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Education / Training Haenel 310 lead ball shooter

Haenel 310 lead ball shooter

by B.B. Pelletier

Haenel 310 is a small bolt-action springer with great close-range accuracy.

Here’s one I bet many of you have never seen. The Haenel 310 round ball rifle is a bolt-action, spring-piston rifle that shoots 4.4mm round lead balls. The design dates back to 1933, when Schmeisser built the first one. Haenel and Anschütz sold the identical models, with Anschütz most likely contracting with Haenel to make their model 275. These guns resemble some smoothbore guns made by Mars that really shoot steel BBs, but both the Haenel 310 and the Anschütz 275 are rifles.

Not for kids!
The size is deceptive, because at just over 41″ long and 6 lbs. total weight, the 310 seems to be a youth model. There are also tons of photos showing Hitler Youth learning marksmanship basics with easier-cocking Mars guns. But, the cocking effort of the 310 is in the 20-lb. range, and there’s not much of a handle to grab onto, so this is an adult rifle – or at least one for older teenagers.

The rifle is a bolt-action with some very interesting characteristics. The bolt pivots up without resistance. When it’s pulled back in a rocking motion, it compresses a small but powerful mainspring. That V-shaped protrusion hanging down beneath the stock hides the fulcrum of the bolt/lever.

Looking down on the bolt, you can see how it swings up to become a long lever that rocks backward to cock the spring.

Other than the strange method of cocking, the 310 is a conventional BB gun powerplant – and having said that, I suddenly realize that I have never explained that to you. So, there’s tomorrow’s posting! It gets just over 400 f.p.s. with the 4.4mm lead balls that weigh a very uniform 7.6 grains. That makes it a real magnum among BB guns – especially when the rifling is considered, because engraving the lead takes energy.

Six-shot mag on left fits nearly flush with the stock. The 12-shot at right is less dependable.

It’s also a repeater! It’s difficult to see in the photo, but underneath the stock below the rear sight is a 6-shot magazine. A 12-shot was also available, but feeding wasn’t as reliable. The mags were a pain to load (one ball at a time – no speedloaders), and they emptied fast because the little rifle is a delight to shoot.

Like all old BB guns, these rifles need lots of oil to keep the leather seals fresh and pliable. Often, you can get a bargain if the owner thinks the gun has lost its power. All it usually needs is a good soaking of petroleum oil to get it shooting like new.

At 5 meters (16.4 feet), this rifle is just as accurate as Daisy’s Avanti Champion 499, which has been called the world’s most accurate BB gun. Of course, the 310 is a rifle and therefore barred from BB gun competition, but shooting as well as a 499 is an accomplishment. Imagine shooting 6 shots into a group the same size as the diameter of a thin ballpoint pen!

Available by the truckload!
When East Germany fell, surplus buyers went in and found bargains galore. These rifles were found at the Stasi (secret police) headquarters and sold through a U.S. pawn shop. They sold the 310 for $49, then $59. I bought several guns from them, plus a lifetime supply of lead balls and extra magazines. Today, the supply has dried up, and 310s go for $150-200 at airgun shows. Some were in good condition, while others were pretty well used. Have you ever heard the stories about World War II Harley Davidsons new in the crate going for $400? Well, I never found any of those, but this find was equivalent to that for about two years. There were other models as well, such as the 311 and 312 pellet rifles that are both target guns. The 311s were $79 and the 312s were $99, as I recall. Both bring around $200 today.

The Anschütz 275 has always commanded a premium over the Haenel – kind of like the Dianas made with the Winchester name on them. I see 275s selling for around $300 these days. But if you’re patient, you will be able to find either airgun. Target shooters will enjoy them.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

34 thoughts on “Haenel 310 lead ball shooter”

  1. BB- After reading yesterday’s posts I think one thing PCP air gun manufacturers need to catch onto is why some of us choose airguns to hunt with. We could get the job done with a .22 or a shotgun (for less money in many instances) but we like airguns because they are quiet. We read about the Brit hunters with their “whisper quiet” airguns and frankly, we’re jealous. Granted they are “stuck” with 12 ft/lbs. but they take plenty of game and they get 80-110 shots per fill. What some of us would like would be a “1” for loudness but still have plenty of power to kill humanely. I know Air Force has dial in power but I like the set-up on your JW75 with the removeable port restrictors. Add a legal suppressor and they’d sell like hotcakes to the hunters. For target practice and close in work – lower the power and get plenty of shots per fill. Need to bag something humanely at 50+ yards? Remove the transfer port limiter and let ‘er fly. Now that is what I’d like to see in a PCP!

