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Ammo HW 30S: Part 3

HW 30S: Part 3

HW 30S
The HW 30S I am testing seems to be a new version.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Air Arms Falcon domes — artillery hold
  • Air Arms Falcon domes — direct bag rest
  • RWS Superdome
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Changed glasses
  • JSB Exact 8.44 grains
  • RWS Basic
  • Crosman Premier Light
  • 10-shot group of Superdomes
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I begin shooting the HW 30S for accuracy. There are a couple issues I uncovered in today’s test, so lets get right to it.

The test

I shot the rifle from a bench on a sandbag rest at 10 meters from the targets. I shot at 10-meter rifle targets. I installed the diopter in the front sight before remembering that the rear sight is just a notch. Obviously that wouldn’t work, so I switched inserts for the thinner square post

Initially I shot with reading glasses, but late in the test I changed to my everyday glasses. I’ll talk about that when I get there.

I shot 5-shot groups so I could test more pellets. I tested the most accurate one again with 10 shots at the end of the test.

Air Arms Falcon domes — artillery hold

First up were Air Arms Falcon domes. I used the artillery hold for the first five and they landed in a group measuring 0.739-inches between centers at 10 meters. I did find the 30S difficult to hold this way because of its light weight.

HW 30S Falcon arty
When I used the artillery hold with the 30S I was able to put five Falcon pellets into 0.739-inches at 10 meters.

Air Arms Falcon domes — direct bag rest

Next I rested the rifle directly on the sandbag. Resting the HW 30S on the sandbag I was able to put five Falcon pellets into 0.608-inches at 10 meters. I know this group is not that much smaller than the previous one, but the rifle was easier to sight. I decided to finish the test with the rifle rested directly on the bag.

HW 30S Falcon bag rest
When the HW 30S was rested directly on the bag five of the same Falcon pellets went into 0.608 inches at 10 meters.

But the sights were not ideal. I really wanted to use a rear peep with an aperture in front. I was having difficulty seeing the target. More on this in a bit.

RWS Superdome

The second pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome. This pellet is heavy for this rifle, so the point of impact will probably change. Five of them went into 0.533-inches at 10 meters, and they did hit the target lower. Four of those shots are in 0.185-inches, which is the kind of performance I was expecting from the rifle.

HW 30S Superdome
Five RWS Superdomes went into 0.533-inches at 10 meters. Four are in 0.185-inches. This is a pellet to test more.

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

The next pellet I tested in the HW 30S was the 8.2-grain RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle wadcutter. Five pellets went into a group measuring 0.542-inches at 10 meters.

HW 30S Meisterkugels Rifle
Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets made a 0.542-inch group at 10 meters.

Changed glasses

I was having a hard time seeing the bottom of the bullseye for my 6 o’clock hold. So at this time I switched to my everyday glasses. I lost my good everyday glasses a week ago, so I’m wearing the prescription I had before my cataract surgery, but these glasses seem okay to me.

JSB Exact 8.44 grains

The next pellet I tested was the 8.44-grain JSB Exact dome. Five went into 0.49-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.26-inches. This is another pellet to watch.

HW 30S JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome
The 30S put five JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes into 0.49-inches with 4 in 0.26-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Basic

Next I shot 5 RWS Basic wadcutters from the HW 30S.  Basics do not do as well as Hobbys most of the time, but I have been surprised occasionally. This time, though, Basics were not that good. The 30S put five of them into 0.77-inches between centers at 10 meters. It is the largest 5-shot group of the test.

HW 30S RWS Basic
The 30S put 5 RWS Basic wadcutters into this 0.77-inch group at 10 meters.

Crosman Premier Light

The last pellet I tested in the HW 30S was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier dome — a pellet that Crosman no longer makes. Sometimes this is the most accurate pellet in an airguns but not this time. Five went into 0.646-inches at 10 meters.

HW 30S Premier Light
The HW 30S put five Crosman Premier Light pellets into 0.646-inches at 10 meters.

