by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Crosman Premiers
  • RWS Superdomes
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm heads
  • Top speed?
  • Hobbys
  • Firing cycle
  • Cocking
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today we learn how powerful this smooth-shooting .22-caliber HW85 is. You may remember from Part 1 that I bought this rifle because of its super-smooth tune. So, let’s get right to it.

Crosman Premiers

The first pellet to be tested was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier. These loaded easily and averaged 678 f.p.s. The range went from 672 to 693 — a spread of 21 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet produces 14.6 foot pounds. This was so close to the “magic” velocity of 671 f.p.s., where the weight of the pellet in grains equals the muzzle energy in foot pounds. I mention that because it’s just a handy thing to know.

RWS Superdomes

Next up was the RWS Superdome. They also loaded very easy. These 14.5-grain domed pellets are often among the most accurate in a given airguns. In the HW 85 Superdomes averaged 674 f.p.s. which generates 14.63 foot pounds at the muzzle. They ranged from a low of 663 to a high of 685 f.p.s., so the spread was 22 f.p.s.

H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm heads

The final pellet I tested was the 21.14-grain H&N Baracuda Match with a 5.51mm head. Like the first two pelletsd, Baracudas also loaded easily. I expected this pellet to be slower because of its greater weight, but also because heavier pellets usually produce less energy in spring-piston airguns. Therefore, I wasn’t disappointed to see an average of 518 f.p.s., At that speed this pellet generates 12.6 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The spread was just 11 f.p.s. though, from 512 to 523 f.p.s. It’s been my experience that heavier pellets are sometimes quite accurate at these slower speeds.

Top speed?

Beeman advertised the R10 as a 750 f.p.s. gun in .22 caliber, so I had to try RWS Hobby pellets. They are the ones Beeman would have used to test the top velocity in any airgun in the 1980s.

Hobbys

RWS Hobbys loaded slightly harder than the first three pellets, due to the size of their skirts. With Hobbys, the rifle averaged 744 f.p.s. The spread was 28 f.p.s., going from 736 to 764 f.p.s. At the average velocity Hobbys generated 14.63 foot pounds of muzzle energy, which is even with the energy of the first two pellets.

Firing cycle

The reason I bought this rifle is how utterly smooth it is. Upon firing the smoothness continues. The rifle does have a pronounced forward recoil, though. That’s a product of the piston’s weight and how fast it stops at the end of its travel. I think because it is so smooth this movement is even more noticeable.

Cocking

When you cock the rifle you feel nothing beyond the resistance of the mainspring. There is absolutely no noise or feel of vibration through the stock. The cocking effort is 24 lbs.

Trigger pull

The HW 85/R10 has a Rekord trigger, which is highly adjustable. It’s also got a reputation for being one of the finest sporting airgun triggers around. I make the distinction of “sporting” so you don’t confuse it with a match trigeer like the one found of the FWB 150 and 300. These is a big difference between a sporting trigger and a true match trigger and you don’t want a match trigger opn a sporting airguns any more than you want a non-synchromesh crashbox transmission on a daily driver. A crashbox is for racing and a match trigger is for shooting offhand in a match.

The trigger on the rifle I’m testing was tested as it came to me. It is two-stage and stage two breaks at 1 lb. 8 oz. That’s light enough for good target work and of course being a Rekord there is no creep in stage two!

Evaluation so far

At this point I would have to say I am happy with the test results. I like the way the rifle cocks and shoots, and all that remains is to determine how accurate it is.