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Education / Training The Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 3

The Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Haenel 311
Haenel 311 target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Qiang Yuan Training
  • Gamo Match
  • Adjust sights
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Haenel 311 target rifle. Let’s get started.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. I rested the rifle directly on the bag for the entire test. Only after the test was finished did I check back to my test done in 2011 and discover that I had used the artillery hold on the rifle at that time. So we will see a comparison today, when the rifle is rested directly on the bag.

I shot 5-shot groups so I could test more pellets. At the start I wasn’t too worried about being sighted in, but there came a point in the test when I did adjust the sights. I’ll tell you about it when we get there.

Remember that I wanted to try some pellets that were not available in 2011 when I last tested the 311. So, there will be a couple of those in today’s test.

Air Arms Falcon

The Air Arms Falcon was the only domed pellet I shot in the test. I just did it to warm up the gun more than anything. Five Falcons went into a group that measures 0.466-inches between centers at 10 meters. The group is low and to the right.

Falcon group
The Haenel 311 put Air Arms Falcon pellets went in 0.466-inches at 10 meters.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

Next up were five RWS R10 Match Pistol wadcutters. This is a pellet I did not test in 2011. They climbed higher on the target than the Falcons but were still a bit to the right. Five made a 0.648-inch group.

R10 group
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets made this 0.648-inch group at 10 meters.

Qiang Yuan Training

Next to be tested were five Qiang Yuan Training pellets. This is another pellet that was not available in 2011. These sometimes give surprising results, but not in the 311. At least not on this day. Five went into 0.646-inches at 10 meters. The group looks smaller because the pellet that hit on the lower right target paper that closed up the hole again.

Chinese group
The Haenel 311 put five Chinese Training pellets into a 0.646-inch group.

Build a Custom Airgun

Gamo Match

Now that both me and the rifle were warmed up I thought it was time to try the Gamo Match pellet. Gene Salvino at Pyramyd AIR sent me a tin of them so I could complete this test. The first group was also low and to the right. It measures 0.442-inches between centers. While that is the smallest group so far, it’s much larger than I was expecting for this pellet.

Gamo group 1
The 311 put five Gamo Match pellets into 0.442-inches at 10 meters.

Adjust sights

It was at this point that I decided to adjust the sights to hit closer to the center of the bull. There are no markings on the rear sight to tell you which way to turn the knobs, so I fooled around for a long time and probably shot 15 more shots until I was satisfied. The pellets are hitting high but are fairly well centered. Unfortunately this wore me out.

The next five Gamo Match pellets went into a group that measures 0.528-inches between centers. This is going the wrong way because I’m getting tired.

Gamo group 2
Group two of the Gamo Match pellets measures 0.528-inches between centers.

H&N Finale Match Light

The final group I’ll show was shots with the H&N Finale Match Light pellet.  These were available in 2011. Five of them went into a vertical group measuring 0.375-inches between centers. It’s the smallest group of the test. It’s very well centered but just a little too vertical.

H&N Light group
H&N Match Light pellets turned in the best 10-meter group pf the test. It measures 0.375-inches between centers.


I was pretty frustrated by these results. I know the 311 can do better than this. So this is when I went back and read the 2011 report. Lo and behold, I had shot the rifle back then with the artillery hold. Phooey! I mentioned it at the start of today’s report, but it wasn’t until this point in time that I discovered it.

I was now too tired from concentrating to do my best, so I ended the test, but I am not finished with the 311. I will return and shoot it once again, but using the artillery hold this time. I’ll shoot the same pellets as in today’s test. That will give us a good comparison between resting a gun directly on a sandbag versus using the artillery hold. For those spring guns that need the artillery hold, this should be a good test!


Maybe I just wanted a reason to shoot this rifle again. It sounds like it to me. At any rate, I will return and complete the test of this Haenel 311 at some future time.

But it won’t be next, because I have something very surprising to share with you next. It’s been staring me in the face for many weeks now and I’m really excited to get to test it for you. Wait and see!

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.

29 thoughts on “The Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 3”

  1. B.B.,

    Any reason to shoot an accurate rifle. Whatever possessed you to shoot this off a sandbag rest? You have always touted the artillery hold. One thing is for sure is that this pandemic can hardly slow you down, You have got too many roundtuits on your plate. I wonder what could be waiting for tomorrow?


  2. B.B.,
    I was about to say this was still a set of good groups here…till I went back and saw your 2011 data…wow!
    This little beauty can shoot! =>
    Looking forward to the artillery hold groups,

  3. BB,

    OK, take a break. Tease us a little bit more. Play with something new for a bit. When we are hooked on the new shiny and ready to see how it does, you can set it aside for a bit and come back to the Haenel.

  4. Michael,

    I did not know if you would go back through the Hurricane comments, so I copied this one here for you.

    Although in some respects it is tempting, I really do not want a collection of Webley pistols. If I were to decide to go that route, I would have to have one of each and every one of them. Each one would represent a step in the history of the company. If you look closely, you can see minor design changes. At one point they changed the barrel latch to a completely different design. The MK I I had used a different latch.

    It is refreshing to see and shoot the smaller sproinger pistols, but that is not the trend these days. “We want more speed! We want more power!”, so they give them that. “We want a stock so we can shoot this thing!”, so they give them that.

