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Ammo HW 97 – Part 2

HW 97 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos and test by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1

The HW97 is an attractive air rifle.

I’m keeping the HW97 report close to the B3-1 test, so you can make comparisons. Thus far, we’ve noticed that the HW is by far the better finished air rifle. Several of you have now seen for the first time what a gun with a sliding compression chamber looks like. Today, we’ll test velocity.

Mac reports that the HW97 appears to be a 12 foot-pound gun. Actually, it develops just over 12 foot-pounds, which would make it an FAC rifle in the United Kingdom. But Americans will probably think of it as a 12 foot-pound gun.

Mac also tells us that he tested velocity with all the .177 pellets he had on hand. So, this test will be a little broader than usual.

Beeman Kodiak
The Beeman Kodiak pellet is a super heavyweight in .177. It weighs 10.6 grains, nominally. In this rifle, it averaged 724 f.p.s., with a spread from 703 to 740. The average muzzle energy was 12.34 foot-pounds.

RWS Hobby
The lightweight RWS Hobby pellet averaged 899 f.p.s. The spread went from 878 to 909 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 12.57 foot-pounds.

H&N Finale Match for rifles
The H&N Finale Match rifle pellet weighs 8.18 grains. In this rifle, it averaged 822 f.p.s., with a tighter spread…from 811 f.p.s. to 833 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy worked out to 12.28 foot-pounds.

JSB Exact 10.2 grain
The JSB Exact heavy pellet might me a good choice for this rifle. A little heavy for this power, it has the reputation of often being the most accurate pellet for a given airgun. It averaged 727 f.p.s. with just a 10 f.p.s. spread, from 720 to 730 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy works out to 11.97 foot-pounds.

JSB Exact 8.4 grain
If the heavy Exact doesn’t work, there’s always the JSB Exact lite to try. In the HW97, it averaged 821 f.p.s., with a spread from 816 to 840 f.p.s. Mac reports a loose fit at the breech. The average muzzle energy was 12.58 foot-pounds.

Beeman Silver Bear
In .177 caliber, the Beeman Silver Bear is a light pellet. It averaged 887 f.p.s., with a 21 f.p.s. velocity spread…from 878 to 8997 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy works out to 12.41 foot-pounds.

Crosman Premier lite
The Crosman premier 7.9-grain pellet fit tight in the breech; and, in a rifle like the 97, that’s important because you don’t have great access to the breech because of the sliding compression chamber. They averaged 842 f.p.s., with a 21 f.p.s spread from 831 to 852 f.p.s.

Crosman Premier heavy
The .177 caliber Crosman Premier is the only one in which there are two different weights of pellets to choose from. The 7.9-grain “lite” Premier is best suited to spring-piston guns, while the Crosman Premier 10.5-grain pellet — the “heavy” — is better for PCPs and very powerful CO2 guns. In the 97, they were a very tight fit. Too tight, in fact. Mac actually had to use a flat stick to load them completely. They averaged 682 f.p.s., with a 28 f.p.s. total spread. The low was 671 and the high was 699 f.p.s.

Mac reiterates that the HW97 is very easy to cock and has a smooth shooting cycle. It’s smoothest with medium-weight pellets. He hasn’t come out and said so yet, but I think he likes the 97 as much as his TX 200, which is high praise for any air rifle. Accuracy testing is next.

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.

78 thoughts on “HW 97 – Part 2”

  1. Three things i am trying to avoid in life 1.attractive women 2.attractive car and now 3.attractive gun couse you see -attractive woman isn t stupid, she knows that she is attractive so she will eventually live me ,attractive car -well criminals see that my car is attractive so they will stold it from me ,attractive gun-chances are that my friends or neighbours will also see that gun is attractive so they will borrow it and newer return it to me 😉

    • Chris,

      I’m going to jump on your bandwagon.

      In my opinion the list of pellets that Mac used in the HW97 velocity test is a good one sans hobbies. Never had a powerful springer shoot them well but they help with fps bragging.

      I know it’s impossible to test every .177 caliber pellet for the blog. Nonetheless, in my limited experience there are two additional pellets I’d add to the “must test list” when pellet testing in a newly acquired, powerful (750fps +) .177 caliber springer.

      You mentioned both: H & N FTT (Field Target Trophy) aka Beeman FTS (Field Target Special):


      and the JSB Express (7.9gr in the blue tin). Really wish Pyramyd AIR would start carrying these pellets again.


