The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Premiers are best
  • By the triggerguard
  • Extended hold
  • Resting on the bag
  • Getting tired
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

Today will be something a little different. In the previous report reader Siraniko asked me why I changed my artillery hold when I moved from the 10-meter accuracy test to the 25 yard test. Reader GunFun1 picked up on that question and wondered how we would know which hold was best. That made sense, plus I enjoy shooting this rifle, so I promised to do another 25-yard test in which all I change is the hold. That’s what I’m doing today.

Premiers are best

Without question Crosman Premiers turned in the tightest group in that last test, so they were the only pellet I used for this test. I began the test with the same artillery hold I used in the last report — my off hand held under the middle of the cocking slot. No particular reason for holding it there last time, except the farther out I hold it the more stable the rifle seems. By that I mean that the crosshairs don’t dance all around the target. It makes the rifle easier to hold, which is as good a reason as any, I guess.

Last time this rifle put 10 Premiers in a group measuring 0.387-inches between centers at 25 yards when this hold was used. This time 10 went into 0.411-inches between centers. I would say that is pretty consistent! I was actually shocked when I saw the group. I didn’t think I could do it twice.

Crosman Premier center hold
This group of 10 Crosman Premiers was shot from 25 yards with the off hand resting in the middle of the cocking slow, like during the last report. It measures 0.411-inches between centers.

By the triggerguard

Next, I slid my off hand back to the triggerguard, like I held the rifle in the 10-meter test in Part 3. This time 10 Premier pellets went into 0.945-inches at 25 yards. If the group had been only one or two tenths larger than the first group I would call it a tie, because I am a part of this test, too. I can’t be that consistent from group to group. But, going from just over four tenths to greater than nine tenths is a big jump. I have to say that this rifle does not do its best when the hand is back by the triggerguard.

Crosman Premier triggerguard hold
With my off hand back by the triggerguartd, 10 Premiers went into 0.945-inches at 25 yards.

Extended hold

The last artillery hold I tested was with my off hand resting under the end of the forearm, which is as far as I can reach comfortably. That hold gave me 10 shots in 0.732-inches. That’s better than the triggerguard hold, but still significantly larger than the hold under the middle of the cocking slot.

Crosman Premier extended hold
With the off hand resting under the end of the forearm, 10 Premiers went into 0.732-inches at 25 yards.

Resting on the bag

At this point in the test I thought it would be good to test the rifle resting directly on the sandbag. Because the HW85 does recoil I thought this would be the biggest group of the test, but it wasn’t. Ten Premiers went into 0.536-inches. That is the second-smallest group! It’s located half an inch higher than the first group, but that is to be expected. All the groups moved around just a bit when the hold was changed.

Crosman Premier bag rest
When the rifle was rested directly on the bag, 10 Premiers went into 0.536-inches at 25 yards.

Getting tired

I noticed that I was getting tired from all the concentration by this point in the test. So I decided to shoot one more group with my off hand in the middle of the coking slot — so you could see how I was doing. If the group was of similar size to the first group, you known that I’m still doing my best. If it’s larger, you know that it’s time for me to stop.

This time I was doing very well for the first 4 shots. I thought I might beat the first group. Then a pellet landed low and away from the main group. It more than doubled the group size and was not a called pull. Either the pellet was bad or I was indeed getting tired.

The final shot landed to the extreme left of the main group, again underscoring the fact that I was tired. In this group 8 shots landed in 0.433-inches, and 10 were in 0.912-inches at 25 yards. It’s not a good group and I am almost positive that I was the reason it wasn’t.

Crosman Premier center hold2
Final group with the off hand in the center of the cocking slot measures 0.912-inches between centers.

Evaluation

It was clearly time for me to stop shooting. The group-within-a-group was in line with what the rifle was capable of, but the two stray shots seemed to be all on me.

It would seem that in my hands the HW85 likes the off hand to be placed under the middle of the cocking slot when the artillery hold is used. Is that absolute? No. The sandbag rest was also tight, and the hand slid forward to the end of the forearm was not that far off the pace. The hand by the triggerguard seems to be the only choice that was not good. So, when I go out to 50 yards, I can try the bag rest and the middle of the cocking slot.

