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HW97 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we start…a note from Edith: Blog reader rikib was looking at the Leapers Bug Buster scope yesterday, and I told him there was a used one available on Pyramyd Air’s website. I wonder if the rest of you might not know about the large selection of used products available.

“Used” does not mean someone else traded in the gun. In fact, Pyramyd Air doesn’t take trade-ins. When a product is labeled as used, it could mean the tech department used it for testing, someone bought the product and returned it within 30 days or it was used for photography. Generally, these products are in new condition. If there are nicks or wear and tear or handling marks, that’s noted in the description. In most cases, you’re getting a gun as good as new…at a discount.

Right now, we have LOTS of guns on the used page (which we recently renamed “Pre-Owned”)…including a Beeman P1, Air Arms TX200 rifle, Air Arms Pro-Sport, several Air Arms S400 and S410 rifles, AirForce Condor, Beeman HW97K, Beeman R1, several versions of the Career 707, Career Dragon Slayer, Career Fire 201S, several Evanix rifles, Falcon Prairie Falcon, IZH Drozd, several Mendoza rifles, Sam Yang 909S, Sumatra 2500, some hand pumps, scopes, several Webleys (including a Raider that was made in England!) and a whole bunch of airsoft guns. If you buy something used, you can still return it within 30 days. The only difference between the used items and the new ones is that you’ll save money. No tricks, just great deals.

Now, on to today’s blog.

Photos and test by Earl “Mac” McDonald

The HW97 is an attractive air rifle.

Well, today we’ll start looking at a rifle that is a huge contrast to the B3-1 I blogged yesterday. These two reports will unfold together, so you’ll have a good overview of what works and what doesn’t.

You know, after the Beeman P3 pistol series I got a question about whether it was wiser to buy the Beeman P17 first or just go straight to the P3. Whenever someone asks a question like that, I always advise them to buy the cheaper gun first because they’ll always wonder what the difference might have been. But in the case of the B3-1 and the HW97, there’s no such comparison. You’re about to see what you get for your money when you shell out the big bucks for a Weihrauch.

You need to know that Mac has owned a TX200 for many years, so he’s accustomed to high-quality spring rifles. Nevertheless, he tells me the HW97 is externally equal to his TX, which is high praise.

The stock has a cheekpiece for right-handed shooters, but Mac feels it will also work well for lefties. The loading port is equally accessible from either side of the rifle, adding to the ambidextrous possibilities.

The checkering is attractive, but it has little “bite,” as the wood finish was applied over it.

The checkering is attractive but full of finish and not rough or grippy.

Same checkering on the forearm.

The underlever releases by pushing in on a button under the muzzle. To replace the lever, just pop it back in place. An o-ring holds it tight when it’s in place. The anti-beartrap mechanism means you cannot uncock the rifle after it’s cocked. It must be fired.

Pushing the button on the end lowers the lever for cocking. You can just pop the lever back in position, where the o-ring secures it.

The underlever doesn’t come back too far when the rifle is cocked. Mac found it easy to cock.

The breech is very accessible from either side, and the sliding compression chamber completely encloses the breech when the chamber is slid forward. A white synthetic seal functions to seal the breech at firing.

When the sliding compression chamber is slid back, there’s great access to the breech.

The sliding compression chamber contains a white synthetic breech seal.

The HW97 is a big air rifle. It’s only a hair longer than 40 inches, but weighs almost nine full pounds, and you really feel the weight when you shoulder it. Of course, the weight is what keeps the gun from moving around when you are sighting. The barrel is less than 12 inches long, though the muzzlebrake adds some additional length.

The receiver is grooved for 11mm dovetail mounts, and there are three vertical holes at the back to receive a scope stop pin. The safety is automatic, and once taken off can be reset by swinging the cocking lever down again.

Mac had fun with the rifle even before the scope was mounted. Because there are no open sights, he aimed by instinct at a water bottle 30 yards away and hit it every time. He says he is really impressed by the HW97, and has plans to get all of us excited, too.

95 thoughts on “HW97 – Part 1”

  1. Is this the same gun from yesterdays post….before you kill me guys I AM KIDDING and i have to say that i am happy for rikib 🙂 —-this is one beautiful stock and gun ….

  2. C-S
    Thanks! 🙂

    Thank you for putting that info out to all! Thanks for putting my name in the opening he-he 🙂 🙂 . Coincidentally, tomorrow is my birthday. Was this an early birthday present (“Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Andy Warhol)? 😉 🙂


  3. What Luck !

    A review of a 97K just when I’m about to take delivery of one.
    The 97K seems to be very highly recommended by every serious air-gunner and I’d love to see your take on it.

