My favorite spring guns

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.

TX 200
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.

HW 77
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!

20 thoughts on “My favorite spring guns”

  1. Well I read the test and it was very well-written. I did not see anything about a velocity difference, but the writer did state that the TX 200 has a 14-inch barrel, when I believe it really has a nine-inch barrel. The outer jacket is not the barrel, it’s just a shroud.

    I did learn that the HC barrel is seven inches, though. I thought it was nine, so I learned something.

    It was interesting how close the two are in accuracy.

    Thany you for sending this report.


  2. just curious… Where would you rate the Beeman R9? top 20? just curious, because I have not had the ability to try many different spring piston air guns, and the R9 is the first gun I have purchased.

    p.s. I absolutely love this blog… every day i look forward to the info that you share… THANKS!

  3. Dan,

    I’m glad to hear from guys who like the blog. I hope it helps. And the comments are sometimes the best part.

    Where would I rate the R9? Well, it probably belongs in the top 20 as you suggest, but there are probably more than 20 rifles that fit in that category.

    I like the R9’s Rekord trigger, its easy cocking (for the power) and the light weight/slim profile (also for the power).

    I think an R9 is almost always a candidate for a good tune to quite the spring twang, though there’s not much on most of them.


  4. I don’t know what B.B. thinks but when I looked at them a few years ago they looked and felt like plastic junk to me (that is to say that other IZH products like 61 and 46M are phenomenal, made like tanks, impossible to break)…

  5. To the comment asking about the quality of the IZH MP651, I can’t find this gun anywhere! I’ve looked on this site and on EAA’s site (the importer) and I draw a blank.

    We now have a second comment from another reader about that gun so I don’t doubt that it exists, but I still haven’t located it.

    Obviously I know nothing, so I would have to accept the views of the reader who mentioned it. I’m surprised that IZH makes a bad gun, but I guess anything is possible.

    Thanks to the other reader for his comments.


  6. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I tried the link you sent but it was broken. I’m having difficulty getting on the IMZ website, too, which is probably my browser. I’ll give the link another try with a secondary browser later.

    At least we now know what we’re talking about.




  8. Dave,

    While the Tomahawk doesn’t have a real scope anchoring system, you can use the rear of the dovetails, where they end, as a sort of stop. The clamped dovtails on a mount will bottom put in those termination points and stop the scope mounts from moving. It’s not the best way but there you are.

    As far as clamping pressure alone stopping a scope from moving, I once crushed a spring gun tube to the point that the piston fit tightly when cocked and the scope STILL moved. No amount of clamping pressure will stop a mount from moving, in my experience.

    Now for a good spring gun scope. The Tomahawk isn’t a bad kicker, but take a look at the Leapers new line if scopes. They call them TS-rated scopes. There is an article on this website about a test where one was mounted on a Webley Patriot and it proved out well.


  9. I just purchased a W&S Tomahawk from the sponsor of this site. Fantastic service. I spoke with the owner Josh, who kind of talked me into spending more than I originally had in mind. I wanted to rid our garden of pesky raccoons and ground hogs. I got the .22 version with a Leaper 3-9×50 scope mounted. The rifle is bigger and heavier than I somehow imagined (I’m knew to the whole air rifle thing). Overall, so far, I’m very happy. Some minor quibles. It took practically the entire rightward movement of the scope to get it sighted in. There seems to be variation in size of .22 pellets even among those of the same manufacturer. Haendler Natermann “Field and target smooth” have to pushed quite hard into the barrel before they squeeze in, for example, whereas the hollow points from the same manufacturer slide in easily. And all in all, I would like having a sliding breach mechanism for loading pellets much better than having to push pellets into the barrel. Doesn’t someone make a nice rifle with a sliding breech loader and an under-lever cocking mechanism that still packs some decent power? That might be my next rifle. Still, seems like a great quality gun and I’m quite pleased.

  10. ” Do you find this rifle is powerful enough to take care of your raccoon problem?”

    I haven’t yet shot a racoon (only a matter of time) but it took out a groundhog from 25 yards and groundhogs seem to be built like tanks. Again, I have no first-hand knowledge of the other alternatives in the same price range, but the Tomahawk is plenty powerful. In fact, I find the rifle a bit intimidating. The forward recoil is sufficient that you find yourself anticipating it as you slowly pull the trigger, which is incredibly smooth. I can’t imagine what the magnum version of this rifle, the Patriot Export must be like.

  11. Regarding your listing of the Tomahawk as a favorite, what kind of accuracy do you find it has at distances of 30, 40 or more yards? I’d also like to know how the rifle compares to others in loudness (quite, quiter, average etc.) and if you’ve found the gun to be tiring to cock (does “slapping” the barrel to release it take its toll on your hand?. Thanks!

  12. The Tomahawk is no longer made. Webley has shifted production of some of their guns offshore, so it remains to be seen what the new Tomahawk will be like.

    Accuracy at 40 yards is about one inch with care taken.

    It is no trouble to cock. Slapping the muzzle is really trivial.


  13. There seems to be some confusion concerning the barrel length of the TX200 Mk III and TX200HC. According to Air Arms, the TX22 Mk III barrle is 13.4 inches (355mm) long with the outer shroud at 395mm.

    The TX200HC barrel is 9.68 inches long (242mm) with the outer shroud at 320mm.

    All other components are exactly the same in both the Mk III and the HC so as for power, the barrel length doesn’t make that much of a difference in the FAC versions (I think it’s between .9 and 1ftlb), as most pellets will have stopped accelerating at between 9 and 11 inches anyway.

  14. Hey this is Ed Santee.Ive been on google looking for a parts diagram/breakdown to a gun ive had for years. the only site that seemed to come up on google image was Pyramid Air Report, and thats where i found your email address. my gun is a crosman CO2 .22 caliber model 45-1. i am sure i am missing parts, however ive been trying to peice it together with the majority of peices and am looking for some help. do you think you have any information that can help with my process?
    contact me please at lowenlow22@yahoo.com

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