A little more power

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • HW 30S
  • The point
  • Which should I get — an HW 30S or a 50S?
  • My opinion
  • AirForce
  • OR —
  • Rebuttal
  • What is the big deal?
  • What to make
  • What about velocity?
  • Who doesn’t need speed?
  • A BB story to illustrate
  • Summary

Today I am exploring the topic of wanting a little more power from your airgun. Everything else can stay the same — you just want it to shoot a little faster.

HW 30S

I recently purchased an HW 30S to test for you. I had to buy it from a foreign dealer because Pyramyd Air no longer carries the 30S model. They do carry the Beeman R7 that is based on the 30S. Other than the stocks and the names on the gun the rifles are identical. The R7 Elite has a different stock that’s checkered, but it also sells for more money. But that’s not today’s point.

The point

The point is, I wanted to test and evaluate the kind of airgun that, in my opinion, is at the top of the heap, worldwide. And it is there for many reasons:

  • Rekord trigger
  • Great accuracy
  • Lightweight and easy to cock
  • Nice adjustable sights with interchangeable front inserts

But you know what the HW 30S is not? It’s not powerful. And that fact alone prevents many sales to “airgunners” who just have to have a little more power. The members of this blog who comment know better, but the wide world of airgunners is not in step with us. Some websites show velocities for the .177 model (yes, there is a .22) of up to 700 f.p.s. But a far more realistic figure is down around 625 f.p.s. Now, that is Diana 27 territory, and you know how I feel about that rifle! Is the HW 30S in the same category as the Diana 27? A lot of you feel that it is, and I wanted to test it, to make sure I wasn’t overlooking something good.

Which should I get — an HW 30S or a 50S?

I get asked this question several times a year. And I didn’t know how to answer it, because my exposure to the 30S is limited. I do know the older HW 50S, but the newer one that superseded it several years ago is another air rifle I’m not familiar with.

As it turns out, my old HW 55SF — an extremely rare and collectible target rifle in its own right — is based on the older HW 50S spring tube.  My rifle has been tuned many times by former owners and once by me and it currently shoots RWS Hobbys at an average 631 f.p.s. I can’t use that to say how fast an older HW 50S was supposed to shoot, but I do believe it was a little faster. I’m thinking somewhere in the low to mid 700’s.

The new HW 50S, however, is more powerful. The Pyramyd Air website shows the .177 at 820 f.p.s. And in their tests they saw one shoot a Hobby as fast as 849 f.p.s. With that there is now a definite separation in the velocity of the two air rifles. So — which one should you get?

My opinion

I haven’t tested either air rifle yet, so I shouldn’t have an opinion. But I do. It’s based on nothing further than my personal experience with Weihrauch and what I have read about these two air rifles. Get the 30S first and the 50S later, if money permits.

But like I said — I have never tested either air rifle. So what do I know? Let’s stay on topic but talk about something else.

AirForce

When I worked at AirForce here is a conversation I often heard. “I own a TalonSS. I like the accuracy and shot count, but can I get a little more power? What if I put in a stronger hammer spring and a heavier hammer? They guys on the Talon Forum say that’s the way to go.”

“Sure,” I tell them. “Go ahead and do that and then send me your basket case rifle and I will try to repair it for you. That’s what I’m doing for all those guys on the Talon Forum!”

OR —

Or, you can learn something about precharged pneumatic airguns and install a 24-inch barrel in place of the 12-inch barrel that came on the rifle. I did a test on that in Part 4 of A TalonSS precharged pneumatic air rifle, back in April of 2012. My standard SS with a 12-inch barrel shot .22-caliber Crosman Premiers at 854 f.p.s. on a certain power setting. I then swapped the barrel for a 24-inch .22-caliber AirForce barrel and on the same power setting shot the same Crosman Premier pellet at an average 1,027 f.p.s. From the 23.16 foot-pounds the rifle was getting, the longer barrel boosted the power by more than 10 foot-pounds to 33.5 foot-pounds. That’s a 69 percent power increase from just changing the barrel. Or, you could dial the velocity back to 23 foot-pounds with the longer barrel and get many more shots per fill. Either way, a longer barrel puts a pneumatic ahead every time.

Rebuttal

“Yeah,” they say. “but a spare barrel costs a bundle ($209.00 for a .22-caliber 24-inch barrel when this blog was published)! I can get a Captain GoFaster hammer and spring for $40.” 

So, do that. And then pay me $200 to repair your rifle, plus $35 shipping each way, when that heavier hammer and spring wrecks your action after about 200-300 shots. I fixed Mr. Condor’s rifle after the same abuse.

“Well, they shouldn’t build their rifle with an aluminum frame. If it was steel it wouldn’t get wrecked so easily!”

Wait just a second. Aren’t you the same guy who said the HW 80 is too heavy and they should either make it from titanium if they can keep the price the same, or at least from hardened aluminum?

What is the big deal?

So why am I writing this report today? I’m writing it because airgun companies aren’t hiring shooters anymore. They are hiring folks who have held positions in other companies doing other kinds of things and does it really matter whether they design a macerating toilet or a spring-piston powerplant? Isn’t all engineering just engineering?

Better yet, why not use someone else’s engineers? Can’t we just examine a finished product that we don’t have to pay to design or gear up to manufacture, so more of our money stays with us? Yes, you can. In fact, if that is your business plan you don’t have to spend any money on engineering or on plant setup. Just buy what your customers say they want.

Let’s see now, they say they want:
A .308-caliber breakbarrel rifle that can take down medium-sized game.
A powerful precharged air rifle that weighs less than 6 pounds.
A full-auto pellet rifle
An air rifle that shoots pellets at 1,700 f.p.s.

All of these are things “they” (airgunners on forums) have said they want and would pay money for. All have been built except the last one. It turns out that can’t be done on air. Only helium can shoot a pellet that fast.