Summary

I gave in to GunFun1’s request for this test because, like him, I also wanted to know what worked best. When you have an air rifle that has repeatable accuracy like this HW85 it’s worth the effort to find out the best way to hold it.

58 thoughts on “The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 5

  1. B.B.,

    Thank you for this experiment. Now I know how to conduct a test for myself. When you rested the Hw85 on the bag did it concentrate the weight on any particular point or was it supported along the entire fore end of the stock?

    Siraniko


  2. BB
    Thanks for the test.

    As good as pcp’s seem to be I found out some things with my .22 Maximus recently.

    My scoped bi pod setup is not the best for me shooting the Maximus.

    The hold I found is easy to do but hard to explain. Easy part is the gun is on the bag. Hard to explain is I put my off hand thumb on the front of the pellet loading area. And my pointing finger on the front of the trigger gaurd. Then my hand sets on the bag by my pinky finger. Yes I did just say pinky. 🙂

    But I thought I was accurate before. Now the gun just sets and shoots. It’s simple accurate now. All I’ll say on that part is I just have to shake my head in awe when I see how the group goes.

    And BB related to today’s blog. I see why people liked the Crosman Premieres in the day. They for some reason seem to work well in those older guns. Or maybe its coencedence?



  3. B.B.

    Thanks for trying different “artillery” holds.
    Is this the same gun, bore, stroke, etc as the HW 95? I know this rifles barrel is longer, it that the one difference?

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      The HW95, as the number indicates, has a longer stroke. It also has the scope dovetail cut into the tube. If my feeble memory serves me correct, the base block is pinned in the tube instead of threaded, but being that it is my memory I would not make wagers on that.



        • Yogi,

          You could be right about the stroke being the same, but it was my understanding that is what the number indicates. I did not know they still made the HW85. I do not know of any US dealers that are carrying it. The longer barrel would improve the cocking and also provide a longer sight base. I like it.


          • R.R.

            After some searching this is what I found:
            HW’s 30, 50,77,95,97 all have a bore of 26mm, their strokes are 60,71,81,86,81 respectively.

            HW 35, 80 all have a 30mm bore and stroke lengths of 65 and 80.

            Whoever said German’s were meticulous and precise, LOL.

            -Y


        • Yogi
          My HW85 in .177cal bought new 8 years ago has the 4 tabs holding the trigger block to the spring tube, as opposed to BB’s R10//HW85 threaded trigger block. I’m not sure when Weihrauch changed to the 4 tabs, but BB’s suggestion of Weihrauch finding it difficult to thread a thinner gauge steel for the trigger block, and spring tube, necessitated the change makes perfect sense.
          The HW95 has a 410 (16.14 in) barrel, while the HW85 uses a 500mm (19.68 in) barrel. The longer barrel does make cocking easier, but it is such a smooth rifle to cock anyway, it makes little difference.
          If you subtract the 90mm difference of the HW85’s 500mm barrel from the HW95’s shorter 410mm barrel from the over all length of the HW85 (1165mm) would be the same as the HW95’s (1075mm). This has always been a pet peeve of mine with Weihrauch. They make the same rifle, use a shorter barrel, and you think you’re buying a different rifle. Its similar to the HW77/97, as the only thing they changed there was remove the HW77’s open sights, and use a different stock design. In fact, the HW77 innards will fit perfectly in a HW97 stock, if that is your preference.
          I am looking forward to the day BB tests the new HW44 PCP pistol Weihrauch introduced this year. I hear it puts out 12ftlb, and is extremely accurate.
          There is no denying the workmanship, and accuracy of Weihrauch/Beeman airguns.
          Ciao
          Titus



  4. BB,

    OK, I get how Weihrauch creates their model number for their sproingers, but Beeman does not seem to have any sense involved, at least to me. Did not the R10/HW85 come out before the R9/HW95 or have they been out that long?