  2. Quieter pcps,

    Have you seen any of my posts about shrouds for the airforce rifles? My condor has a shroud (completely legal). It went from sounding like a small cannon, to almost completely silent. The pellet hitting the target is actually mcuh louder than the gun going off. They are aftermarket parts, but not hard to get ahold of. They are great additions to them.

  3. B.B.

    Thank you for your advise on Oiling the seal. Is there a particular oil you recommend?

    As for the Haenel Model 49a, it looks just like your Hanel 310 picture, except the one I saw has a laminated wood stock. It uses the same magazine as the 310. It shoots 4.4mm BB. I do not know if there is any internal differences.

    You can find it in the Blue book of Airguns.


  4. B.B.,
    I hate to bother you about technical questons, especially after yesterdays blog, but I’m having a hard time getting hold of Pyramid Air by phone-perhaps they got a new phone service. I continually leave messages, but no-one calls back. Oh well.

    My questions is about the Big Bore 909. I order the “S” model a year or so ago, and it was backordered until like November, when they got a shipment of the orginal 909 instock. I was tired of waiting and took their offer for the older gun. I have the hand pump, the proper adaptors, and the probe. Problem-the probe doesn’t fit properly. I did see that they offered different rings for the probe if the gun was made before 2005 or something. I ordered them, put them on, and I had the same problem. Now I have $1000 wrapped up in a gun I can’t use! Is there a special lubricant for the rings to make them fit (?) or does Pyramid offer something that will fit my 909. I’m getting frustrated, obviously and you are my last hope.

    I look forward to your reply

    Jimmy K

  5. I remember hearing about those crated Harley-Davidsons lol. There was a time no one wanted a Harley in the late 60’s and 70’s unless you were a motorcycle cop or an outlaw. They went from having no competition to an explosion of lighter more manuverable foreign imports and no willingness to change with the times.
    If I remember from the History Channel right, in desert climates the sand ate up chains. The German BMWs with their shaft drive proved to be less maintenance intensive.

  6. Bill and anyone who wants to know about airforce shrouds,

    I can’t remember exactly where I put those so I’ll put another sum up here.

    The shrouds for a condor or normal talon work just like the shroud on the talon SS, they make it so the air coming out of the end is at a lower pressure. Some of them are better than that, they have baffles that further quiten it down.

    Where to get them: If you want to get the best of the best, airhog makes them, as does anthony (www.talontunes.com) They are the more expensive, but are prebaffled and extremely quiet. Send one of them and email and ask them about a shroud. A cheaper alternative is a frame extendor. (www.frameextender.com) They aren’t baffled, but will still make even a condor much quieter.

    In my opinion the best resource for everything airforce is talonownersgroup.com Most of the people there are very knowledgable about modifications to the airforce airguns.

    Airforce’s guns are the ar-15 of the airgun world, you can modify them a ton. My condor has a .25 barrel, custom grip, custom bipod and mount, trigger mod, polished insides, along with others.


    Great guns, I highly reccomend them to anyone. I love my condor, stock, it’s very loud. After some modifications, it’s very quiet. Mines quieter than my remington genesis. With TONS more power.

    Any more questions just ask.


  7. a baffeled shroud? that sounds like a supressor to me! are they really useless on a powderburner? i really want a suppressor, just for the idea of having an incredibly quiet projectile launcher.
    unfourtunately, canada has an outright ban on them, and airguns are considered firearms. oh, those soccer moms.

  8. Aw man, sorry to hear that. I know cops, and they say that my baffled shroud is completely legal. I think the way it’s made will be destroyed by the blast from a firearm. I’m not sure though. It’s mounted like the little endcap in the condor, just in there and set with a setscrew. It would be really hard to even put it on a normal firearm.