“They” won’t spend the $500 for the full-auto pellet gun. “They” won’t buy the titanium PCP that weighs less than 6 pounds because it costs too much. “They” are staying away from the .308 breakbarrel because it’s too hard to cock.

The moment something becomes real, “they” scatter like cockroaches. “They” love to talk, but “they” have no money.

What to make

Make airguns that really sell. Make accurate airguns that have good triggers and great accuracy. So what if the prices climb as the features are added? “They” don’t have any money to spend anyhow, but real airgunners do.

What about velocity?

I started this report talking about the need for speed and how it isn’t a real thing — at least not one that an airgun company needs to worry about. Remember the Umarex Hammer? It took four years and multiple redesigns to bring it to market. And over those years that $500 big bore went up to $900 retail as the design was refined.  It went from a 3-shot repeater whose tagline was, “The world’s most powerful production airgun”  to a 2-shot that puts out 700 foot-pounds. That’s very powerful, but it’s not the most powerful production air rifle. And here is the deal.

Nobody needs 700 foot-pounds of muzzle energy to kill deer-sized game. You can drop a whitetail deer with 250 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, so 500 foot-pounds is more than enough. Sure, speed and power both sell. I understand that. So your marketeers are going to push for all the speed they can get. Have the good sense to shove them to the rear of the room and listen to those who really know the market.

Yes, if you only sell in discount stores then the highest velocity is what you want printed on the box. But someone in the company needs to worry about the volume of returns, when it becomes obvious to the buyers that speed kills — everything they thought they wanted in an airgun!

So how do you get a new shooter to make a wise decision and spend almost $300 for a breakbarrel rifle that won’t shoot as fast as one costing $100? One way is to publish a blog with a writer who has made all the mistakes you are about to and can show them and tell you about them in a way you can understand. You may not believe him up front, but after a couple times, when you have the same experiences he warned you about, you’ll start to see the bigger picture.

Who doesn’t need speed?

Believe it or not, there is a huge group of airgunners who absolutely don’t want faster airguns! We call them 10-meter shooters. In the 1960s their target air rifles shot around 650 f.p.s., but today they are content to shoot at 575 f.p.s. They have no problem spending in excess of $3,000 for a rifle or $2,000 for a pistol, and higher velocity will only kill the deal. But you gotta give them accuracy and a great trigger and superior ergonomics and other features that help win matches. And I wouldn’t listen to what the former brand manager for a soap company tells me about the 10-meter airgun market! He may learn the lingo in a day, but he may never understand the product, the market or the ten times bigger market that watches what the competitors choose and buys accordingly.

A BB story to illustrate

BB Pelletier is currently considering purchasing a motorcycle. BB rode bikes in the 1960s and ’70s and has owned 15 or 20 of them over the years. BB is an old man who hasn’t ridden in 40 years. But BB reads this blog every day — even though it doesn’t always look like it to his readers.

So BB went to a Harley Davidson dealer last Saturday to check out the Harley Sportster Iron 1200. That’s right — a girl’s bike! BB is challenged by his 28-inch inseam and, although he has owned two Harleys (a ’46 knucklehead and a ’48 panhead) in the past, plus a Laverda 750 and a Suzuki 850GS, he no longer likes tall heavy bikes. BB wants to keep both feet flat on the ground, and an Iron Sportster 1200 lets him do that.

But the Sportster is a girls bike! Yes, BB is aware of that. He probably won’t be joining any MC clubs, unless they let girls ride, too. BB will wear a helmet every time he rides because, although a helmet is not required in Texas, BB has been under cars a couple times in the past and doesn’t want to dull the shine on his chrome dome.

So even BB Pelletier, who is one of the most untrainable men on the planet, can learn from his mistakes. Be of good cheer, RidgeRunner, there is even hope for you.

Summary

In short, your airgun customer is a guy or gal who likes to shoot. Find out what they like about shooting and try to give it to them. It isn’t always speed or horsepower.

Forget the kids (of every age) who shop by the velocity numbers and low prices at the box stores. Yeah, they’ll buy but they won’t keep your company in business forever. You need Momma and Daddy Deepockets who know what they want.

108 thoughts on “A little more power

  1. BB,,
    I assume you’re talking Krale. I just for giggles put a hw30, hw35, hw50, and hw95 in my cart. They could all be here this week in the US for 1200$. I didn’t pull the trigger, yet, because I have half of them. But I really might do it. If I sell a few of the cheap hatsan, chinese beeman, chinese PCPs I have it would better my collection.




        • Fish,

          Only if they really tripped your trigger. If I am not mistaken, the HW95 and the HW98 are the same air rifle, only with a different stock. As for the FWB? At that price it should have a walnut stock and a better trigger.

          The side and under levers shoot nice, but they sure are heavy.



      • RR,

        Oh, probably some Air Arms wouldn’t be amiss. Maybe a full power TX200 and a Pro Sport with a lighter spring to go with the shorter lever arm.

        And just for the history and steampunk aesthetics, a BSA Lincoln-Jeffries!

        Nathan


        • Nathan,

          There is a 1906 Lincoln Jeffries Model BSA hanging over my fireplace. I was shooting feral soda cans at 25 yards with it the day before yesterday.