10-shot group of Superdomes

Of all the pellets tested today I felt that the RWS Superdomes showed the most potential. I next shot 10 Superdomes at a final bull. Nine of them went into 0.521-inches at 10 meters. That is slightly smaller than the 5-shot group they fired at the start of the test. However, just like that first test, one shot went wide and opened the group to 0.994-inches between centers, which made this group the largest group of the test. 

HW 30S 10 Superdomes
Ten RWS Superdomes made a 0.994-inch group at 10 meters. Nine were in 0.521-inches.


All throughout this test I had a hard time maintaining my sight picture. I really felt that if I had a rear peep sight I could shoot better. That wasn’t the test today, though, so I toughed it out. But at some point in the future I do want to try this rifle with a rear peep sight. However that won’t be next.

My next report will be about adjusting and possibly lubricating the Rekord trigger. While it did get better during the velocity test in Part 2, there is still more that can be done, and I want it to be its best for the accuracy test with a scope mounted. I will lube-tune the rifle before that accuracy test, so it is shooting as smoothly as possible.


The HW 30S rifle is just as good as I thought. It’s a sweet little breakbarrel that is impossible not to love. And I hope that this series will show off all of its charms

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.

72 thoughts on “HW 30S: Part 3”

  1. B.B.,

    What aperture sight are you planning to install on this rifle? A standard Williams or are you going to one of your old diopter sights?

    Can IT kindly change the color of the font when we write our comments?


          • Well, that’s an easy problem to solve. You just need to get another HW30S!

            I’m personally familiar with this cycle of escalation – although in my case, it was the Savage Mark II.

            First was the scoped thumbhole BTV, then there was the short trapper carbine, then the FVT with the target diopter sights, then the FV-SR ‘tactical’ carbine with a rail (more optics mounting flexibility) and target-style stock.

            After that were the old Lakefield Mk. II F and Model 91T to see how the new models compared to their forebearers…


      • Hi Tom…been a while. I do have your R1 book..your BSF 55N blog is 12 years old, so I post here. Do you know what type of finish was used on the wood for those Wischo rifles..say 1968 ??
        thanx, Paul

  2. Sorry, but if this is the new blog format, please go back to the old one. The whole blog had a really professional look. This one looks like it’s been done by a beginning college IT person as their first project. This is why you don’t mess with a good thing..

    • Brent

      I can’t even scroll across to read a comment.

      Ofcourse this is from my phone. I hope I dont have to go back to the dinasour age of a lap top to read the blog.

      But what it sounds like even people with desk tops or laptops are not liking it.

  3. Gunfun1,

    I can’t reply to your post at HW 30S Part 1 where you described your SAM bolt mod and charging handle problems. Well, my charging handle has started sticking badly at the stowed position. I have the breech off but did you get the bolt and forward assist out? I figured it’s best to ask rather than risk breaking something!

  4. BB,

    You really need to try a nice rear aperture and a nice insert in the front sight. I mean, you REALLY need to put a nice rear aperture and a nice insert on your HW30S. If you do that, it will stay.

    I put an old Feinwerkbau aperture on my grandson’s HW30S and stuck a Feinwerkbau 18mm clear front iris with a 2.8mm hole in the front. Wow. I mean, Woooooooowwwww! It did not turn the HW30S into an Olympian, but it will get one’s attention and is a whole lot more fun to shoot.

    Yeah, I know you have to scope it. There are some folks who just have to scope everything, including their toothbrush. Do not get me wrong. I like a nice scope on some air rifles, most especially if I am shooting out to 50+ yards, but at 25 yards or less? Naaah, too much to fiddle with. Now a good peep sight setup, that is the cat’s meow.

    The old gals here at RRHFWA will not accept a scope. What I mean is there is no way to mount a scope on them unless you have access to an extensive machine shop. They make up for it by having some real nice open sights. I do not mean the glowy thingys (barf) or those big chunky block sights either. Those things are OK for getting on a large target at close range quickly, but are unsuitable for long range shooting.

