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Education / Training HW 50S – part 2

HW 50S – part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Yesterday, we looked at the history of the HW50S – where it comes from and what other guns were based on it. Today, we’ll look at performance. This rifle has been around long enough that performance has evolved upwards. Back in 1974, the .177 model 50S rifle was listed as a 705-f.p.s. gun, while today it’s advertised at 825 f.p.s. All Weihrauch guns advanced during this timeframe, so this increase is normal. It’s also a real increase – not just bolder advertising hype. As synthetic materials, lubricants and pellets improve, the velocities of airguns will increase. Also, manufacturers can alter the stroke of the piston to boost power. You’ll never be able to tell by just looking at the gun.

What IS an “S” model?
The letter “S” after the model number signifies that the stock is traditional European. If there were an E there, it would stand for Export, and the stock would be a more classic American pattern. A European stock has a lower cheekpiece, no Monte Carlo shape and a downward slope to the butt just after the cheekpiece. Other than the stock, the metal parts are identical, though there does exist a lower-powered version of this model for German use only. Since the 50S doesn’t break the 12 foot-pound limit, it can be exported as is to both the UK and US markets. I mentioned yesterday that the forearm is also shorter than the R-series stocks, but today’s R7 and standard R9 also have shorter forearms, so that isn’t always the case.

Target sights
The HW50S can also be purchased with an adjustable diopter rear sight and a globe front sight that accepts inserts. The price for the rifle with these sights is only $40 more than for the open sights, which makes it quite a bargain if you’re looking for an informal target rifle.

Years ago, Weihrauch made a real target air rifle – the model 55. It was also a breakbarrel and a spring gun, but it shot so well that it actually won gold in a world competition against more modern recoilless rifles, such as the FWB 300. The 55 had a small powerplant because you don’t need or even want power in a target rifle. It also had a special version of the Rekord trigger that adjusted down to mere ounces of pressure. Pyramyd AIR sold the heck out of the 55 in its final years, but unfortunately that model is no longer made. The 50S with diopter sights is as close as you can get to one in the Weihrauch lineup today.

One additional point on the sights. Weihrauch used to make an all-steel diopter sight for all their target guns. It was designed just after World War II and the design never changed, so it had a very retro look to it. Back in 1974, this sight alone sold for $34.25, which sounds like a great price until you learn that the FWB diopter sight was also selling for $39.95. Today, you’ll pay over $350 for an FWB diopter sight, so imagine what the Weihrauch diopter would cost if they still made it. The diopter that’s on the gun today appears to be a Daisy diopter, which is a good, inexpensive sight.

The 50S just kisses 12 foot-pounds, so it can be used for things other than target shooting. For example, it can be used for hunting as long as the game is not too large. I would say crows and cottontail rabbits under 40 yards are about at the top limit of its power. If you do intend to hunt with it, you’ll probably want to buy the model with micrometer open sights, because you’re just going to remove them to install a scope.

A gun to hand down
I mentioned in last Friday’s blog (How long will a spring airgun last?) that most spring guns that are cared for will last hundreds of years. Well, the Weihrauch line is built to convey a sense of quality to everyone who handles one. Yes, it may cost an extra $100 now, but when the time comes to pass it along, you’ll be proud you made the decision for quality.

Which brings me to my final point. The world economic situation is changing rapidly. I sold a Sheridan Supergrade five years ago and told myself I could always buy another one. Well, in those five years, the price has become five times greater! Increases are going to happen to any air rifle tied to the Euro, too. While the price of the rifle may look high today, in 12 months it will probably seem like a bargain. The current batch of rifles Pyramyd just received is now starting to sell and there are no guarantees that the next batch will be at the same price.

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.

39 thoughts on “HW 50S – part 2”

  1. BB,sorry this is off subject,but can you tell what would happen if you had spring powerd air rifle at 12ft lbs in .177 and the same gun in .22,then you change over the barrels,the .22 on the .177,they say it makes a diference on precharge guns ,but does it on spring powerd guns.