    • Broke out my Red Ryder today and took a few shots between the rain drops. Bought the RR a couple years ago. My eyesight pretty well dictates that I use some kind of scope. I have a Leapers unmagnified red/green dot. Oddly, as I remember, the windage adjuster is missmarked. I had forgotton that. Possibly due to the scope mount adapter not bring aligned with the barrel, the gun shoots jusst a bit high at 25 feet, and the scope is adjusted as low ad it goes. The windage is also maxed out, but is centered on the target. Benched, with Daisy bbs , I’m getting right at an inch average. So, I removed the scope and shimmer it as far as the elevation. I’ll leave the windage for now.
      Watched a YouTube, where the guy shoots a Daisy Buck, and it’s titled, Ten Reasons Why the Daisy Buck is the Best Gun in the World. He was having so much fun, I decided it was time for this old geezer to take a break from shooting mostly badly with my break barrels, and experience that Red Ryder again. I like lever actions, and still have my Marlin Model 1894 .357 magnum rifle. Bought it new about 25-30 years ago and will never sell it.


  2. It sure seems like most airgun manufacturers aren’t hiring shooters anymore but rather engineers that are misinformed and at best on the fringes of shooting sports and are allowed to design their newest introductions.

    They want to check as many boxes as possible to theoretically appeal to a broader consumer base but in fact with the majority of airgun consumers the opposite produces sales and profits. The Diana EMS fiasco comes to mind.

    Another category of airgun manufacturers come to mind. Those that are cropping up like weeds in your lawn in spring that are reverse engineering good designs, sending plans to china and flooding the market with crap.

    Velocity in airguns has always sold. FPE with wealthy airgunners is now the rage. If you don’t offer these guns in at least .25 caliber and preferably .30 caliber you can’t play in this market. These Airguns in this catagory allow easy modification of transfer ports, regulator adjustment, Hammer spring adjustment, barrel swaps, and must easily be made to shoot pellets and slugs accurately. This category of airguns, with limited add ons command $4-$5,000 with just a few aftermarket parts. FX Impact, FX Maverick and the Leishy 2 come to mind. Seems that Velocity/FPE has always sold well to airgunners and always will.

    Lighter more maneuverable is also a growing market. The bullpups, compacts and mini carbine market has exploded. Taipan mutant and cricket mini come to mind.

    True semi auto is another segment that has exploded. The old style true semi auto like the FX Monsoon has been left in the dust by the LCS and Huben K1.

    Shot count in a compact platform is also creating a large niche in the airgun world. The Uragan King that gets over 400 shots on a fill in .177 comes to mind.

    Airgun manufacturers need to wake up and realize that in the last 2-3 years that the airgun consumer market has exploded. Don’t need to cite pb ammo costs or the myriad of reasons it just has. Used airguns in the catagories cited above are selling at or above cost because they’re not in stock anywhere and won’t be delivered anytime soon. Airgun manufacturers need to have shooters as engineers to help determine which of these niche markets they want to play in. Otherwise they’re going to be squeezed out of their undefined, broad based market quickly. Time to wake up.

    kevin



    • Hats off to the author of the comment, but I have to ask when Diana EMS became a fiasco. It’s a great, most importantly accurate, airgun. Okay, I have to admit, if the cheek piece on 95 were not crazy high for the iron sights, I would pick a 95 over an EMS anyday, but still, my little airgun collection could be very well consist of a wood stock EMS and a HW30S.
      EMS models have been given their respectful spots on Diana website. Kudos to Diana for intruducing a springer with nonfibreoptic sights option during this ‘difficult times’ for old school air gunners.
      https://www.diana-airguns.de/en/products/break-barrel


      • Fish,
        I think Kevin means that the lack of available optional components and references to these within the EMS owners manual is a bit of a fiasco. I don’t think he’s far wrong but apparently spare barrels, gas ram internals and the rest are due for release imminently.
        I am very keen on the 34 and have several examples/ variants but I’m not madly excited about the new EMS. I don’t believe it needed all of these new bits thrown at it. I would trade the lot for a more deluxe stock with checkering and a carbine barrel and some metal open sights like they used to have. And a wee drop factory lubrication wouldn’t go amiss.

        Regards
        Drew


      • Drew 451,

        As a Diana 340 N-tec owner, I to am fascinated by the EMS platform. I believe most people think Diana dropped the ball on the EMS by the following:
        1. Not have all the varies bits available from the start.
        2. Umerex dropped Diana as importer and warranty work.
        3. Recent announcement that a barrel change or a coil spring/gas ram change MUST be done only by the importer and warranty issuer.
        4. Starting with a butt ugly plastic stock. Followed up by a plain jane wood one.
        5. The “hogback” stock available on the N-tec line is the most attravive, functional OEM stock. At least for my eye and frame.
        6. Who is the new importer of Diana? A company or 2 that I have never heard off.

        I love Diana! I have a D 6G, a D 10M, and a 340 N-tec. However they have taken the great ideas behind the EMS platform and made decisions that insure it will be stillborn and short lived.
        From a “big picture” point of view, Diana could probably care less because they will sell 20 Stormriders or other crap, for every one EMS.
        Rant over…

        -Y


        • Diana 340 N-Tec is a great gas ram. It has a perfect wood stock without cheek pieces, so you can use those iron globe sights with ease. With a scope, it’s pretty decent too. I would take good care of that airgun as I don’t see them on Diana website anymore; I think the EMS model has also replaced the 340 N-Tec. EMS has big shoes to fill. Let’s see how she’s gonna do.
          https://www.diana-airguns.de/en/products


      • Fish,

        I don’t think the fiasco relates to the product itself, but to the handling of its release (I’m sure you can think of plenty of firearms or non-firearms that have had similarly rocky introductions).

        Video games (and I assume plenty of physical consumer goods) frequently have similar issues when the business side is trying to hit some hard deadline for retail purposes.

        Sometimes they overcome their rocky start, and sometimes it can sink the whole thing. In any case, it’s in Diana’s hands on how they can/want to deal with the aftermath.

