by B.B. Pelletier
Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald
Before we begin, a medical update. I left the hospital last Friday with the blood clot in my shoulder seemingly not an issue anymore. The visit proved very beneficial because the gastroenterologists replaced the stent in my pancreas three weeks early, and an infectious disease doctor identified four strains of organisms growing in my pancreas that we are now treating with antibiotics. So, what felt like a setback turned out to be an advance.
I am weaker now as a result of the new medicines, but I expect that to pass. And I have the run of the house, which is where the bulk of my airgun testing is done. My buddy Mac continues to help me with the testing, so things should look pretty normal.
You’ll recall from Part 1 that Mac really likes the .177 caliber HW50S. He was mentally prepared to like it for its Weihrauch heritage, but after actually holding, examining and shooting one he now has specific comments to share.
Today, we’ll look at the power of the gun, and it’s important to note that the current HW50 is not the same gun it was years ago. The current rifle has a powerplant with a little larger piston and therefore develops slightly more power than the older version.
Mac tried a variety of pellets. Some were light, some of medium weight and one heavyweight. This demonstrates how the powerplant responds to different weights as well as different hardnesses of lead and different fits to the bore.
Crosman Premier heavies
The 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellet fit very tight in the breech and of course is also a hardened lead pellet. These two things plus the heavy weight conspired to slow the pellet down to an average velocity of 618 f.p.s. The range went from 600 to 632. The average muzzle energy is 8.91 foot-pounds.
Crosman Premier lites
In contrast to the heavy Premier, the 7.9-grain Premier lite was a good fit for the breech. It averaged 754 f.p.s. with a spread from 738 to 771. The average muzzle energy was 9.98 foot-pounds, beating the heavy by a full foot-pound. So, lightweight and better bore fit produces better results. The Premier lite is made of the same hard lead alloy as the heavy pellet, so that did not change.
The lightest pellet tested was the 7-grain RWS Hobby, which was a loose fit in the breech of the test rifle. They averaged 836 f.p.s. with a spread from 822 to 849. The average muzzle energy was 10.87, foot-pounds, so another almost whole foot-pound was gained. The RWS Hobby is made from nearly pure lead, so it’s much softer than either of the Premiers.
JSB Exact, 8.4 grains
The lightest JSB Exact domed pellet fit the bore very well. It averaged 750 f.p.s. with a spread from 739 to 758. This 19 f.p.s. spread was the smallest of all four pellets tested. The average muzzle energy was 10.87 foot-pounds, which is identical to the Hobby’s performance.
So, the new HW50S powerplant is clearly more powerful than the old one. I don’t own an HW50 to make this comparison, but my HW55F has the same powerplant and develops an average 631 f.p.s. with RWS Hobbys. Even assuming my rifle is a bit tired, the difference in power is still pretty clear.
The current 50S develops just about the perfect power for a plinking rifle or an all-day airgun. Mac reports just a little vibration with the Hobbys but a solid feel for the other three pellets. The cocking effort is a light 24 lbs. that won’t bother most adults. And the Rekord trigger is delightful. So to this point, the 50S seems to be a winner.
64 thoughts on “Testing the HW50S – Part 2”
I hate to hear that they keep finding things wrong, but I am gald that they DID find them and that they are doing something about it.
Hopefully they will let you start eating some decent food soon.
Amen to the solid food! I’m hoping that by late August I will be able to start on some.
You and Edith are such troopers! It seems the poor service you’ve received has slowed your recovery to good health. The opposite of what should have happened.
How you keep a positive attitude is beyond me. But that’s what you need to do for a quicker recovery.
The “catch 22” of it all, is the poor service makes it harder to have faith in the system and a positive attitude. But you two do it, so well. Your Angels!
I feel for you man! I’ve had to take pancreas meds everytime I eat anything for years. It really sucks but I’ve stayed out of the hospital. Hope and pray they can get you straight! 🙂
Anyone else notice the Kodiak and Baracuda hollow points???
Looks interesting. Not many reviews, but looks promising.
They are good pellets, I am planning on ordering some, as my buddy has them and says they are the best in .177 for hunting in his R9 right now…
Reports indicate that they are tight fitting. The heads are almost round with a hollowpoint that is niether too small or large.
I want to try some in my TSS to see if they will hold well in the wind and produce accuracy at a distance like cph. Looks like a good killer.