  2. Today i am happy couse i have just noticed that i have familly of pigeons under my roof ,it is kinda sad to see rooftops without single bird on them ,this year i haven t seen single swallow in my street 🙁

  3. Milan,

    Lol, in my neighborhood swallows are very welcome, pigeons are not!

    I love to watch birds, but pigeons, starlings, cow birds and grackles are cannon fodder. Or at least pellet gun fodder.

    I am not even too happy about sparrows but co-exist with them. Though now I try to use custom mixes of bird food to eliminate the pest birds as I hate to shoot them.

    I will shoot them as a last resort, but abhor shooting them if there is any other means to deal with them.

    So if you like birds, do some research on what foods your favorite kinds like and put up a few feeders. I have about 12 different feeders and enjoy a lot of hummingbirds, pretty finches such as goldfinches and house and purple finches and other colorful birds such as cardinals and Boston oriels.

    I know this is off topic but hey enjoy those birds.

    • pcp4me – i won t lie after war when i got my first airgun (from elementary school) pigeons were everywere and i did hunt them but also i have made france cousine with them (you know pigeon soup,stuffed pigeons… yummi…)but way than city was old and in ruins ,now we have a new build houses and pigeons have nowhere to go … 🙁

    • pcp4me,

      I’m surprised that you’d shoot a swallow. Besides being protected by the federal migratory bird act, they’re great for removing bugs. Better than an electric bug zapper!

      We have them flying all over our backyard. I love seeing them. The young ones like to sit underneath the roof on the back porch and poop 🙂 The poop can be hosed off, but the entertainment value of the swallows is unbeatable for our kitties, who like to sit and watch the roosting babies and the flying adults 🙂


      • Edith,

        Sorry you thought I would shoot a swallow! No way in a thousand years! What I actually said is they are very welcome! Pigeons are not.

        And in my old age I no longer even shoot the pest birds. It became distasteful to me when some one pointed out I could mostly eliminate them from my feeders with the right mixture of seeds they don’t like. They DO like corn, milo, and white millet. And most cheap feeds have all of those in abundance.

    • I’ve heard that pigeons are the rats of the bird world for the disease they carry and the germs in their poop can make you blind. Not sure if that’s true.


    • I’ve developed radical new birdwatching methods. I just bought a gigantic (7 foot wingspan) powered sailplane (rc) and have been soaring around the area. Partly I was inspired by the raptors in the area who like to glide, and sure enough on my first flight a Swainson’s hawk which is a rarity around here kept flying around my plane and calling to it. Behold, interactive birdwatching.


  4. Morning B.B.,

    We’re all waiting with baited breath for the accuracy test.

    pcp4me, I agree with you on selective feeding of the birds. I’ve also made my own feeders, out of plastic water jugs, and control who gets in to eat by the size of the hole cut into the side of the jug. I also target the sparrows cause they tend to chase away some of the finches and also eat me out of house and bird seed. When I open the back door now the sparrows all fly away–survival of the smartest cause the dummies are dead.

    Mr B.

  5. B.B. – You asked me to remind you about letting us see some of your gun collection. Something better than the B3-1 please, or maybe you are starting at the bottom of the barrel and working your way up. Just kidding, I’m actually enjoying the B3-1 review and the parallel HW-97. I’ve noticed that the B3-1 review days get an awful lot of comments, so it seems others are enjoying as well.

  6. My 97K shoots RWS Superdome .177 8.35 grams at a high of 884 fps and and low of 869 fps. My last 10 shot string across the Chrony was 876, 879, 884, 869, 869, 870, 879, 881, 880, 877. Pellets were sorted by weight on a jewelers scale for this group of 10 shots.

    After six years and several thousands of pellets later, I’m still amazed at the consistency and repeatability of this airgun.

  7. Hello BB:
    Now this is the thing about our Limit in the UK or indeed setting any limit for that matter.
    I can’t see how they can deal in absolutes with such variability in different pellets performance.
    For example the JSB Exacts 10.2 grain,develop 11.97 FtIb energy which is OK in the eye’s of the law.
    The JSB Exacts 8.4 grain develop 12.58 ftIb energy and is not OK in the eye’s of the law.
    Same rifle,same make of pellet,different grain,different result.
    I would like to think that our authorities have built in an element of lee way when it comes to measuring these things.
    Saying that,common sense sure is in short supply over here 🙁
    Maybe that helps to explain why the description ‘Full Power’often used by dealers in the UK actually equates to less than 12FtIb and by quite a margin.