    The Senior is not really that big a pistol. It might be a little bit bigger than the Tempest, but not much. I would like to pick up a Junior. We will see. Right now I have a Lucznik Predom target pistol that could use a little attention. 😉

    • RidgeRunner,

      The idea of collecting one of each of the classic English Webley air pistols is that it is something that poses a challenge (especially finding a 1980s-90s Typhoon and affording the whole collection) but is manageable. Eight pistols, one of each model, would take up only so much room on a wall, look impressive, and it would represent some of the very best made air pistols ever. More recent models not from England and not springers aren’t really Wrebleys. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy shooting my Alecto. But it isn’t a classic Webley from that company’s golden age. Imagine a wall in a hallway with the eight of them in a row, chronologically arrayed!

      That would be a satisfying accomplishment, I think.


      • Michael,

        Yes, that would be nice, but for me to do it would require ALL of them. The pre war MK I & II were different than the post war. I have no looked, but I also think there was a pre war and post war Premier.

        I could not stand to put together a collection like that unless I had all of them. Then it would be complete.

        No, I am not interested in the Webley/Hatsan air pistols. As you say, they are not really Webleys.

  5. From the photo’s shown, each pellet tested formed two groups within the 5 shot group.

    According to B.B.’s report in his 2011 test of this gun shot “the smallest group ever”.

    Maybe the artillery hold vs. shooting off bags will shrink these groups but I’m more inclined to think that one or more of the screws on the sights and/or stock are a little loose.

    ps-Most shooters would post pictures of their 0.375″ group and boast. B.B. is disappointed. Count me as one of the spoiled that appreciates B.B.’s experienced shooting abilities to accurately represent the potential of all guns.

  6. B.B.
    I like this style of rifle because the cocking action mimics a traditional bolt action,
    but i wonder why manufacturers have given up on the idea of easy cocking. Heck,
    even on my inexpensive modern underlever. Seems like such an important part of the
    shot cycle is an afterthought. The cocking lever is a stingy little soda straw for a 16ft/lbs rifle.
    Do you have any designs that use cams or pulleys, like on a compound bow, to cock the action?
    Maybe a “t” handel and cable design like a lawn mower has? It might need allot of cable pull, but
    too expensive and complex. It would be a major improvement if a magnum springer was easy to cock.
    Then a target rifle would almost cock itself!

    • 1stblue,

      I think hard to cock is one of the reasons, the airgun World, lose so many potential members. Adding all the easier cocking schemes has always resulted in not only added complexity but overweight guns. My opinion is that CO2 gas is the perfect power (far better than hpa) source for cocking. The power to weight and small form factor for the cylinder and some type of small piston and perhaps a lever system would change the entire cocking paradigm.


  7. B.B. and Readership,

    Yogi wrote: “How many shots does it take to “wear you out”? I’m good for about a hundred decent concentrated shoots per day.

    After that, I’m fried…”

    B.B. wrote: “I guess I’m slowing down. ”

    Yogi asked: “Do peep sights slow you down more than scopes or red dots?”

    B.B.’s reply in part: “…. What wore me out was the cocking. This rifles isn’t that easy to get ready.”

    I submit the above clearly demonstrates the superiority of the Dark Side.

    I rest my case,


    • Shootski,
      Maybe the great strides that have been achieved by the D.S. in the last couple of decades
      have also made more room for innovation. We have mag fed springers now.

    • Shootski,
      “I submit the above clearly demonstrates the superiority of the Dark Side.”
      Yes, unless you are filling your PCP with a hand pump like I do. I fill my Urban after two mags (20 shots). 50 shots is about all I want after filling the reservoir three times to 3000 psi. I really don’t mind using the hand pump though…it’s good exercise. Steve Scialli at AEAC says that a hand pump kicks his butt. I’m 73 and don’t find it that difficult myself. Now if was shooting 200 pellets in a session, that would be another story.
      I have two break-barrel springers and since I purchased the Gamo Urban PCP, those don’t get shot very much now.

  8. Geo,

    I currently have two hand pumps and had three until i gifted one to my son. I have pumped 10 Meter Cylinders and even my DAQs a few times. I’m 71 and don’t find it onerous to pump just like you. My point beyond a bit of humor; was that we PCP shooters lose the opportunity to claim our groups are going South because of the fatigue caused by the cocking of a spring piston or even pumping up a multi-pump pneumatic. I have had a few great days at the bench with my Big Bores, powered by tethered and cascaded really big CF cylinders where I have launched over 200 rounds before needing to call it a day for diminished mental alertness.

    I think now that we have Price Point PCP (PPP) and Price Point Fill (PPF) compressor systems that are easier to use than a cascaded cylinder system (less expensive too) that the Dark Side is really the place Airgunners should be encouraged to start. I believe the Hook can be set far better when someone has the chance of shooting decent groups without all the incantations required to shoot all too many spring piston guns!
    I know there are still the initial cost barriers for many but not if some smart dealer could do lease to buy PCP packages, much like the auto industry, with no questions asked for lease enders as long as gear is returned in good condition. You heard it here FIRST!


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