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HW 50S: Part 1

HW 50S
The HW 50S breakbarrel from Weihrauch.

This report covers:

  • I bought it
  • Sight inserts
  • Breech
  • Trigger
  • The stock
  • Bigger
  • Stock
  • What we have here
  • What this series will not do
  • Not the HW 50 of long ago
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the HW 50S breakbarrel air rifle. This is more than just a look at an iconic air rifle. It’s so closely tied to the HW 30S that the reader really must take the two rifles into consideration together. I haven’t linked to the 30S series because it is still unfolding, but if you haven’t read it I’d advise you to do so.

I bought it

You readers asked me to review this rifle, and, like the HW30S, I bought it. This time I bought it from Pyramyd Air, because they do stock it. They don’t stock the 30S so I had to buy that one in the Netherlands, but the 50S is a regularly stocked item. 

I bought this one because I plan to modify it, just like I did with the 30S. And, after a first very buzzy shot, I’m so glad that I will. The 30S has turned into a delightful tackdriver that I plan to test for you at 50 yards. And, after feeling the mainspring buzz of this rifle, I can’t wait to get inside! Right now I’m guessing the mainspring is bent (canted) even more than the spring in the 30SD was.

For those readers who just can’t believe that a Weihrauch can come out of the box needing some work, here’s another one. We will find out why it buzzes, though I’m suspecting a bent mainspring like we found on the 30S. This one seems to buzz a lot more, so I will be very curious to see what we find.

Sight inserts

Speaking of what comes out of the box, the 50S has the same packet of front sight inserts hanging off the triggerguard as the 30S had. The one that’s in the rifle is a tapered post that’s probably the best all-around insert to use for sporting purposes, but when I shift to the peep sight I’ll use the one with an aperture.

HW 50S sight inserts
HW 50S sight inserts.

Breech

The rear sight is identical to the one on the 30S, but the barrel locking detent on this 50S is a chisel style rather than the ball bearing found on the smaller rifle. It has a stiff spring holding the breech shut, so it’s necessary to slap the barrel at the muzzle to break it open.

HW 50S breech
The breech has a chisel detent instead of a ball bearing. The rear sight is identical to the 30S sight, with 4 different notches to select from.

Trigger

The trigger seems almost ideal, right out of the box. I’ll measure it for you in Part 2 and if any adjustment is needed I’ll make it then. But I won’t write a special report about the trigger because this Rekord is identical to the one I reviewed for you in detail in Part 4 of the 30S report. If you want detailed information, read that report.

Build a Custom Airgun

The stock

The stock is identical in shape to the one I showed you on the 30S. It’s just a little longer. Here are both rifles to compare.

HW 50S 30S
The HW 50S on top and the 30S beneath. The 30S still wears the Edge target sight for its upcoming 50-yard test.

Bigger

The 50S is a larger, more powerful breakbarrel that’s also heavier. Where the 30S weighs 5 lbs. 13.2 ounces, the 50S I’m testing weighs 6 lbs. 8.3 ounces โ€” almost a pound more. The 30S is 38-7/8-inches long, and the 50S is 40-1/2 inches overall. The 50S pull is 14-1/2-inches, compared to the 30S pull of 14-1/8-inch. Well, that’s pretty close, isn’t it? So both rifles are sized for adults and they both have barrels that are 15-1/2-inches long.

Stock

The checkering on the 50S stock appears identical to that of the 30S stock. The stock shape seems the same and the rubber butt pad seems identical. Obviously the sights are the same, and the cocking link of the 50S is a two-piece articulated arm, just like the 30S cocking link.

What we have here

What the 50S is, is a slightly larger version of a lightweight breakbarrel rifle. It’s the 30S times about 1.2. It has higher velocity, according to the specifications. We can expect up to 820 f.p.s. from it with lightweight pellets, where the 30S gave us 601 f.p.s. with Falcon domes. Of course the 30S now has a PG3 SHO tune in it and I am expecting the velocity to have been boosted by some amount. Won’t it be fun to see what the same tune can do for the 50S? I see that Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry that Vortek kit so I will have to order it direct from the manufacturer.

What this series will not do

I’m not doing this series to tell you which of these two models is better. That’s up to you, and as far as I can tell, neither one is better than the other. I’m going to tell you what they can do and let you make up your own minds on which is the best for you. Or maybe you’ll like them both โ€” a lot of people do.

Not the HW 50 of long ago

I do own another HW 50, in the form of my HW 55 SF. It’s the only HW 55 target rifle that does not have the barrel lock and it was based on the older HW 50 rifle. This new HW 50S seems more powerful than that older rifle. I just hope I can make it smoother to shoot.

Summary

This is the start of another exciting series for the smaller HW breakbarrel rifles. By the end of it we should have a small book on how these two Weihrauch air rifles perform.

88 thoughts on “HW 50S: Part 1”

  1. BB,
    What I would love to see for a 30 or 50 test is how short you can cut the barrel down before you lose any velocity. I’m guessing 7 inches or so. Harder cocking, but should be more accurate.