    • DaveUK

      I read the UK Airgun World Mag now and then, and I have also wondered about the statement “full power” that is often used in the advertisements. My guess is, full power equals full power/legal limit of 12 ft. lbs. ? How your government arrived at that figure as the limit I don’t know and more so (as you noted) , who is going to check your gun in the field and with what pellet weight/type?

      My friend Colin up in Leicester tells me that there are Firearms Enquiry Officers (FEO’s?) that are lurking somewhere in the bureaucracy to check these things. I understand that they also check on the suitability of your shooting area for airguns above 12 ft lbs capability? FAC seems to be a controversial topic in the UK.

      Here in Idaho (except for the greater Boise city area) “suitability” for a shooting area means driving to the closest BLM land and setting up your targets!
      (BLM = Bureau of Land Management or U.S. govt owned open land)

      The JSB Exacts sound interesting, never tried them but will give e’m a go. Based on my last Chrony shots, I’m getting 14.50 to 13.99 ft. lbs. with the Superdomes. Could see 900 fps with those JSBs at about 14 ft. lbs.?

      • Brian In Idaho:
        Britain invented the modern civil service and has loads of ‘Inspectors’ as a result 🙁
        I wonder what Pellets these FEO’s use when they do ballistics tests?
        land is always an issue in the UK.60 million folk in a space not much bigger than Texas.
        I understand the effective killing range for small game using a 12ftIb air rifle
        is about 40yards.
        My guess is that the legislators thought this was an adequate amount of power for an average guy with not much land.Who could buy and own an air gun no questions asked.
        I can see the logic I suppose.
        Rest assured though,the people who do own lots of land here have got shotguns,firearms and FAC rated air guns.

        • I have also noticed that the Airgun dealers in the UK can no longer take internet sales and ship guns? Is that true? Are all purchases and pick-ups in person only and/or delivered by private carrier?

        • DaveUK,

          Let me see if I can jump into my “government bureaucrat” mind set here and answer your question about what pellets they would test your gun with.

          Let’s see now, I am being paid to catch offenders. What pellet gives me the best chance to catch the most? Well the lightest lead pellet I can find of course. No, not the alloy as they were not around when the law was written.

          Besides, if I am out checking and I hear the supersonic crack of an alloy pellet rest assured I am going to check your gun and pellet combo with my pocket chronograph to see if I can bust you.

          Oh, but wait! I am a “government bureaucrat” and am too damn lazy to discover which lead pellet is lightest, yet alone actually go out in the field to catch you. I prefer to sit around on my butt all month and collect my paycheck.

          So on a more serious note in line with the above does any one from or in the UK know of even one case where some one ran afoul of this law?

    • Dave,

      The UK 12 foot-pound limit is very strict, and I understand the government’s position of no leeway, lest they set up a slippery-slope situation. Airgiunners are notorious about pushing the limits.

      Geoff Darvill is an acquaintance of mine. He owns GunPower, which you said you had once owned. His viewpoint is very different. He buys a supply of airguns that he is assured by the manufacturer will not exceed 12 foot-pounds. So they can’t even come close, because if they go over, it’s bad news. So they are really 11.57 foot-pound guns under the best of circumstances with the most radical pellets–never mind that you would never use them in a real situation.

      Then, some old boy in his garage invents a 3-grain titanium pellet that’s lubricated with owl snot and it takes all of Geoff’s guns up to 12.21 foot pounds. Suddenly, Geoff is sitting on 40,000 Pounds worth of inventory that is no longer legal, all because of the new wonder-pellet.

      I am certain that when they test airguns, the writers for the UK magazines get the occasional stray shot that goes over 12 foot pounds. And they bloody well keep their pie-holes shut about it, if they want to continue to receive advertising revenues. And I am just as certain that the Home Office is aware of this, and they don’t want to lift the carpet edge too high, either. Because once the dirt is exposed, the game is over.


