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Air Guns HW 30S : Part 7

HW 30S : Part 7

HW 30S peep sight
The Mendoza sporting peep sight is mounted too far forward on the HW 30S.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 — Rekord trigger
Part 5 — lube tune
Part 6

This report covers:

  • What’s different?
  • Why was I angry?
  • What problems with the sight?
  • The test
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the HW 30S with a peep sight mounted. This will be a different sort of report, so grab your coffee cup and come along!

What’s different?

I say things like that (the report will be different) a lot, so what makes today different? Well, I shot the entire test angry and I didn’t do as well as I might have. Many times the rifle fired before I was ready and I am sure that didn’t help the groups any.

Why was I angry?

I was angry because when I went to mount the Weihrauch target peep sight I discovered it didn’t fit — not even close! Then the words of reader RidgeRunner started echoing in my mind and I was sure he had warned me of this.

So I went to Plan B which was to use the Mendoza sporting peep sight. It did fit, but when I sighted the rifle in at 10 meters it didn’t adjust low enough — not even close. Grrrrr!

HW 30S Mendoza peep
The Mendoza sporting peep sight fit the rifle well but it had problems.
I know it’s not all the way to the rear but it still couldn’t get close enough.

What problems with the sight?

For starters, the Mendoza sight doesn’t come back far enough on the rifle. So I end up peeking through the peephole and unconsciously trying to align the peephole with the front aperture and the target. That’s wrong of course, but unless that peephole is set a lot farther back it’s what’s going to happen.

Next the Mendoza sight doesn’t adjust low enough to center the shots in the bull. That is aggravating! When I shoot a scope I plan to miss the center of the bull because I want to preserve my aim point. But with a peep sight I can shoot the center out of the bull all day long, and I want to!

That set me off and the rest of the test was a struggle against my emotions. The rifle did fine. BB Pelletier didn’t.

The test

I shot off a bag rest at 10 meters with the rifle rested directly on the bag. I was supposed to shoot 5-shot groups so I could shoot a lot of different pellets, but of course that went out the window on the first target.

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JSB Exact Heavy

The first pellet tested was the 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy dome. They were one of the best pellets in that last accuracy test, and I wanted to establish a baseline for today. But I forgot about shooting 5-shot groups, so I shot 10 shots.

Ten JSB Exact Heavy pellets went into 0.463-inches at 10 meters. During this string the rifle fired twice before I was ready because the trigger release is set too light.

HW 30S JSB Heavy group
The HW 30S put 10 JSB Exact Heavy pellets in 0.463-inches at 10 meters.

This group is actually pretty nice. I just knew I could have done better.

After shooting this group I realized that I wanted to shoot 5-shot groups, so that’s what I did from this point on.

JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes

The next pellet I tried was the 8.44-grain JSB Exact dome. The HW 30S put 5 of them in 0.416-inches at 10 meters. There was at least one shot that fired before I was ready.

HW 30S JSB Heavy group
The 30S put five JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes in 0.416-inches at 10 meters.

I’m complaining, but do you notice that the dime will easily cover the group? The rifle is shooting fine. I’m the problem.

H&N Finale Match Heavy

I hadn’t shot any wadcutter pellets in the 30S and since I was using a peep sight I wanted to try some. So the next pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match Heavy. Once again the rifle fired one time before I was ready. Five pellets made a 0.516-inch group at 10 meters. It is the largest group of the test and a dime still covers it almost completely.

HW 30S Finale Match Heavy group
The 30S put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets into 0.516-inches at 10 meters, It was the largest group of the test and there was one shot that went off before I was ready.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The next pellet I shot was the RWS R10 Match Pistol wadcutter. Five of them went into 0.418-inches at 10 meters.  This is also not that bad, but I knew I could do better when I calmed down. This time the gun didn’t fire until I was ready.

HW 30S R10 Match Light group
Five RWS R10 Match Light pellets went into 0.418-inches at 10 meters, making a nice cloverleaf.


It seems the rifle was shooting fine, but I was upset by the problems I was having with the peep sight and I felt that my mood was skewing the test. And there might have been a way to prove whether I was right. I shot a final five shots with the first pellet in the test — the pellet that grouped 10 shots into a group almost as small as the best 5-shot groups with other pellets.

This time I concentrated on not aligning the rear sight peephole with the front aperture and the target. In other words — just shooting like I was supposed to. The peep hole was so far from my eye that I had to make a conscious effort to do this, but I can do anything for five shots.

This time five JSB Exact Heavy pellets made a group measuring 0.233-inches between centers. This is not just the smallest group of the test, it is significantly smaller than all the other groups — and it came at the end of the shooting session when I should have been starting to tire. I believe it proves, or at least suggests strongly that the peep sight does work well on the HW 30S. But I have to admit, in the last test with a scope the rifle was shooting groups just as small with twice as many pellets. So today’s test does not thrill me about using a peep sight. Perhaps if I get a sight mounted correctly that will change.

