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Which Weihrauch rifle would B.B. pick?

by B.B. Pelletier

Earl Cox – this one’s for you. It’s the rest of the answer to your question:

  • Now for the 64 dollar question. Which Weihrauch model would you choose to purchase if you eliminate price as a factor and excluded pneumatics? I don’t know what a gas ram system is so you may include these models if one doesn’t have to purchase pumps, compressors or CO2.
  • Weihrauch makes some of the finest spring airguns in the world. They have been doing so since shortly after World War II. Before that, clear back to the turn of the 20th century, they made the model 51 (or was it a 52?), a falling or dropping block single-shot that was a fine .22 rimfire target rifle. The company still makes a target .22 today – the HW 660.

    The kiss of death was making a line of cheap handguns!
    During the German post-WWII recovery period, Weihrauch made an unfortunate decision to make a line of cheap revolvers and market them under their own banner. Arminius .22 revolvers from the 1950s are as cheap as firearms get without being downright dangerous, and the effect of making them under their own name prejudiced the shooting community against Weihrauch. It was a poor marketing decision made five decades ago, but it cost the company their place in the sun. They still make revolvers under that name today. Although the quality is very much improved, the damage has been done.

    Weihrauch is serious about its airguns!
    Weihrauch never made the mistake of cheapening their air rifles, so that part of the company receives the attention it deserves. In the 1970s, the Hermann Weihrauch company allied itself with Robert Beeman in a move that proved highly beneficial to both firms. Weihrauch was open to Beeman’s request for modifications to their existing rifles to better suit American tastes. Beeman, on the other hand, knew what American shooters wanted and proceeded to import and sell it to them – in large quantities. Weihrauch grew and so did Beeman, whose new R-series rifles became (and remain) an American airgunning icon.

    Part of Weihrauch’s improvements came from BSF
    In the late 1980s, German airgun maker BSF closed its doors and sold the remaining parts and completed guns to Weihrauch. BSF was as good a maker as Weihrauch, but lacked the same fine distribution channels (they were sold through European firearms channels). Weihrauch immediately went to work to figure out how they could incorporate BSF designs (and the leftover parts and assemblies) into Weihrauch guns. Their first model was an adaptation of the BSF model 70, turning it into the Marksman model 70, which was very similar but with a Rekord trigger.

    The first really new model Weihrauch made from BSF parts was the Beeman R10, a powerful, yet lightweight rifle that was dubbed the “son of the R1.” The R10 was a great airgun, but Weihrauch modified the design even more to produce it for less cost, and they designated the new rifle the Beeman R9.

    Weihrauch’s finest air rifle – in B.B.’s opinion
    The HW 55 target rifle was the finest air rifle Weihrauch ever made in my opinion. It was light enough to hold easily, and heavy enough to hold steady. It had exemplary target sights that taught the world how to make affordable target sights, and it had a special target version of the Rekord trigger that is as fine as the movement in a Patek Phillipe watch. I was so sorry to see this model phased out a few years ago, but it had a long and successful run of over four decades.

    HW 35 takes America by storm!
    Weihrauch’s large HW 35 (which is still made, by the way) was among Beeman’s top magnum air rifles when the race for power started in the 1970s. But the FWB 124 came along and put all other rifles in the back seat. Read all about that in the post FWB 124 – a classic pellet rifle. The 35 continued in Beeman’s lineup for several more years, but always at a disadvantage due to its relatively short stroke. So, Robert Beeman decided to take matters into his own hands.

    Beeman’s new air rifle
    Dr. Beeman designed a new rifle based on the 35, but with internal improvements that no other air rifle in the world could match. He did a lot of his work on a computer CAD system, then took the output to his good friend Hans Weihrauch, Sr., to build the rifle. The Beemans (Toshiko Beeman was an important part of the development team, as was Christa Weihrauch, Hans’ wife) and the Weihrauchs swapped visits and phone calls as the new airgun neared completion. The Weihrauchs could hardly believe the power produced by Beeman’s new design, so they asked permission to make their own version of the new gun to sell elsewhere in the world under the Weihrauch name. Beeman knew he couldn’t absorb all of their output capacity, so he agreed.