    My 1906 BSA has the most beautiful open sights on it that you have ever looked through. The front sight tapers up to a very thin post on top of which is this small, exquisitely shaped perlkorn that rises to a point. The rear sight has a gently down curving V that the front sight cannot help but center itself in.

    Once upon a time, “they” knew how to make open sights. Now they are just worried about cost savings. “Everybody is just going to put a scope on it anyway.”

    P.S.: We were getting really good results with H&N FFT 4.52mm heads.

    • FM bit the pellet and as a result, an HW95 .22 is on the way – it shall not be scoped. From the bottom of my pellet-tin heart, thanks to all who enabled me to decisively arrive at this decision. 🙂

      Note: no puns were harmed in creating this comment. 😉

    • I will second the pure enjoyment and accuracy of a peep sight on the HW-30S. I will add that my version (in .177 cal) seems to do its best with JSB RS pellets.

      Keep the updates on how you do with this one coming!


  5. I know everybody is on pins and needles waiting for my opinion of the new blog looks.

    Well, in some respects I do like it. It makes it easier to scroll through the latest postings. As far as the related posts, really? How so?

    Overall? It weren’t broke.

  6. Gunfun1,

    After a bit of magnifying hood inspection time, I think I understand the cause of my charging handle binding in the “stowed” position. It’s not actually binding on the bolt. Rather, it’s biding on the end of the breech’s bolt pin channel/slot. When the bolt runs, the steel pin slams against the end of the aluminum channel and, in my rifle, it has peened the aluminum enough to bulge it into the charging handle and eliminate the small clearance necessary for the charging handle to move freely. It binds worse when the rear breech screws are snugged down at all, because that closes the clearance. It also explains why the problem has been getting worse with the use of the gun.

    This is not a proper bolt stop or bolt “buffer” design but I don’t know if there is another stop present elsewhere and I won’t know until after I get the bolt out. If there is another stop, perhaps the bolt pin channel was not milled quite long enough so, without clearance between the steel bolt pin and the end of the aluminum channel when the bolt hits its proper stop, the steel “wins” and the peening will continue until the channel becomes long enough to not serve as the bolt stop.

    I have fired about a tin of 500 pellets though my SAM in total and it’s already a problem. It’s hard to believe it’s a design flaw with all the testing Crosman did on the SAM so I’m inclined to think there’s another bolt stop surface somewhere and the channel was simply not machined to spec full length.

    Guess I’ll have a chat with Crosman.


    • Cal,

      I am truly sorry. I hate it when I break a new toy. I really hate it when it is not even my fault.

      Something to always keep in mind is TCFKAC always does extensive testing on PREproduction models. These are usually composed of hand picked parts. TCFKAC has a long history of having all kinds of issues with their first generation airguns. If I am not mistaken they usually will make it right, but what you have to go through in the meantime.

      • RR,

        The first generation of anything will always have more teething issues as they work through unexpected problems with both production and unexpected things customers do.

        It’s why I’m always leery of brand new anything. Impossible to avoid with things that are still changing rapidly (most electronics), like PCPs, but needlessly aggressive model changes always worry me.

        Too much churning through the product line up also suggests there might be issues with the company – it makes me wonder if management is flailing / unable to commit to a marketing/product strategy or if there’s a lot of turnover causing the changes in product direction.

        It also makes me wonder about how much of the design and engineering work is being done in-house with just production outsourced and how much of the product design is also being done by the manufacturing partner (whether it’s Weihrauch or Mendoza or one of the Chinese OEMs).

        In the latter case, I would expect constant product changes if business considerations require changing partners (or changing existing arrangements). If you own the IP and possess the engineering knowledge, you can always find another manufacturing partner to continue production of the same or product (Like the Browning reproductions of old Winchesters made by Miroku).

        If you’re just rebadging someone else’s products though, they hold all the cards, including the engineering knowledge to further develop the product or develop a superior competitor (as they would have first-hand knowledge of any deficiencies in the product they are building for you.)


    • Cal
      I already had to replace the pin in the striker on my SAM.

      I drilled it out and tapped all the way through. So now I use a set screw with the place for the Allen wrench screwed in to striker first. That way if it does break off I can still thread it out from the bottom of the striker with the Allen wrench.

