The HW 30S over the old-style HW 30 stock.
This report covers:
- The test
- Why rest the rifle?
- First bull
- Second bull
- Third bull
- What I learned
- Fifth bull
- Today’s lesson?
Today I shoot for accuracy the .177-caliber HW 30S that I put into the old-style stock. Yes, the open sights still come up to my eye as they should. Remember — this is a rifle I’m trying to turn into my go-to pest rifle because we learned in the report titled, The fool with 100 airguns, I was a man with too many airguns and none that I knew how or where they shot, or even what pellet worked best.
I began the test from 10 meters with the rifle resting on a sandbag. The best pellet I’ve found so far is the JSB Exact Heavy, so that’s what I used for this report. It’s also the pellet I put into the Wilkins pellet pouch that’s now attached to the triggerguard of the rifle.
I’m shooting 5-shot groups today. I’ll explain as we go. For the entire test I’m aiming at the base of the black bull with a 6 o’clock hold.
Why rest the rifle?
The goal of this endeavor is to have a rifle I can shoot at pests. So why am I resting it on a sandbag when I’ll never get the chance to do that when I shoot at pests? Well, I have removed the scope and am using just the open sights, so this is a different sort of test. And the first thing I need is to do is to sight in.
I’m now going to show you the whole sight-in target with all the bullseyes I shot. Then I’ll show each one and talk about it.
I will not measure these groups, because they aren’t accuracy groups. They are just sight-in and sight-adjustment groups.
Let’s look at the first bull. I shot 15 shots at this one. The first 5 shots hit below the bull. After adjusting the rear sight up 6 clicks the second five shots hit just below the bull at 6 o’clock. Six more clicks up and the third five shots went up into the center of the bull and a little to the left.
These groups will be larger than you have seen this rifle shoot because I’m now using the open sights. I’m also NOT using the reading glasses I would normally use for an accuracy test. I’m wearing my normal prescription glasses because they are what I would wear if I was shooting a pest. I’m trying to make this as close to the real world as possible, yet still get this rifle as ready as possible. If that sounds confusing it may clear up as we progress.
I’m still sighting in and this second bull is also shown in the first picture. I adjusted the sights up by two clicks from the previous 15-shots and shot another five shots. This time the group was almost perfectly centered for height, but clearly off to the left of center.
Obviously the group was okay for elevation but off for windage. I adjusted the rear sight three clicks to the right and went to the third bull.
The first three shots landed LEFT of the center of the bull (blue arrow), even though I thought I had adjusted the rear sight to the right. So this time I adjusted it six more clicks to the right, just to be able to see the rear notch moving because the HW-30 rear sight does not have an adjustment scale for windage adjustments.
The fourth shot hit this bull on the right edge (yellow arrow)of the black in the 4-ring. Seeing that I adjusted the rear sight back to the left three clicks and shot three more times.These three shots hit closer to the center with one of them off to the right a bit.
The three shots on the left (blue arrow) were the first. Then I adjusted the rear sight 6 clicks to the right and the next shot (yellow arrow) was fired. The three shots closer to the center of the target were fired after a three clocks to the left adjustment.
Now that the rifle was sighted-in, I stood up and shot five shots offhand at the same 10 meters. This was the point of today’s test, but I first had to get the rifle sighted in. Now we will measure group size. Five pellets went into 1.422-inches at 10 meters.
What I learned
I learned many thing from this first group.
1. The light trigger is ideal for me shooting this rifle offhand.
2. I can see the front sight well enough when I wear my prescription glasses.
3. This rifle is lightweight, so I need a steady stance to keep from wobbling around.
4. All my shots were to the right and three were higher than the center of the bull, even though I held at the same 6 o’clock as I did for the sight-in.
5. I sniped each shot, and the light trigger allowed this without moving the rifle upon firing.
Several readers said they would take a rest if one was available when they shot at pests. I would as well. So the next test was from about 12 meters, where I had a doorjamb to rest against. But I had to stand a few inches away from the doorjamb to see the target. So I also used the UTG monopod to rest the rifle on. What did that do for me?
Surprisingly, this group was ever-so-slightly larger than the last! And this one was also to the right of the target! This time five shots at 12 meters went into 1.48-inches between centers,
I don’t consider this group to be any larger than the first one shot offhand. But the point is, it isn’t any smaller. And it’s also mostly higher and to the right of where I expected it to hit.
I learned that I LOVE this HW 30S. I love how light it is, how easy it cocks, and how light the trigger is. I learned that my offhand zero differs from my rested zero, or at least that’s how it looks at this point. I learned that I’m just as accurate with this rifle in the full offhand stance as when I use a semi-support — as long as I take the time to get into a good stance.
But there is one thing I also know about today’s test that I PURPOSELY did not mention. It’s something that has a big impact on going forward. I want you guys to tell me what I didn’t mention that makes a big difference in my success.
I am so glad I bought an HW 30S. I’m also glad I tuned it with a Vortek PG3 SHO kit. It no longer vibrates when fired; it has a lot more power, yet the cocking remains light at the same 22 pounds of effort that it had when it left the factory. And, once you figure out what I DIDN’T do in today’s test, we can have another one!