Testing the HW50S – Part 1
by B.B. Pelletier
Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald
Mac’s first impression of the HW50S was of the Bavarian stock. If you aren’t aware of the style, a Bavarian butt comb slopes down toward the back, making cheek placement good for aperture sights but not for a scope. Mac finds the rifle well-suited to the open sights that come with it. He also mounted an HW55 target rear aperture sight on the rifle to see how it would work, and we’ll learn the results of that during accuracy testing.
Blog reader Vince tells us this new 50S isn’t the same rifle it was 20 years ago. That older rifle was related closely to the HW55 and has a 25mm piston, while the new model that Mac is testing has a 26mm bore.
Mac’s rifle has the target-style front sight with replaceable elements housed in a globe. It came supplied with six inserts. The rear sight has four different types of notches, allowing the shooter to match the rear notch to the front sight insert.
Buyers need to be aware that Pyramyd Air also has another version of the same rifle with fiberoptic sights front and rear. So, make sure you ask for the model you want.
The stock is made of beech and is uncheckered, evenly stained without any blemishes and the red butt pad is well-fitted. The cheekpiece is for right-handed shooters, but Mac feels the rifle is suited to lefties, as well. The forearm is long enough to cover the baseblock.
The metal is deeply blued and evenly polished. And the fit of metal to wood is excellent. A two-piece articulated cocking link provides clearance for a very short cocking slot in the stock. It also allows for the forearm to be secured by a single screw in the bottom rather than two screws on the sides. The overall effect of this is a rifle that is inherently quieter with less powerplant vibration.
The triggerguard is made of cast metal and is checkered on the bottom. Mac reports it’s his favorite feature on the rifle. Of course, the Rekord trigger has the large aluminum adjustment screw hanging down behind the trigger blade.
Mac made a special point of examining the barrel crown closely. He reports that it’s evenly cut and looks fine.
He also reports a significant change in how the barrel is mounted to the baseblock. There’s a star nut on the breech that holds it tight to the baseblock, and Mac reckons that if an owner had the right spanner, barrel swaps would be easy!
The bottom line
Mac is most impressed with this rifle. His first words to me were, “I like this one!” Let’s see how it does when tested.