      • Gunfun1,

        Striker? You’re talking about the tapping of your bolt/probe for your side charging handle, right? The bolt/probe pushes the pellet into the barrel breech. The striker (or “hammer”, if not hammer/striker shape conscious) is in the tank/valve/body tube and it whacks the valve open to launch the pellet (and in the case of the SAM, it also bounces off the valve to re-cock the gun). In the SAM, the bolt/probe is not locked; it is only held closed by relatively light springs so blow back from the barrel runs the bolt and chambers the next pellet. Striker/hammer (cocking) and bolt/probe are two independent mechanisms but the charging handle actuates both of them. I’ll have to look at your photo again but, with your mod, you must be using a pin or something to catch the striker pin to cock the rifle manually, because you no longer have a charging handle to do it!


        • Cal
          There is a pin already in the bottom of the bolt that contacts the pin in the top of the striker/hammer.

          I replaced the broken pin in the striker with that allen set screw. I’m still using the factory pin in the bottom of the bolt.

          • Thanks for the explanation, Gunfun1. I’m in the middle of debugging the cause of my charging handle sticking in the stowed position and working with the the SAM Product Manager. Hopefully we’ll discover the root cause. From what I’ve observed and what he told me, the bolt pin should not be what makes contact with the striker/hammer pin (though I’ve incorrectly set it up that way and the gun still cycles). Both pins should about equally “share” the less than 0.160″ tall surface at the end of the slot in the charging handle. Thus, the charging handle contacts both pins as it is drawn back. If the either pin is set too proud, the bolt pin will make contact with the striker/hammer pin sooner and it becomes more difficult to pull the bolt back enough with the charging handle to change a mag, even on an already cocked gun, because you must overcome the striker/hammer spring to fully clear the probe from the mag well/slot.

            In some respects this is moot for you, because you don’t have the OEM charging handle, but It also can change the timing behavior of the gun when the gun cycles automatically, because the bolt pin can strike the striker/hammer pin instead of sliding right past it.

            Now on to how I fixed my very sticky charging handle:

            My bolt pin was peening up the aluminum at the end of its breech slot. The resulting 0,010″ bulge was getting bound on the resulting bulge at the end of its wider slot. I removed the forward assist cap and the bolt springs so I could more easily work on the problem area and I used a 1/4″ endmill to mill it back flush and smooth. No more binding and it works like it did when new. (It only has, at most, 500 rounds through it now.)

            I have not determined the root cause of the peening yet but, in an effort to reduce the chances of it recurring, I also pressed the bolt pin more proud above the bolt surface using my hydraulic press. This was a mistake, because the pin now contacts the striker/pin directly, as I described above. Apparently, they should have a very small clearance between them and, as I mentioned, I can no longer change a mag easily and my BHO now longer even fits or functions, due to the resulting shorter extension of the charging handle as the point where it starts to compress the stiff hammer/striker spring. I now need to drive the pin back the other way, though it appears (and I confirmed with photos I sent to my Crosman contact) that it was set slightly too low at the factory and I think that perhaps this resulted in the peening.

            Update on my drop-in mods: I’m very happy with my change to the trigger. I achieved a predictable break with a 2-stage feel, I think. I still think there’s room for improvement, if I machine a more complex steel part to replace my simple aluminum tube spacer, but I/m so happy with the trigger feel now that I’ll probably leave it in there a while and continue my “testing” of it! My BHO works great too. Non-marring setscrews keep it in place over the forward assist cap. If the rifle is already cocked (as is usually the case), operation requires only two fingers or one finger and the thumb of the same hand so one-handed mag changes are possible (just about necessary for the Appleseed course of fire). It’s also handy as a built-in aid when barrel cleaning! Here’s a CAD rendering. I 3D-printed it in nylon.


