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Education / Training Testing the HW50S – Part 2

Testing the HW50S – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1


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.

RWS Hobbys
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.

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.

64 thoughts on “Testing the HW50S – Part 2”

  1. B.B.
    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.


      • Tom,

        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!

        Wacky Wayne

      • B.B.,
        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! 🙂


      • That’s great!
        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.


  2. Hey B.B.
    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,

    David Enoch

  3. B.B.,

    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


  4. BB,

    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?


          • BB,

            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?


              • Matt61,

                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.



            • KA,

              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.


  5. BB:
    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.

      • DaveUK,

        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.


      • Dave,

        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.


  6. 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…

    • Fused,

      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…

        • Fused,

          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?


          • 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.

        • Fused,

          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.


            • Fused,

              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 😉


            • Fused,

              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.


    • Fused,

      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.


  7. Need advice.

    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?


    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. B.B.

    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 🙂


      • B.B.

        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 🙂


  11. 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.

  12. 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.


  13. 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.

    • shaky,
      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.


  14. Matt61,

    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.


  15. 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.

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