it is a classic in the minds of so many. But when it comes to some things, movies for example, classic has a lot more latitude and interpretation, or the classic “little black dress” or a “classic firearm.” How old does an item have to get to be considered classic? When there is no governing body (like the Classic Car Club of America for example) to lay down a set of rules and standards, classic becomes more of an attribute for longevity, the recognition of a design that has remained popular for an extended (generational) period, like the Colt Model 1911, or one that was popular at one time but has become antiquated by more modern versions (cell phones for example, though I’m not sure the first Motorola StarTac flip phone will ever be called a classic outside of Star Trek circles, but it is among Time magazine’s “All-Time 100 Gadgets”). When it comes to air pistols, “classic” has a lot of ground to cover! Among single stroke pneumatic airguns I would venture to say that few will take offense if the Weihrauch HW 75 is deemed a classic. read more


Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 5

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 5

Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Match Pistols – Shooting the Beeman P3

By Dennis Adler

There is both a sense of age and longevity in Dr. Beeman’s P3, which is one year older than the First Edition Blue Book of Airguns, (now in its 12th Edition). The P3 is one of those finely crafted German airguns that have withstood the test of time, while others have been discontinued over the same period. As a single shot Match Pistol it is also one of the more affordable at $230 ($40 less than the Air Venturi V10 and ten bucks shy of being half the price of the Weihrauch HW 75).

I know that over the last 18 months we have focused on blowback action air pistols and rifles, training guns matched to their centerfire counterparts, and classic single action revolvers, which is the primary objective of the Airgun Experience, but this little sidestep into single stroke pneumatics and 10-Meter pistols is also an integral part of handgun (and rifle) training. This is an approach established more than four decades ago by Dr. Robert D. Beeman with his first “Adult Airguns” imported from Germany. Thus the P3 plays a very important role in this story of improving one’s shooting abilities. The P3 breaks down the basics of target shooting by providing simple operation, exemplary accuracy at 10 meters, and the benefits of modern fiber optic sights (also used on many compact and full-size cartridge firing handguns). Like the Air Venturi V10 for 10-Meter training, this is also a short course compared to getting into comparable centerfire handgun and blowback action understudies, like the S&W M&P40. With single shot pneumatics the greater emphasis is placed on sighting accuracy and trigger control than on learning all of the handling skills such as slide and safety operation, magazine changes, tactical reloads, holstering, drawing, etc. The singular focus with models like the Beeman P3 is on learning to hit the bullseye with repeatable accuracy. No rushing from shot to shot; just timing and consistency. read more


Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 4

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Match Pistols – The Classic Beeman P3

By Dennis Adler

The big difference between the Air Venturi V10 and the Beeman P3 is their design purpose. The V10 is a 10-Meter pistol, which meets all the basic requirements for that shooting discipline, whereas the Beeman P3 is a Match Pistol that allows a two-handed hold. The V10 is also slightly larger overall, but both are overlever pneumatics that can shoot 4.5mm pellets at around 400 fps.

This is where it all began. We are talking about the history of Adult Airguns in America, and that history begins with Dr. Robert D. Beeman, the editor of my first airgun book, the First Edition Blue Book of Airguns published 17 years ago. But my history with Dr. Beeman goes further back to my role with the Blue Book of Gun Values as one of the contributing editors on black powder pistols and air pistols (along with fellow Pyramyd Air author Tom Gaylord). In 1998 Blue Book publisher Steve Fjestad and I spun off the black powder gun section into a separate book that is now published periodically (and currently edited by John Allen); along with a series of hard cover books that I have written on black powder arms. The reason that black powder guns were spun off from the regular annual Blue Book of Gun Values was simply that there wasn’t enough room in the Blue Book to properly cover them. The same thing occurred in the 2000 edition of the Blue Book and the following year the First Edition Blue Book of Airguns appeared. I was the author and Dr. Beeman was the editor and co-author. By 2001 when the First Edition appeared the number of airguns available had grown exponentially and like the black powder guns needed to have their own dedicated book. That was 17 years ago. Today, there are so many more airguns (than black powder guns) that the latest airgun book (12th Edition) has grown from the original 160 pages to 840 pages! And much of that growth over the years begins with Dr. Beeman and the founding of Beeman’s Precision Airguns in 1972. read more


Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 3

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Shooting the Air Venturi V10

By Dennis Adler

The Air Venturi V10 is absolutely capable of being used in entry level 10-Meter ISSF sanctioned shooting events. The grip design is based on 10-Meter styles although it is somewhat unique in its rough wood grained finish. This gives you superb grasp but rough edges need to be smoothed out for a comfortable grip by using a wood rasp. In this shot I have already adjusted the contour where my middle finger rests behind the triggerguard.

You can spend a lot of money for a 10-Meter pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) competition pistol like a Morini MOR-162MI (one of the most expensive with an MSRP of $1,900), a Hammerli AP20 PRO (one of the more affordable at just under $1,000) or a Walther LP400 (around $1,700), and they won’t feel much different in your hand than the Air Venturi V10 single shot pneumatic. A 10-Meter air pistol is built to a competition standard with mandatory grip designs and a generally similar configuration. Most PCP models look very much the same, as do modern single stroke pneumatics like the Air Venturi V10. The differences are speed and accuracy. A PCP pistol is faster to shoot, a single shot pneumatic slower, but the V10 is definitely competitive at the entry level, and at under $300 you can afford to get into training, even if you never intend to get into competitive shooting. (This also opens the door to Match Pistols, which I will begin covering in Part 4). read more