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Air Guns β€Ί HW 50S: Part Fourteen

HW 50S: Part Fourteen

HW 50S
The HW 50S breakbarrel from Weihrauch.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • Adjusted the scope
  • Target one — Air Arms Falcons
  • The safety
  • Transition
  • Target two — RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Target three — Air Arms Field pellet
  • Target four — JSB Exact RS
  • What have we learned?
  • Not the only way
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I report on how the work on the HW 50S turned out. That work was reported in Part 13 and the previous accuracy test was in Part 12. To refresh your memories, I remounted the barreled action in the stock and used Vibra-Tite threadlocker to secure the stock screws. The rear stock screw is still stripped so only the other two screws hold the action, but they seem to do the job.

The other thing we did was remount the scope in the Burris XTR Signature rings so it compensated for the HUGE barrel droop of this particular HW 50S. I showed you what was done in Part 13. The question now is, did it work?

The test

Just like in Part 12 I shot four 10-shot groups today. I shot off a bench with the rifle rested directly on the bag.

Sight in

In Part 12 I told you that the first sight-in shot from this rifle was an Air Arms Falcon pellet that hit the target 3-1/4-inches below the aim point, when fired from 12 feet away. The scope had to be adjusted up from there for that test. So, today I also shot that pellet from 12 feet. It hit the target 1-1/2-inches above and 0.9-inches to the right of the aim point. I thought that was good enough, so I backed up to 10 meters, benched the rifle and shot a second shot. That one hit 5-inches high and 3-inches to the right of the aim point. I was surprised by that, so I fired a second shot that went next to the first one.

HW 50S sight in
The first shot from 12 feet hit 1.5 inches high and 0.9-inches right. Shots two and three from 10 meters hit 5 inches high and 3 inches to the right.

Adjusted the scope

This was ideal, because I could adjust the 3-12X32 Bug Buster scope down and to the left a lot. Both adjustments put tension back on the erector tube return spring and that was sorely needed after the test in Part 12! It took three more shots to get on target and, wouldn’t you know it, I nearly shot a pinwheel (shooting out the 10-dot that serves as the aim point) on the first target!

Target one — Air Arms Falcons

The first target was shot with 10 Air Arms Falcon pellets. Ten pellets went into 0.22-inches between the centers of the two shots farthest apart.

At the end of Part 13 I said I would compare today’s groups with those shot in Part 12. In that test 10 of the same Falcon pellets grouped in 0.49-inches between centers at the same 10 meters. Today’s group of 10 is less than half the size of the previous test. Hmmm — maybe all that stuff I did in Part 13 worked. Whaddaya think?

HW 50S Falcon group
Ten Air Arms Falcon pellets grouped in 0.22-inches at 10 meters.

Build a Custom Airgun

The safety

After using the safety in the previous two tests I was very cautious with it. I found that there are two distinct clicks when the safety comes off, and if you don’t hear both the safety is still on.


And now we make a transition. In Part 12 this was where I had noticed that the scope was slipping backwards. So the scope mount clamp screws were tightened. The next group was the largest of the Part 12 test, but will that be the case today?

Target two — RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

I did find another tin of RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. In Part 12 these made the largest group at 0.723-inches between centers at 10 meters. Today 10 Meisterkugeln went into 0.385-inches. This time the group was just over half the size of the previous one! And the first shot was a perfect pinwheel!

HW 50S Meister group
Ten RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets went into 0.385-inches at 10 meters.

At this point in the test I shook both the scope and the barreled action. Both were still tight.

Air Arms Field pellet

Next to be tested was the Air Arms Field pellet. In Part 12 ten of these went into 0.456-inches. Today ten are in 0.546-inches, so this is the first group that is larger today than in Part 12. There were no called pulls.

HW 50S AA Field group
Ten Air Arms Field domes went into 0.546-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Exact RS

The final pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. Ten of them went into 0.322-inches at 10 meters. In Part 12 ten went into 0.475-inches with nine in 0.305-inches. So this pellet stayed pretty much where it was.

HW 50S JSB RS group
Ten of the JSB Exact RS pellets made a 0.322-inch group at 10 meters.

After the final group I shook the scope and the barreled action and everything was still tight.

What have we learned?

We have learned that tight stock screws and tight scope mount screws are essential to accuracy.

We have learned that the Vortek Vortek PG4-Steel tune kit really works well, once the mainspring is cut to the right length.

We have learned that the rear stock screw (rear trigger guard screw) on Weihrauch rifles with Rekord triggers is prone to strip if tightened too much.

We have learned that Burris XTR Signature rings work well to overcome barrel droop, but they take more care to install.

We have learned that the Weirauch HW 50S air rifle is a fine airgun, after it has been set up properly.