    Because the shorter European stock was easier for them to produce, the Weihrauch version was on the market several months before Beeman took delivery of his first lot. Hence, the myth was born that the Beeman R1 was built AFTER the HW 80, when, in fact, it was the other way around! The R1 caught the airgunning world off guard with its near-1,000 f.p.s. velocity in .177. In less than a year, the extra few f.p.s. were eked out, and the airgunning world had its first rifle capable of 1,000 f.p.s. straight out of the box!

    Now out of print, the R1 book by Gaylord is the only book written about a single airgun model. It also served as a reference for the history in today’s report.

    More customization has been done to the R1 than any other rifle ever made. It is big, powerful, accurate and can do more things than any other production spring gun made. Ivan Hancock used the HW 80 as the basis for his custom Mach I springer, which shattered the speed of sound at over 1,200 f.p.s. in .177! So, Earl and everybody else, for all those reasons, the Beeman R1 is my pick of all Weihrauch spring air rifles!

    36 thoughts on “Which Weihrauch rifle would B.B. pick?”

    1. Thanks for the post on HW & R1, I didn’t know that the two companies wee so close.
      What woud you choose for a caliber in the R1. I notice that is quite a difference in velocity between the .177 and .22 cals.
      Earl Cox

    2. airgundoc,

      Did you notice that the HW 80 is faster in .177 only? It’s rated slower than the R1 in .22

      Those are just numbers and it’s unlikely that any gun you buy will deliver the exact same performance. We don’t know what pellets were used to generate those velocities. I could get 1050 out of a .177 R1 with Skenco Hyper Velocity pellets, and I’ll bet that a Kodiak won’t go much more than 700 f.p.s. in .22, if that fast.

      The mechanical parts of the guns are identical. The wood is what makes them different.


    3. PCR,

      Of the three guns you mention I only have experience with the RWS 46. You probably aready read my post on it, but if not, it was on October 28.

      I know the BAM is a Chinese copy of the TX 200. I don’t know the RWS 320 at all, except that it probably is not a German-made gun.



    4. I’m happy to find out that my BSF Model S60 was made by Weihrauch. Now, where can I get it fixed? No one wants to talk to me about this fine Pellet Gun. It is in .22 cal. and performed flawlessly for many years. I used it in the Motion Picture Business and it was very accurate. It will not hold the air charge anymore. Any suggestions? Gerry Wade..retired Prop Master wadeboy@leaco.net

    5. Gerry,

      Your BSF S60 wasn’t made by Weihrauch. They only made a few of the model 70s. BSF made all the model 60s at their factory in Erlangen.

      What “air charge” do you think your gun holds? You have a spring-piston rifle. There is no air charge. The piston compresses the air at the instant the gun fires.

      John Groenewold can make work it like new for you. Call him at (847) 566-2365.


    6. Gecado is a German distributor, and they distributed Diana air rifles. I’m guessing that you have a Diana rifle. If the model number 50 is the same as Diana’s, your rifle is an underlever (barrel remains fixed and a level under the gun cocks the spring).

      The Bore One designation could refer to the caliber. In England a number one bore is .177 caliber, number two is .22 and number three is .25.

      What else would you like to know?


    7. I’m happy to find out that I’m not the only one owning an bsf S60. Now – do you know where I can get more info on this airgun. Anything will do but scanned version of owners manual would be nice to have.

    8. I’ve read that the R11 MKII is an adaptation of the R9 w/ a modified action and other enhancements?

      Is this accurate? – does anyone know how the R11 action is distinct from the R9?

    9. dlb,

      The R11 Mark II is a breakbarrel spring piston gun, very similar to the R9. It was made specifically for field target competition, though it can be used for anything.

      It differs from an R9 by an adjustable cheekpiece, a barrel shroud (makes the barrel fatter – not for sound reduction) and the stock is finished differently.

      This rifle is very accurate, as long as the correcdt shooting technique is used. It is hold-sensitive and must be floated to shoot well.


    10. Thanks BB, that’s good to know. I wasn’t sure of whether they’d introduced a ‘pre-tuned’ action or some such.

      The R11 is an interesting configuration. It seems that they’ve introduced several features beneficial to precision shooting without overly specializing the design. An attractive characteristic of the FT springer class IMO is that these rifles seem to hew closer to field specs and so lend themselves to a greater variety of applications.

      If you’re motivated to review the R11 w/ a FT & field viable scope, please do!

    11. Im thinking of purchasing a BSF 70s. Can you give me any infomation regarding this model. What’s the quoted factory velocety in .117?
      How can I define if its made by Weihrauch or not?