        Nathan



          • I’d blame management – in the end, it’s their job to coordinate between the various pieces/partners (design, manufacturing, marketing, logistics, retailers, suppliers) and do the damage control planning/analysis of what to do if things get (predictably) off-track – ie, delay the launch or do a soft launch while the supply issues are sorted out, or communicate with the early reviewers that they aren’t getting the final product or arrange so that customers know what they’re getting into with the early guns and how they’ll be compensated now/in the future


  3. B.B.

    Disclaimer, I love the HW 50 Platform! I have one set-up for 10M shooting-525 fps; one in .177 at 12 fpe; one in .20; and one in .22. It is very versatile. I shoot FT Hunter class with it too.

    When you or others talk about speed, what they really are talking about is distance! My HW 50 in .22 is great for a 25-30 yard pesting gun. The HW 50 in .177 lets me hit occasionally the 55 yard target in FT. Anything longer than a 55 yard shot, or 4 hashmarks on my MILRad reticle is PURE LUCK! For long distance shooting get a PCP( Happy shootski?).

    B.B. to really test the HW 30 find out what the farthest distance that you can stlll shoot 1″ groups. That is the test, not whether it shoots, 600-900 fps!

    -Y

    PS Norton Commando owner here, after your fall with the e-bike, GET A TRIKE! Can-Am makes some nice ones…



    • Yogi,

      “When you or others talk about speed, what they really are talking about is distance!”
      I agree with you Yogi; if they have a bit of External Ballistic knowledge. I will add for your consideration it isn’t even pure velocity. It is Time Of Flight (TOF) that is the nut of understanding Practical Shooting. Without that bit of knowledge The Need For SPEED (TNFS) is pure Machismo driven STUPID…imho.
      I’ll get back to you on reasonable distance with Springers after I learn a bit more, first hand, about what is posible from my SSG ASP20’s. I must admit so far it has been a hoot.

      shootski


  4. One more thing….
    The cocking link in the HW 50 enables a 20 degree shorter cocking arc than single link Weihrauch’s. Plus the shorter cocking slot in the stock creates a firmer front end to absorb recoil.

    -Y


  5. I do love my HW30S. The metal finish is a more practical matte that isn’t as attractive as the high gloss on my Diana 24c, but the Weihrauch is lighter, far better balanced, and has far better sights.

    It costs more, but it’s also easy to see where the money went – looking at parts, the HW30S sights alone cost about as much as I paid for the Diana on sale. and the Rekord trigger is far nicer than the one in the Diana (the T05? It has a plastic blade is is pretty decent otherwise).

    The HW30’s cocking mechanism is also far smoother than the Diana (the last inch of the cocking stroke on the Diana gets a bit heavier and louder with some noise from the spring tube), while putting out a fair bit more power (the detuning done by Diana for the Canadian market seems to have been excessive while the Weihrauch hasn’t been detuned).

    I did also pick up clearance Hatsan Model 45 to see how bad things could get, and… aside from it being sometimes awkward to find a grip to get enough leverage to close close the action after cocking (and definitely needing a slap to open it), the biggest downside has to be one of the heaviest, creepiest triggers I’ve ever used.

    Life’s too short for bad triggers.

    – Nathan


  6. BB
    When I rode my friends sportster I always had the feeling I was going to fly over the handle bars if I stopped to fast. Perhaps those ‘Mini-Ape bars’ solve the problem. It also looks like you will have an upright sitting position too. That’s good in my old age opinion.
    I probably just got used to laid back riding with forward pegs and high bars on high risers to clear the King Sporty tank on my FL with the 1″ rake and 15″ over springer. Can’t remember where I posted the pic of it here a while back.
    You got me looking at the Beeman R7 and 9. Who knows I may turn into a respectable gentleman airgunner, or just look like one for a while .
    Bob M



      • RR
        Well thankyou for that bit of advice. The only quality springer I have is the RWS 350 Magnum T06 .22 and the Ruger Magnums I have are clones of it and the rest I’m going to assume are all China made, The QB-25, TF-89, Black Ops Sniper, Valken Infiltrator, Umarex Octane, Beeman Bison, Crosman Nitro Venom and a pair of MTR77NP’s. Basic Big Box type stuff. Then there are underlevers. But they are all hard hitting powerful airguns. Time I treated myself to an easy to cock, accurate, well built quality springer.
        Bob M


        • Bob M,

          Indeed. Weihrauch has been around for a very long time and built their reputation on quality sproingers. If you are not a speed/power freak, you cannot find many that are better made and those few are going to cost you. You may also note that you do not see many used ones for sale and the few you do are usually not cheap.


    • Bob,

      With my stumpy legs, the pegs straight down and the mini ape bars feel perfect. Like sitting in a chair.

      I’m thinking I’ll probably need better rear shocks though.

      And the Evolution engine doesn’t seem to leak. My panhead was a self-draining bike that drained out the clutch rod, to keep the dry disks lubricated.

      And push-button start!!!!! 🙂

      BB


    • Ape-hanger bars are fine until you hit about 50 mph, or maneuvering in a tight parking lot. Then you feel like you are the mainsail on an Americas Cup boat.
      But then again, Hogs ride best around 35-40 mph.

      -Y



        • B.B.

          If you are stupid enough to buy a bike. Please let me take out a life insurance policy on you! I will pay the premium.

          Wasn’t your e-bike adventure enough to scare you into believing your sense of balance is not good anymore? Is Texas a helmet law state?

          -Y


          • Yogi,

            “You are never too old to take a chance on your dreams. In The World’s Fastest Indian, an aging New Zealander named Burt Munro pursues a 25-year goal of driving his motorcycle as fast as it can go on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. Everyone thinks he’s crazy. In truth, the only crazy thing would be constructing a life where everything is certain. Everyone at every age needs to be working on a uncertain venture that matters. It puts more life into your day.