We have learned NOT to look at these tests through fece-colored glasses! At least I HOPE we have learned that. Let the tests be completed before you tilt at the windmill!

Not the only way

This is not the only way this rifle can be set up. It’s my way, but yours may be different. You may like the factory tune, so bully for you. You may like the extra power the Vortek kit gives before the mainspring is cut. Or there may be something we haven’t explored that is exactly what you want. The HW 50S is not inexpensive, but it is a canvas that you can make your own.


Next we will back up to 25 yards and shoot for accuracy. I’ll keep the Falcons and the JSB Exact RS and perhaps try two new pellets.


I didn’t care for the new-style HW 50S in the beginning. It was too hard to cock, it buzzed when shot and the stock doesn’t allow me to shoot with open sights. Now that I have installed a smoother Vortek mainspring kit and tuned it as I prefer, this rifle rivals my HW 30S!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airgunsβ„’ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

39 thoughts on “HW 50S: Part Fourteen”

  1. Everyone,

    Well, WordPress did it again. I had to twice update the time to publish because it kept changing to a time I had not entered and it still screwed up. Sorry!


  2. BB,

    Hey, I do not mind. This allows me to be the first to post. πŸ™‚

    The Weihrauchs can be quite expensive, especially if you compare them to the big box store sproingers. I have the opportunity to buy an old Beeman RX / HW90 that is supposedly in excellent condition. Yes, it is a lot, but my experiences with Weihrauchs has been they make superb heirlooms.

    • Don’t pass it up, RR. Have no regrets about picking up the .25 HW90 from PA – the wallet still aches a bit but the pain was lessened by the discounted sale price. Still have to zero it in but there’s been too much “honeydew,” humidity and heat down here in S FL for that to happen. You will get good arm exercise if the gas cylinder is still set to factory spec but you can always detune it to your “sweet spot.”

  3. BB,

    With the HW30 being unavailable and choices limited, I picked up a .22 caliber HW50 and spring kit with the intention of making it my plinking springer. A month later, my wife spotted a .177 caliber Beeman R7 (HW30) that I’d been wanting for that role and bought it for me. So there’s little sis and big bro at VARACC – I’ve been more than pleased with both the Weihrauchs!

    I’ve happily been using the HW30 as my plinker and the HW50 as a pester, so now I’m debating whether I should install the spring kit into the HW50. Don’t really need the HW50 for pesting as I prefer my Crown for that duty.

    Hmmmm… Think I’ve been enabled, from the results you’re seeing it sounds like installing the spring kit will be a winter project for me.


    • Hank,

      First off allow me to congratulate you for having a Proverbs 31 wife. Secondly, check those stock screws. And finally, get the Vortek kit. It really works as well as I have described in today’s report. I expected improvement, but not as much as I got!


    • Hank,
      Great wife you’ve got there; she’s a keeper, for sure!
      And you’ve got two sweet rifles; you’re “livin’ high on the hog.” πŸ˜‰
      Cheers to you,

  4. BB,
    I was most pleased to read this report of these excellent results you’ve achieved with your HW 50S!
    Now, I look forward to her 25-yard accuracy test. πŸ™‚
    Blessings to you,

    • Dave,

      This test was a night-and-day revelation of the new-style HW 50S. With the things that have been done to this air rifle it has gone from a hard-cocking, buzzing breakbarrel in the lower-powered range to a smooth, solid and, as you can see today, accurate rifle that everyone can love.


  5. Tom,

    Thank you so very much for this series. It has evolved over its many installments into quite an illuminating odyssey to read about.

    This series explores an interesting dynamic that I have not considered before on the subject of air rifles: purchasing a high-end model with the intent of making significant modifications to it to make it precisely what one desires.

    This is something high-knowledge consumers are known to do in other areas. The other hobby I often mention here in comparison to air guns, electric guitars is famous (or infamous) for this. “I’ll get a Fender American Ultra Stratocaster and change out the pickups to Seymour Duncans and the tuners to Hipshot.” Another analogy would be to buy a particular automobile new, having it delivered to a customizer and having the engine and exhaust modified and different wheels and tires installed.

    I describe the air-gunner who might do this as “high-knowledge.” This is not something a casual air-gunner would even consider a possibility, much less actually plan to do. Granted, there have been particular models of air guns regularly bought by hobbyists planning to do the modifications themselves. I’m not referring to experts like Tom Gaylord modifying one HW50s to meet his exacting personal standards. I’m referring to those whose hobby is actually performing the modifications of air guns such as Crosman’s 2240 and 1377 air pistols, changing out so many parts that custom third-party parts outnumber Crosman parts.

    But selecting a quality air rifle that comes merely close to meeting the desires of the purchaser, a purchaser who then performs specific upgrades to the new air rifle is new to me. The concept has the potential to open up many possibilities I never before considered.