You have had enough hospital time to last a lifetime this year. I am glad they keep making steps forward and that you seem to have doctors who have a handle on things this time. When you get well, I think you deserve a trip somewhere for some R&R.
Have a good one,
You may not own an old HW50 for comparison but you did a recent test with your R8.
CPL tested were 634-653fps for an average of 646fps
RWS Hobbys tested were 707-747fps for an average of 721fps
Right you are! And as soon as I can get to the range I will finish that report.
It sounds like with the antibiotics and the drain you should be back to your old self soon. Good news.
The HW rifles seem to of pretty good quality. Never seen one in person, myself. I’m guessing the HW50 to be of a medium level overall?
I think the HW guns rate much higher than just medium. They are among the top spring guns ever made. The Rekord trigger is the gold standard for sporting triggers in spring guns.
Where do the HW spring rifles fit in compared to the likes of the TX200?
Weihrauch rifles are as well-made as the TX 200, but not as well-finished. And their powerplants are not quite as smooth.
So if I was to look for a high quality springer that wasn’t going to spend most of it’s life on the shelf the HW’s are the ticket? And quality wise where does the Benjamin Trail fit in?
KA, I believe that the TX200 is the ultimate springer unless you have some very specialized use that calls for something different.
I agree, the TX 200 is on top of the heap. I just can’t get myself to pay the money for one. I am still working on filling a need for an urban critter getter. Short (32″-36″), medium power (10-15fp), light (4-5lbs), quiet (very quiet), & accurate. Not too particular as to the power plant be it CO2, PCP, or multi pump.
I am working with a 1377 w/shoulder grip now, and can see some possibilities, though I will probably have to change it to .22 or .25cal. I am waiting for the arrival of a steel breech. My budget is the real hold up, there just isn’t as much as there used to be! Hopefully Crosman won’t come out with a Marauder Carbine for a while.
Anyway, as far as spring piston goes, I’ve had my fill for a while.
Yes, an HW rifle will be a keeper.
After the Benjamin Trail report do you really need me to give you another opinion?
Remember this, the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing, hoping for a different outcome. In airgunning it’s to ignore the general consensus and positive proof and continue to seek an opinion that agrees with your desire.
I do like your style! Eventually I will have at least one of all the previously mentioned!
Just wondering where you came up with that definition of “insanity” from?
Nice to hear you are home again and still making progress.
I have been looking on the UK air gun sites for the HW50s and can’t seem to find it.
There is however the HW99 break barrel springer,which comes in a .177&.22 calibre and costs new between £160-200 odd,roughly$240-300 odd.
The funny thing is I can’t find the HW99 on the PA site.
Are they one and the same rifle with different model numbers?
They look similar and the price is more or less the same.
Sorry my bad it is the HW99s not just HW99 also the stock is slightly shorter with an exposed pivot mechanism unlike the HW50s.
Your suspicions are correct. The HW99s was also known as the Beeman R6 until recently. For reasons we can only speculate upon, the HW99s is now being marketed as the HW50s (not to be confused with the old HW50 that was sold as the Beeman R8). As you have already noticed the actions in the HW99s and current version HW50s are identical but the stocks have subtle differences.
When they add a S after the model number, it means the Rekord trigger is on board. Of course HW shipped a load of HW 30 rifles to Pyramyd Air that have Rekords but are not marked with a S. So apparently this is more of a guideline than a rule.
Kevin and BB:
Thank you gentlemen that is good news.
The HW99s would suit my needs and pocket a treat 🙂
B.B. – Glad to hear your health results are improving a little quicker lately. My mother had a blod clot and was put on blood thinning medication. My recommendation for you is not to pick your nose while on it. Crazy comment, it may seem, but let’s just say that it is good advice while on blood thinners.
Are you planning other Weihrauch reviews? I’m really enjoying them. If you’re taking requests yet, I’d love to see the HW80. It looks like cross referencing Beeman and Weirauch, most are already covered. The HW80 seems to be the one left out. I’m most interested in comparing and contrasting to the HW77. Seems like I’m stuck on the 77, but may be missing something. HW80 is less expensive, stronger, same trigger, but just as accurate? Hmm, I wonder…
B.B. (Tom Gaylord) wrote the book on the HW80 aka Beeman R1. He also wrote an article for the blog on the HW80/R1:
I missed that the HW80 sprung from the R1, but is that the end of the story? Are there any significant differences? If not, I guess I have what I need and can go back to pining for a HW77, or maybe a TX200 – no definitely the HW77…
We seem similarly attracted to weihrauch guns. Other than furniture the HW80 and R1 are identical.