  2. You guys should try one of the earliest and most basic airguns. A blowgun. I bought a .40 first. Was wowed by the power and accuracy this “toy” had. A few days later I bought a 4 ft. .62. I’m getting a 5 ft. soon. The longer the barrel, the more power and accuracy. If you have good lungs, try one. If you try one, get the .62. If you are a good enough hunter to get within 20-30 ft. of a rabbit or squirrel, they are dead meat.

  3. Hi BB,
    Off-topic. Thanks for your help with the Air Venturi pump. The Teflon tape took care of the problem without a hitch!

    Also, thank you for the great articles you’ve written. I had taken my Logun S-16Xs out to sight it in and was getting 3 inch groups at 8 yards! Then I realized that I was using a scope with AO down to a minimum of 10 yards and that the parallax was throwing off the groupings. Yesterday I took it to the 50 foot indoor rifle range in town and was getting under 1/2 inch groups. I was really frustrated until I realized what was going on.

    And I must say that it’s true what they say about the S-16Xs. You need to really shove the cocking handle forward hard and fast otherwise you risk jamming up a few pellets. Somehow I managed to get 4 in the chamber at once, but I’ve learned my lesson. I’m very happy with this rifle now! Thanks again!

    -Alan D.

  4. hi bb
    now im torn. i was planning on getting the talon but now i cant decide! i have a few questions about the hw50
    1. is it ambedextorous
    2. what kind of group sizes at 50 yards
    3. how does it shoot buzzy ect.
    4. what provisions are there for scopes
    5. good for getting into field target?
    thank you
    Nate in MASS

  5. Nate,

    The HW 50S is fine for getting into field target. The scope mounting provisions are the best in the spring gun world (three vertical holes for the stop pin).

    I would guess that some guns may have a little buzz while others don’t. This is such a relatively tame powerplant that it shouldn’t buzz much no matter what. Of course the powerplant can easily be tuned.

    It is not ambidextrous, but it doesn’t prevent left-hand shooting, either. The cheekpiece is only on the left side.


  6. I believe the R9 standard now has the same stock as the Goldfinger which goes to the end of the pivot.
    I hope so ‘cos I’ve just bought one off Lewis Reinhold in Brisbane Aus.

    Thanks very much for your blog B.B. I have read every word to help me with my decision.


  7. blowguner,
    i have had many blowguns in 40 cal. They are very acurate but i would not hunt anything but bugs with it. I succesfuly did that one time. A hornet was by my window in my bedroom and i got it in the thorax from about 15 feet. Lucky shot. I would think that the 40 cAL is better for hunting because of the human factor. You are filling a smaller tube in with 40 cal and could use it to its semi full potential. If there were more pressure flowing through a bigger valve longer that would cANcel the human factor out


  8. Sumo- I didn’t realize it but there are .50 cal. blowguns available too. But, I like the way the .62 darts penetrate and mangle cans. Guess I got good lungs. Everybody says I’m a blowhard. I can’t wait until this coming squirrel season.

  9. Hi BB, Off topic but I found a palmer saxby bolt action air cartridge rifle that seems to be just about like new. I checked but couldnot find where you might have reported on them. Do you think that this could be reliable as a shooter or should I steer clear. I know that aircartridges have disapeared from the market due to Englands change of laws. I just have not been able to found out if they were reliable. I was hoping to find an inexpensive alternative to a PCP. Just wondering if I am trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I value your opinion. TIA, Steve

  10. Steve,

    I have tested a Saxby-Palmer rifle owned by a friend. It was a .22 and was generating about 10 foot pounds. With five pump strokes (as I recall) it got very consistant velocities, but the time it takes to prepare those carrtidges is a drawback.

    I think the gun is a nice collectable that anyone might shoot from tme to time, but it’s too much trouble to use regularly.

    I’m sorry but I have no information about their long-term reliability. I believe, like the Yewah BBB Dynamite air shotguns, most of the S-P rifles were used very little.