  4. B.B. & Mac

    Your last 2 post are like contrast shower 🙂 Beauty and the beast, sculpture and wreckage and so on.
    AFAIR B-3 was intended for Chinese army recruit training (as a poor copy of Type 56, which is in turn a poor copy of SKS ;)) And B3-1 – a copy of Type 81 (same purpose). Quality, quantity and price are the result 🙂 Here B-3 is considered an outright junk, with a nickname “fingerchopper”. However there are some crazy people who enjoy perfecting it (rebuilding actually) and use it for plinking.


      • B.B.

        The more I travel the world, the more I notice that most people have more commonalities than differences 😉
        And I think it’s good, that we were made so different in details, but so similar in base – or else it would be soooo boring 🙂 Just don’t let Big Men play our differences for their own use, it always ends in a mess.


    • Duskwright: I’m crazy then, as I certainly enjoyed rebuilding the ones I have, and I still have all my fingers and both thumbs, but then if you even mention air gun at most gun shops around here, they look at you like you have worms crawling out of your ears. If you do get any help at all, they show you a plastic breeched Gamo, and then dry fire it to show you just how powerful it is. No kidding , I was just at such a shop today. Robert

      • Robert

        Actually that makes us closer again 🙂 Same things here: square eyes, dry-firing and so on.
        And I like to tinker with iron as well, however our reputation preceds us, so a “fingerchopper” is always a “fingerchopper” to me. I prefer to avoid even the slightest possibility of unsafe situation, when it comes to airguns. So I hold the lever even if I’m loading TX200 or HW97 and for me CFX or BSA Stutzen or any breakbarrel are better in the means of safety – never put your fingers in a way of a flying steel.


      • RFA-for less then 20 bucks i would buy this gun(B3) and if gun is broken and i can t tune it up i would use it to support tomato plant in the garden and still i would be happy 😉 🙂 (for the price) cant help it, i see potencial there ,our cheapest chinese airgun is break barrel Shangai 75 dollars you guys in USA can buy that gun for 10 bucks

  5. Duskwight -b3 cost 20 dollars can you expect”perfection”for 20 dollars,on the other hand Diana(here is 404 dollars)and all i have now is airgun with three springs instead one

    • C-S

      Well, I guess 3 springs instead of 1 is a result of poor service. Here, poor service is omnipresent, so if one needs something, he’s got to be a bit of an expert or learn from people who’ve been beaten by life before him. This makes any service unneeded – you are your own service.

      On the other hand you gained experience, the most precious thing on this Earth, so maybe it’ll push you into research and gaining more expertise on your particular rifle and springers as a class. You’ll learn how to work with bad service or do things without any help from others. And one day you’ll help somebody else. Isn’t that a good thing? 😉


        • C-S

          Improper maintenance can break even an AK 😉
          Even sun has its spots, so Diana has a reputation, but still it is a mechanism, so faults are possible. Would you like me to tell you about cant front posts, 46/460 lever sockets made from aluminum alloy (here’s a little industry machining steel replacements for them), breaking rear sights, bent dovetails etc, etc. Don’t deify any brand – the more expensive your rifle is, the less is the chance for you to get faulty stuff, but still.


          • I dont blame entire brand i am talking about 34 and it is only my opinion -i dont like plastic sihts and TO plastic triggers(dont care if they are bullet pruff) my front plastic sight broke right away (i think that B.B. had similar experience with 34 p)you guys have a 34 with IRON sihgts and ours 34 models all have a plastic sights ,so to recapitulate spring broken ,front sight broken ,rear sight fell of ,scoping complicate…. 🙂 my grenfather slavia 40 yrs old still works grate 😉

    • C-S:
      I can imagine your frustration 🙁
      It will not help you to know that I have abused my spring without mercy and it still works.
      Years of neglect followed by ignorant interference.
      I put a half inch nut at the back of the spring for extra pre load then took the nut out(Flew out actually) and stretched the spring two inches longer.
      Bent it all directions to take out the cant and slapped a load of LM motor grease on it.
      Diesel? you bet.Like an episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ 🙂
      Seriously though I never had a spring go on any of my rifles.
      Good job because I wouldn’t have had the where with all to do anything about it till I came here.