      • BB

        Very impressive shooting. Being able to confirm (validate) a .39″ group at 25 yards is not easy to do especially after days have passed. I assume you were using Crosman Premiers from the brown box. Were they the 7.9 grain or 10.5 grain pellets? Did you sort them with a Pelletgage for head diameter?

        Thank you for doing this test. Most of my airgun shooting fun is trying the different holds you used. I do add in a finger and thumb trigger squeeze when the hold permits it to help steady the crosshairs. Some readers share my hand tremors while others wonder why I would pull a trigger in this strange way.

        I was equally impressed with your final group after you were tired. Getting 8 of 10 pellets to comfirm yet another time certainly proved to me your rifle likes to be held that way.

        Decksniper


  5. B.B.,

    You wrote near the end of this report that with the last group, “A pellet landed low and away from the main group. It more than doubled the group size and was not a called pull. Either the pellet was bad or I was indeed getting tired.”

    “Called pull” unambiguously means the shooter made the shot wild because of a momentary lapse in technique. But do you consider “called pull” to be synonymous with “called flyer”? (I consider the terms interchangeable.)

    As I read more and more web pages and watch more and more online videos on air gunning, I see a wide variety in what folks consider a “flier.” I’ve reread you article “What Is a Flyer” many times, but I’m still iffy on what it REALLY should refer to.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/article/What_is_a_flyer_August_2009/66

    I see online where any shot that is considerably apart from the rest of a group is called a flyer/flier (Wow, I am iffy even on how to spell it!) The probable cause of the straggling shot is not relevant to the term flyer/flier. All outliers are called flyers/fliers.

    Other times a flyer/flier is clearly called such because the shooter released the sear a microsecond too soon, lost concentration or discipline for that one shot. In other word’s, the shooter “did not do his part” with the one shot. This definition of flyer means “My fault, not the air rifle’s fault.”

    Yet other times the term flyer/flier is used such that it clearly means a shot that is apart from the rest of the group but was so through no fault of the shooter, such as a gust of wind, a deformed pellet, or an air gun that is inherently inaccurate and will not shoot tight groups.

    The precision of the jargon of any discipline (area of study) is important. For example, the distinction between “clip” (a strip clip or a passive device that the action manipulates to deliver rounds to the muzzle) and “magazine” (actively delivers rounds to the action and/or muzzle) really does matter. “Round” and “bullet” — are they always interchangeable, or does “round” specifically refer to a complete, unfired unit of firearm ammunition? Do I have “round” all wrong? (Even I know what a bullet is!)

    So, what is a flyer/flier?

    Michael


    • Michael,

      When I cause the pellet to go wide, I say that I pulled it. When my hold was right but it still went wide, it is a flier. Maybe I should have worded it as a flier, rather than the way I did. But it’s one or the other, and that was my literary choice for today.

      B.B.


    • Michael,

      Just to be different, I call those random shots “whats” because that is what I say to myself when they happen 🙂

      My shooting range is 25 yards of open field with a 30 yard lane through bush/trees that has a 10 foot wide, 7 foot high heavy log wall as a backstop. When shooting later in the day the lighting is such that I can frequently see the pellet as an arching streak of light against the dark backstop.

      When shooting pellets straight from the can I will occasionally see a pellet that spirals or veers away from the POA and will usually exclaim WHAT??? when that happens. Hence the term 🙂

      I never see this with sorted/weighed pellets.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Hank


  6. Going off topic here, but first Diana brought out the Stormrider, now they have the Outlaw. Yes, they are both rebranded Chinese air rifles, but if Diana can keep the quality up on these we are going to be seeing this company become a major player in the US market.


  7. B.B.

    How about a blog comparing the same 2 break barrel rifles, one in the HW k version and one in the standard version. You could test the longer leverage of the cocking stroke and whether longer barrels are or are not more accurate/increase velocity. Just my $.02.

    -Y


  8. CONCENTRATION

    Most shooters want to know how accurate their gun can be in their hands.