  6. B.B.

    In an earlier post, my mentioned your distain for one piece scope mounts, please elaborate…
    I was always told that they should hold your scope better than individual straps.


    • Yogi,

      I have held that opinion for almost 30 years. Back in the day (1990 ) shooters felt that one-piece rings had greater clamping power. That was at a time when scope stops on spring guns were not as advanced as they are today.

      My grudge against one-piece rings is how limited they are when it comes to positioning the scope. I don’t think they hold any better than two-piece rings, and with two-piece rings I have many times more the positioning possibilities, which includes turning the rings around.


  7. Greetings all.
    I for one am particularly thankful for this blog and for Tom disseminating
    All this information that is on its face counterintuitive.
    We who have been around the block with Tom as a chaperone……. Have been ferried through the dark Waters of spending real money on a Springer only to find out in the short term the results it’s producing are mediocre or worse!
    I have to remind myself how many subtleties would be huge disheartening
    hurdles. Just try to imagine for yourself
    How befuddled you would be to spend a lot of cash…… For merely mediocre results. What a great report illustrating
    Both the journey and the tools to unlock greatness in your pride and joy !!
    Thank you Godfather.
    Just when I thought I was out…. You pulled me back in.lol

      • I adored The Sopranos….
        I am lucky to have the first season on
        DVD with the special distinction that it was autographed to me by James Ganldolfini.
        You’re only as good as your last envelope. Lol Frank

        • Frank,

          That first episode of Season 1 and the Pine Barrens episode (forget the season) were my favorites. What a series. (And I actually loved the way the series ended, very Art Cinema like.)


          • Paulie…… Try mixing the ketchup with the relish.
            Bobby dressed up like Elmer fudd.
            When Paulie gets off the phone with Tony……. He killed a whole bunch of guys he’s some sort of interior decorator. LMAO

          • Davemyster,
            I have been very fortunate in that I also have Goodfellas autographed to me by Ray liotta.
            If you are bored Google my name
            Adding the middle initial P…..
            I also have Sylvester Stallone’s autograph and Bruce Willis

              • Oh wow that’s really neat shootski!
                Any chance you went to school with any Politos?
                They were my cousins in south Philly. They were in concrete. Not literally though LOL

                • Frank,

                  Tacony is in NE Philly so no Politos that I remember or during my visits to S. Philly to get my flutes, clarinets, and saxophones worked on…oh and get my Cheese Steaks.


  8. Guys,
    I know 10 yards is a little close for pellet testing but realize that Tom can do this in the house with the AC running. It has been over 100 degrees almost every day in the past few weeks. It is usually still in the mid 90s at sunset and the low happens at around 7:00 in the morning and has been in the low 80s. For most Texans, summer is the one season we don’t shoot much. But, Tom has a job to do 5 days a week and it is very tough this time of year. Thanks for all the sweat you pour out for us Tom!
    David Enoch

    • David you sure said a mouthful!
      I’m up here in North Alabama, and I honestly don’t want to handle my good air guns. Even my hands sweat profusely. Fun is not had when the third shot begins with trying to dry your brow
      And get the sweat out of your eyes with your shirt tail.

  9. Great series Tom. This shows that a good product – and priced accordingly – is not necessarily satisfying to every user. The best part is that starting with a good foundation and making the right modifications you made an already good product into a superb one. Well done!

    The other side of the coin, some of us invest too much time and effort in trying to improve a bad product, for example an airgun with pot metal, bristle plastic parts and an atrocious trigger. Popular wisdom says that “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”, and somehow people like me still try. I hope we will learn, sometime.


    • Believe what you describe is a natural inclination of men because of our brain wiring; stubborn FM has been fiddling unsuccessfully with the pool pump system for months and has actually managed to keep it half-alive by fiddling with different parts and resetting things but it will soon die and then the professionals will have to take over. But at least he’s learned a little bit more about pneumatics, hydraulics and leaks.

    • Roamin,

      Have I turned the 50 into a larger HW 30S? That’s a question I have asked myself many times. I’m afraid the answer is yes.


      • BB. I remember asking once, “Why buy an airgun and spend money and time to fix it up so it performs like one you could have purchased new?”
        Now getting one new and spending money and time on it to underperform, in a sort of way, is just about the same in reverse.
        I am hoping that what you have accomplished is not obtainable over the counter at all, and perfect for you.
        Talk about being picky. πŸ˜‰

  10. B.B.,

    This was all it really took? A HW50, a Vortek Kit, a field expedient Coil CLIP, a prayer and bada bing!

    The Dark Side calls me back LOUDLY… to hunt the Pine Barrens of my Yout.


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