    If you can get a condor, and still want a suppresor, check out the frame extenders. All they are is a tube with a specially made endcap. Canada allows black hollow tubes right? 😀

  9. BB,

    To continue the condor tophat adjustment discussion, It’s a stock 24″ .22. I only shoot kodiak from it. My power setting is always 8.1 and fill pressure 2400 psi. I get 13 shots average at 1050 fps, extreme spread of 13 fps and standard deviation of 5.2 fps. Since that’s at sound of the speed, I want to slow it down to around 850~900 fps and hopefully get about 40~50 shots with small Standard deviation. Thanks in advance for your help.

  10. you will laugh at this, i’m sure- HOLLOW TUBES ARE ILLEGAL. our soccer mom society is really staring to get to me.
    i’m referring to blowguns, of course, but really they are just tubes. our definition is any weapon using the human breath to propel a projectile. that makes the shroud legal, but for the sake of “OMG SILENCER! MEDIA COVERAGE!!”, i’m forced to not own anything that even looks intimidating. and i have my sights set on the airarms s200 in target form, so fitting it would nto be fun. i envy you, america, with your sensible gun laws and concealed carry permits. and people still praise canada. my, my.

  11. Well, airforce knida gets it. With the talon SS they have it. For the condor, the shrouds are aftermarket.

    Mine was custom made by another guy. He doesn’t do them anymore so I didn’t bother posting him. It’s extremely quiet. All you get is the sound of the hammer, a small woosh of air, and the impact of the pellet. You can barely hear the air. They hammer is louder but not loud at all. And the impact of the pellet is the loudest part. How loud depends on what you shoot. The gun is so quiet that at 50 yards I can hear the pellet hitting the squirrel. Awesome stuff.

    Glad I could help. 😀

  12. even the brits, i’ve learned, have it bad- they only have five slots for anything more than 12 foot pounds, and their silencers take up a slot! thats two suppressed rifles, and one shotgun slot. sadly enough, hollow black tubes are illegal. not mounted on a condor, no, but if i were to stuff a cotton ball in it, and blow into it, bang, felony.
    i’m not getting a condor, although i do have my sights set on the target version of the airarms s200. it might not have teh condor’s power, but the accuracy is there, and the trigger, as i hear, is top-notch with some fiddling. and for the same price, i’m set. it will be a while, with minimum wage and a car to pay for, but it’ll be worth the wait. maybe there’ll be a shroud for it when i have the moolah to order it?

  13. tophat,

    Okay, now we can talk. You are only filling to 2400. Is your gauge an A-rated or C-rated one? In other words, why should we believe that a 2400 reading is actually 2400? If you are using the AirForce gauge, it’s a C-rated gauge and you cannot trust it to be closer than 200 psi, though they are usually within 100 psi. That’s true for all the gauges sold with PCPs these days – even the ones on the $2,500 10-meter guns.

    You should fill to 2700, unless past testing proves you can’t do it and maintain the power curve. You are loosing half your shots by only filling to 2400. So that’s where all your high-power shots have gone.

    You want to shoot Kodiaks at 850-900 f.p.s. That’s a good speed for them. Try this. Adjust the tophat back to 0.050″ and shoot at your 8.1 power setting. If that gives you the velocity you want, adjust out (larger gap) until you start to increase velocity. My experience tells me you won’t be able to adjust even one thousandth before the velocity climbs.

    If that’s the case, dial the power wheel back to 4 and work from there. Open the tophat gap until you are in the zone, then lock it down.

    Whenever you torque the two Allen screws on the tophat, you dimple the valve stem deeply, so do not cinch things down until you are satisfied.

    It’s MUCH easier to do what you want by using a Talon SS powerplant and working up, rather than working back with a Condor plant. So, if you get frustrated by this, you might consider buying a standard tank and having your Condor converted to a Talon SS. The 24-inch barrel gives you all the power you need to do what you want to do.

    Do not forget to rotate the bolt handle into a locking notch before you take each shot. Failure to do so will result in velocity variations.


  14. Jimmy K,

    Pyramyd AIR has been trying to contact you by email, but your messages keep bouncing back. Did you give the correct email address?

    Gabe at Pyramyd AIR wants to talk to you. He says you have the correct filler probe but there are a number of things you need to know abo0ut it.

    Please send your email address again.