HW 30S JSB Exact Heavy group
Five JSB Exact Heavys made a 0.233-inch group when I did everything right.

I know for certain that I will increase the weight of the trigger let off. No more surprises for me!


Like I said at the beginning — today was a different day. I allowed myself to get angry and that threw me off somewhat. But I’m far from done. Next up will be a complete disassembly and a second lube tune, with a look at what the first tune accomplished without disassembly. After that I hope to install a Vortek PG3 SHO kit to compare to my lube tune. And after that, who knows?

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.

66 thoughts on “HW 30S : Part 7”

    • Taemyks,

      I for one would never try a Williams as you would have to mount it too far forward. The reason BB and I have been trying to use the antique peep sights is that they are mounted on long extensions to bring the aperture closer to your eye. I do not know if a modern rear aperture comes back far enough. I know he has one of those on hand.

  1. B.B.,

    Looks like you will have to go through your entire collection of peep sights to find one that will fit. The hairy trigger doesn’t help in accuracy. I agree with Yogi that you shouldn’t ride your bike when angry. It burns more fuel and you lose focus of what is happening around you.


  2. BB,

    Just a thought, but were you shooting anything before the HW30S that had a heavier trigger?

    When I shoot my air pistols, I make sure I always shoot the HW75 before the HW45 Black Star.

    They feel almost identical in the hand (same grips), but the HW75’s trigger is both lighter and has a shorter travel than the HW45.

    If I shoot the HW75 immediately after a session with the HW45, I sometimes find shots going off early because the muscle memory of taking up slack on the first stage of the HW45’s trigger is enough pressure and travel distance to fire the HW75.


    • Chanman
      Good point. The trigger is very light on my FWB 300. If I shoot it after a gun with a heavier trigger I will usually pull a shot or so till I get the feel of the trigger again.

  3. BB,

    this somehow sounds familiar. Some days, nothing seems to go right. I think I notice this with pistols especially.

    Sometimes, I just don’t get good results and quite often, I can’t find the reason. Is it stance, grip, sight picture, trigger technique? I think for me it’s usually trigger technique. My mood may well be influencing all of the above.

    Yesterday, I tried to repeat or improve the good group I got from the HW35 with R10 Heavy pellets. The best one I got was with H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets while I got a terrible group with the R10 this time. JSB Exact didn’t work at all while RWS Club looked promising for a few shots when things started to go south.
    It still feels like it takes a lot of concentration to shoot the HW35 accurately from a rest, so I wouldn’t exactly call these results “conclusive”…


  4. BB,

    It is as shame the Weihrauch sight did not work. The problem I had was the FWB sight would not clamp tight enough. Perhaps if you tried something like the Edge rear aperture it will come back far enough to be usable?

  5. I have a question for all you folks out there in La La Land. Are you receiving emails to tell you that someone responded to one of your posts? I used to but not anymore since the website was “updated”. If I do not go back through all the posts, I have no way of knowing if somebody is trying to talk to me. Yes, believe it or not, there are actually some people out there who want to know what I think for some strange, perverse reason.

  6. B.B.

    Good that you gave us a heads-up about your mood during the shooting session.

    I know that your schedule doesn’t always allow for putting things off, might have been a good time to have done the teardown. LOL!

    No schedule here, If I’m having an off day I just pack it up and go cut the lawn or something. I learned from archery that if it is not “clicking” there is no point continuing and frustrating myself. 🙂

    Have a good one eh!

    • Hank,

      I tell that stuff to remind everyone that I’m human, too. I make mistakes and I get mad. But you guys can’t watch me so I have to tell you.

      Yes, it might have been a good time for the teardown. But I was too stubborn to notice. 😉


  7. BB

    The Daisy Avanti peep that comes with their 753S Target rifle will fit the HW30S also. Just know it has to be kept tight. Eye relief should be fine. It can be ordered from PA separately or you are welcome to borrow one of mine.


  8. Tom, which model HW sight did you try, and what was the issue with fitting it? (I recommend these to folks all the time – I may need to move into foot-removal-from-mouth mode!)

    Any vintage Anschutz sight should also fit the R7’s 11 mm grooves. I have one on my 80’s-vintage R7 at the moment.

    • I’m also curious about the “Weihrauch target peep sight” that didn’t fit and was not even close. Assume a Weihrauch rear diopter sight was tried but had the older 13mm spacing??

        • Thanks Tom. Up until the mid-1970’s, HW scope grooves were spaced at about 13mm, since then at the more “standard,” Anschutz-like 11mm.

          Unfortunately the sights for each look exactly the same, with no marking to distinguish them! The good news is, the 13mm ones are much less common, and they are about the ONLY sight that will fit older HW’s – so a good thing to have in your quiver!

