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Education / Training Testing the HW50S – Part 1

Testing the HW50S – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

HW50S is a modern descendant of the fine Weihrauch line of spring-piston air rifles.

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.

The front sight globe takes one of six replaceable inserts, depending on the kind of shooting you’re doing.

The rear sight has four different notches to match the front inserts. They’re held in by a captive spring and are pried back to turn.

The Weihrauch target aperture rear sight also fits the rifle. It doubles the sight radius and increases accuracy by quite a bit.

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.

The barrel crown is fine and even.

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!

This breech nut is a new feature on Weihrauch rifles. It looks like barrels could be easy to swap. Notice, too, that the breech entrance is also finely machined.

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.

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.

84 thoughts on “Testing the HW50S – Part 1”

  1. I am looking to buy a co2 pistol that is glock like so I can practice in my backyard. I have noticed both Umarex and Crosman both have similar offerings but wondering which one would be the best way to go? Thanks

    • Jack,

      You have a monumental task. There are so many great CO2 guns out there today.

      I could help you more if I knew more of what you are seeking.

      Is the last bit of accuracy important to you?

      Do you value realism in the design? Since Glock refuses to license their designs to any airgun maker, they all have to work around the problem without violating the “look and feel” of the Glock.

      Do you want a double action only or a double action that converts to single action after the first shot?

      Are you looking for a pellet pistol or a BB gun?


      • Thank you for your input. It is a shame that Glock wont license their design to air gun manufactures with the many benefits it would have. The main things that are important to me are that it uses pellets, accurate, reliable, and has a good trigger. I prefer a SA trigger but is a not a huge factor in my purchase. “Look and Feel” as close to the design is desirable as I would like to train with it and use it as an introduction to firearms to novice shooters or never shot at all.

  2. Stock is made from beech wood -only thing i would change is -i would make it from walnut wood but i am imperssed(old-fashion kind of guy -love wood plastic not so much 🙂 )

  3. B.B.

    An interesting solution for the barrel swap indeed. I’d be interested to see how the barrel fits below the nut – I believe it’s cone then cylinder then thread.
    However, what is your opinion on its “survivability”?
    IMO even HW-50’s moderate load (I mean piston hits, cocking load etc.) will in time have its toll on threads and the barrel will start to wobble, not to mention metal fatigue and so on.
    I’m interested because right now I’m reading some books on construction, concerning joints and different metals for my project. 7075 upper receiver and carbon steel barrel seem to go ok, but I had to change material for some other parts because they’re not quite good together. That’s the price of weight reduction, because all-steel it would be heavy as a nightmare 🙂


    • duskwight -i am trying to understand all what you guys say and ,well i learn 🙂 but isn t this what you say about “wobbling”common to all break barells (exept some Dianas sure)

      • C-S

        As much as I know about CHINESE 🙂 katanas, they are anything except strong or durable 🙂
        Fortifying joints? You mean strengthening them? I guess there’s no need for that, if they are well-calculated and made from proper material.
        As for wobble – every breakbarrel wobbles more or less (sometimes much less than shooter’s hands 🙂 ), but it’s better to “substract” wobble from one’s design than to engineer it the way to “add” more wobble in perspective. From what I know about Weichrauch guys they’ve got hands and heads all in order, so that is why I’m interested in their solution – just to check my own knowledge and skill.


        BTW, if you speak Russian you can double your posts in it, so we can better understand each other.

      • B.B.

        Thanks, that’s what I was thinking of – cone joint.
        B.B., can you tell me please – single spring force in your JW, how much is it, your estimation? I’m trying to calculate spring force/volume/output power for my project, as it has comparable compressible volume albeit lesser diameter and longer stroke and I think I can make a single-pull cocking possible.


        • Duskwight,

          Each pull of the cocking lever for my JW 75 takes about 40 lbs. There are three pulls to cock the gun, of course, but the effort does not become greater toward the end, as I recall. If it does increase, the amount is very low.


          • B.B.

            40 lbs pull means there must be some some tough spring. And can you tell me how long the lever is? Judging by photos – it must be some 19-20 inch long?


              • Thank you, B.B.!

                Now I understand why Whiscombe made 3-stroke cocking despite very short-stroke pistons. He had to equate the force of a very powerful twin spring by a relatively short lever.
                I’m planning my design to work on gas springs (no dependence between size and power and no torque/vibration) and my design allows to incorporate 18.5 inch lever. Hope I’m lucky 🙂


  4. Guys i have Gamo Expander and Gamo Pro Match(competition) pellets 5.5 right beside me unfortunately my gun 5,5 (22cal)is broken 🙁 (still waiting for 34 spring -in whole Croatia i cant order spring when i finally did -now i have to wait 2 weeks 🙁 )so what do you think about these two i would presiate answer -see ya 🙂

    • C-S,

      I have used the .22 Gamo Expander in my HW77 and they gave average accuracy at 25 yards (about 22 meters), certainly good enough for hunting at that range. I have some .22 Pro Match on order but they have not arrived yet.

