Haenel 312
Haenel 312.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Adjusted the trigger
  • No access to mainspring
  • The test
  • Sight in?
  • RWS R10 Match Heavy
  • Discussion
  • Adjusted the rear sight
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellet
  • Pinwheel
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Ballistic Match
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Haenel 312 10-meter target rifle. After the test of the FWB 600 last week this should be interesting. Let’s get started.

Adjusted the trigger

As I mentioned I would at the end of the last report, I removed the barreled action from the stock to tighten that jam nut on the trigger adjustment screw. Once the action was out of the stock there was a lot better access to that nut, though the trigger does live inside a box with steel sides. Still, I found it easy to hold the adjustment screw in place as I tightened the nut with a second screwdriver.

312 trigger adjustment screw
Looking down on the trigger adjustment screw and jam nut behind the trigger blade.  

312 trigger right side
This is what the right side of the trigger looks like. Remember, it’s upside-down in this picture.

312 trigger left side
And here is the left side.

No access to mainspring

I must report that there is zero access to the 312’s mainspring from the outside. Not a single slot or hole goes through the spring tube to get to that spring. So if I want to quiet the spring I will have to disassemble the rifle. It looks far simpler than the Haenel 311 bolt-action target rifle action, and I think I will take a chance with it.

The test

Today I shot the 312 from a sandbag rest at 10 meters with the rifle rested directly on the bag. Though the 312 vibrates a lot, there is almost no recoil, so a direct bag rest seemed right. I shot 5-shot groups and I used the same five pellets that I used to test the FWB 600 last week.

Sight in?

The rifle has been apart several times, so I wondered if a sight-in was necessary. By that I mean — was it necessary to go down to 12 feet from the target and see where the pellet hits? I decided against it and shot the first group from 10 meters, as described above.

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RWS R10 Match Heavy

The first pellet I tested was the RWS R10 Match Heavy. The first shot hit high inside the bull. It was above the center but inline with it left and right. Is I decided to just finish that group before adjusting the rear sight.

Five pellets went into a group at 10 meters that measures 0.241-inches between centers.

312 R10 Heavy group
The Haenel 312 put five RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets into a 0.241-inch group at 10 meters.

Discussion

The firing cycle seems smooth, apart from the mainspring vibration that goes on forever. As I said, the recoil is almost nothing. But the trigger? Yuck! It’s a long, creepy single stage that does nothing to help my aiming. I just keep squeezing and eventually the rifle fires.

Maybe I’m being too critical of the 312 after shooting the FWB 600. But I’m trying to be objective. The 312 is just not a target rifle I enjoy shooting. Perhaps after I quiet that spring I’ll like it more, but that trigger is horrible!

Adjusted the rear sight

After this first group I adjusted the rear sight down six clicks. I’m pleased to report that the 312’s rear sight has positive clicks, so you know where you are going. The adjustment screw works backwards (screw to the left to adjust down) but that’s the German influence. 

Qiang Yuan Training pellet

Next to be tried was the Qiang Yuan Training pellet. At ten meters five of them went into a group that measures 0.295-inches between centers.

312 Chinese Training group
The Haenel 312 put five Qiang Yuan Training pellets into a 0.295-inch group at 10 meters.

I saw that the first shot looked very close to the center of the bull, but as you see, the group went up after that. So I put in another 4 clicks of downward elevation.

Pinwheel

The next pellet to be fired was the H&N Finale Match Light wadcutter. When the first shot was a pinwheel, I stopped shooting and went downrange to take a picture. I talk about pinwheels all the time but I don’t think I have ever shown one until now. This shot is an almost perfect pinwheel, meaning it hit the exact center of the bullseye.

312 pinwheel
There is an almost perfect pinwheel shot.

I took that photo because I could see that the 312 doesn’t group very tight. When you see what the remaining four pellets did I think you’ll agree.

H&N Finale Match Light

The Haenel 312 put five H&N Finale Match Light pellets into a 0.259-inch group at 10 meters. Four are together and one wandered off by itself.

312 Finale Light group
The 312 put five H&N Finale Match Light pellets into a 0.259-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

Next up was the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. I reckoned it was a little light for the 312, given the power we saw in Part Two, but what the heck? The 312 put five of them into a 0.227-inch group at 10 meters. It is the smallest group of the test.

312 R10 Match Pistol group
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets made the smallest group of the test — 0.227-inches between centers.

Sig Ballistic Match

The last pellet I tested was the 5.25-grain Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter. Did you notice in the last group all the pellets hit low on the bullseye? They are lighter and therefore faster and leave the muzzle before the rifle has a chance to rise in recoil, not that there is much. 

Ballistic Alloy pellets are much lighter and they dropped off the black bullseye of the target altogether. I could tell by their faster time of flight that they were much faster than any other pellet. Five pellets went into 0.364-inches at 10 meters, which is also the largest group of the test. This is not the pellet for the 312.

312 Ballistic Match group
The 312 put 5 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets into 0.364-inches at 10 meters. It is the largest group of the test.

Summary

The Haenel 312 is turning out pretty much as I supposed. It’s rough around the edges and not up to world class competition, but is certainly accurate enough for local and regional matches.

I will continue to work with the trigger in hopes of making it better. And I guess I’m going to open this rifle up to calm that mainspring.