The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Two centuries?
  • Reverend Alexander Forsyth
  • Maintainence
  • Danger
  • Percussion cap
  • Flobert
  • Gallery guns
  • Galleries again
  • Recap

Today we begin a subject that lies at the heart of the airgun. Rather than try to defend that statement at this time, I will present evidence as we go, because the body of evidence is both large and spans much of the over two centuries of the rimfire cartridge history.

Two centuries?

Wait a minute, BB. I just read on Wiki that the .22 Short — the first .22 rimfire cartridge — was patented by Smith and Wesson in 1854 and launched to the public in their new revolver in 1857. Today is 2018. That’s only 161 years. How can you say the rimfire cartridge has been in development for over 2 centuries? read more


Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 55SF
HW 55SF.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Rob velocity?
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Discussion
  • So, what?
  • Cocking effort
  • Firing cycle
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the HW 55SF target rifle I tuned back in November. If you read Part 4 you’ll see that I just applied Tune in a Tube grease (TIAT) to the mainspring and got great results. Some readers ask me to use TIAT over and over again on different airguns, apparently not convinced that it works as well as it does. But when they break down and try it, they see for themselves. This stuff really works!

Rob velocity?

But what does it do to the velocity? This is a low-powered spring rifle and we know that thick grease can rob velocity. We have the baseline velocity data I gathered in Part 2 to compare to, so today I will re-test the rifle with the same pellets. Let’s get right to it. read more


Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 55SF
HW 55SF.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Barreled action
  • Trigger out
  • The trigger
  • Remove the end cap
  • Remove the piston
  • Extra parts?
  • Piston seal
  • Inspect the parts
  • Put everything back
  • Tighten the pivot bolt
  • Installing the trigger
  • The test
  • Summary

Many readers wanted to look inside the HW55 SF, and today is the day! This is a Weihrauch spring rifle, and it comes apart like most of them. There are a few differences that I will mention as we go. Let’s get started!

Barreled action

The first step after checking to make sure the rifle is not cocked and loaded is to remove the stock. On this rifle that means loosening three screws — one on the underside of the forearm and the two triggerguard screws. The screws can remain in the stock and triggerguard for safekeeping, but the triggerguard is removed from the stock. I’ll have something more to say about this during assembly. read more


Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 55SF
HW 55SF.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Readers impact
  • The test
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Now, I zeroed the rifle
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic match pellets
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • But wait —
  • Summary

Today we look at accuracy. Because several readers have asked for it, I will re-test the rifle after I have tuned it. I have not decided yet whether I will do a full parts replacement tune, so there may be nothing to compare a Tune in a Tube tune to (say that quickly three times), but I will at least return and re-test the accuracy with the same pellets after I have quieted the action.

Readers impact

Several readers believe that making a spring gun’s action smoother will improve accuracy. It certainly won’t hurt it, but I have never found it to improve. However, I did an extra test today to see if I am doing all the things I can to get all the accuracy this rifle has to offer. We will get to that after the main test. read more


Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 55SF
HW 55SF.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • RWS R10
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Next
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the HW 55SF target rifle. I will tell you now that I was surprised by the performance. This is an air rifle that lives for years in my gun closet and only occasionally gets shot, so I forget how it works. It’s like a brand new airgun every time.

I have owned several HW55s over the years. One was the Custom Match that was their final release of the 55 series. It came out several years after the World Cup matches had switched to FWB 150/300s and Walther LGRs, so it never had a chance to dominate, but it was still quite a target rifle. read more


Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier


HW 55SF.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A rare find
  • No barrel lock
  • The trigger
  • Look in the Blue Book?
  • What is the 55SF?
  • Description
  • All hype aside

A rare find

I was at the Little Rock Airgun Expo in 2008 with my buddy, Mac, and I had told him a couple airguns that were on my short list. One was an HW 55. There was a HW 55 Tyrolean at the show but the price was too much for me. Then Mac asked me what I thought of the other one. The other one???

Sure enough, there was a second HW 55 on a table nearby and the price was very reasonable. Very reasonable means I could afford it. I was excited until Mac wondered if having a 55 without the barrel lock mattered that much to me.

No barrel lock

No barrel lock? But that’s what sets the 55 apart from all other Weihrauch breakbarrels, except the 35. I thought all 55s had barrel locks — it was one of the ways to spot them in a crowd (or laying on a table at an airgun show). read more


Basic airgun maintenance for beginners

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Good for everyone
  • Back to the LG55
  • Oiling the piston seal
  • How to tell
  • How to oil the piston seal
  • Other maintenance
  • Cleaning the barrel
  • What pellets?
  • Cleaning the outside
  • That’s it

I received this question on Tuesday.

“I just received an LG cal 4.5 mod 55 Walther’s patent air rifle. It’s a great gift, and I would like to keep it in good condition. I live in Europe though, And like most Europeans, I know almost nothing about guns.

Could you write an article about basic airgun maintenance and important things to check when laying hands on an old gun?
Thanks in advance for any help, Jean”

Good for everyone

With the enormous number of readers we have, I imagine Jean is not alone with his question. I put the answer here in the History section because his Walther LG 55 is a vintage breakbarrel spring-piston airgun that’s no longer made. It was made from 1955 to 1967, according to the Blue Book of Airguns. For some of those years (until 1963) it was Walther’s top target air rifle, and even today it has a smoothness and robust construction that cannot be overlooked. You don’t have to know airguns to recognize the quality of this rifle. read more