      For some reason GAMO USA does not see fit to import either of these pellets into the United States.

      Paul in Liberty County

  5. RYAN -i would like to hear what do YOU think about those pellets !Come on how are you -here on my own language ” kako si ?” i want to know how are you men :)!?

  6. Hi BB,
    When that glorious day comes where I have a bit of filthy lucre in my grubby mitt the HW50S looks like a real contender.
    An open sighted,break barrel quality rifle that won’t cost a fortune.
    After plenty of reading(Thank you gentleman)and a little shooting,that above criteria suits me best I think.
    Phew,it only took me 40 odd years to get there 🙂

    Thank you for the link.
    Another thing learned.leather seals should be made rough side out apparently.


  7. Morning B.B.,

    Next time you talk with Mac please give him another thank you from us! Great pictures.

    I’m with duskwight–interested in the exact way the barrel is mounted in the breach block.

    Mr B.

  8. My buddy Fred bought a newer HW50S. Weihrauch quality with the wonderful rekord trigger. It’s hard for me to understand why fiberoptic sights are an option on this gun since the iron sights including the globe front site that accommodates inserts and the adjustable rear sights are so good.

    Fred initially bought the .22 caliber but at our elevation it was a dog. He now has the .177 and is very happy with the gun. With low mounts this gun is very scope friendly. I think eventually Fred will get the gun tuned since it’s very twangy and jumpy. With a light hold it’s accurate though.

    PA says this gun is suitable for field target. I disagree with that. It’s good for plinking, paper targets and short range squirrels. Just my opinion.


  9. I have a 50S just like the one reviewed (without the aperture sight though). I love the gun, but it was a little buzzy. I installed a Vortek kit and now it’s perfect. The trigger is a dream, and I love the clean look.

    As for field target use, I have used for such, and it’s fine for intermediate competition, but it’s a little underpowered if your goal is to finish at the top, and it’s probably just a hair less accurate than your HW97’s and AA TX200’s too (due to the break barrel design?).

    Also, be aware the the length of pull (distance from the trigger to the butt) is on the long side. I am about 5’10” and I wish the pull was about 1/2″ shorter. Maybe I have short arms!

    Great gun overall.

  10. I really like the HW50S as well. In fact, I like all of the HW rifles that I see and hear about. I’m really pining for a HW77, it looks like the perfect rifle to me. I like the looks of the HW rifles – the plain but elegant lines really do it for me. But unless I sell the two rifles I currently have and start saving in addition, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Although I am tempted sometimes…

    C-S asked about the my accuracy search with the 34. After the lubrication, the rifle seems to have changed its mind, it now likes CP’s slightly better than JSB’s – go figure. As for accuracy, I am now getting single hole groups at 10 yards, but it is a rather large hole. It did occur to me that since this is a .22, the overall size of the group hole will be somewhat larger than with a .177. The smallest overall size of the hole I’ve gotten is 1/2″, so taking away the size of the pellet (approximately) .22″ then the center to center is .28″. Sounds better like that, but this is still at 10 yards – I’m hoping for better. Am I hoping for too much?

    I’m keeping the faith and still trying to break it in but I think that it’s just not as accurate as my 94. The more I learn about air rifles first hand, the more I really appreciate the 94. B.B. maybe you should review one, and maybe PA should look into stocking Cometa. I know Vince B. agrees that they are really nice – I’d even get a kick out of letting you borrow mine and seeing it reviewed, Just a thought…

    • No you are not hoping too much 🙂 – but i must say that there must be one gun that is your favorite 34 is still enigma believe me even for me – and for me 631 is accuracy champion 🙂

    • Fused,

      I may get around to the 94, and if and when I do I’ll probably love it like you do.

      I tested an RWS 92 in Parts 1 and 2, but I have yet to do part 3. Part 2 was reported on the first day I went to the hospital, back on March 29 of this year.


  11. Nice pictures. This gun looks very like the HW30 I’ve just got (from PA), with more power of course. The HW30 has the same breech nut, which however can be seen even when the barrel is closed if you look closely right under the rear sight. The HW30 has a different detent, which is a ball. The sights are exactly the same. There are 5 extra inserts for the front sight (BTW, Beeman sells these inserts for $45, wow…). The sights are metal but they are rough. Wish they were finished as good as the barrel.