      • Dave spring should not broke ,i have abused my slavia springs you can t imagine how wright now i have 7cm longer spring in my 631 (than normal) and my 631 power is rased from 170m/s to about 200 m/s and i can still hit tip of the match with her 😉

        • C-S:
          We try to do our best by buying a quality product but bad luck and faults still occur unfortunately.
          I bought a Mitsubishi car to ensure trouble free motoring.
          Reliability has been good but the build quality on mine is poop.
          I know mine is a pup because when I look at similar aged models of my car they are in a lot better condition.
          Despite the fact I wax oil and underseal my car every year. Grrrr

  6. BB&Mac:
    Maybe not the HW97 but a Weihrauch will be my next rifle.
    Mac’s photo’s do justice to this rifle.
    Being similar to the Webley Eclipse do you think the pop up transfer port/breach on the Eclipse is as good a design as the sliding compression chamber?

    Off topic:
    The ‘V’ sign is indeed an insult when the palm is inward.
    I have seen footage of Churchill doing the palm inward two finger salute as well.
    Often in the company of ordinary troops.
    Both Churchill and the troops would know what he was getting at 🙂

    • Dave,

      I don’t like the long flip-up transfer port of the Webley Eclipse, nor do I like the Diana 46–for the same reason. However, my experience with the Diana shows that it works just fine. I suspect the Eclipse does, as well.


    • DaveK,

      off topic:
      There is some video(computer xbox bookface)? game called ‘left for dead’, apparently there are zombies after you and you try not to get killed(?). Anyway, the cover featured a zombie hand with 2 fingers, and it couldn’t be sold in the UK until the cover was changed.

    • DaveUK,

      Re: “..do you think the pop up transfer port/breach on the Eclipse is as good a design as the sliding compression chamber?”

      Do you own or have the chance to own a Webley Eclipse? These are rare guns in the USA and sought after by many. Mostly by Webley collectors that want to round out their collections. I’ve never owned one but did have a HW57 for a time. The HW57 is very similar to the eclipse in weight, power, finish and both are underlevers with pop up loading taps. On some Eclipse and some HW57 guns the pop up breech doesn’t align perfectly with the bore and results in misalignment of the pellet. Shaving the pellet and inaccuracy are the results. Especially in .22 caliber.

      The Eclipse and the HW57 are lighter and slimmer than the HW97. The weight of the HW97 helps with accuracy.

      Although I never had a pellet shaved by my HW57 the accuracy was average for me. I never warmed up to the gun.

      For these reasons I believe the HW97 with sliding compression chamber design is better than the HW57/Webley Eclipse with pop up breech designs.


  7. B.B.

    A very fine looking rifle. I like the way that the slim brake makes the underlever retainer very unobtrusive. Nothing crude or junky about the appearance of this rifle!

    I would guess that the brake is otherwise non-functional…just solid steel?

    Is the anti-beartrap simply a trigger block?


  8. twotalon,

    Yes, the brake is hollow and functionless. I think it is made of aluminum, but I’m not certain.

    The anti-beartrap is more than just a trigger block, though that is how it seems. It prevents the piston from going forward when the trigger is pulled until the sliding compression chamber is in position.


  9. It’s great to see a new review on MY favorite rifle!

    I have owned this rifle in .177 cal.for about 6 years and can easily say that it is the best springer I have ever owned (including my HW77, the forefather of the 97) Accuracy is as great as the shooters capability. I wish that I was as a good a shooter as this rifle is accurate. Although the artillery hold is necessary to some degree with this gun, it is far less necessary than almost every other springer I have shot. I often lay the gun across the old sandbag and take lot’s of accurate shots. Could never do that with my Gamo .22! Yes, this is a heavy rifle but… the lack of torque and twang, ka-chunk noises and vibration makes the weight an easy trade off. I have shot hundreds of .375″ ctc, 5 shot groups at both 10 and 20 meters with this rifle and better shooters than I can put them all in one, ragged hole.

    Build quality and finish is excellent. The compression tube and other critical parts are made of high grade and appropriately thick steel and there is no plastic to be found anywhere. And…the famous Rekord, two-stage trigger is unsurpassed for it’s adjust-ability and performance. I have had that trigger adjusted down to a “breath” to release, but it’s a little scary at that low pressure level, so keep it adjusted to be in the safe range of pull strength. Also, the “compensator” is long enough to rework into to a sound modifier (notice that I didn’t use the “S” word). The tube has a removable cap that threads into the tube end. With the cap removed, just add two flat washers, a small plastic hair curler with a wrap of fiberglass cloth or a scotch-brite pad and the muzzle noise is reduced to a “plink” versus a pop.

    I know Tom is a huge fan of the TX200 and it is one of the very best, but the HW97K is every bit (or more?) a superb springer as the Air Arms equivalent. Both of these rifles have been in production for many years now and both were field target favorites back in the day before PCP became the dominant gun at those events. Field target demands accuracy, repeatability and rock steady performance. I guess the previously wide spread use of the HW97 guns in that sport says more about this great rifle than I can here?