The tx200 and hw77 are also heavy guns but have sliding compression chambers. I don’t like loading a gun with a sliding compression chamber but that’s me. It’s awkward and I can’t help imagining the thing slamming on my fingers (as long as you hold the underlever or sidelever this fear is unfounded but I can’t help being concerned).
What do you plan on doing with this next gun?
Reveling in the pure enjoyment of it’s fine design, engineering and craftsmanship while shooting it purely for said revelry. If I ever get one that is…
Yes, the TX 200 is a very heavy gun and not suited to some one like me who is 63 years old, has a bad back, bursitis in the shoulders and arthritis in every major joint. I need a gun which is light and easy to cock and accurate and powerful if I want to hunt with it. For plinking power is not a concern.
Those requirements pretty much rule out 90% of all air guns made for me!
If you are young or have good health at an older age, have enough money to enjoy the finer guns, enjoy it while you can. Your circumstances can change in a heartbeat. Mine did. No guarantee’s in life. Yours can also.
I have owned a finely tuned HW 77 and two TX 200s. In my opinion, the TX 200 is the better gun as it comes from the factory. The 77 can be tuned to shoot just as nice as the TX, as mine was, but I sold mine because I didn’t need two perfect guns.
The current TX 200 is the high water mark of spring-piston air rifles, in my opinion.
Duly noted on the TX200. “I sold it because I didn’t need two perfect guns” – I love that Tomism.
IMO Tom’s right. If I were in his shoes I’d do just the same – sell one of them. One can become jealous – and perhaps you know that guns are not the things you’d like to be jealous 🙂 To be serious – gun needs to be shot, otherwise it’s an expensive dust collector, ant that’s a disrespect towards your gun. Well, maybe one can disassemble the other rifle, lube it well and put it into storage – until the time when mood or need strikes him, after all, a mint HW-77 or TX-200 is a good investment 😉
Think he sold the HW77. The nod goes to the TX200 for finish in my opinion. I’ve only shot one HW77 and if it were my gun I would tune it. All the guns you’re talking about (HW77, HW97 & TX200) are heavy and have sliding compression chambers. Heavy is a plus for offhand shooting but I wouldn’t want to lug any of these guns very far in the field. I have a hang up against sliding compression chambers. Awkward to load (especially with a scope mounted) and I have a unfounded fear of getting my fingers severed when I’m loading a pellet.
Mac is testing the HW 97 at this time. Since Pyramyd Air now has reliable access to the Beeman European-imported airguns, there will be a lot more testing of these guns coming. But don’t overlook what has been done already.
A friend of mine brought his 1993 diana 45 (the one with the to1 trigger and synthetic piston seal) over to my cabin yesterday complaining that he can no longer hit the broad side of a barn with it. Readily apparent that his bushnell sportview scope is history since you can see a washer that has fallen in between the glass, you can hear parts rattle inside the scope and his mounts are bent. He took the open sights off and doesn’t remember where he put them. “Might be at his winter home in Florida.” LOL!
Ordered the Leapers UTG base and a scope from Pyramyd Air last night. Should be here Thursday or Friday which doesn’t give me much time to mount the scope and do some pellet testing and hand him the gun back on Saturday. The gun is shooting crosman premier heavies (10.5 gr) at 670fps and jsb exacts at 780-790fps at my 5,200 feet elevation. Can anyone tell me what pellet your newer model RWS Diana 45 in .177 prefers?
try some JSB Exact Express 7.9 gr. My 50S just tack drives them. I have a Vortek kit in mine and Oh Baby what an improvement…
If you like the JSB Exact Express 7.33gr, then try the, I feel higher grade of the same pellet, the Air Arms “Falcon 7.33gr. I would shoot them with confidence without weighting out to 30 yards, but still not in a rifle FT match out to 55 yards.
The weighing I did on 3 tins of each showed that the Air Arms version was 90% in the 7.25, 7.3, 7.35 and 7.4 range, with the extremes only going to 7.15 or 7.6 in a very low percentage, while the “Express” version varied from 6.9 to 7.9, with the middle 80% split up in the 7.20, 7.25, 7.30, 7.35, 7.40, 7.45, 7.50, 7.55 and 7.60 of almost equal piles!
You could really see some poi changes at 50 yards with those kind of weight variances, and I would not test or shoot a contest with the Express without weighing first.