    BB, you mention that these front sight inserts are used depending the kind of shooting. Could you please explain that a bit little more? I am shooting paper target from 10m out to 20 yards, and of course plinking too, but I am not sure which insert is most appropriate. Thanks.

    • tdung,

      The post and notch is the only sight for paper target shooting. It works best with a classic six-o’clock hold.

      The peppercorn front (looks like a pyramyd) and the V-notch rear are for hunting. Use a center hold.


    • ajvenom even we serbs are humans ,if you think about song i posted i before i think that Siniša Glavašević have wrote this ,he was killed during the war and name of the song is “city is standing” and yes he was a……….human serb or croat

      • C-S,
        Don’t know what is going on between you and AJ. Not seeing any 🙂 faces but I hope all is friendly. I tried looking up that song on the web but could not find it. I then tried looking up the guy you mentioned, no pages where in english and when I had my browser translate them my computer seemed to loose it’s mine. I did try my friend and YES serbs are Human, hopefully the comments have all been made in jest (fun). Believe me I know from experience how things can be taken out of context.


          • HE YA rikib 🙂 here i am it is all good ! Siniša Glavašević was a croat host of the radio Vukovar -during the war when we were in our basements (serbs,croats we all have been togather) during heavy bombarding all we had then was a radio and i remember that this man used to say let me do the quote this time”this war will pass and you will still be a neighbours so be good to each other”

          • And yes rikib look at Youtube “Requiem for Vukovar” there is a coment of i think that man s name was (is 🙂 ) Chapman Bertelli or something but well -read 🙂

            • C-S,
              I have watched the youtube. Sometimes it seems that after thousands of years the only thing mankind is improving is the way to kill each other. Ironically it is always said to be done in the name of peace. 🙂


          • C-S
            Before anything else let me say I mean no disrespect with this. If it might help you in anyway there is a website (I use it at times) that may help you to understand some things that are said. It is http://www.merriam-webster.com/ let me say again that I mean NO DISRESPECT just maybe trying to offer you some help as a friend 🙂 . I use this site when I’m not sure of what possibilities could the words mean. Take care mate, eh! 🙂


      • C-S

        Greetings! You have been very quick and helpful lately giving references and links to sites to assist those who need it. In America, will call that “Johnny on the spot.” Good work.

        AJ is a good guy. I am sure he meant nothing bad against Serbians. Just another blog misunderstanding, I have had a few myself. Without the visual cues of a face to face conversation, we really do lose out on a large % of the meaning. The written word is a compromise, but can be artistic as well.

        The visuals from your video were devastating. It is a travesty that a city with such architecture could be trashed in such a way.


        Please drop us a line on the blog. I need someone to help me get excited about pellets again! I hope everything is well with you.

  12. I own an “old” 50S. It was made sometime prior to 1982 and is still a great gun. It is as accurate as some of the high priced modern field target guns. As new, it delivered 600 fps so obvioulsy not the same power plant as the “new” 50S.
    My old 50S had leather seals until I finally had it serviced a few weeks ago. With new seals, gaskets, spring, etc. it is stilla 600 fps gun.

  13. C-S…I think you gotta ease up a bit. It may be due to the differences in lanquage but nobody had really said anything today that is offensive or meant to upset you.

  14. I like the power of the HW50…in between 30 and 80.

    I’ve seen some in .22. I bet it would make a nice all around airgun. It sits in between the target guns and magnum hunters. The only downfall maye the stock is not as refined as some of their other models, but the target will not know that.

    C-S – I was just trying to guess the language……it did sound a little Czech at first. My father is czech/german.

    I hope things are going well over in that area of the world and we wish everyone all the best.



  15. Slinging Lead,
    You always seem to be able to decipher these GA laws. I plan to buy a couple more boot knifes, one dagger and one tanto. I ask now because the ones I have I have had since I retired from military service. These I plan to order so I was wondering what the laws were. I’ve tried reading through them on the net and it sounds like all knives are fine if not concealed. Am I reading right?


    • rikib

      I am alot more informed about the gun laws. The knife laws I am not so sure about. But then again I don’t always stick to the speed limit either. I will try and find out more, but I think it has to be less than 4″? I will get back to you.

      • SL,
        I appreciate it. I could not find anything about length, folding or fixed blade. Found vague references that I think (interpreted) as meaning as long as the knife was not concealed (carried openly) there was no problem. But I also read that it was basically up to the police officer (and his/her attitude) that seen the knife whether it was legal or not.


  16. Hi,

    Daisy states that the 953 targetpro can be dangerous up to 257 yards, if the barrel is at “optimum elevation.” Is this true?