            Each of us has a vital spirit that energizes the things we do. It cannot sit still. If you do not use your vitality to express yourself and/or contribute to the world around you, it will eat you up inside. Children instinctively use their vitality to pursue new learning, new activities, and new friendships. Somewhere along the way, we each lose our commitment to pursue personal ventures, chasing instead the approval of others. It is important that each of us find our way back to being the character we are and pursuing the things we might become.

            Burt Munro was not deterred by the uncertainty of others. He tells Tom, a young boy next door, that, “You live more in five minutes on a bike like that, going flat out, than some people live in a lifetime.” His character, based on a real life story, shows us all that we are the ones who make life worthwhile.

            Everyone has a dream. Not everyone is brave enough to pursue it. We all need to take a little risk, put a little tolerable ‘danger’ in our lives. You don’t have to speed down the Bonneville Salt Flats to be re-introduced to your own spirit. You just have to pursue something new that matters to you, something you’re not sure you can do. As the inspiring film The World’s Fastest Indian shows us, you are never too old to make your life legendary.”

            Respectfully,

            kevin


        • BB,

          We need a pic!!!!!

          By the way,…. Harley new policy: The complimentary training wheel package (provided,.. and installed,.. for all riders over 70),… must be left on for the first 2 weeks,.. or first 200 miles,… whichever comes first. 😉

          Hey,.. don’t shoot the messenger,….. just passin’ it on. 😉

          Chris


  7. BB,

    Good one as usual. The last company I worked for “farmed” out some engineering to a firm in India. Quite a lot in fact. I was not in engineering,.. but from I gathered,.. things did not work out very smoothly. Sure, the pay 20K for the service,.. but that also means they are not paying 50K, plus benefits, to a U.S. worker. Oh well. I am not sure how much, if any,.. of that goes on in the air gun world,… but it is a “thing”.

    A bike eh? My gut is saying to maybe re-think that. There is a reason (older) people quit all together,.. or move to something with 3 wheels. Among the many,… we just don’t bounce off the ground and heal up like we once did. 😉 If you do (did?),… best wishes and enjoy.

    Chris


  8. My favorite air gun to shoot is the HW30S. In .22 cal with a JM kit. If you truly appreciate smooth, accurate low power guns there’s no reason to overlook the .22 HW30S. Also have a couple in .177 but there is just something so great about that .22. Looking forward to this one. Thanks BB.




      • It is good to know you received your order so fast from Europe; some of my friends in the vintage vehicle hobby have told FM horror stories about getting parts from Europe within a reasonable time period, if at all. Maybe things are improving.


    • Markin,
      I am with you! My HW30S in .22 caliber puts out a very consistent 485 fps with JSB 13.43 grain pellets; it is a super smooth shooter, and very accurate; I had one in .177 before, and I read a lot about the .22 and wanted to give it a try; actually, B.B. pushed me over the edge with his love for the Diana 27 in .22 caliber; our HW30S rifles are in the same power category as that gun. I am looking forward to seeing what B.B. thinks of the HW30S platform. As for me, I’m with you; I love it!
      Take care,
      dave


      • Dave,
        Thanks for the kind words. I do have a few 27’s lying around so I’m well aware of their provenance. In my experience they run a little hotter than the HW’s but that’s my guns. My Winchester 427 is the pic of those. Of course they only came in .22. However I do have a sweetheart of a 425 with gorgeous factory stock nearly mint in the box. It just lobs .22 pellets in the best way possible. Gives the HW a run for my favorite but it’s a good problem to have. Thanks again.


  9. BB,
    More power has probably been the major driving force of invention since the dawn of time. I think it is just human nature to want more power.

    One success story of bumping the power on an airgun was the Long Stroke conversion that Paul Watts did to the Slavia 630. It was so good that Slavia copied it and made the Slavia 634 based on his design.

    David Enoch


  10. BB,

    “Be of good cheer, RidgeRunner, there is even hope for you.” What?! Me?! That can’t be?! The truth is, I have learned an awful lot since I started in the world of airguns, most especially about the laws of physics. Yes you can get higher velocities and more power, but at what cost? Also, like every boy I drool after the new whiz bang, but is it as great as they make it out to be and even if it is, will it do what I want?

    Far more often than not, I find myself kicked back on the top of the back porch stairs shooting one of the old gals living here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. All these ladies are shooting well under 700 FPS and all of them have open sights and single stage triggers. Most of them are surprisingly accurate out to 25 yards, the older ones more so.

    I do have a “modern” magnum sproinger, a Hatsan/Webley Tomahawk. I have tuned it to get rid of the vibration, but it still has a slight twist and a good bit of thump. I am hoping to detune it to where it is more accurate and user friendly. Of course this is on the assumption that I take the time and pull out one of my round tuits.

    The world of PCPs is on a journey to bigger bores and more power. Fortunately, those in the know are also demanding accuracy. It was not too long ago that 3 inch CTC at 100 yards was considered good. I have an HM1000X in .357 that will do 1 inch CTC at that range. There are now newer and less expensive big bores that are doing that.

    With the latest rage for the PPPCP, I finally broke down and bought an old school Disco/Maximus. It is about as basic a PCP as there is. I want to tinker with it and see where I can take it. It may eventually be similar to a Fortitude, but I am not sure yet. You may rest assured it will be better than one you can get from TCFKAC. I am certain it will cost more also. Will it be a powerhouse? Not likely. Will you be able to hit a gnat in the eye at 50 yards with it? That is my goal. Will it be fun to tinker with? Indeed.

    Enough of my rambling. The day is turning pretty and I have things to do. I also hope to get a little back porch time with one of the ladies here. 😉



  11. The HW-30S is so good that it is the now the only springer I own – everything else is PCP, and all the other springers are “dead to me” – I suppose an HW-50 would be good too, but I don’t need both and this particular gun has only two roles: shooting for the pure joy of it, and acting as my close range chipmunk gun for those that want to burrow near the house.