    In order to answer this question I must first set up the gun properly. In my opinion this means cleaning the barrel to take it out of the equation, adjusting the trigger to my preference, setting your scope up properly including adjusting out parallax, installing a bubble level, creating a repeatable cheek weld even if this requires putting tape on the stock as a reference, experimenting with holds, pellets, etc. etc.

    Now that the holds for this gun and pellets have been narrowed down I’m ready for Phase II.

    I believe that in SHOOTING FOR ULTIMATE ACCURACY concentration for every shot is key. But what is “concentration”? Concentration on what?

    For me, it’s concentration (synonymous with FOCUS) on shooting technique.

    There are many parts to shooting technique that I must concentrate on in order to be consistent. Repeatability is key in determining ultimate accuracy. For how long? Ten shots on ten targets for me before I test a different hold or different pellets that showed promise in initial testing.

    Before the shot, I need to get the cheek weld right, make sure the sight picture is repeated, get on target, check the bubble level, relax the hold, get back on target, check the bubble level, relax the hold, get back on target, breathe right and pull the trigger the same way each time and follow through on the shot. Takes me lots of time for each shot and shooting for ultimate accuracy is tiring for this reason. I have to be in the right frame of mind and have the right weather conditions to fill another chapter about shooting for ultimate accuracy with a particular gun.

    Plinking is always fun though.


  9. B.B.,

    While looking through one of the British airgun magazine, I ran across a very interesting article. It is a review of the Gunpower Stealth. The rifle looks exactly like an Airforce Talon with a suppressor added (not the shroud of the Talon SS). The article states that Gunpower introduced the Stealth in 1997. I don’t write this to take anything away from Airforce. For all I know Airforce and Gunpower are one and the same. I do envy the Brits ability to purchase and use suppressors without having to deal with government paranoia.

    https://archive.org/details/Air_Gunner_July_2016
    or
    https://ia801908.us.archive.org/35/items/Air_Gunner_July_2016/Air_Gunner_July_2016.pdf

    I want to read more of the blog, but rats got into the attic and have caused damage to the a/c system and we have much to do before they can replace everything (including the vents which are infected with mold and algae). It isn’t pretty or healthy. This happened since the system was inspected in the spring. I never heard or saw anything. Rats!! Double Rats!!. I would like to shoot them but I haven’t seen any, nor trapped any, yet.

    ~ken



    • Ken,

      I know what you mean with the rats. We have spent 3 days cleaning out the garage after we got infested. The don’t show themselves like the ones we had around the barn when I was a kid. So traps and bait it is.

      Don


      • Benji-Don,

        We are spending time in the house and in the garage. It is going to take time and effort to get things cleaned up. We were spared the flooding so many around us got during hurricane Harvey, so I will just grin and bear it.

        ~ken


  10. Idaho ask yesterday for some pictures of my targets. They are not works of art. I make them from what scraps I can find laying around.

    Below are a couple of field targets a friend of mine and I made. Kate says the one on the right looks like me. It was suppose to be a groundhog. She added a little fuzz on top.

    I have been planning to make some out of plate steel and Kate wants to do some welding but we haven’t found the time yet.

    See Picture below.

    Don




      • B.B.

        Do you know what happened to the profile pictures? I have thought about using this one. It is the Christmas I got my Benjamin 312 pellet gun. No pictures once that package was opened I did not hold still for days after that. It was my best ever Christmas present.

        Don


        • Don,

          No, I don’t. It happened many months ago and the Pyramyd IT team had looked into it, but no resolution.

          Word Press, the software we are using changes their software baseline often (more that once a month sometimes) and PA may have gotten tired chasing them.

          B.B.


          • B.B.

            Thanks, I don’t blame them I used to go through the same thing at work. Maybe it would be a good time to simplify it and have it so we could save a specific sized picture on our PA profile?

            Maybe its all tied up in the Word Press package, That would make it a mess.

            Don

            Don


      • Don,
        Thanks for those pics. I will be building some.
        Do those spinners usually stay straight for the next shot?