      • BB Nope… Mac has not sent me an advanced copy of Part 2, darn it all!

        I can appreciate your comment though, it’s easy to write on and on and on about this type of quality airgun, or as CowboyStar Dad noted “…I will soon get something like this…an air rifle that I want to pull out and shoot when I just want to feel good about shooting.” How sweet it is!

        Oh and I forgot to mention, my 97K likes RWS Super Dome pellets the best.

    • BB : Looks like there is more space (bigger opening) around the breech opening than the TX-200. Is that the case? Also, is the current 97 tapped for the HW open sights, enen thouygh they are not included with the gun? Thanks, Robert.

    • Hi Brian–I have an HW97K identical to the one photographed w/ the exception that my checkering pattern is different, and only on the pistol grip– no checkering on the fore-end!
      I am interested abt your comments and the “sound compensator”.
      I’m looking at the bbl extension—I see a set screw abt 4 3/4″ from the muzzle, hidden by the closed
      cocking arm. When looking into the end, I see the round end steel section is abt 1/4″ thick w/o any
      obvious easy way to unscrew it.
      Would you please expand on how to un-screw this “cap” safely, w/o damage to the finish? Are the
      threads right-hand or left?
      Thanks vry much, Ed.

      • Ed in Reading PA,

        Brian probably won’t see your post since it’s not on the current blog, published daily Mon-Fri by B.B.

        Please repost it to /blog// and I’m sure Brian will answer your question.


      • Ed in Reading

        Hope you see this, I stumbled back on to this blog for the HW97

        The moderator tube has a hex key-way milled in it. I don’t remember the size but… guessing 8mm.

        Hold the tube/latch assy firmly with towels and use the hex key to remove the cap.

        Some models had a loc-tite type substance on the threads, use a heat gun or propane torch (carefully) to loosen that thread sealer) watch the blueing apply heat carefully!

  10. Nice Rifle!. And the photos are fantastic. The sliding chamber photos are most revealing. I can see what the big hoopla over anti-bear trap is all about. Without it your fingers are definitely at risk.


  11. Mr. Wayne Burns,

    Congratulations on hosting another very successful airgun match. Appears that you pulled out all the stops on this one. Sure looks and sounds like everyone had a great time. Did I read correctly that you took first place in the international class??

    For those that haven’t had a chance to see Wayne Burns, Match Director, owner of Ashland Air Rifle Range latest airgun match:


    and this:


    Well done Wayne. You make us proud.


      • B.B.,

        Sorry for that.

        Based on my rough calculations you have a little over 2 years of blog topics in the queue.

        Once upon a time I remember you were worried that you would run out of airgun topics for the blog. That’s still hilarious!


        • Kevin,

          Tomorrow’s topic is one that needs to be told. And I’m only 18 months behind, because people have forgotten all those really old reports where I stupidly promised something in the next report that never came. Oops!


    • Kevin,

      Thank you, I did win the international class, but it’s a little hollow with so few contestants. But my score on the tougher course makes me happy.

      We had more events than other clubs attempt to do. I’m lucky to own the property, so I can leave things mostly setup. All other clubs I’ve heard of, or seen, have to setup and pick up the targets for each shoot, so adding a course for pistol open sights, pistol scoped, bench rest and a Quigley shoot are out of the question.

      Since we could have more events, we tried to see how many events folks could shoot in a weekend. It was a fun test. A few of us got in 3 – 50 shot contests in one day, two days in a row, as well as, 55 yard Quigley and bell ringing off the deck until 1 am:-)

      We did a “Triathlon” where one could pick their best scores from three different class shoots. So a total of 150 points possible. I lucked out and won that one too, with a 41/50 in 20fpe open rifle, and 42/50 in scoped pistol, and 42/50 in international 12fpe rifle, for a total of 125/150. And second in bench rest with a 79/100.

      That was a real fun one, since Larry Durham (LD) came up from S. Calif with his own designed and custom built .22cal 32fpe USFT bench rest gun. We shot FT rifle together again, and boy is he a nice guy. He is so willing to help other shooters learn the game. But he didn’t have his weighed pellets, so his winning score of 81/100 in bench rest most likely could have been better.

      I used the gun Tim built and LD tuned for Billy Lo to compete for the 2005 national title, which he won. LD told me he went through 4 barrels before he found one that shot the way he wanted on that gun. 20fpe USFT#6 is an amazingly accurate gun. I didn’t even have it set up with a bench rest, she was just sitting on the knee stand and I put my fingers under the butt hook to steady the back. Larry was proud of her and my score too. He said he will never work on a gun that hard again. He and Tim wanted/needed to have their gun win that national title to grow Tim’s “Mac1” business. My jaw dropped! I had no idea she was so special. I knew she had won, but not that Larry had worked so hard on her.