  11. Hello B.B.
    I read “Nathan”s question and yor answer;

    BB,sorry this is off subject,but can you tell what would happen if you had spring powerd air rifle at 12ft lbs in .177 and the same gun in .22,then you change over the barrels,the .22 on the .177,they say it makes a diference on precharge guns ,but does it on spring powerd guns.

    At May 01, 2007 10:26 AM, B.B. Pelletier said…

    Yes, the .22 would be more powerful. Something over 13 foot pounds.


    Now can I ask it to you in a bit more elaborated way??

    My hypothetical situation is “a gun with interchangeable barrels in .22 and .25 caliber. Shooting same weight & shape pellet with both barrels in turn, which calibers muzzle velocity will be higher?? .22 or .25 ?? By a little or by a lot?? And why??

    The one with the higher muzzle velocity is going to be the more powerful one, of course..


  12. BB.

    Ive been kooking at this gun for a while, and ive fallen in love with it, i want to get on e right away, but i also read your Shooting at Altitude report and im concerned about it, i dont care if the gun shoots 8 grains at 600 fps (as oposed to 800, which its supposed to), But i dont want to do any damage to the gun or the mainspring, since i want it to last a long time.
    I hope you can tell me your thoughts.



  13. R7,

    If this rifle is for a young person I would recommend thie UTG 4X40 Tactedge scope. It comes with rings, but I don’t think they have a scope stop pin, Ask Pyramyd about that, and if you need one, get a separate scope stop.


  14. It may not move. The R7 is a pretty smooth gun.

    If it does, here’s what to do. Put a pin of some kind into the scope stop hole you like (of the three available) and slide the rear ring up against it. As long as the pin rises above the top of the hole, the ring will butt up against it and only get tighter as you shoot.


  15. Hi B.B

    I’m really enjoying your blog it is very informative.

    On the topic of the “s” in the HW50s as far as I know it stands for the inclusion of 6 interchangeable front sights as well as Weihrauch’s famous “rekord” (German spelling) trigger. I know this as I bought the gun 5 days ago. The other version the HW50 or HW50MII possesses no additional inserts and instead of the rekord trigger a match type trigger.

    (South Africa)

    • BB,

      The hw50MII does not have a match trigger. Its a less trigger than the record trigger.
      The ‘s’ versions do have the record trigger and also those great interchangeable inserts. Its an old post, but had to correct this.

  16. B.B,

    Thank you for the hospitable welcome.

    I’ve finally finished reading your articles from the beginning. I’ve on the found them very enlightening and humorous at times. Its funny how people would like the the best out of all fields which is impossible. I used to work in a flyfishing shop when customers also wanted the best in all worlds such as catching trout and gaint Kingfish (saltwater Jacks)on the same rod which is impossible. I also commend you on the amount of research you have done into your/our hobby.

    I also wish to thank you on a personal level in sharing you hold techniques, in particular the altering of the hold while tensioning or relaxing the shooting leg/s this alters the hold on the target. This technique alone allowed me to shrink my groups size with my HW-50s (I was already familiar in reducing group size with a light hold on a springer). Up till now the best group I’ve obtained is 0.772 of an inch (JSB Exact’s 4.52mm head size)with open sights at 35 meters (~38.3 yards) so thank you very much in sharing your experience.

    (South Africa)

  17. Tom:
    What scope stop do I need for the HW50s? Can I get away with the inexpensive B-square, or do I need the $45 Beeman Pro Stop? (I am mounting the CenterPoint 4×16-40.)

    For now I am really enjoying the target sight. First aperture sight I have owned.

    You were right about the quality being there on this rifle. Beautiful finish on metal and wood.
    With the first couple of shots there was a lot of mechanical noise, and I thought, “Oh, no this is going to be a loud rifle.” By the 20th shot I realized that I was not hearing that anymore. Now it is very quiet.
    This is a .22 and I am getting one ragged hole at 10M with Premiers, but I have not used the J-B yet.
    Pyramyd is a joy to deal with.
    As always, thanks for the advice.
    I wish we could go back to weekly podcasts.
    Best regards,

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