    The gun was nice stock, but I did two things that made it perfect. One was to install a Vortek kit in it – that made it just a little bit hotter (not that I was after that) but so smooth and it fires with just a dead thunk now. The second was to put a bit of plastic in the cocking link arm so that it would cock even smoother – the plastic is the point of contact between the tube and the arm now, so it just glides almost effortlessly.

    It now shoots JSB RS 7.33 pellets at about 680 fps, and it just stacks them right on top of each other. I installed both a Weaver/Picatinny rail adapter as a riser to allow for quick drop on mounting or removal of a light scope, and a Williams peep sight that does not have to be removed when the scope is added. Most of my shooting is done with just the peep, but I can easily drop the scope in the rail and be dead on with that if want to shoot with the scope (or if other people do).

    Honestly, I expect the HW-50 would be equally nice and could fill the same roll for me – I would postulate that the difference that might matter most to us “educated shooters” is actually the size of the guns. If the small size of the HW-30S is a turn off for you, the slightly larger 50 might seem more appropriate. But I love my HW-30S, and likely will never part with it until I can no longer shoot.


  12. The 50S is quick. There is a lot of buzz. No twang. My rifle is new and I think it is dry. I will open it up and give it a proper lube.
    I wish it had a longer barrel. Cool rifle though.


  13. BB,

    I think you’re reading my mind. Lately, I’ve been investigating the .177 versions of 30S, 50S, and 95. My goal: An air rifle that won’t make me miss my old 27.

    Readership,

    Here are my conclusions and findings…

    The ‘possible’ galling issue remains in 30S and 50S – I hope to be corrected.

    Nothing was done by Weihrauch to fix the galling issue in 30S, but 50S comes with the delrin insert out of factory.

    I’m highly interested in the report on 30S. If it galls, BB will find out and reveal the problem. I cannot wait to learn about BB’s experience with his new 30S.

    30S is perfect for plinking fun, but buy it only if you know how to deal with the galling problem. It’s very unlikely, but if it happens it happens. It’s what it is. Other than that, it works just like a 27; walk in a store, buy any pellet you like, don’t even worry about the artillary hold, and shoot. It is what a springer has to be. Nowadays, there is also a synthetic stock version of it.

    As i said, 50S comes with the delrin fix, so no worries about the galling annoyance. It’s power is at the sweet spot for a wide variety of pellets. The question is, as it is more powerful these days, why not buying a 95 instead. 95 has never been prone to galling in the first place, and it is only a tad bit more powerful than 50S. 95 actually gives the fastest accurate speed for an average weight .177 pellet. If you are settled with a 50S, then consider a 95 instead. Pick 95 over 50S, especially, if you are planning to use your airgun with a scope. I think 95’s cheek piece is way too high for the iron sights.

    Here’s which one I’d pick, HW30S & HW98.


  14. BB,
    Make sure to try the JSB 8.44 4.52mm if you can get them. at 25 yards my HW30s does 3/4 groups, my recent R7 does 1/2 inch, and my old R9 does 1/2 inch with them. I know that the HW30s and the R7 are the same power plant, but I shoot off a caldwell green bag with a towel draped over it and I find the HW30s a tiny bit more jumpy than the newer R7. Still, they all shoot better than I can, so I am completely happy with all of them. Have fun with it. I find that the HW30s can do at about 20 yards what the R9 does at about 45 yards on Rabbits, Squirrels, and Crows. I know most people want more power, but the HW30s/R7 is all most shooters really need for most uses.
    Jim.


  15. B.B.
    Super excited about this review. I’ve have read about people raving over these for a long time, yet I have never even seen one. Can’t wait to see what your review finds.

    Doc



    • Doc
      Might want to practice the line “Do you feel lucky punk?” before you get it and that facial expression !
      Sure is a fine looking pistol. ‘Electroplated’ … Powder coating?, Anodizing ? Heck of a shine. Reminds me of my Dan Wesson 357 Mag finish.
      I could never get an answer to how or what they finished the bright silver and gloss black Colt SAA’s in. A new trade secret? Didn’t think powder coating could turn out that fine and precise.
      And those black Colts actually seem to fade to a blue over time only adding to the confusion.
      A must have, the roll continues …
      Just noticed it even has 44 Magnum on the barrel.


  16. It may have been you, Ridgerunner who a few comments ago in another blog entry suggested FM get himself an HW50 and, after reading all the comments and suggestions here, almost convinced that should be the one. On the other hand, was tempted by the Benjamin Maximus entry-level PCP kit offered by Pyramyd…”what do you want and make up your mind FM!”

    Power vs finesse, that is the question. Still recall my muscle-car bound friends mocking FM because he drove a low-powered 1968 MG Midget – but he could guide it precisely at a fair speed through sharp curves while the big bellowing boys were trying to keep up without “throwing” their rear ends out into a spin. This says accuracy is more important than raw power and speed for me.

    B.B. be careful with that bike…still mourning the loss of a very close friend who had an accident in one 42 years ago; he had just gotten back into motorcycles after several years’ hiatus. He was not at fault in causing the accident. On a lighter note, here is a suggestion for a safer, non-girly ride: BMW R75 sidecar combo with driven sidecar wheel; nice-looking manly bike, stable, not too fast with only 26 HP and good for off-road fun. I know of a 1944 one, but don’t believe the owner is ready to sell. Parts are still available! As seen on TV, war movies and newsreels! 😉


  17. Mea culpa, mea culpa. I got a Crosman Fire F4 from Wally World because I liked the looks of it, it was cheap and I wanted to try a nitro piston again. I did the ball bearing and longer screw modification to the trigger and it’s not too bad. I’ve even started to get some good groups with AA 10.34’s. The problem is is that they made the gun too light. That nitro piston really whacks you when you pull the trigger.

