by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Beeman Kodiaks
  • Eye not up to par
  • RWS Superdome
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • Crosman Premiers
  • 25 yards
  • Summary

The test

Today is our first day of accuracy testing the HW85 and I’m going to do something different. I will start at 10 meters, using the open sights that came on the rifle I’m testing. But I will only shoot 5-shot groups. I’m not interested in the absolute accuracy at 10 meters because this rifle can shoot farther than that. Ten meters is too close to accuracy test a rifle like this and expect any degree of confidence, and today you will see why.

Naturally I’m shooting with the rifle rested on a sandbag. I’m using the artillery hold, because even though the rifle is super smooth, it still recoils forward a lot. I held my off hand forward, under the rear of the cocking slot.

Once I see how it does at 10 meters I’m backing up to 25 yards with the best pellet or pellets and we’ll start to see its potential. At least that is my hope.

Beeman Kodiaks

The first pellet I tested was the time-honored Beeman Kodiak. These .22 caliber pellets have 5.50mm heads. They landed low on the target in a group that measures 0.343-inches between centers. Remember, this is a 5-shot group, not 10.

HW 85 Beeman Kodiak group
Five Beeman Kodiaks went into 0.343-inches at 10 meters.

At this point the rifle is only performing as it should.

Eye not up to par

Today I had a lot of difficulty seeing the front post in the rear notch. The front post was difficult to focus on throughout the entire test. I have to assign some of the group size to my eyes.

RWS Superdome

Next up was the RWS Superdome pellet. Since it’s lighter, I figured it would land higher on the target than the Kodiak, but it didn’t. It dropped even lower and also went to the left. Since part of the group was off the paper I just photographed the target and backer cardboard together.

This group of 5 measures 0.368-inches between centers. It looked smaller to me at first, but after looking at it awhile I see that it’s a trifle larger than the Kodiak group.

HW 85 RWS Superdome group
Five Superdomes went into 0.368-inches at 10 meters. Notice that they also landed lower on the target.

JSB Exact Jumbo

The next pellet I tried was the JSB Exact Jumbo. Now that I knew the pellets were all hitting too low I adjusted the rear sight up by 8 clicks. The first group was awful because of my sighting problems, but it contained a tight main group of four shots that made me try it a second time. That gave me the answer I was looking for.

The second time, 5 pellets landed in 0.288-inches and I got excited. I even shot one shot at the wrong target, so I had to shoot a 6th shot to get this 5-shot group. Even with that it is still great. I’m still only shooting just 5 pellets at 10 meters distance, so a lot can happen when I back up and get serious, but this pellet looked like one to get serious with.

HW 85 JSB Exact Jumbo group
Five JSB Exact Jumbo pellets made this tight 0.288-inch group at 10 meters.

Crosman Premiers

The final pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier. Five of them made a 0.392-inches group at 10 meters. It’s within the range of the other groups but not quite as tight, so I decided not to test it further.

HW 85 Crosman Premier group
Five Crosman Premier pellets made this 0.392-inch group at 10 meters.

25 yards

Now I backed up to 25 yards to try the JSB pellet at that distance. I expected success, based on that 10-meter group. But sometimes things don’t work out as planned. I did call one of these shots as a pull to the left, but when I examined the target I can’t tell which one it is. The 10 pellets are scattered all over the place!

Ten shots went into 1.903-inches between centers. That’s close to 2 inches! I have seen this happen before, where the gun is accurate at 10 meters but falls apart farther out. However, it isn’t that common. I can blame my eyes for a little of the group size, but as you will see in the next group, it’s a lot more than that. This pellet isn’t accurate in this rifle at this distance.

HW 85 JSB Exact Jumbo group 25
Ten JSB Exact Jumbos went into 1.903-inches at 25 yards. That was a surprise, based on the 10-meter group.

That group drove me to test one more pellet at 25 yards. Like I said, I thought Superdomes were the next best, so that’s what I chose.

Ten Superdomes went into a 2.694-inch group at 25 yards, but again, there was a called pull to the left. Shot number three actually went left, and this time you can see it, because the other 9 pellets are in a 0.978-inch cluster. While that’s not a tight group, it does indicate the HW85 wants to shoot. Maybe with a scope I could eliminate my aiming error.

HW 85 RWS Superdome group 25
At 25 yards 10 RWS Superdomes went into 2.694-inches, but the shot on the left was a called pull. The other 9 shots are in 0.978-inches between centers.

Summary

Today did not go as well as I hoped. I had hoped to put 10 shots into 3/4-inches at 25 yards. Part of it was my eyes, but most of it is the fact I haven’t discovered the right pellet for this rifle yet. I may also not have found the best artillery hold. I may even need to try the rifle rested directly on the bag.

I think another 25-yard test is in order. I’ll give you a break for a little while as we look at some other vintage airguns, but this ain’t over! After the next test I plan to scope the rifle and test it again at 25 yards.