Home Blog  
Competition Haenel 312 10-meter target air rifle: Part 2

Haenel 312 10-meter target air rifle: Part 2

Haenel 312
Haenel 312.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • April 18
  • Oiled it
  • Vibration!
  • RWS Hobby
  • Qiang Yuan Training
  • RWS R10 Match Heavy
  • Trigger
  • Fooled with the trigger
  • Cocking effort
  • Tighten screws
  • Summary

April 18

“Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

On the 18th of April in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.”

Today we start learning about the Haenel 312 10-meter target rifle I am testing. I have to admit that I was skeptical about this test. It’s been my experience that many of the used spring guns I get are lacking in power. I either have to rebuild them or I have to get them rebuilt. I was quite concerned about this 312 in that respect.

Oiled it

Considering the design is East German and considering it dates back to the 1970s, I thought it might have a leather piston seal. But an online search turned up synthetic replacement seals. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but in either case I knew oil wouldn’t hurt the seal.

I used Crosman Pellgunoil and a lot of it. Then I stood the rifle on it’s butt for a week. Today’s velocity test was the first time I have seen what this rifle can do. But it wasn’t the first time that I shot it.


I shot the rifle right after unpacking it. Of course I did — you would have, too. From the few shots that I took I noticed two things. First, the rifle vibrates a lot when it fires. And second, the barreled action was loose in the stock. Out came the screwdriver for the first of what I’m sure will be many times. This rifle is a candidate for Tune in a Tube.

RWS Hobby

Okay, let’s get down to business. The first pellet I tested was the 7-grain RWS Hobby wadcutter. I had read online where at least one person’s 312 shoots pellet in the low 600s. I sure hoped mine did.

Instead of showing you and average and the other stuff I’m going to show you the first 13 shots as I recorded them. I also shot two warmup shots before starting the chronograph.


I am not going to average this string, but it does tell us a lot about Hobby pellets in this 312. The real average is probably somewhere in the low 630s. You should be able to look at the shots from 6 through 13 and see that.

The first 4 shots are what happens when a lot of oil is burned on the shot. The rifle didn’t detonate, but it smoked a lot. No harm is done when that happens. 

Look at shot number 8. It’s faster than the others around it and tells me the rifle is still burning some oil. Look at shots number 5 and 12. They indicate Hobbys are probably not that stable in this 312.

I know that’s a lot of information to digest, but it’s what the chronograph is telling you. My guess is the rifle hasn’t settled down yet and will probably still have some higher velocities mixed in with the strings. I want that to settle down, so it doesn’t affect accuracy at 10 meters, though that distance to the target is so close that I guess I can accept a lot of variation before accuracy is affected.

Build a Custom Airgun

Qiang Yuan Training

Based on the velocities the Hobbys gave, I felt the 312 could stand a heavier pellet, so I selected the Chinese Qiang Yuan Training pellet. They are sometimes very accurate in spring guns. This time they were much closer in velocity, so I will give the usual data.

This 8.2-grain pellet averaged 579 f.p.s. in the 312. The low was 572 and the high was 589, but that high number was just one shot. The next highest velocity was 584 f.p.s. The extreme spread was 17 f.p.s. for 10 shots and 12 f.p.s. for 9. I believe the 589 shot, which was the 10th in the string, was a little more of that oil burning off.

RWS R10 Match Heavy

The last pellet I tested was the 8.2-grain RWS R10 Match Heavy pellet. It weighs the same as the Qiang Yuan Training pellet and it was dumb luck that I chose it to test. Once again I’ll show you each shot, because we have some more learning to do.


Wow — that’s quite a spread. From a low of 551 to a high of 635 there are 84 f.p.s. between the high and low shots. I could call this more of the oil burning off, but I think it’s more than that. I think this pellet is not suited to this rifle’s barrel and that is what’s causing all the variation. I don’t know that for sure, though, so I will shoot a group with this pellet when I test for accuracy.


Okay, what else is there to do? How about the trigger that is currently adjusted to give a long creepy single stage pull that breaks at 11.8 ounces.

Well — it’s not a single stage pull, either. Stage one that I could only detect when checking the trigger pull with my electronic gauge, takes 6.1 ounces to complete. It’s stage two that’s long and creepy.  So I fiddled with that adjustment screw located behind the trigger blade. And oh, boy did I open a can of worms! It turns out that trigger isn’t so simple after all.