      • Waffen Schlottmann here in Germany makes a carbine version complete with a custom front sight and peep rear sight

        https://www.waffen-schlottmann.de/1160395-C_Weihrauch-HW-30S-Carbine-mit-offener-Visierung-Laufgewinde-und-Muendungsmutter.htm

        However, the only reason I can think of why a shorter barrel would be more accurate might be that the pellet leaves the barrel sooner which reduces the time the shooter has to pull the shot.
        I believe comparisons between the standard and short HW77/97 have shown that it makes little difference.

        • Stephan,

          You are correct concerning accuracy. Now as far as power is concerned, there is a slight chance that it may increase with a shorter barrel because supposedly the power of a sproinger reaches its maximum at about six inches. Beyond that the barrel could slow the pellet down from friction and even possibly from vacuum behind the pellet. The barrels of the TX200 and HC are only ten inches long.

        • I believe that the shortest barrel currently made for a spring gun is Air Arms’s 13 inch fixed barrel. I believe this is about as short as you can go in a springer. Pellets are not that consistant, barrel rifling is not that consistant, barrel diameter is not that consistant.
          It take awhile for a spring gun to “stabilize” the pellet and get it to rotate as much as it does. Remember for every foot it goes forward it goes many many many times more than that round and round.

          -Y

    • Taemyks,

      As CptKlotz points out, the accuracy will only possibly increase due to shorter time in the barrel. You can lose power with a longer barrel due to mostly friction. Discounting the shooter entirely, the major effects on accuracy will be the pellet itself, the twist rate in relation to that pellet and the condition of the crown.

      Now all of this conversation pertains to sproingers. PCPs are a whole different beast.

      • RR
        Or it could make accuracy worse because of timing when the pellet leaves the barrel for that shot cycle the gun has.

        Plus you better be pretty good at cutting that barrel of square and recrowning the barrel.

        I know some have done both without a lathe but for me a lathe is the way to go. And you still got to know what your doing to do it right.

        Leave the barrel alone is my fair warning. Especially to a HW. Maybe start off with a cheap Gamo springer or something so you don’t ruin something that’s worth anything. Not saying the Gamo spring guns ain’t worth a hoot. But I would rather try on one of them than a HW if you know what I mean.

        And not meant directly at you RR.

        Just making a reply here for all without doing multiple post on the same subject.

        • GF1,

          That is fine by me. Speaking of Gamo, I had a CFX that would put ten shots in a group at 25 yards that would hide under a dime. But can you say hold sensitive? While barely touching the rifle with my trigger hand, I could change the position of the group by moving my thumb from twelve o’clock to nine o’clock. The group would move to the side a little over an inch. I could move from one group to the other by moving my thumb.

          I should have kept it and weighted it down some and maybe tame that hold sensitivity, but alas, someone else adopted it.

          I am not cutting on an HW! Gamo, Umarex, Crosman; OK.

        • GF1,

          It would shoot for sure, but it was so ridiculously hold sensitive. After shooting a couple of groups like that you were exhausted. Also, at 50 yards you could not cover the group with your stretched out fingers. The accuracy just fell apart.

          • RR
            I had a spring piston Gamo Whisper that was hold sensitive like your gun. I messed with all kinds of holds and the best I got out of it was a bit over a inch at 25 yards. Which I could live with I suppose.

            Then out at 50 yards forget it. It was like a shot gun pattern but worse.

            Then the gun started loosing power and this was over about a 4 month period.

            When I took it apart there was grooves and other funny patterns wore in the cylinder.

            After that I just can’t never get myself to try another Gamo. I really shouldn’t be like that towards Gamo because I have seen things happen with other brands. But it is what it is.

          • GF1,

            I too have thought much about that Viper Express. The cost of the shot shells are prohibitive, but they can be reloaded. It uses #9 and that is OK, but I have also thought of #12.

            It is a close range toy and would be fun to play with, but it is right expensive. If I could pick up a used one for about $100, I would. I am very curious about its accuracy using slugs (pellets).

            I know how to make that trigger “decent”. A dot sight on there may make it pretty nice.

  2. BB,

    If the HW 30s is already wearing the Edge peep sights will you be getting another set or will you check first from your box of rear peep sights to see if one will fit?

    Siraniko

  3. B.B.

    As I’m sure you know, the “new” HW 50 has a 26mm compression tube. The “old” HW 50 has a 25mm compression tube. I would suggest that the HW 50 is more like 1.5 HW 30…
    Why would new airguns have a canted spring? Do they come that way from the spring factory?

    -Y

    PS. Isn’t shipping from the Netherlands pretty amazing?