    12. BSF,

      The BSF 70 was turned into the R-10, which became the R-9. Marksman sold it for several years as the S-70, until Beeman put it in its line. There are a couple of things to look for that might help determine who made the gun.

      If the stock is Bavarian style, with a downward-sloping comb, and the trigger is made of riveted plates of steel, it was probably made by BSF.

      If it has a Western stock and a Rekord trigger, it was almost certainly made by Weihrauch.

      Somewhere between the closing of BSF and Weihrauch restarting the line, there will be models whose origin cannot be determined.


    13. I am fairly new to this sport and recently purchased a used air rifle from a local gun shop. I was not looking for a used gun, but this one seemed better in every respect than other rifles in the price range (under $150.00). The shop listed it as an “RWS 55”, but I think that is incorrect. Can you help me identify it, or direct me to someone who can? It is a break barrel rifle with a silver trigger and adjustment screw, a hooded front sight, and a lever safety on the upper left side of the gun above the trigger. The only markings are on the metal block where the barrel breaks. One side is engraved with “Marksman, Huntington Beach Ca. 92649, Made in W. Germany “and the other with “Marksman, MOD 55, cal 177”/4.5mm”, followed by two pictures of pellets. There is also a serial number on the bottom of the barrel.
      I think it may be a HW55, but that is a strictly amateur guess. It looks similar to the current HW50, but the W. Germany would make it at least 20 years old. Despite it’s age it operates fine, is in great shape, and everything just felt right when shooting it.
      Any thoughts or help would be appreciated


    14. DCS,

      You Lucky duck! No, it isn’t an RWS Diana 55 (there is no such gun, to the best of my knowledge). And, unfortuately, it also isn’t an HW 55. Wouldn’t THAT be nice?

      What you have is a BSF S70 that was transformed by Weihrauch into the Marksman model 55 after they bought out BSF. It has the Rekord trigger, but the powerplant is mostly BSF. In a year or two it would becomes the Marksman model 70 and in several more years it became the Beeman R9.


    15. Hello,
      My friend also has a Model 55 he purchased for his son way back when. My first question is, what is the value of the gun if it is in excellent condition? The second question is can you buy parts for this gun. The stock is cracked and he would like to have it repaired as it is an excellent gun. Does he have to take it to a gunsmith or can he buy a replacement stock and where?

    16. Does anyone know the velocity of the BSF S-60 using a .177 standard pellet (not sure if it comes in any other calibre?

      I can’t seem to find this spec anywhere.

      Thanks for your help.

    17. I purchased the Weihrauch HW 55 M years ago and I have misplaced (lost) the instructions for it. I am interested in learning about the Rekord trigger adjustments. Can anyone provide me with the orginal factory manual or just instructions for adjustments for the trigger. Thanks in advance.

    18. I have what appears to be an R1/HW80 that was sold under the EAA name. I haven’t found a model #, but it has the Rekord trigger, and was made in Germany. It’s a .177. It’s a fantastic shooter, and plenty powerful, too. Can you give me any info on this one? EAA wasn’t able to help me. What were the years of import under the EAA name, etc.

    19. EAA never imported Weihrauch airguns. However, BPA did. That’s Beeman Precision Airguns. They are the only importer of the R1 and have imported it since 1983.

      The R1 is always clearly marked. If you have a rifle with what looks like a Rekord trigger but there is no model number on the gun, you may have a BAM B20 or B26. Both are Chinese copies of the R9 that were imported by Xisico in Houston There has never been a copy of the R1.



    20. I’ve been searching most of the night and I can’t find much information on the Beeman R10 I purchased it back in the early 90s because of what I read it seemed like a good gun. I haven’t really used it much over the years. I probably haven’t shot a box of pellets through it yet.I stopped using it after I bought my BSA AR4X32 scope for it because the mountings I bought were wrong and it kept sliding back. Will you be so kind to recommend a good mounting for my 1″ tube this scope has. I would really like to get back into using this. It wasn’t cheap to buy back then and I would really like to start and use it again.
      Thanks in advance.


    21. Point of interest…
      If anyone has any questions about Weihrauch models, I have been able to get schematics and parts lists from Hans-H. Weihrauch for my 3 (HW-50S, HW-80 & HW-40PCA) this year…(seems like a nice fellow)

      Send an email to:
      Weihrauch-Sport [info@weihrauch-sport.de]

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