HW 30S
The HW 30S.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 — Rekord trigger
Part 5 — lube tune
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The day
  • Target
  • Sight-in?
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grains
  • Adjusted the rear sight
  • Air Arms 8.4 grain dome
  • Second sight adjustment
  • JSB Exact Heavy 
  • Why not shoot a fourth group?
  • Discussion
  • Summary

I will be attending the Arkansas airgun show in Malvern on October 8th and 9th, so if you are in the area, please stop by my tables and say hi.

Today I shoot the HW 30S at 50 yards with the peep sight. This should be interesting for those who are watching this air rifle.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 50 yards with the rifle rested directly on the bag. I shot 10-shot groups today. I shot at AirForce Airguns, where there is a small outdoor range that’s mostly out of the wind, so I used my DOA portable shooting bench.

The day

The day was perfect for an outdoor long range test. There was barely a breath of air and the sun was shining bright. The temperature was in the high 70s, F, (25 C) so it was very comfortable for me.

Target

There was some discussion by our readers of what kind of targets I should select, since I’m shooting with the AirForce Edge target peep sight. Since I normally use a scope at 50 yards, this isn’t common for me to try. At 25 yards I use 10-meter pistol targets whose bull is just under 2-1/2-inches in diameter. At that range the size is perfect but at 50 yards that bull is too small to facilitate precise aiming.

In the past I have used 50-foot timed and rapid-fire pistol targets whose bull is a little larger than the 10 meter targets. They worked well with my Remington model 37 Rangemaster target rifle, but just the sights on that rifle cost more than the HW 30S and the AirForce peep sight, combined.

I settled on a 25-yard slow-fire pistol target whose bull measures 5-1/4-inches across. At 50 yards it fills the peephole of the AirForce Edge sight perfectly, with a little white all around to center the bull with ease.

Sight-in?

The 30S was on target at 25 yards, as we saw in Part 12, so I didn’t attempt to adjust the sights for the start of this test. I did have my Meopta spotting scope with me, because 50 yards is a long way and seeing a pellet hole is difficult — especially when it’s in the black.

Find a Hawke Scope

JSB Exact 8.44-grains

The first pellet to be shot was the JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome that was very accurate at 25 yards. But I couldn’t see the first shot on the target, even through the spotting scope. That meant two things. First, the shot hit somewhere in the black and second, because the pellet is domed and not traveling very fast, the target paper probably closed back after the pellet passed through. Only one thing to do — walk down and look.

When I looked I saw that indeed the pellet had hit inside the 8-ring of the the black and also the paper had closed the hole. But this meant the pellet was hitting the bull, so I went back to the bench and fired 9 more shots without looking through the spotting scope again.

Ten pellets landed in a vertical group that measures 2.807-inches between centers. The lower 9 measure 1.699 between centers.

HW 30S JSB 844 50 yards
The HW 30S put 10 JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes into 2.807-inches at 50 yards. Don’t overlook that first shot in the black (arrow).

When I retrieved the target I saw that the group was low, so I adjusted the peep sight. And when I did I went the wrong way. I adjusted it without looking at the adjustment arrows. 

Adjusted the rear sight

I adjusted the rear sight without thinking or looking at the arrow engraved on the knob. For a rear sight to go higher you twist the knob counterclockwise, no?

No! The Edge sight adjusts just the opposite, so the 10 clicks I put in lowered the impact about three quarters of an inch.

Air Arms 8.4 grain dome

The Air Arms 8.4-grain dome is a pellet I haven’t tested until now. Given the weight, I suspected it would be similar to the previous 8.44-grain JSB, but let’s see.

Ten of these pellets went into 2.283-inches at 50 yards. But that lower hole may be a pulled shot. The rifle did fire several times before I was ready. I tried to be on target before I touched the trigger, but mistakes happen. Nine of the pellets are in 1.262-inches and I believe that is more representative of what the 30S can do with this pellet.

HW 30S Air Arms 84 50 yards
Ten Air Arms 8.4-grain domes made this 2.283-inch group at 50 yards. The lower hole may have been caused when the trigger broke unexpectedly. Nine of the pellets are in 1.162-inches, which is better than one inch less.

I think this pellet shows a lot of promise. I plan to use it in future tests.

Second sight adjustment

I was about to shoot a much heavier pellet that I knew would drop lower, so I adjusted the rear sight 30 clicks up, and this time I did it by following the arrow on the adjustment knob. Ten clicks returned it to where it was before the last adjustment and 20 more clicks adjusted it even higher. 

JSB Exact Heavy 

The 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy pellet was the last one I tried at 50 yards. Hopefully the sight adjustment got the pellets landing high enough on the target. I should have paid more attention to the 25-yard test as this pellet also went to the left, but I made no adjustment correction for that.

Well, the pellets landed very low on the target. The Edge target sight has such fine adjustment clicks that 50 clicks up would have been more appropriate. Only 7 of the ten pellets hit the target paper. I could see one or two more at the bottom of the box just outside the paper and one probably missed altogether.

The seven pellets that did hit the paper landed in a vertical group that measures 1.423-inches between centers, but of course that’s not representative of ten shots. So I can’t say how accurate this pellet is in the HW 30s — only that it is probably too heavy for this rifle at 50 yards.

HW 30S JSB Heavy 50 yards
Even with the sight adjustment the JSB Exact Heavy pellets didn’t all stay on the paper. These seven are in 1.423-inches between centers. The top holes are three hits.

Why not shoot a fourth group?

Why didn’t I adjust the rear sight up more and shoot another group with this pellet? Two reasons. One, they were running short and I had a second rifle to test with them. And two, I wanted to get the second test done while the wind was still very light. So, I ended the test at this point.

Discussion

I learned a lot from this test. First I learned that the HW 30S is probably not a 50-yard air rifle. Yes it can be shot that far, and if the shooter plays with it the rifle can do okay, but it is far more suited to 25 yards and under.

Next, I learned that the trigger is probably still set too light. The rifle fired before I was ready more than once in today’s test. 

Finally I learned that the Air Arms 8.4-grain dome that I tried for the first time today is a good pellet. I will have to work it into other tests in the future.

Summary

I wanted to conduct this test so I can switch the Edge peep sight over to the HW 50S when the time comes. That will happen in the next couple of weeks.

I don’t know if I am done testing the HW 30S, but I’ve certainly given her a thorough look so far!