      • FWB sights are kinda in between, around 12mm, close to the width that the old Walther springers also have. Both those brands also have the unusual transverse bar that fits in slots in the receiver, so don’t work on Weihrauchs at all unfortunately!

        The narrow marks on the front of FWB and Walther scope rails are to help you fit the transverse bar to the slots.

        • Tom’s blog is a treasure because it always presents something worth learning. In the same way it’s a real treat when MDriskill turns up in the comments! Thanks for all the great tidbits on the peeps!

  9. B.B. and Readership,

    Public Service Announcement:

    A man in Florida has been arrested and facing prison time for animal cruelty with an altercation with a three foot Green Iguana. The particulars of this case are not as important as the need for airgunners to know the laws on this pest; as well as probably other pests!


    Know your area’s laws.


  10. Hey Tom,

    I’d love to buy that site if you’d part with it. I have an old HW55 with the wide scope grooves it would fit on. Hate to scope it, and having trouble finding a decent rear peep for it. Thanks for the post!

  11. BB,
    After finally shooting a scope vs peep at the same range I find the peep to be just as accurate. This has been a revelation. I can still see the target with the peep so the scope has no benefit, and in fact the scope might be detrimental. If I was to put money on scope vs peep at 25m under the correct conditions, I would put money on the peep. The deeper science behind the peep is particularly interesting. The scope… not so much. Even the peep “depth of field” focus effect, due to the aperture size, is not fully appreciated.
    The peep and target combination is fascinating, it is easily overlooked by many as they do not understand that it’s “simplicity” is merely skin deep, as professionals who use the “system” will tell. The peep + target is a fully baked and complex system that does work. The only issue is moving out of the range of it, but then it is possible that with a complimentary target at a longer range might bring it back in. A one foot target at 200m ? : – ) Robert.

        • RobertA
          I think your missing out.

          Think of it like you have a small dot lit up like in the center of a scope reticle but can still have a few view of your area your shooting at like use open iron sights.

          The dot gives you point and place precision if you have a small enough dot. And it allows a quicker follow up shot if you have a semi auto type gun.

          If that makes any sense.

          • GF1,
            Interesting! If I was being swarmed by feral soda cans and I had a semi auto then it would make sense. Sort of “action” shooting. Which sounds challenging. But I have a single shot underlever with fiddly pellet loading and a about a shot every 20 seconds if I don’t mess up ( 100 shots in 33 minutes and an upper body work out ). Yes it makes perfect sense. I just wonder how peep vs dot would pan out. My money on the pee thank you! We need to ask BB if he can do a test : same rifle, different sights. : – ) Robert.

        • RobertA
          Still helps with single shot shooting.

          It’s like having a low power scope but you have a red or green dot for your aim point and you still can see all your surroundings like a open sight.

          A dot sight on a accurate gun is even equivalent to a peep sight but you can see like a open sight.

          Makes for a very effective squerrial or rabbit gun with a accurate gun and a dot sight.

  12. BB, I like this one enough that I went to order one for my brother, as luck would have it, all sold out.
    Thanks. Now he may get a watch for his collection, who knows when this little gem gets restocked..
    the stock is really nice on it. I really like the thin reticle on my 2x7x44 mini swat long eye relief scope,
    a little heavy, but lighter than a full size scope. A wee bit more than a bug buster, as far as weight goes. When I gave up on expensive Italian M.C. boots, I switched over to RedWings, way more comfortable, and are hand made too. Mine even have a grove the S.S.’s shifter boss wore into them, for that perfect fit, in or out of the office.

  13. I have a .20 cal HW30 in which I have installed a Vortek PG3 kit. I had installed a scope, but even after the tune I found it tends to require too much change in holdover at longer range. I have better tools for that in my arsenal. I ended up adding the least expensive Williams peep from Pyramid. Better but the front sight was easily lost to my old eyes in the shadows. Not a fan of fiber optic sights for the same reason as many, they tend to wash out the target by being too bright. Long story short, I found mention of a now discontinued TruGlo Globe Airgun Sight on one of the forums. These thing are still available on EBay and Amazon for around ten bucks. The sight fits Weihrauch, Diana and most everything else. The sight includes a shield or hood with a window to allow adjustability to the amount of light hitting the fiber optic. If you turn the window down towards the barrel the sight will not wash out the target. I am so thrilled with this combo for my old eyes I thought I should make mention of it here. Like a laser. I have never shot groups like this without a scope. I hope this helps others with old eyes. I have bought a second True Glow Globe sight. Get one wile you can.

  14. Based on my experience with 2 x HW30S rifles – don’t be surprised if the gun shoots better with the standard oem mainspring rather than a Vortek unit. However if it were an HW50S it would likely be significantly enhanced by fitting a Vortek unit.
    Cheers. Rick.

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