  8. Might wanna give the 8.6g FTS/FTT’s as well as the JSB Exact Express in 7.9grains a try in this piece. Those two pellets are notoriously the favorite in most folk’s HW barrels, particularly the 10-13 fpe models such as the HW50S, HW97K, R9’s, R11’s, etc…

    Everywhere I read on forums, my own person rifles of each of those models, as well as my friend’s rifles seem to favor one of those two pellets and are the winners for accuracy, and energy output in each of those rifles over and over again it seems.

  9. About JSB pellets,

    We’ve had a discussion going on the Yellow Field Target forum about why the JSBs have gone south in their accuracy. The manager of the JSB pellet manufacturing process wrote us an email. Someone else posted some pics of cross sections of pellets they make for other companies too, like Air Arms. Here is the link.


    It turns out that, there has been some troubles with the tooling and setup for the JSB pellets, and that Air Arms is the only reseller that provides their own tooling to JSB to make their pellets. From the looks of the cross sections, the Air Arms version has a different inner skirt bottom. I think a better design.

    Anyway, this news supports the way the Air Arms version shoots over the JSB and other brands they make with the same tooling, in my guns (and lots of other folks guns too). It also explains why the Air Arms versions weigh more consistently, with less wildly low or high weights.

    And if you like the JSB express 7.9, you might also like the Air Arms “Falcon” in 7.33gr. I’ve switched to shooting them in my 12fpe USFT #44 and they do real well, even in the wind.

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • Wayne, that’s a very good piece of information you’ve just presented. This past Sunday, I was sighting in my Marauder and checking on which pellets do better. While the Crosman Premier Heavies were turning in respectable groups at 35 yards, the JSB Exacts were rather disappointing. However, the H&N Barracudas (also in the 10 grain range) blew both of the others away. I didn’t expect the CP’s to do better than the JSB’s but you may have hit on the reason – aside from the rifle just not liking them. I think I’ll place an order for the Air Arms Field Heavy and Falcon pellets and see what they do.

      Fred PRoNJ

    • Wayne,

      Very interesting link. Thanks. I still like the jsb rs 7.33 pellets but ordered some falcon pellets to give them a go. I know we had this discussion awhile back but forgot to order the falcon pellets. Haven’t been shooting .177 much lately. Shot a lot of .22 cal jsb’s though. My ground rats don’t like them as much as I do. This pellet info is just the kind of information I appreciate on this blog.


  10. Wow! This HW 97 is beautiful! I’ve had my eye on the Air Arms TX200 MkIII for awhile. I’ll buy which ever is more accurate. This type of rifle will get me out of the office more often.


        • Peep Sights? Don’t think so, these guns are without sights for scopes only and the capability and accuracy of the guns demands a good scope. You could mount a rear diopter on the scope dovetails but there is no place for mounting on the front of the barrel for a globe or a sight.

          So many scopes to choose from. Be sure to get an airgun rated scope. The two-way recoil of these heavier springer rifles will destroy a typical firearm scope.

          Crosman Centerpoint and Hawke scopes are both very good and reasonably priced. PA and others carry them. I use a Hawke 3-12 x 42 adjustable parallax scope on my HW97 and it has a great reticle with very fine detail.

  11. Dear BB,Edith and fellow Airgun Nuts,

    My passion is 10-meter rifle & Pistol. I own a Daisy 953 (with AirForce diopter sights installed), Avanti 853c, Avanti 747 and a Diana 6G.

    After two years of resisting, I feel I am finally wearing down. I am about to turn to the Dark side and buy a PCP. For months now, I have been debating whether to get the Edge or the Challenger.

    After many a sleepless night, I have finally decided to buy the Challenger 2009.

    If some kind blogger can answer the following questions, I shall be eternally grateful:

    1. What pellet would you recommend for the Challenger 2009?
    2. Is the Gamo Match Wad cutter still made in Spain?
    3. Does the Crosman diopter sight have slack? Is it still made in Spain?
    4. Should I get the Benjamin Air pump? Or some other brand- if so What do you recommend.
    5. Is there any reason I should reconsider and buy the Edge instead? Speak now or forever hold you peace.

    Thank you so much.

    • I come from the precision air rifle/pistol 10 meter world. I had an oppertunity to pick up both the Challenger and the Edge. For my tastes, I preferred the feel of the Challenger. It was more like a standard air-rifle or smallbore rifle. It felt more substantial.