      And the 12fpe carbine version USFT#44, seems just as accurate, I actually got a higher score in international 12fpe rifle, than open class with #6, but I was fresher in the morning, and the wind was lighter when I shot the 12fpe contest, so it’s not quite fair to #6.
      Having two amazingly accurate guns is what led me to try for a facility that could allow folks to compete in both classes. No other club has done it yet, and I got a lot of flack from some for even trying, but it appears it can work.

      With those guns, my home court advantage doping the wind, and the low turnout, again, those victories are a little hollow, but that’s not my goal anyway, just to TRY to do my best every time. It’s amazing how many things have to come together to put together a good score. Your emotions, and mind set are as important as your skill set and equipment. Low priced equipment like a Marauder, can be very, very competitive in steady hands with a cool head. Bob Pont shoots his .22 cal Marauder and scored a 39/50 this weekend and has shot 45/50 with me several times. He has made every target on the very tough course one time or another, so on a good day he is as likely to clean it, as anyone else.
      This sport is really great! Thank you again Tom, for getting me started in it, about 2 years ago now right here on this blog!

      Wacky Wayne,
      Match Director,
      Ashland Air Rifle Range

        • CBSD,

          Well, actually, I have thought of moving to Canada, especially with the way our government is doing things, but not seriously. So for the time being, you’ll have to travel south a bit:-) Plan a week in the area, and we’ll have fun shooting air guns, hiking, hunting and fishing.

          Wacky Wayne

    • Wow! Looking at those pics of the “field target” hoopla tells me this game ain’t for me!

      In the real “field” the targets are often on the move and you would not be caught dead (or maybe dead is what you WOULD be carrying around 15 – 30 pounds of extra rifle/equipment) carrying around the junk your “competitors” use to win matches!

      To me “field target” would be something akin to the real world of hunting. A rifle weighting not more than 7.5 lbs with a scope not more than 1.5 lbs, (and that is stretching it for real life hunting)and stances which could realistically be assumed in the hunting field. So off hand, sitting with no aids, kneeling with no aids, and prone with no aids. Also rested across a tree limb or braced against the side of a tree and yes light weight shooting forks and light weight bi pods as they are commonly used in field hunting.

      What I mostly saw here was portable bench rests strapped to a persons body who is using guns which you would only see in Olympic competition in real life scenarios. Guns which the average person could in no way afford.

      Reminds me of funny car competition and other racing disciplines where the “cars” no longer have even a faint resemblance to a real life car. And a lot of these guns pictured have NOT even a faint resemblance to real life pellet guns. They and their owners belong in Olympic competition.

      My kudos to those shown who were shooting offhand or similar realistic field poses using what appeared to be close to off the shelf guns.

      Really gripes me that the average man can’t take what ever he has in his gun closet which is stock with at most minor modifications to the trigger and sights and compete against other average men and the person who wins is the guy with the best skills and NOT the best equipment!!!

      IMHO shooting is and should be about skill and NOT the equipment you can afford or talk some one into buying for you as your sponsor.

      • PCP4me,

        I understand your frustration, it’s shared by many in the field target sport. But we do have a class just as you described. It’s called “Hunter Class” Sporter stocks, 12 power or less scopes, bipods and seats with no back allowed.

        This class allows folks to start out “with what they brung” so to speak, but history shows that not many folks like it in that class and quickly move into what you dislike so much, the equipment race. Hence the ongoing debate about the class, and how it should be used to bring in new shooters, or should we scale back the equipment race.

        No chance of the second option in my opinion, creative people like Tim and LD, as well as Crosman engineers and the other manufactures are always going to push the envelope. I think you wouldn’t have a Disco or Marauder if not for developments that Tim and LD proved. I believe the low pressure (1,800 #), used by LD in the USFT prove it to Crosman, that it could be done.

        So, it is what it is, mostly a game for people with time and a little extra money. There is much debate as to how to get more people involved, and keep them. Your right, some folks come the first time with their Walley world hunting air gun, and feel so outclassed, they shoot one contest and don’t come back.
        But the fact is, there isn’t enough of those folks to have clubs for just their equipment, it’s been tried and failed many times. The only clubs left are ones that are open to basically all equipment. We do have different classes as you can see: Under 12fpe, no straps or harness, but knee stands and butt hooks are OK, the under 20fpe with straps and harnesses, butt hooks & thigh rests. Like you say, this is almost like shooting from a bench rest. But it’s the same for all in that class if they choose.