Remember that screw behind the trigger blade — the one that has a hole in the trigger guard to adjust? Well, it’s a lot more than just a little screw. I got a long shanked thin-bladed screwdriver to adjust the screw and it didn’t want to move. I thought some coach had put Locktie on the threads years ago, but that wasn’t the case. It turns out there is a jam nut around the screw to hold it in place. It took me forty-leven tries to photograph it for you, but I got it.

Haenel 312 trigger adjustment screw
Looking down through the hole in the trigger guard we see the trigger adjustment screw and the jam nut that locks it in position once adjusted. I need to find a way to tighten this jam nut because the trigger adjustment is loose until it is tightened. The adjustment screw stands proud of the locking nut by quite a bit.

Fooled with the trigger

I did fool with the adjustment screw and got it to where stage one was smooth but then the rifle would not fire. When I got it firing again stage one became hard and creepy like before. I think the trigger adjustment is extremely fine and I’m just going to have to play with it. After all that I did stage one is now 4.1 ounces and stage two breaks at 11.1 ounces. The difference is enough to feel and I will say that the trigger is now a bit crisper, but until I tighten that jam nut who knows where it will go?

I’ll probably take the barreled action out of the stock to see if I can hold that adjustment screw in place while tightening the jam nut with needle-nosed pliers. We shall see. Maybe I will also put some TIAT on the mainspring if there is access.      

Cocking effort

The rifle cocks with a maximum of  32 pounds of effort. For most of the lever’s arc it was at 30 pounds. I mentioned in an earlier report that it is harder to cock than an FWB 300. It’s also harder to cock than a Diana 75.

Tighten screws

Remember I said in the beginning to keep a screwdriver handy? By the end of the velocity test the butt plate screw was loose and had to be tightened. The stock screws were still tight but the front triggerguard screw was loose, as were both of the rear sight thumbscrews.


Oh boy! It seems that I have a Haenel 312 is fine shape , so the next test will be accuracy. I will find a way to secure that trigger jam nut and I will show that to you, too.

22 thoughts on “Haenel 312 10-meter target air rifle: Part 2”

  1. BB,

    If you are so disinclined to remove the action from the stock you might try tapping a screwdriver to tighten the nut if space allows. More heavy pellets needed to help settle it down I think.


  2. The crest with the Smith and anvil is the same as on all Suhl rifles. Can’t wait to see what you find under the hood. The 3P Smallbore rifles have one of the finest triggers ever found on anything. When in a Becnchrest stock the 150 bares a striking resemblance to the 312, mine is in the 3 P stock.

      • Admittedly a bit of Hyperbole on my part about the trigger. I will say I own a CG 80, a Valmet Standard model and some other really nice purpose built target rifles and the Suhl 150 has the nicest trigger of those by far.

        • SSC,

          That is probably pretty close to some of the finest out there. The Germans (FWB, Anschutz, etc.) can make some mighty fine trigger setups. I have pulled some that all you do is think and it goes off. My Baikal pistol is that way.
          It takes a sensitive touch to shoot it. Surprisingly, there are some real nice single stage triggers out there also.

          What you want is a really nice, clean, crisp break. It can be a few ounces or it can be a few pounds, as long as you know it will go off with the next amount of force applied. What I hate the most is when you start pulling on the trigger and it keeps creeping along until it finally goes off who knows when. I have one of those. I guess there is nothing to do but go in and see what I can do with it.

          • I should have said the Suhl is my finest adjustable trigger as it can be set to single stage two stage and all points in between. I have some nice single stage triggers also. My Vostok Ural YPAN-2 Olympic rifle has a mighty fine no creep crisp single stage trigger. When I still shot 3-P Smallbore matches the Vostok was my rainy match day rifle as nothing would hurt it, it is built like a Belarus tractor. My favorite air rifle trigger resides in my Walther LGV.

  3. BB,

    Most definitely some TIAT. I would have to take it out of the stock just to look at it, most especially the trigger assembly. You may learn a secret or two there. A little locktite on some of those screws may be in order.

  4. B.B.,

    You are correct in assuming that the 312 came from the factory with a leather seal. I have tried one of the new synthetic seals in my Haenel 303 but there was no meaningful improvement. At this power level I don’t think a synthetic seal has any advantage. The spring guide on the 312 is fairly short and loose on the spring, hence the vibration. Sleeving the guide helped my 312 a bit, but I think that a piston sleeve would help a lot, too. For what its worth, the velocity on your 312 is right in line with mine. The 312 is no worse than a Diana 45 to tear down – definitely easier than any of the GISS guns. You would also be able to see how the anti-beartrap feature works.