      Also, reading an article by Ray Apelles (I believe), they claim that the Challenger put 5 (maybe 10) shots in the same pellet hole, which sounds pretty accurate to me (almost like a precision air rifle).

      As for pellets, I use the Gamo Match Wad cutter with my Gamo Compact, and find them to be pretty consistent and accurate.

      For my FWB I use H&N. I’ve been able to put 10 shots through the same pellet whole with that combo. You’ll need to test a few pellets to see what works best for you.

    • Stingray, what pushed you towards the Challenger? Sounds like you’re going through the same process I did when I got my Anschutz. It would interesting to hear an update from B.B. about those two rivals are faring in competitions and on the market.


    • Stingray,

      As far as I know, the Gamo Match is still made in Spain. Lead pellets was Gamo’s first industry, back in the 19th century, I believe.

      Is there slack in the Crosman sight? I never saw any when I tested it. I don’t know where it’s made and that changes week to week (just kidding, but it sure seems like it), but don’t let that bother you. Crosman is pitted against AirForce right now and if they let their guard down for a second they will lose. So they will keep the specs as tight as they should be, because AirForce is making their own aperture sight, and they are not about to slip.

      The Benjamin air pump is a good one, but if it goes south, the Crosman Corporation will back it up. And they will do right by you.

      Your mind is made up, so head down, and plow a straight furrow. Yes, you will be beaten by an Edge now and then, but you will also be beaten by a Daisy 853 from time to time. YOU are the one to beat, not the gun, which is as close to perfect as they can make it at that price.


  12. Nice to hear that Paul Capello has duplicated the feat I saw on YouTube of hitting targets offhand at 100 yards with the RWS 350. That rifle seems to be emerging as a king in the world of long-range shooting. Power is one thing, but accurate long range fire seems much harder to achieve.

    On the subject of accuracy, I must say that with my arsenal there is nothing like drilling fast, accurate shots from my IZH 61 with a quick throw of the lever. I guess what is being achieved here is what they called “practical accuracy” for the M1 Garand. The IZH 61 is not the most accurate nor the fastest, but for rapid aimed shooting, it is right up there. And the kinaesthetics of working the lever are very enjoyable for, sort of like working a bolt action.

    I’ve noticed that my new body mechanics to deal with my condition are not quite a substitute for a solid body position. I have to lean most of my weight on my back leg, and while to appearances I look stable, the sight picture is shakier. I’ve mostly been working on process.

    Edith, yes, I’ve been looking for the silver lining in my condition. Actually, it can make normally routine movements quite interesting like an action movie. I was making my way on crutches towards my cab when I missed a hole in the ground and jammed my bad leg in there. Yeow! Ninja attack from below. Breath, keep going, and maintain awareness of the environment. Next came the drop from the curb to the street. Another opponent. This one I managed by shifting my weight and very gently dropping my bad leg to the ground and landing with one crutch at the same time. Now, how to get into the cab. Keeping one leg straight, I found a handhold on the upper side of the door and another on the far side of the seat and Jackie Chan-style levered myself backwards inside. This can be draining, though.

    It’s nice when the medicine helps. With more of one drug and less of another that I seem to have been allergic to, I am doing great and can now walk almost unsupported with a cane. As the Bible says, “The lame shall leap like a stag.” 🙂

    Two Talon, glad you are doing better and hope the recovery continues to go well.

    Kevin, Wayne and rimfire shooters. What grip pressure do you recommend for this caliber? I use the artillery hold for airguns and firm pressure for my firearms. Even the .223 rifle does best with a firm hold. But the rimfire is truly in between. I would like as much as possible to minimize the number of different techniques I have to use although there are nuances for each gun. I was surprised to learn that Nancy Tompkins recommends a grip like holding a cup of water for the 6.5mm round she uses for 1000 competition. That sounds a little light for me, but maybe her shooting position is so perfect that she can get away with that.


    • Matt61,

      I used to shoot a lot of .22 rimfire rifles offhand. I found that a lighter hold that allows the gun to recoil directly backwards helps with accuracy. I’ve never tried a light hold with my centerfires and won’t. LOL!

      Same with .22 pistols. Bent elbows may not be the latest/greatest technique but it’s how I’ve always shot. Allows a more direct backward recoil. I’m not a great pistol shot and some may have other views but this works for me.