Woe is me, went to the doc the other day. Have damaged cartilage in ribs, that’s okay. Bad part, doc said I need to start taking vitamins like “Centrum Silver” because of my age. Yes, I have an AARP membership, now I’m really starting to feel old. 🙂
I’m a pistol man, might be interested in a rifle one day (doubtful) this one sounds nice.
Don’t feel bad.
Just take your Geritol. 😉
Can anyone tell me if an LG55 with double set triggers requires the use of both triggers?I have one coming and would love to learn anything I can while I wait.BB,have you ever shot one of them?
Yes, you must pull one then the other. Gaines did a great write up on the LG 55 DST on the vintage forum. You may want to do a search.
I have seen them, but never shot one. Lucky you!
I’m glad you’re getting better step by step. I hope for your full recovery.
From your story I realize that doctors all around the world are basically (what a pity) all the same. Mom says doctors’ unability to recognise his own mistakes is the worst disease by body count and she knows the profession from inside 🙁
Anyway, I hope to hear good news from you soon and God bless Edith, your guardian angel 🙂
Thanks for your wishes. Things like that keep me going.
And you are lucky to have a doc as a mom.
Well, I can’t agree with you on this point 🙂 You begin to know too much about “dangers of this world” that’s not an easy knowledge, and of course “wash your hands”, “don’t eat/drink this” and “eternal peace/down with guns” policy 🙂
However there’s a positive point: every time I injured myself there were no loud screams, no words, just a sigh and job done. And I know how to make injections, put stitches, desinfect and so on – a useful knowledge, the rarer I hope I’ll have to use the better 🙂
Glad to hear your out BB!!!!! Nice to be outside when the weather is nice.
10 ftlbs is nothing to sneeze at. With a .22 cal. at 10 to 12 ftlbs, I plug a lot a game at 10 to 20 yards. If you do a little stalking, the power will most likely be quiet and dead on. Of course I use a scope and head shots, but it gets the job done. Lately, I’ve been after rats downtown. I have permission to clear them out down by the river near the park.
B.B., glad you’re doing better. I’m sorry to hear about the blood clot, but my Dad is on blood thinner perpetually and he manages fine. This temporary setback shouldn’t cause any problems. If misery loves company, I have a bit of such news to share. I found out in Hawaii that what I thought was gout is nothing of the kind and I have been misdiagnosed for years. The condition is apparently some kind of very unusual autoimmune syndrome that is poorly understood. Anyway, out of this I have conceived a new admiration for Frank Mann with his durable feet that he can run on all day long…. I’ll look forward to hearing the landmarks of your recovery.
Kevin, thanks for your advice about leaving the firing pin alone. Makes sense to me. Maybe I’m getting too handy.
Jane and all, thanks for the feedback about the definition of a clip and magazine. I was quite interested to read the official NRA definitions forwarded by Jim in KS. It looks like the NRA has resorted to the old ploy of defining by example which in this case is rather evasive. As they noted, there have been “semantic wars” over this question. I like the notion of “spring-feeding” as the criteria for a magazine; it makes the most sense to me.
While away, I read another Bob Lee Swagger novel. I’ve never been a fan of the Mini-14 rifle because of its relative inaccuracy, but the novel made me rethink my opinion. In the hands of Bob Lee, the Mini-14 wipes out 10 trained professionals who ambush him in four separate SUVs. In case you want to know, if you’re blocked in front by two SUVs with two coming up behind you (and an airplane flying overhead to coordinate them), the trick is to do nothing until one of the rear SUVs accelerates to drive you off the road. Then, you instantly gear down, accelerate hard out of reach; clip one of the SUVs ahead of you in the process of making a hard left hand turn which brings you to a stop at the side of the road. Then, you leap out taking cover behind the front wheelbase and with a 40 round clip of M-196 tracer ammo, you shoot out the gas tanks of any remaining SUVs and blow out their windows and doors.
The Mini-14 also comes out ahead of a professional sniper operating at night with an accurized M-16 and an infrared scope. Here you want to use the old ploy of blowing up a container of gasoline that you have handy (with a shot from a 1911). The explosion will blind the sniper using an infrared scope and also reveal his position from the reflection of his scope lens. Then, you empty your Mini-14 on target. Plausible in theory anyway.