        That Christmas pic is awesome. Wish I had one. I was about the same age when I got mine, also for Christmas, and my life was not the same after. I was out with it every day. Poor critters. Anything that moved was fair game. Except Robins. I think my Mom liked them so they got a pass.


        • Idaho,

          The washers stay fairly straight. They are hung in a sling (wire on both sides).

          The bottle caps don’t stay straight and usually fly off after a few shots. They realy spin though. When they turn sideways it just makes them harder to hit.

          Using heavier wire would help but slow down the spin.

          Good luck and have fun,
          Don


  11. Slinging has helped convince me of the importance of ammunition. My accuracy is much better with golf balls than with stones. Now, we know why David selected smooth stones for his duel with Goliath. It wasn’t for the impact effect. It was for their aerodynamic properties. (Did everyone else know that already?) I also learned a lot about ballistics. Following the David model, I had been trying to hit my Goliath target with a line drive which amounted to using the first zero of the trajectory. But much of the time, the stones would go sailing over the target. Then, I backed off the power and tried hitting the target on the downslope which uses the second zero. This way I was converging on the target with both windage and elevation, and accuracy improved dramatically. But it wouldn’t have done nearly as much damage to Goliath. Hitting him with a line drive on the first try is truly a feat and probably evidence of the divine guidance system.

    I finally managed to dress my sharpening stones and try them out. The result was an improvement. It was close to shaving hair off my arm but not quite, and I had to invent a new test to gauge its accuracy. A low level of sharpness can cause a blade to stick in a plastic rod (like a ball point pen) held at a 45 degree angle from just the weight of the blade. Shaving hair off the arm is better. Shaving hair off the face and moving the thumb along the edge tests the highest levels of sharpness. However, if you move the thumb at right angles to the edge, a certain level of sharpness will allow you to sense the ridges of your fingerprints sort of the way a kid runs a stick along a picket fence. This can only mean that your edge is thinner than the the distance between the ridges. This edge will work in cutting fruits and vegetables though not with the gliding feel of the truly sharp.

    There’s a ways to go, but the dressing of stones has put me back within striking distance. I’m now thinking of Paul Newman reprising the role of Fast Eddie in the movie The Color of Money. To retrain himself, he gets fitted with new glasses and practices hitting billiard balls from different angles and his voice-over says, “Better…better…”

    Matt61


  12. BB,

    That’s very impressive accuracy for a break-barrel!

    Crosman Premiers are hard to come by on this side of the pond though. If you manage to get hold of a tin of H&N FTTs before the 50-yard test, would you mind giving them a go as well? I reckon it is best pellet for the HW85 that is commonly available in Europe.

    Bob


  13. B.B. and all,

    After finishing this report what stood out in my mind was that all the information in it should be required study to a new springer shooter looking to get the most out of their rifle, whatever it may be. You can clearly see the effect of different holds, POI shift, and the effects of fatigue, both mental and physical. And as always, B.B. writes it up in a manner that is so easy to grasp. Well done.

    David H.



  14. O.K., ya’ll were talking about HW and Beeman model numbers so let me ask this; It is my understanding that BSF made a decent spring piston gun that was sold in this country at the Marksman 55 or Marksman 70 depending on trim level. Weihrauch bought BSF at some point. And Weihrauch continued to manufacture the BSF gun, but under what Weihrauch model number? At some point I sent my model 70 back to Marksman in CA where they upgraded it to a Rekord trigger (must have been after Weihrauch bought BSF). I thought he told me it was the same as a Weihrauch / Beeman R10???

    Either way, my Marksman 70 with Rekord trigger is wonderfully accurate. I wouldn’t sell it for anything. Excellent gun!

    Motorman
    St. Louis, MO


  15. B.B.
    Thanks for another interesting review! I am only just now getting back into airgunning after an absence of 20 years. It’s reassuring to see you settled on the Premier. I bought my R 10 new from Beeman back when they first came out with it, although mine is .20 caliber. I also found the Premier seemed to be the best pellet for me and it performed well in FT applications.


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