    I’d like to see US products be more competitive in world market . If Crosman would put a little bit more money into the components and the trigger, they could be more competitive in that mid price market. This is not a bad looking gun.


  18. Like as often stated, “What are you going to use this airgun for?”. That’s really what most of the decision making process comes down to. Does one need a $2500 PCP in .30 caliber to pest sparrows and starlings in the back yard? I do enjoy watching some of the airgun YouTube videos showing high end airguns shooting .30 caliber slugs at long ranges. Recently, watched 68Whiskey make a shot on a pigeon at 356 yards! Amazing, but the bag rider on his FX Impact cost more than my PCP. 🙂 If we are wise, we will differentiate between our needs and our wants. Yes, I have the funds to buy any airgun or accessories that I would ever want, but as they say, a fool and his money are soon parted. Choose wisely grasshopper.
    B.B.,
    I did enjoy reading the blog and all of the comments today. You sure make a lot of sense and I think most of the commenters here will agree with your views. Looking forward to your review of the HW30s in the near future.
    Geo


  19. ATTENTION!

    There is an ABT airomatic gallery air gun for sale on Gunbroker. I don’t own an air compressor nor have room for one so it might be an interesting pickup for someone who does have one. (Don’t know how to post the link)

    Brent


  20. B.B.,
    Nothin’ wrong with the Harley you’ve got at all; easy riding and comfort are the name of the game! I’ve thought about trading in “Big Momma” (2006 Heritage Softail Classic) for something lighter…however! When your wife buys you a Harley, and she asks you 57 times before plunking down the cash for it: “If I buy you this Harley you want so badly, you aren’t going to go and trade it in in a few years…are you? And it’s not going to wind up sitting in the garage, is it?!?”…and if you replied to her: “No; no way! If you buy me this bike, I’ll roll 100,000 miles on her!!!”….well, yes, the best thing to do in such a case is to just keep on riding it (only 67,000 miles…33,000 to go LOL! =>). She is a bit heavy, but she sits a lot lower than my friend’s Road King…kind of like you are “in” the Heritage, instead of “on” it. My legs are pretty long, and she does sit fairly low; I can keep my boots firmly on the ground. =>
    Wishing much safe and fun riding to you,
    dave
    P.S. That pic is the day I rode her home new; she’s not quite so shiny now…but still loved!



      • BB,

        Get yourself a vintage CZ motorcycle! The only company I can think of that made airguns AND motorcycles! Ceska Zbrojovka.

        Now that would be quite the collection…

        StarboardRower


      • Thanks, B.B. Yes, my wife scored well with this one; but many of the add-ons were added on by her for her (fat rear seat, wide back rest, and floor boards for the rear passenger)…not that there is anything wrong with that, hahaha!


    • Dave
      Nice ride. Bags remind me of the first Harley I saw up close in the 50’s. It had big crash bars and about 15 chrome tail lights covering the rear end. Conchos and leather everywhere. I was amazed when it came to life after watching him trying to kick start it.
      Only rode a dresser once and it felt like I was going down the road in a living room chair. “That’s an old mans bike!” Well, in comfort for sure. Now that BB and I ‘are one’ you can pray to God to grant you the strength of Hercules all day but you ain’t gonna lift it off the ground alone.
      Mine, as is, is way to top heavy for me to even move it around easily. There is a diminishing point of no return if you tip it too far as time moves on. Last time I had to get my back under the tank and try to stand up.
      I would consider that Sportster for myself as well, but I may be able to get by with a shortened front end to get it lower. It looks something like a ‘big’ sportster already.
      Bob M


      • Yes, Bob M, I think this bike is supposed to be reminiscent of the 50s; she’s pretty, but also pretty heavy! Although I have to admit, at Daytona a few years ago, I watched two guys racing around on full dressers inside a tiny circle; I would not have believed it if I had not seen it myself. I talked to one of the riders afterward; he told me that he had been Texas PD, and that they gave him a new full dresser (lights, bags, all kinds of police gear) every few years and he would go and wring it out and see what she could do. =>


  21. BB

    Thank you for another ‘fun one’ that makes me think a little bit about what it is that anyone ‘really wants’.
    The More Power brigade inhabits the world of motorcycles, maybe even more than the world of airgunners, and reminded me of a story that I heard from a friend in the Vincent Owners Club. The Vincent was the top motorbike in the 50’s, with the Rapide capable of in excess of 110 mph and the Black Shadow (a hopped up version of the Rapide) capable of 125 mph, in 1950! (Very nice bikes, still, but quite expensive.) Phil Irving was a design engineer on the Vincent, and had a pretty solid idea of what a motorbike should be. He was asked, at a rally, about fitting larger carburetors to a Shadow to increase the performance (the Rapide had 1 1/16″ bore Amals and the Shadow had 1 1/8″). Irving proceeded to dress down the questioner, asking him about what he really wanted. (I paraphrase) “The motorbike that you have is a very fast, very tractable, high-speed touring machine! If you put larger carburettors on it, it will become less well mannered! If you want a racing machine,get one! if you want a well-mannered high-speed road machine, leave the one that you have alone!”
    In motorcycles as well as airguns, I guess that ‘too much is enough’
    Have the best day possible.

    Bill


    • While on the topic of bikes,… the day I bought my 2000 Wide Glide,.. (since sold),… there was a guy that had just got his learners permit and paid cash for the biggest, baddest crotch rocket on the floor. (the HD dealer also sold Yamaha). Pretty sure that did not end well.


      • Chris USA,

        B.B. said, “Let’s see now, they say they want”
        So he (the crotch rocket aficianado) perhaps wanted that something that would result in your proposed ending.
        I would go for a BMW Motorad, 2022, S 1000R
        https://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/en/models/roadster/s1000r.html for what would probably be my last Motor before they take SELF driving and riding away from us “for our own” safety.