    • Matt61,
      What Kevin is saying is exactly right. The goal is to have the rifle recoil straight back. This is easiest to achieve if shooting in the prone position. And yes, you want as light a grip as possible. In the case of pistol, you want a firm grip, but not so firm that it cuts off blood flow. Ultimately what matters is that you achieve the best “natural point of aim”. In other words, your body position, your grip, and your head position should be such that if you closed your eyes and then opened them up again, you’d still have correct sight alignment with your target.

    • Matt, I agree with your comment on the IZH61.
      There is something about placing 5 shots in the same hole with my 853c. But there is an even bigger thrill with putting 10 shots (the number the clip holds in my XS-B9) in a 3 or 4 inch cirle at 30 yds in under 20 seconds. (if you’re not familiar the XS is also a sidelever).

    • Matt61,

      I agree with Kevin & Victor, recoil needs to be straight back. Rifles for me; the harder the recoil, the tighter the grip. The tighter the grip, the more back and shoulder is used. .22’s get a soft hold, but firm to shoulder. first inch or so of shoulder absorbs recoil. Center fires taunt to shoulder, recoil absorbed through shoulder into back. My 300mag hurts! Especially prone. Tight to shoulder, recoil absorbed clear to legs, even standing.

      Pistols: Bigger recoil, more elbow. Wrist and fore arms remain one.

      Tried to keep it simple, hope this helps.


  13. Thank you and Mac for the review of the HW97. It was the first really good air rifle I bought in .22 cal. I think Weihrauch makes the best air guns in any format. Rifle, pistol PcP, springer… Has anyone heard of the HW85? I have one in .177, and it is a very accurate shooter. Very quiet and 81/2 lbs. with a Hawke 4-12×40 scope. The specs seem the same as the HW95, only just over 46 in. in length. I’ve never seen it advertised in Pyramid Air.
    Also, thank you BB and Edith for a very entertaining blog. And speedy recovery.

    • Titus Groan,

      No one has answered you so I’ll offer my two cents.

      Yes I’ve heard of the HW85. At one time Pyramyd AIR did sell a version of the HW85 but it’s been discontinued. Have no idea if they will carry the HW85 in the future but the current version of the HW85 is still being produced.


      The HW85 has a similar “hiccup” in its’ production by Weihrauch to the HW50 since several versions were made with very different specs. In other words an old HW85 is not the same as a new HW85 and and old HW50 is not the same as a new HW50. Very different guns.

      The older style HW85 was also sold in the USA as the Beeman R10. The “new” HW85 is similar to the R9 aka HW95 but DOES NOT have an added scope rail on top. It also now comes with fiber optic sights not the old style iron sights. The old style HW50 and old style HW85 also shared something else in common in that they both had the threaded end plug. Neither the newer HW50 nor the newer HW85 have threaded end plugs.


  14. Milan(exC-S, life is too short to live with ugly women, drive junk cars and shoots poor air guns! Go for the best and hang the rest. They build new pretty women, cars, and air guns every day ya know!


  15. The fact the B-31 is mentioned in the same sentence as the HW97 seems wrong. Certainly, they are both air rifles, but in the way that both Rosie O’Donnell and Angelina Jolie are women.
    Mr. B,
    Breathe easy; the HW97K was my most accurate Springer, so expect excellent results. It’s only down side is the portly weight. That said, it would be in my top 3 all time favorites.
    I’m still pcp less, but the one I was eyeing was only for use as a stepping stone. The true object of my desire is the regulated Cyclone by Ben Taylor. Walnut stock, heavy threaded barrel, and forty good shoots at the medium power I like. (about 25-26 ft lbs). Plus it’s only a couple hundred over the standard beech version. Unless something new and amazing comes up, that 37” 6.2 lb beauty will be my reward.

  16. Volvo,

    Still interested to hear what the “stepping stone” would be considering your vast experience in airguns and firearms.

    We have a kinship in our affinity for FX airguns. The cyclone was an eye opener for me. It has less weight, is trimmer, higher shot count, similar accuracy and has adjustable power with definate stops vs. other manufacturers carbines. If FX was smart they would market this gun as a CARBINE not a rifle and sell the living daylights out of them.

    I looked hard at the Ben Taylor regulated version of the Cyclone. Little shorter than stock version of the cyclone, more weight, more money and similar shot count at high power setting with less spread. Maybe the accuracy can be improved with less spread (Ben Taylor regulator) but I wouldn’t notice the increase in accuracy. Wouldn’t be worth the additional money to me unless I’m missing something.