I have to thank Slinging Lead for his information that bugs can be killed at short range by a blast of air from an air pistol. I have these small centipede like creatures who appear in my shooting room, and I would rather shoot them than smash them with ammo tins as I’ve been doing. The results of the air pistol on the first one were amazing. I guess that was my first kill.
Bob Lee and the Mini-14 descriptive, HILARIOUS! Makes me want to carry a can of gas at all times, just in case!
Sounds like Bob Lee and the Min-14 maybe fans of the TV Series “Burn Notice”, if only it could be that easy. 🙂
Thanks for the info about blasting bugs with the air pistol. Wife was quite p/o’d when I did it. Asked me what the hell I was doing, don’t worry I didn’t give up your name! 🙂 I told her it was easier than chasing with the fly swatter, but she wasn’t too satisfied, oh well. Maybe I need a quieter pistol 🙂
I’m sorry to hear of your autoimmune problem. Pain that can’t be controlled is a real turnoff because it can wear you down.
Hang in there, Matt.
Sorry for your illness, I have learned a lot though. I have been disabled since ’95. Last year my wife of 8 years became unable to work. She was a medical assistant, still try to get disability.
Anyway what I wanted to say was that Edith and your relationship during your illness has done a lot to keep me going. You really don’t know how truly much you love someone till you start spending 24/7 for months on end with them.
I know this is an Air-Gun forum but just wanted to thank you for the other things you provide that you may not realize. 🙂
B.B., thanks for the concern. Yes, turnoff is the word for chronic pain. However, it is amazing what a correct diagnosis and immediate symptom relief can do for your outlook, and I am in high feather at the moment. Frank Mann lives!
Let me refer you to Webster’s unabridged dictionary for a definition of “clip” vs “magazine” as it refers to a gun.
5 : a supply chamber: as a : a holder in or on a gun for cartridges to be fed into the gun chamber
1 : encompass
2 a : to hold in a tight grip : clutch b : to clasp, fasten, or secure with a clip
1 a : to form a circle about : enclose b obsolete : to go completely around
2 a : envelop b : include, comprehend
3 : bring about, accomplish <encompass a task
So you see there isn't much to define as far as a "clip" and guns are concerned. Though you might define the M-Rod as having a "clip" as well as many such similar pellet or bb guns which have ROUND magazines which "encompass" or "form a circle about" the pellets.
Magazines seem to be limited by Webster to CARTRIDGE guns!
Please don't argue with me. Argue with Webster.
A rather misrepresentation of definition stating that, “Magazines seem to be limited by Webster to CARTRIDGE guns!”. Webster provides several definitions for magazines, cartridges come near the bottom of the list. I know I must have misunderstood your statement. 🙂
I got it. So what I’ve been reading while sitting on the throne every morning is actually a clip? Or is the clip an article IN the magazine? I’m soooo confused!
I wouldn’t worry about it. There is also the Oxford Dictionary. But people do pick and choose what they want without providing all the information. 🙂
How’s that 2240? Have you modified it? If you were to make that purchase again, would you buy the same?
BB , best wishes on you recovery , it sure seem like it has all jumped on you at once.
rikib, same to you , it is all the pets depending on me that keep me going 6 cats 1 dog.
Your just starting out (6 cats & 1 dog) just joking. My pets do keep me going, especially my latest addition. German Shepherd about a year old, he is certified as a service dog but I need to go through some training with him. I’ve never know a dog like him he never leaves my side, the other all cater around my wife but not him.
I know a couple grammatical errors, I was trying to type too fast.
Disturbing to hear about your misdiagnosis. I hope and pray that you now have new found hope that a treatment and/or diet can address the true ailment and allow some relief.
Just noticed that I didn’t answer your question about the MK3. We only put 400 rounds through the gun but I’m impressed. Had 4-5 stovepipes but I’ve read that an aftermarket extractor and/or magazine modification cures this. Ordered more magazines today and the Ultimate Cliploader. These have gotten rave reviews and seem like a sure fire way to run through more ammo at a much faster rate! I like the balance of the gun, am getting used to the fiberoptic inserts and like the way the gun strips. I’m planning on shooting the gun with the open sights some more this coming weekend before deciding if I’ll add optics. I’m anxious to see how the trigger performs after some work I did on it today.
Edith, you are doing a fine job with caring for BB . I hate to bother you with this , on PAs home page they are still advertising Airgun Times as being sent with orders, it isn’t. The issue showing is number 24 Dec. 2009 ,this is no big thing just wondered if anyone else noticed.