  15. Regarding calling pyramidair: I called them once and a rather irritated woman picked up the call and told me that pyramidair had changed their number years ago! After apologizing, I hung up and checked the number. Yea, I called the wrong number! And I used to work for the phone company (long story). When I have called Pyramidair, they have always picked up and been very helpful.
    Michael in Georgia

  16. They’ve always been fine with me, but just recently I haven’t been able to get a hold of them. I’m still waiting for some communication from them on my problem…

    Jimmy K

  17. About the Haenel 49a:

    The 49a was somewhat the predecessor of the 310.
    Most remarkable difference is the safety which on the 49a very much resembles the safety of the Mauser K98k ( "Flügelsicherung") whereas the 310 comes with a push&pull safety.
    They have a little differencies in measurements and power but it's marginal.

    The thing about the 49a system is, it's a good system to fit in a Mauser carbine stock.
    Also it's the rarer model.
    Prices for 49a models in good conditions go up to EUR 200.

    Same thing for the Anschütz 275.
    This baby has become really rare.


  18. Michael,

    What ammunition do you use? I have been using some copper-plated punktkugeln from SK for many years. But with this rifle I got a few tins of lead balls from someone named Schoenebeck (can't write an umlaut in Blogger) on the Elbe. And I also got a large container of balls without a name that are the fastesy in this current gun.

    What do you shoot?


  19. Hi B.B.

    The Haenel 4,4 mm air rifles are quite delicate when it comes to the ammo.
    Not every 4,4mm ball seems to fit the 310's "taste".

    There are fading stocks of original GDR produced "Punktkugeln" by the "VEB Sprengstoffwerk Schönebeck" you mentioned
    but there are also new fabricates out there that seem to live up to the originals.


    Note the "Nr.9" print.
    That's b/c there are some sorts of 4,4mm around.

    Also, many owners reported problems with copper plated balls and their Haenels (33,49,49a,310,410).
    So to be on the safe side, use pure lead balls.

    For the moment I'm still equipped with original Schönebeck balls.
    But when this is over I'll try the InnoMar line.

    Do you by any chance happen to know if the mainspring of your 310 was replaced since it got shipped to the US ?
    If not I suggest it's hightime to do so including the leather piston seal. It's almost 20 years since back then 🙂

  20. …additionally – as I have seen an AirGun Reporter show about the H&N pellets (spitzzzzkooogeln xD) – I remember having seen "Nr. 9" 4,4 mm lead balls made by H&N also at a local gun shop.

    So I think they should be worth a try.

    Michael from Erfurt/Thuringia, Germany

  21. Soy originario de México y solo puedo comunicarme por el idioma español.

    Hago este comentarios porque tengo en mi poder la parte metálica (sin la culata de madera) de un Haenel Modell 310 con sello SUHL grabado por sobre el carril y de Kal. 4,4mm grabado en el cañón.

    Quiero saber si a alguien le interesa comprarme esta parte metálica para reconstruirla.

    Desconozco si es posible determinar la fecha en la que fue construido con precisión. Más información en mi correo.

    Victor M.C. Montes

  22. victors' comments translated:

    I am originally from Mexico and I can only communicate in Spanish.

    I make this comment because I have in my possession the metal (without the wood stock) of a Haenel Modell 310 SUHL seal engraving on the rail and Kal. 4.4 mm recorded in the barrel.

    Let me know if anyone is interested in buying this piece of metal to rebuild.

    I do not know if it is possible to determine the date on which it was built with precision. More on my mail.

  23. victor,

    Ese es un tema interesante que tiene allí. Es posible que tenga mejor suerte que la venta de algunos de los principales sitios de clasificados en Internet. Los tres siguientes son probablemente los más activos para armas de aire en general en los EE.UU..

    http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php/board, 33.0.html

    Hay posiblemente algunos foros especializados colector Haenel también, pero no sé de ninguna.

    Además, sólo para hablar en español será un obstáculo, pero el servicio de traducción gratuito de Google es muy útil (es lo que utiliza para esta respuesta).





    That's an interesting item you have there. You may have better luck selling it on some of the major classified sites on the internet. The three below are probably the busiest for general airguns in the US.


    There are possibly some specialized Haenel collector's forums as well, but I don't know of any.

    Also, speaking only Spanish will be a hindrance, but Google's free translation service is very serviceable (it's what I used for this reply).



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