        I choose not to use a harness or thigh rest now, but as I get older, I might need to use them to keep playing. Would you only let the young and healthy play? Like I said, who really has time and money to travel to different clubs? You’ll find it’s a select few, about half are retired with a little extra money, and they are the ones who show up the most locally, and travel to other clubs the most. The game would die altogether, if you make it hard for those folks to play.

        I’m actually trying to do something myself about this, buy setting up a separate course (6-15 yards) for open sight pistols. I give kids and newbie adults a Bronco or RWS92 and show them how to play on that course. When that is boringly easy, I move them to the 10-30 yard scoped pistol course. On those courses, standard issue equipment with newbies shooting em can be challenged, but not discouraged.
        We’ll see how it plays out here at our range. Maybe if it works, other clubs will put out the effort needed to have such courses too.

        It’s a tough problem. And the debate continues. Your opinion is valid and shared by many, just thought I’d let you know more of the story.

        Wacky Wayne,
        Match Director,
        Ashland Air Rifle Range

  12. B.B. –

    Your blogs over the last two days have been pretty entertaining for me, because I have both of these guns. About four years ago, I bought my first airgun as an adult, a Tech Force 79, and I was hooked. Thinking that Chinese airguns were not as bad as I had heard, I bought a couple of B3-1’s at a tool show. When I got them home, I discovered the truth… Crooked barrels, impossible triggers, hard cocking, mediocre accuracy. I called the company to return one that had a loose barrel, and they just sent me another one for free. After bending the barrel to adjust the impact into the adjustment range of the sights at ten yards, and honing the sear engagement surface on the trigger, I actually got one of them to shoot reasonably well. The addition of a Mendoza peep sight yielded a gun that is useable. The others are in a parts box somewhere. Still a slow learner, I bought another Chinese airgun. This time from Crosman, as the Remington Summit. It was disappointing in the beginning, but after two tune-ups, a replacement trigger and thousands of pellets, it is quite good. Light, powerful and accurate.

    About this time, I came to the embarrassing conclusion that I had spent enough money on inexpensive compromises to buy the high end springer that I dreamed of in the first place. Live and learn. So, I bit the bullet and chose to buy a Beeman HW97k. That was over two years ago. I shoot it almost every day, and it’s still a treat every time. Could be the best money I ever spent. Everything about this rifle just seems “right”. Know what I mean? The fit and feel. The balance. The cocking and loading ease. Even the sounds that it makes. Here’s a specific example: When I seat the pellet in the chamber, I do it with my right hand, because my left hand is on the cocking lever. By putting my first and second fingers in the recesses on either side of the barrel mounting block, I can “inject” the pellet into the chamber with my thumb, much like using a syringe. Great leverage. No fumbling. It’s almost like the designers meant for those recesses to be used that way.

    Occasionally, I will shoot the other rifles, even the B3-1, but I shoot for the enjoyment of it, and I can’t imagine making a better investment in this hobby than buying the rifle that you will want until you have it. For me, it was the HW97k.

    – Jim in KS

  13. See, I don’t see the differences. I look at my BAM B3-1 and my Avanti 853c…they both have a hole at one end and wood at the other.
    They’re the same aren’t they 😉

    Wow…that is one gorgeous rifle (the HW-97, not the BAM). This is on my list of airguns to buy in the next year or so. With many things in my life (pens, flashlights…gee just about everything) I’m a strong believer in form follows function. A BIC communicates my ideas just as well as my Visconti fountain pen. I have a ton of BIC’s around the house…but when I wnat to do some ‘serious’ writing I’ll sit down with my fountain pen and scribble in my Moleskine (wow…does that sound pretentious or not??).
    I have a stable of airguns now that all perform what they are supposed to do. Target shoot…an afternoon in the woods plinking…teaching my boys gun safety.
    But I will soon get something like this…an air rifle that I want to pull out and shoot when I just want to feel good about shooting.

  14. CBSD-They are the same barrel ,stock,even finish 😉 of course that i am kidding but it is just not fair to compare 20 dollar with 500 dollar airgun can you compare 18 speed bike with Ferrary or Lamborghini 🙂 …no you can t that s all

  15. C-S, I would dearly love to get a 634, but alas, they are not available in Canada. My favorite all round gun is my 630 and I can just imagine what it would be like with a bit nicer stock and an extra 150fps.
    From what I understand Slavia stopped coming into Canada just before the 634 became available, so no one has it. The few 630’s that are around are mostly old stock from what I gather.
    However the new CZ200 are being imported.
    And getting an air rifle over 500 fps into Canada pretty much can only be done by a dealer.
    Gotta love our draconian laws ;-(