      • I just got off the phone with the SAM Sr. Product Manager, Phillip Guadalupe, and he confirmed that the bolt pin should not contact the striker pin. They should have a very small vertical clearance between them (only 0.003″, as I recall). If your pins were making contact, he thinks it may have been the cause of your pin breakage, because the timing can be affected if the bolt pin hits the striker pin. The charging handle should contact both pins and pull them both rearward together (one pin on top of / coaxial with the other pin), instead of the charging handle pulling on the bolt pin and, in turn, the bolt pin pushing on the the striker pin.

        Even though I successfully fired a mag full of 10 Premier domes from my rifle after I incorrectly re-positioned my bolt pin (it now maximally contacts the striker pin), I’m going to press it back into its original position.

        We don’t know what caused the bolt pin slot in my breech to peen, jamming up my charging handle, but Phillip confirmed that the end of the slot the bolt pin runs in is the correct and primary bolt stop surface. He said the bolt pin might make a bit of contact with the end of the slot in the charging handle (and then, in turn, the charging handle makes contact at the the end of the charging handle slot in the breech) but the intended contact is between the bolt pin and the end wall of its narrow slot (not the wide slot portion of the tow-slot channel being struck by the end of the charging handle).

        Yikes–semi-auto airguns are complicated. It’s way more complicated to discuss than, say, describing how to screw-in a lightbulb! This is the abbreviated discussion here. You should see the emails Phillip and I have exchanged!


  7. BB

    I like your intent to mount a peep rear sight but also a scope eventually. It is so easy to switch back and forth on this rifle. I switch them whenever the mood strikes me. A clear scope wins at 25 yards for my eyes but only by a hair. I’m predicting either will be a welcome relief for your sight picture.

    Both JSB Exact Express 7.87 grain and AA Express 7.87 grain pellets are more accurate in my HW30S than your test pellets.


  8. Although this HW30 is a new gun that needs to be broken in to reach it’s full potential, these group sizes at 10 meter are disturbing.

    I would scrub the barrel on this new gun and check stock screws and I fully embrace RR’s suggestion of trying H&N FFT 4.52mm heads or Beeman FTS pellets if you can find them.

  9. BB,

    The HW 30 is showing that it can really shoot – but then that was to be expected from Weihrauch, they have been making fine sproingers forever 🙂

    The new blog format is …new. Works for me but the old one was OK as well. Find that it seems to be too bright and contrasty but that might be just my eyes this morning or maybe the settings on my tablet. Since a new look is being adopted maybe IT could use a light gray, pastel green or tan background that would be easier on the eyes. Just muttering a loud, feel free to ignore me 🙂

    QUESTIONS for guest blogs… are the image parameters (size & resolution) the same? Anything else to consider?

    Someone must have upset Mother Nature – the other day I had to cut the grass, today it’s snowing heavily. Bummer!


    • Hank,

      Image sizes have changed. 650 wide by 540 high or 540 wide by 420 high. It’s an either/or.

      The rest is the same for now.

      Remember — it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. 😉


    • Vana2,

      “Someone must have upset Mother Nature – the other day I had to cut the grass, today it’s snowing heavily. Bummer!”

      Bite your tongue Hank!

      If you want blame someone for this “Late” outbreak of Winter It was ME! I have always been sadened by the onset of the POLLEN AND BUG seasons! The first of BROOD X started emerging a few days ago; this may just be enough to wipe out a few billion of them!
      I also may get a few extra days of backcountry XC in!
      I’m watching this blog with interest and watching this spring piston stuff with a different mindset. Hereticle speech from the Dark Side Acolyte!


      • Shootski,

        I figured that it was the skiers praying to the gods of snow 😉

        Keeping in mind that we have 4-5 months of below freezing temperatures, ice and snow by now I am more than ready for pollen and bugs!

        Nice to be able to shoot without numb fingers! Got myself a little camera drone (a DJI Mini 2) and have been waiting (impatiently) for warmer weather to fly it.