        I think BB should get one of the BMW’s too. H.D. got rid of all their riders in Management last I heard…

        shootski


        • Shootski
          Boy, if I ever wanted to go flying off a cliff in a ball of fire trailed by a stream of black smoke because I missed a turn that would be the bike I’d choose for sure.
          I remember a while back bike manufacturers agreed to put an end to the horsepower race to restrict people from reaching 200 MPH or something like that.


          • Bob M,

            Nah! For that you want the M 1000 RR that one gets to 189MPH! I know 124MPH is way fast enough top end for me. The S 1000R has an M suspension package without the BHP and Torque of the M motor and gearing. I respect curves and cliff faces and drops! I had a 1966 BSA 450!

            shootski


      • Chris
        I wonder if they teach the fact that “There are no old, bold bikers” in driving schools? Never went to one. I think I actually made it about 23 miles before I crashed into a farm ditch going too fast into a sharp turn on my brand new 1968 650 BSA Mk IV Spitfire.
        Dislocated shoulder, dislocated front end. But this crooked young man and his crooked new bike made it back to the base in England.
        Funny thing, About 40 years later something popped in my shoulder and all of a sudden one collar bone matched the other and I regained total movement in that shoulder I didn’t really realized I missed.

        BB
        Looking forward to see how you mount an air rifle saddle to your new ride 🙂 Can’t have the “Godfather of Airguns” going around ‘Unarmed’, sort of speaking. But I guess a gun belt and holster would keep you covered … a dual one of course. Heck, I can see you now … Popping a wheelie with crossed chest bandoleros. ” Up Up and away Mini Hog !! ”
        Boy that would make an iconic image for ya. Better than exiting a black limo suited up with a cigar in your mouth flanked with body guards! 🙂 🙂 🙂
        It never ends,
        Bob M


  22. BB,

    Back to Yogi’s suggestion for a moment. I think that if you decide to ride, you should take a very serious look at the Can-Am. A friend of mine has one and he and his wife enjoy long trips and mountain rides on it. As far as a Harley trike, not for me. This is from a Harley rider.


    • RR
      While the blog is still in a “Left turn” I’ll press on …
      Those Can-Ams are sharp for sure but for a trike the Polaris Slingshot is one wicked looking ride. I could feel the suction as I walked past the showrooms double doors. It was sitting there in the sun, bright metallic red and mean looking …. “Bob … You need me, Take me home !!”



      • Bob M,

        They are sharp eye candy let there be no doubt, but when you get to be an old geezer they are not easy to climb in and out of. Also, if I am in a vehicle I do not want to be wearing a helmet. I would rather have a roadster with a fourth wheel.


  23. On the subject of motorcycles, I think Harley Davidson is perceived as a manufacturer of quality American built motorcycles. I toured the original Harley plant in Milwaukee Wisconsin back in the early 70s. I could not believe the archaic manufacturing processes that I observed. The place looked like something from the stone age and it reminded me of the assembly line Henry Ford developed to produce the model T. The fellow leading the tour must have been in his late 70s and probably had worked there forever. There were two state police men who came on the tour. They had ridden Honda Goldwings in. They heckled that poor guy unmercifully about the poor quality of Harley motorcycles. Harley has a loyal following, but I doubt very much that their quality can compare to the Japanese bikes. Hondas are smooth as silk and their reliability is outstanding.
    I bought the first 4-stroke Yamaha bike made in 1970. We named it “Monster”. It had 53 HP and only weighed 360 lbs. I rode with a couple of friends, one had a Triumph and the other a Harley Sportster. Every time we made a stop my friend with the Triumph would have to check for bolts and screws coming loose from the vibration. When we rode to work, I would be half way home before the friend with the Sportster even got it started. Something was always breaking on those bikes. I gave up ridding the Yamaha a few years later because it seemed there were too many crazy drivers trying to kill me by cutting me off, or pulling out in front of me. My wife and I, along with another couple rode a 600 mile trip from lower Michigan north over the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula and back over a labor day weekend. Those friends rode a 500cc Suzuki.That was a memorable trip.
    Geo


    • Geo
      I think the bike you ride has a lot to do with being cut off, In general.
      A shipmate with a bright red, what was it, a 250cc Honda Dream was constantly being cut off. Especially trying to get over the Coronado Bridge here in San Diego.
      But he could never understand why it never happened when he rode next to me. Dah!
      A 9′ long, obnoxiously loud monster with a ton of squared chromed tube springer out front that nobody could miss.
      People would actually try to avoid me and did not want to shall we say upset me. I was riding on the shoulders of perceived bad boys. All in all, he just lacked the horsepower to maneuver and pass to find that safe spot in traffic. He was creating the problem for himself. You can’t be passive on a bike.


  24. I’d recommend Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, or Suzuki if you are buying anything with 2 wheels and an engine.

    But if you’re buying a cruiser bike, then Harley is the best.



  25. BB
    A older Kawasaki Concours is allot like an old Suzuki GS, except for the shaft drive. Go to the BMW dealer,
    Chrome is a drag man. Besides, isn’t Harley going out of business? All I know about H.D. is from riding a buddys once. Shifting is optional, a great bike for the main drag, but turning can be a problem.
    If you want to hear Thor’s hammer while idleing, get a Ducati, performance chip, carbon cans. You won’t believe how great a motor can sound. A handfull of Harley sounds like internal combustion flatulence by comparison.
    I think the only reason they cut the wood stocks short on a break barrel is to save money, not because they “buzz”
    less than stocks that cover the action break. I’m not going to cut my HW stock shorter to find out .
    I would go with an HW 30, since I have the R10.
    Rob


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