    • Hi, I have been reading through the forum for quite a time, but am still not aware of the link posting policy here (links beside pyramidair) – but there seems to be one dealer who does only canadian shipments and has the 634 listed (even tough only in the price list and catalogue from 2009 – so it may not really be avaliable, you would have to check) and might be worth a try. Because I am not clear on linking policy I have this for you: Google is your friend should you try “slavia 634 site:.ca”. The dealer (globe’s) has a site that I could not navigate from homepage to the particular pages of CZ rifles so it might be outdated, but still – if you want the rifle, it might be worth a call…
      It is nice to see products made practicaly in our backyard (I live some 150 km from the Uhersky Brod) are in demand even acros the ocean

    • yup…nice guns, but I’m not a PCP kinda guy. I want to be able to shoot whenever the feeling strikes and so really like self-contained guns like springers and single stroke pneumatics like my Avanti.
      Though I really like shooting the Umarex pistols we have, too often I hype myself on a Sunday evening to do some action shooting in my basement only to find I forgot to stock up on CO2 cartridges.

  16. Wow, those are some beautiful photos. I finally understand how an underlever unlocks! The unstated question for me is how this marvelous gun stacks up next to the standard–the TX200. My understanding from the blog is that it differs only be a tune-up. B.B. that’s true that if you go expensive, you always wonder about the cheaper deal, but I think the reverse it true. Given how nice my B30 is, I keep wondering if it would have been worth it to get an RWS 48. One reason I bought the Anschutz was to put such questions to rest forever.

    Duskwight, on the subject of commonalities, I’m sorry to hear about the rough time you’re having with the heat wave and wildfires. Sounds like California. Actually, this summer has been fairly mild. I hear that there have been some deaths in Russia from people drinking vodka and going swimming to cool off. Not a good idea, anymore than drinking before shooting.

    Wayne, congratulations on your successes and the magnificent shooting range. That range looks like no end of fun, and between the walls and the trees it looks like you’ve eliminated most of the wind. What is the size of the Quigley blocks and the distance to them? Shooting them at night is a great idea by the way. That is some nice hardware that people have brought. My equipment would not even get in the door.


    • Matt,

      What you said about buying the right gun the first time really resonates with me. My mother who raised me was a nonconformists. When we needed a car in 1959 and Volkswagens were selling well, she went counter to the market and bought an East German Wartburg. What a pantload that car was! You had to mix oil with the gas for the two-cycle engine and every 50 miles you pumped a rubber button under the dash to lubricate the bearings. Oddly, it came with a Blaupunkt radio, which was the only reason the guy who bought it from us took the deal.

      Buy the Volkswagen and forget the Simcas, Renault Dauphines and Subaru 360s!


  17. Matt,

    The wall actually makes the wind worst. Normally, it comes in from the shooters right side on an angle. The wall is curved, so it’s effects are varied along it’s length. Also, picture a large rock in the river. A wave is created over the wall, and that means an uplift when the wind is just right. So shooters have to deal with a highly varied right to left movement, as well as uplift at times. Even with the best equipment and a steady hold, if you can’t read the wind your not gonna score very high. Even the 20fpe shooters were biting knuckles, and pulling out their hair with frustration! On one target you’ll hold off 2″ for the wind, then the next lane that hold on that distance will land your pellet right where your aiming, off the targets kill zone, cause the wind died a little or there is a line of tall grass to block it.

    The 12fpe shooters really had fun with it.

    Bench rest on the wall was the most challenging, since the uplift is worst, the higher up the wall your target.

    The Quigley blocks are 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ and we put them out to 55 yards. I put reflector tape on them for the night shooting. It was really fun to see them lined up in the dark, and one disappear with a good shot. We couldn’t stop playing until 1 am each night! We set them up close too for pistol offhand fun. The S&W 586 revolver was a big hit for quickly knocking off a row of them.

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  18. Wayne,

    I can tell by reading your comments that you’re having way too much fun with airguns. Pistols, benchrest, ft, hunter class, quigley bucket/block shooting etc. I’ve got to get to Ashland.

    Thanks for sharing. Really enjoy living vicariously through you!


    • Kevin,

      Come anytime! We have a spare room across from the range.

      If your planning ahead for a contest, we’ll be having another west coast regional shoot in Tacoma Wa. on Aug. 28th and 29th. I’ll be shooting 12fpe, no harness international class with two friends from up there, that kicked my butt last year:-)

      And I’m working out a date with other MDs, for sometime in Nov. for another west coast regional shoot. Maybe the weekend after Thanksgiving holiday. Bring the family and combine some Christmas shopping in locally owned shops that have unique, hand made jewelery and crafts.