    And about how far will a lightish pellet go if your shooting the gun level? I scanned an article here on PA blog about the 953, but it doesn’t seem to give much info about range.

  17. BB,All,

    Ok, I’ve gone over some of the info available on the net for the Crosman1377. I tried to search 1377 through the search option in archives, but still have a couple questions that I’m hoping can be answered here. In fact, I know I have read some of the comments on the subject, but can’t seem to find where.

    Anyway, here goes. My 1377 is not a ‘C’ series gun. There is a sliding bolt and the trigger gets cocked from the rear potion of the pump tube. I am considering a longer barrel and steel breach.

    It looks like I have to address this cocking issue, as the only models that I have seen do not have this.
    1) Does the bolt on a steel breach or ‘C’ model do the cocking?
    2) I am not seeing a conversion for this, is there one?
    3) Is a steel breech mod the only way to go to a longer bbl?
    4) What power gains should I expect with the 16 1/2″ bbl?

    I forgot who, but another reader awhile back suggested I buy a Marauder pistol and adapt the shoulder grip to it thinking I would build myself an around the house carbine. Great suggestion, not even close to a Marauder Carbine, but I find myself with this 1377 on hand and these are the very mods that I’m looking to do.

    Now, If my internet service comes back on I might be able so post this comment. Rikib, have you spreading that virus again? (Desert thunder storms, taking the power out. no phones, tv, or internet)


    • Kid Again

      As quoted from the FAQ page on the Crosman forum:

      “Can I install an after market or Crosman steel breech on my Phase I/II 1377/1322, 1389, SSP-250, 262?

      Currently manufactured breeches will fit these models, but may require slight modification. Over the years Crosman has changed both the screw size and head diameter of the breech screw several times. To install the breech you will need to reuse the breech screw that came with your gun. The head diameter may need to be turned down to fit the counter bore in the breech. This can be accomplished by wrapping the threads with tape and chucking it in a drill motor or drill press. A file can than be used to reduce the head diameter.

      Note: You must retain the current rear-cocking setup, conversion to bolt cocking setup will require further modification or replacement of the main tube with one of current manufacture. To accomplish this the tube must either be replaced or a cocking slot cut in the tube, the hammer and other associated parts must also be replaced with updated parts. See parts diagrams for part numbers for your model.”

      Bob Dole provided this information.

      • Slinging Lead,

        Thanks. FAQ on Crosman forum, duh! LOL!

        I don’t care if I retain the rear cocking mechanism or not, so this looks good. And from what I understand the longer bbl is a stock item from another model gun, right?


    • KA,
      Yea, I’m trying to toss these dang thunder/lightening viruses every night your way. I’m getting pretty tired of them, having to shut everything down. Next day picking up branches in the yard. 🙂


      • Rikib,

        Yeah, lights on, lights off, lights on…

        Well at least I now know that my battery back up doesn’t work on my machine, but works on wife’s. Surge protection works the same. I can fix that after a jaunt to Best Buy tomorrow. The fact that we are EVERYTHING cable now doesn’t seem to make as much sense as it did while shopping service providers. Now when I lose cable I lose all.

        • KA,
          I’m not all cable but if the storms cause any static on the phone line my dsl cuts off so like you my battery back up on my netbook is useless as far as being on line.


          • Thanks BB,

            I’m pretty shopped out on the options for access. I’m presently struggling financially and am trying to concentrate efforts in that area. I have a modem that plugs into my laptop that I will use when needed, a bit slower but not bad. It’s Verizon as well. Considering canceling it, as I am not on the road much anymore. Laptop does not boot, need to drop off to a friend for serious help. power doesn’t go out often and internet access is only interrupted once a week for a short while. Just seems bad because I am home a lot lately.

            Life is good, just that the view changes in a valley than from on a mountain.


  18. HW50S is a nice all around rifle; BB actually reviewed it a few years back. Mine was in .22 caliber and purchased at time when their where none available in the states. Now that Beeman has lost the strangle hold on HW I would guess it won’t be an issue getting them anymore.
    Hopefully PA starts bringing in all the HW’s, like the 35E and the AW models…



    • Volvo,

      I’m reminded of a spectacular hw35 with nickel and a walnut stock that looked like an aftermarket upgrade. Do you know the one I’m talking about?


  19. They sold the 35 just as the 35. Their equivalent rifles usually had a difference in the stock, for example the HW30 vs the R7. The old 30’s had the finger groove, and which would be harder to sell in the US.

    They also did not change the 55’s or any of the target rifles, but Americanizing the sporters was great idea.

    Yeah, I know the beautiful 35E you are speaking of, but I had that special ordered from HW. I doubt PA will go that far, but would be nice if they did.

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