        “Hereticle speech from the Dark Side Acolyte” eh? I’m too fickle – springers, pumpers PCPs and SSPs – love them all. And yeah, add slingshots and bows & arrows to that list 🙂


        This is what I woke up to…

        • Vana2,

          GrrrrEAT avatar!
          Looks like a good start this morning. Do you get Cicadas up your way?
          The noise they make can cause hearing damage if enough of them are in one area. beautiful red eyes too!
          At least the squirrels, racoons, fox and birds will be fat from eating them.


          • Shootski,

            We have some Cicadas up here. They show up mid-summer for a couple of weeks.

            Is there an unusually large number of Cicadas this year? I’ve noticed quite a few patterns for them on the fly tying channels.


          • Vana2,

            This is the 17 Year brood in our area. The entomologists have estimated the numbers at over one or two trillion of them over a 4-6 week period in the Mid Atlantic States.


  10. BB,

    Those groups are a little disappointing for a HW30s. Might just need some more breaking in, but have you checked that the stock screws are not loose?

    One other thing: the caption below the JSB Exact 8.44 group photo should read “The 30S put five JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes into 0.49-inches at 10 meters.”

      • BB,

        Why not try 50m small bore targets while waiting for your new glasses?
        I find them more forgiving with open sights at 10m than ISSF AR targets which are intended for use with diopter sights.

  11. My HW30s much prefers RWS Superfields to Superdomes and is also partial to H&N FTTs.

    Its favourite diet though is JSB Exact Express 7.87 grain in 4.52mm head size.

    Here is a 5-shot group I shot at 15m with open sights a few years ago. It measures 0.172 inches ctc. The sights were adjusted to allow a 6 o’clock hold on that 50m small bore target (makes for easier aiming than a 10m ISSF target, especially at 15m).

    The smaller coin is a Spanish 1 Peseta piece, which at 14mm diameter, is I believe the same size as a US Trime.

  12. Here’s another open sight group at 15m, this time 10 shots. It measures 0.304 inches ctc. It says JSB Exact there on the target, but on the back I had written JSB Express, so I assume I was using the same pellet as on the previous group.

    These groups were shot with the stock German spring, producing about 5 ft-lbs at the muzzle. I installed a Vortek PG2 kit a year or so later.

    • Bob,

      Nice targets. I really do like this HW30S. It just might have to stay here at Gadada’s, most especially after I have put that Feinwerkbau rear aperture on it. I am going to have to catch a calm day and put up a few targets.

      • RR,

        Is the Feinwerkbau rear aperture off of a FWB 300s? I bought a clunky old Gamo diopter along with the 30s, but it was disappointing, so I stuck to the open sights. I’d like to fit a Williams peep on the 30s though, if I could find one on this side of the pond. Currently I have a nice little BSA 4×32 scope on it.

    • Just dug up the results of the chronograph tests I did with the HW30s using those 4.52mm JSB Exact Express 7.87 grain pellets: with the stock German spring it produced 4.6 ft-lbs and with the Vortek PG2 kit it gained exactly 3 ft-lbs to produce 7.6 ft-lbs. Consistency with the Vortek kit was excellent, the extreme spread was only 4 fps!

  13. I guess I just don’t like change, because I don’t care for this new layout.

    As for the HW30,,, I will save my opinion until it has a peep sight and you have your new glasses. So far I am underawed.

  14. Ed,

    The problem with the HW30S is most definitely BB’s glasses. Although they do not have much power, these little buggas are tack drivers.

    As for the issues with the new layout, well…

  15. In the newspaper industry, this format is referred to as “a lot of white”. It’s kind of an insult to the newspaper because it infers they didn’t have enough news to fill up their pages. That’s what this new blog format reminds .me of. It also makes me reduce the brightness of my screen. I agree with Vana 2 on this point. IT needs to change the background color from pure white to something less.
    I remember the old blog format where a long thread having numerous replies would, like this one, move everything to the right until you ran out of the page forcing the software to have one word sentences. That forced the readers to start a new thread. Hope that doesn’t happen here.

    Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now Happily in GA

  16. Kurt Illian,

    Is there no alternative to the grey letters while composing a comment? BTW the avatars are now missing again, not really important. I’d rather have the background color of the blog changed to another color other than white. Maybe sepia?


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