  4. B.B.,
    I am really looking forward to this series on the HW50S; before my wife bought me the .22 caliber HW30S, I was all set to buy an HW50S; I figured it would be the perfect “all-around” rifle, a nice light-weight gun for plinking and hunting small game. But then I got the HW30S, which turned out to be the perfect plinker (in my opinion, with the fixed 6X UTG BugBuster scope on it).
    My hankering for an HW30S in .22 caliber was inspired by your love for your .22 caliber Diana model 27; I was looking to get something like a modern version of that rifle. However, I still wonder what it would have been like if I’d gotten the HW50S instead. Hence, I am…
    Eagerly looking forward to the rest of this series,
    dave

  5. BB,

    I have a as far as I know an “unmolested” HW30S here at RRHFWA. I have been dreaming of an HW50 or HW95 deciding to come visit for a bit. This series has been an awesome experience for me and promises to be even more awesomer.

    Let me know if you get tired of that HW50S. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. BB

    My HW50S in .22 caliber no longer requires a barrel bump to unlock which I believe is due to breaking in. It did before and still remains much stiffer to unlock than my HW30S in .177 caliber. As for shot cycle on the HW50S I predict you will be pleased with the dramatic difference in before and after your work is done. TIAT and breaking in alone muzzled the buzz completely to my ears and senses. As mentioned before my HW30S shot cycle was perfect for me out of the box.

    I like both equally well. They are two different rifles in different calibers that deliver excellent accuracy for sporting guns. Looking forward to your tests and comments.

    Deck

  7. “Not the HW 50 of long ago”

    How true. Comparing the current version of the HW50 to the older version HW 50/R8/55 is like comparing a HW30/R7 to a HW95/R9.

    Iโ€™ve been told the OLD STYLE HW50 was Hans Weihrauchโ€™s favorite gun so it may partially explain why there are more older style HW50 (kissing cousin to the R8) with the plain stocks available from Europe.

    Weihrauch’s current production HW50 (the one that B.B. is now reviewing) is the same powerplant as the R6 (which was formerly called the HW99).

    The differences between the old HW50 (R8) and the new HW50 (R6) are:
    Old one: threaded end plug like on the R1
    New one: press in end plug like on the R9
    The piston and chamber are different diameters, The old 50S used the same 25mm piston and seal that the R-8 did. The newer HW50 (aka HW-99 until recently) uses a 26mm piston diameter and seal. The tube sizes are identical in these two guns itโ€™s the id that differs. The newer HW50 tube is thinner. The new HW50 also has much shorter transfer port. The new HW50 is more powerful than the old one.

    Very confusing to me that Weihrauch produced two very different HW50 models.

    B.B., you probably know this but….when Mac reviewed the newer HW50 in a series you did in 2010 he found that the Crosman Premier 7.9 gr shot best in the gun he tested for you. I assume the HW50 you recently bought and are now testing is in .177 since that’s the velocity spec’s you quoted?

  8. Just a note.

    I like the 30’s I have owned over the 50’s.

    And I like the old smooth stock 30’s the best.

    But to say I do like the back half of the new 30’s and 50’s if they had the smooth fore stock of the 30.

  9. BB,

    Don’t you find the tapered post a little tricky to align with the rear sight as it is rounded at the top?

    Which of the 4 notches on the rotating rear sight blade do you use with it, btw?

    I like the thick rectangular post, together with the wide square notch, as it’s easy to see when they are flush.

    The 6 front sight inserts and 4 rear sight notches yield 24 possible combinations. Would be interesting to hear which ones other Weihrauch owners are partial to.

      • BB,

        Was looking at the picture of the front sights.

        It looks like the height of the posts (being below center in the hood) are designed for a 6 o’clock hold with regular rear sight.

        Would they be suitable for a “bullseye” hold or would it feel/look odd to have the target off center in the hood. Might be awkward for plinking pinecones and asymmetrical shaped things.

        How well did the short posts do with the aperture sights on the HW30? They look ok?

        Hank

  10. “Iโ€™m not doing this series to tell you which of these two models is better. Thatโ€™s up to you, …

    BB,

    I’ve been waffling back and forth between the HW30 and the HW50 for a couple of years now. I was hoping that you would table the deciding factor one way or the other. Guess not eh?

    Then you suggest… “Or maybe youโ€™ll like them both โ€” a lot of people do.”

    Well, thanks alot BB … I think that I have been “enabled”

    Just ordered a .22 caliber HW50S (the last one available in Canada) for plinking and light pesting duty.

    Still thinking about retiring 60 year old my Slavia 618 and getting .177 HW30S for sniping and plinking when they become available. Guess I’ll have to make some 1/2″ spinners.

    BB Hope you donโ€™t mind if I credit (blame) you for this. LOL!

    Hank

    • Hank
      All my 30’s and 50’s have been .177. I like all of the .177 calibers that I had.

      Curious to see how your .22 caliber 50 does. And is it the old stock or the new stock?

      • GF1,

        Didn’t have any choice of caliberor stock, ended up with a synthetic stock.

        Think that as a plinking and light pesting rifle the HW50 in .22 will work out nicely.

        Still love my PCPs but I’m looking forward to shooting simple break-barrels and iron sights. Must be part of the “second childhood” thing that my wife keeps mentioning

        Hank

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