      I’ll post the date soon I hope, but that date is sounding pretty good. We should have skiing on Mt. Ashland by then too.

      It’s long enough after the nationals, but might not work due to other family plans shooter could have. Better still, maybe the weekend before, on the 20th and 21st. We’ll have to hash it out.

      Wacky Wayne,
      Match Director,
      Ashland Air Rifle Range

      • Wayne,

        You’re a gentleman extraordinaire. Greatly appreciate the invite. Unfortunately we’re in the high season of hosting guests at our place at Mt. Massive.

        For instance, this weekend in Leadville is Boom Days. The annual celebration for the historical mining in the area and associated period activities. Parades, hard rock drilling, rock busting, rod & gun show, cook offs (this can’t be missed), craft show, art show, etc. We have 14 guests that will be arriving starting Friday afternoon. Although Leadville prides itself on events (bike races, the world famous Leadville 100 mile trail run, vintage car shows that attract cars from overseas, Get Your Ass Over The Pass burro race, etc.) every weekend during the summer to draw tourists, Boom Days is the pinnacle.

        The Lentz hotel will have guests until the weekend of October 30th-31st. Then it quiets down until the snow flies and our guests will be more interested in skiing with us than fishing and shooting.

        I really need to make time to get to Ashland. Any update on the perfection of the cloning process?


  19. noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…

    a raider 10 from UK .22 in walnut……

    If I did happen to buy the last two or three airguns I own…I would have definetly already pounced on that one.

    BTW…what fill adapter would I need for the raider?

  20. Volvo,

    Good to see you. Visited your blog today. Apparently business has been well. I’ve missed your insight.

    Any airgun on your horizon or are your needs and desires satisfied?


    • Kevin,

      Yes, business has been brisk and I am taking advantage of it, so my blog is on the back burner for the time being. I do still creep here now and then, such as when I see an old favorite like the 97. Thought for sure my first comment would pull Slinging out, who by the way still needs to sling the next part of the Disco review my way.

      As I am sure you are aware commissions take a little time on new home builds, but they are starting to trickle in. So yes, I have a rifle in my sights. I have to leave it at that for now, as the sharks abound and I wish to not compete with all the deep pockets out there.

      I don’t have a couple years worth, but a do have a sizable queue of posts I have begun, and I will add that rifle to the list, assuming a winning bid…


      forgot – nice job on the HW50 history the other day, brought a tear to my eye

      • Volvo,

        I’m very familiar with the delay in commissions on new home builds.

        My specialty is similar but for different reasons. A change of use combined with an amendment to PD takes over a year here. MAI’s are now taking 5 months and our due diligence is customarily 120 days. When you add up the upfront periods my closings average 2 years. The difference now is lenders that I’ve relied on for 20 years are changing terms dramatically in mid stream or leaving the market in the middle of a transaction. One of my sales in now is its’ third year and the closing is at least 90 days away. I had hair when I started this vocation.

        VERY curious about the rifle in your sights. Anxious to know details when you feel it’s appropriate to divulge.


  21. That is a fine looking gun. You get what you pay for, usually!

    I have an off topic question. I have a Benjamin 392 with the Air Venturi mount and a Leapers scope (from the Pyramid combo pack). This rifle is gives a good workout when pumping (I like the exercise and the slower shooting experience) but there is considerable mechanical shock to the whole gun/mount/scope system when bringing that pump lever down due to the force needed. Could this damage the scope or knock off the internals and cause scope creep?


    • Joe,

      I hope you aren’t touching that scope when you pump! That will destroy it for certain.

      These rifles were never meant to be scoped, so when you pump you must hold the stock at the pistol grip. That’s why the pump reduction system was so great a product, though fewer than 50 were probably ever made, due to the price.

      Also, never use the scope as a carrying handle.


      • Thanks BB.

        Nope, I’m not touching the scope at all. I’m very careful about that. And yes, it is tough to pump with my left hand down on the pistol grip. But as a large dude I’m enjoying the exercise.

        Its just that I read here on these fine blogs about scopes that are damaged via the double recoil action of springers. If that is true, then perhaps the impact of the pump handle on the Benjamin (and Sheridans too I suppose) are enough to damage a scope too. I guess I will find out over time. But I’m not the first one to put a scope on one of these.

  22. Could 150 lbs crossbow be used for home protection ,i hate violence (i would rather fight with somebody and then drink a beer wit him )but i have problem with a person that i respected (even like my second dad)and this makes it that more painfully my stepfather -or should i buy myself a gun (god i HATE FIRE WEAPONS )

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