    Paul in Liberty County

  5. BB,

    Good that you diagnose the velocity numbers for us. Think a lot of people benefit from those details.

    Wondering if the trigger assembly is sluggish because it has old hard grease or accumulated crud in it. Maybe a soak/flush of the assembly with some solvent and relubrication would help it. I’ve been thinning Tacky Red Grease (to the viscosity of cream) with naphtha for this kind of application and it reverts to a thin layer of grease after the naphtha evaporates.

    Two ideas for the jamb-nut…

    You could cut a knotch (to clear the adjustment screw) in a large screwdriver with an abrasive wheel and the dremel.

    You could also make a “wrench” out of an old socket (or piece of pipe), again with the dremel. Just use a light touch and some water to avoid over-heating the metal and drawing out the temper.


    • Hank,

      I thought of both of those solutions but I’m hoping when I get the action out of the stock there will be better access to that jam nut. If so I don’t need to make any special tools.


      • B.B.,
        You may not have to make a tool. You may already have one.

        If you have an FWB or Walther tool made for a 10 meter gun they have a built in spanner wrench that’s used for removing the front sight in order to change out the front sight insert. That spanner wrench in those tools may fit the jam nut on that trigger.

    • Hank,

      I saw a TY video where a guy named Felix Emmler fashioned a custom bowl scraper from a box end wrench. He did all the fabricating with files, so I bet the same would be true with a socket and no heat would be generated.


      • Half,

        Think I saw that video or a similar one. Didn’t have a wrench I wanted to sacrifice so I’m watching the garage sales for one to show up.

        I’ve gotten away with filing tempered parts with a sharp, fine-toothed file and careful even-pressured strokes. Files are tempered very close to brittle so lower tempered parts can be shaped but it is hard on the file – very easy to chip the teeth..

        Depends on the part whether I grind or file. Typically, I prefer to anneal, shape, harden and temper.

        I’m in the process of making an adze and a couple of large gouges from car leaf springs so I have my blacksmith hat on 🙂 Need them for making Wood Duck nests.out of cedar logs..


  6. BB-
    I am following the progress of this gun with interest. It would be appreciated if you did delve deeper into the inner workings. Not that I possess a 312 or ever hope to at the prices they bring. However, here at PGROCARPAR- Paco’s Genteel Repository Of Cheap And Reasonably Priced Air Rifles- (emphasis on CARP), I do possess a 1984 dated Romanian copy of this rifle. Made at the CUGIR factory, it does have a forend accessory rail and quick adjust sliding butt plate. Alas it is missing the rear site. The metal finish is even more utilitarian than your EG 312 and the haphazard wood finish is reminiscent of most every Eastern Block AK I’ve ever held. There are two trigger adjusting screws. Both are forward of the trigger blade. Information about these guns is sparse. Where did you apply the Pelgun oil to wake up the seals? Thanks.

    And also, looking forward to the big Findlay, Ohio Airguns show this Saturday. Anyone else attending?

    • Paco,

      I pulled the sliding compression chamber open and let the oil drop into the air tube on its front.

      An easier was is to just stand the rifle on its butt and drop the oil into the muzzle. Then allow at least a day for the oil to work its way down the barrel and into the compression chamber,


      • Derrick-
        I have a table to move some surplus things. Just enjoy watching what walks in. Nothing in particular as far as wants, but I’ll know it if I see it. Trying to break my habit of acquiring ‘projects’.

  7. BB, I think you will need to build a spanner for the lock nut. A piece of steel tubing or pipe about the size of the nuts diameter., Mill it or file it so you have two flats to engage the slots make it as long as necessary and make some flats for a wrench on the other end.. now you can hold it and engage the slot of the adjusting screw with a small flat head screwdriver through the tool you made. I have lots of handmade tools like this in my job as a Millwright/Machinist in a Refinery .

  8. Finally had the opportunity to look at the box of accessories for the club’s Haenel 312, and this is one end of a large L-shaped tool (think 10mm allen key size) the short end of which ends in a slotted screwdriver that fits the stock screws, the long arm ends in, well, this:

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    We have a team of expert technicians and a complete repair shop that are able to service a large variety of brands/models of airguns. Additionally, we are a factory-authorized repair/warranty station for popular brands such as Air Arms, Air Venturi, Crosman, Diana, Seneca, and Weihrauch airguns.

    Our experts also offer exclusive 10-for-$10 Test and 20-for-$20 Service, which evaluates your air gun prior to leaving our warehouse. You'll be able to add these services as you place your order.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.