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).

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Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Hercules 45
Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore rifle.

This report covers:

  • Big gun!
  • Description
  • .45 bullets and “pellets”
  • 1000 cc reservoir capacity
  • Onboard air gauge
  • 250 bar fill
  • Adjustable stock
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Barrel
  • Sights
  • I shot the Hercules
  • Sound
  • Evaluation

Big gun!

I’m starting a report on the Hatsan Hercules QE .45 big bore air rifle. First let me observe that this rifle is BIG. And I mean big in all ways. It’s 48.4 inches long and weighs 13 pounds before a scope is attached. I was surprised by that number, so I put it on a balance beam scale, and the rifle I am testing came to exactly 13 lbs.

The Hercules rifles come in the following calibers: .22, .25, .30, .357 and .45. Some of the specifications like magazine capacity differ by caliber (the .22 magazine holds 14 pellets), but the length and weight remain the same throughout the range.

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Determining the age of a vintage airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • How old?
  • It starts with straight razors
  • Shape of the blade
  • Shape of the scales
  • Blade profile
  • Airguns
  • Generations/ages
  • Very old steel and wood
  • Seals
  • Spring guns
  • Funky parts
  • Other finishes
  • Post WW II steel and wood guns
  • Breech and piston seals
  • Look for plastic
  • Painted guns?
  • Summary

How old?

If you are new to the field of airguns there seems to be an ocean of things you need to know. If you want to become a collector, some of these things are crucial. Today I will explore how you can determine the relative age of a vintage airgun.

It starts with straight razors

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about straight razors very long. But they were the thing I used to rediscover what it feels like to be a new guy in an established hobby. Although I am not interested in collecting them, I couldn’t help but pick up some clues to their relative ages (when they were made) along the way.

Shape of the blade

Before around 1800, straight razors had no real tang. That’s the skinny part behind the blade where you hold the razor to shave. Razors from 1800 and earlier simply don’t have one. They just end the sharp blade and remain almost as wide but become dull as they go back to the pivot pin on the scales.

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Getting started with a precharged air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Talon SS?
  • Triggers
  • Accuracy expectations
  • Scopes
  • Get parallax adjustment
  • Match the scope to the task
  • More to come

This is Part 2. In the first part I was brutally honest about the precharged pneumatics (PCP) I think are good for beginners. Now that I am doing my experiment about learning to sharpen straight razors I appreciate the level of information most new guys are seeking and are able to accept. There will always be some folks who don’t get it the first time around, but I won’t talk down to the rest of you to cover that. I will answer their questions and explain in greater detail as they require.

Talon SS?

Reader Cal raised an issue in Part 1 and answered it at the same time. Why didn’t I put AirForce rifles like the Talon SS into the entry-level category? Can’t someone who is new to precharged airguns shoot one of those? Of course they can! The Talon SS is no more difficult to learn to operate than any other PCP. The reason I held off is the style of the rifle.

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The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A word on straight razors
  • History
  • Weihrauch model numbers
  • Enter the R10/HW 85
  • Son of R1
  • Thin spring tube
  • Trigger
  • Description
  • Stock
  • Sights
  • Summary

A word on straight razors

Before we start I have a word on straight razor sharpening. I made a major discovery yesterday morning. It has to do with sharpness, the shape of the blade, how the blade is ground and its applicability to the task at hand. Very similar to airguns and power! It will be in my next report, which will be in a few weeks.

Now, let’s look at the Beeman R10/HW 85.

History

The FWB 124 started the velocity wars in the very early 1970s. But Dr. Beeman invented the rifle he called the R1, that was also produced as the Weihrauch HW 80. That air rifle really broke things open. It came out in 1981. Inside of 18 months Beeman had gotten the muzzle velocity of the .177 R1 from 940 f.p.s. to 1,000 f.p.s. and the race was on! Before we continue, let’s see how they did it.

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The 2017 Texas airgun show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Hatsan on the range
  • Raffles
  • Other goodies at the show
  • Dealer sales
  • The private dealers
  • Grand prizes
  • The end

I plan for this report to be the final one on the 2017 Texas airgun show.

Hatsan on the range

We have already seen AirForce Airguns, Crosman, Sig Sauer and Umarex USA. What I didn’t show you was the new Umarex Gauntlet being shot by the public. The rifle has not been released yet, but we expect it very soon. This was a rare chance for the public to test an airgun before release, just like I get to do at the SHOT Show sometimes. I also didn’t get any pictures of Crosman demonstrating their Pioneer airbow on the big bore range. But they were out there with it in the afternoon.

I did get to the Hatsan range, though, and saw the new Sortie pistol I’m now testing for you. I also got to shoot the Hercules big bore in .45 caliber.  Hatsan sent one for me to test for you and that will start soon, so I wanted to try it out with a Hatsan tech person at my side.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 1

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie.

Part Two: The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol

Part Three: The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol

Part Four: The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Power
  • Presentation is important
  • Semiautomatic!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • The action
  • Silencer?
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will do the impossible. It’s not perpetual motion and it’s not levitation. Today I will scoop myself! Today I will start a report on something I was hoping to surprise you with in Part 3 of the Texas Airgun Show next week.

I haven’t reported on all the dealers who were at the show yet, and Hatsan is one I planned to cover next time. Well, I figured you needed to see an airgun after all these other reports, so I opened a large box Hatsan sent me recently and, lo and behold, inside there is an airgun I hadn’t heard of before seeing one at the airgun show — the Hatsan Sortie.

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