    You mentioned that “Unless something new and amazing comes up” you’re set on the ben taylor cyclone. The “new” and “amazing” that has my attention happens to come from FX. The Royale. At 6.6 lbs in synthetic and 6.8 lbs. in walnut and 40.25 inches long this is only a few ounces more than a cyclone and 3.25″ longer than the ben taylor cyclone.

    The significant differences are shot count and power. Although many new owners report that the smooth twist barrel on the Royale is more accurate than the LW on the Cyclone I find it hard to believe. The early versions were doing 40+ ft lbs and the latest versions are closer to 33 ft lbs. Ben Taylors regulated Cyclone is doing 25.65 ft lbs. Many owners (Bruce Dodsen lead this charge) have dialed the power down on their new Royale’s to around 30 ft lbs. At 30 ft lbs the Royale gets 110-130 shots depending on who you believe. Bruce says his Royale at an average of 30.9 ft lbs gets 120 shots that don’t change poi at 80 yards.

    I haven’t shouldered a Royale but everyone agrees that it is more svelte than the rapid, mct and airwolf (and lighter). The Royale is thrown into this company because of shot count and multi-shot capability.

    The downside for me and confusion is that although the Royale is adjustable for power you have to take the action out of the stock just like the fx tarantula in order to adjust the power. Why FX didn’t put an external power adjuster on this gun bewilders me.

    Volvo, the question is why a ben taylor reg’d cyclone instead of a royale.


    • Kevin,

      In order of your post:

      I need to keep the stepping stone hidden, just in case I decide to stand on it for awhile. But here is a clue: it is a very strong value and hidden in plain sight.

      “our affinity for FX airguns… vs. other manufacturers carbines.” For clarity Air Arms would be the contender in most people’s minds. I think the primary reason that the Cyclone is not recommended as much is that FX has a much smaller distribution system in the US, while Air Arms has a huge presence with numerous on line dealers. That means simply more people own the AA’s, so it gets more mavens. When was the last time you saw a new FX Cyclone on Gunbroker? Perhaps FX could use a distrubter in Ohio? (Not PA, Volvo’s basement!)

      “ Ben Taylor regulated version of the Cyclone…Wouldn’t be worth the additional money to me” there appears to be a trend here, I believe I heard the same thing before when you went with your peers advise rather than mine? Teenagers, you’re all alike. Make no mistake, I agree that any Cyclone is wonderful, but this tricked out version with a target barrel and regulator is priced less than the std Walnut Cyclone.

      If I were you, I do agree the FX Royale would be a logical addition since you already have a Cyclone. But, have no need for the additional air capacity of the Royale, especially since I still use an FX 4 stage hand pump rather than a scuba tank.


  17. Volvo,

    I agree with you that most inexperienced airgunners would automatically pick an air arms pcp over an fx primarily because of exposure, i.e., more distributors, more owners of air arms guns, more advertising, etc.

    For clarification, in my opinion the fx cyclone is overall a better CARBINE than other manufacturers carbines including the air arms carbine. In my opinion the AA S410 ERB sidelever rifle is a better rifle overall than an FX Cyclone. Better fit (especially with the optional thumbhole walnut stock that has adjustable buttpad from the factory), better finish, better sidelever, better magazine, similar accuracy, similar shot count. The cost of a new cyclone vs. the AA S410 with walnut thumbhole didn’t play a major role in my decision.

    My reference to the cost of a “tricked out” ben taylor cyclone vs. standard cyclone was comparing the cost of these guns new. That difference in cost “Wouldn’t be worth the additional money to me unless I’m missing something.” Sounds like you’ve got a line on a used one at a good price. Best of luck with it.


  18. I have been shooting a 97 in .20 for several years. My favorite pellet so far is the Beeman Crow Magnum(very acurate out to 45yd).I have carried it on pack in (a little heavy) squirrel hunts. Great rifle! Once put down 8 crows without them knowing what was happening. A pleasure to shoot and look at. What more could you ask.

  19. B.B.,

    Yes, thanks for the info, but I don’t see the longer barrel of the HW97 being sold anywhere. Why?
    I do see it in Weihrauch website. I used to have a HW97 many years ago and I shouldn’t have sold it, that is why I am looking for it.

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