Testing the HW50S – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2


Today is accuracy day, and the way I figure it, you guys are waiting for this report and the Beeman P3 accuracy report with about equal interest. The HW50S has delighted Mac, reminding him that great airguns are still being made. And, as Kevin pointed out days ago, the power of the new larger powerplant is approximately equal to the old Beeman R8, whose accuracy report I still have to do. So, if you lamented the passing of that great rifle, it’s still here by another name.

Mac mounted a Leapers Accushot 4-16x56AO SWAT scope. It has a 30mm tube and was mounted in Leapers Space Age 30mm high rings. The globe front sight and the rear sight were left in position and caused no problems with the scope.

The Accushot Space Age rings have a vertical scope stop screw to adjust down into one of the three scope stop holes on the rifle.

Put the vertical stop screw into one of these three scope stop holes on the rifle’s receiver.

Looking at the underside of the Accushot scope ring base you can see the hole through which the scope stop pin passes.

The Accushot SWAT scope Mac used has side-focus parallax adjustments and an EZ-Tap red/green illuminated reticle control for low-light hunting.

RWS Hobby
The lightweight RWS Hobby pellet turned in the worst performance at 30 yards. Ten shots went into a group measuring 1.04″ across.

Hobbys shot the worst overall in the rifle. Group measures 1.04″ between the widest centers.

Crosman Premier heavies
10.5-grain Premiers turned in the second-worst performance.

Premier heavies were about as bad as Hobbys in the HW 50S. Group measures 0.98″ across.

So things don’t look that good at this point. But this is where they turned around. Remember, these are all 10-shot groups at 30 yards.

JSB Exact Match 8.4 grains
The next pellet Mac tried was the JSB Exact Match 8.4-grain pellet. It put 10 shots into a group that measured 0.75″ across. This is pretty good performance for any springer at 30 yards. Not the best, but pretty good. For you newer shooters a 10-shot group will be about 40 percent larger than a 5-shot group from the same gun, so please take that into account.

Ten shots into 0.75″ at 30 yards is good work.

Crosman Premier 7.9 grains
The Crosman Premier 7.9-grain lite pellet proved to be the best of the test. Not by a narrow margin, either! Mac’s first group measured 0.68″ across, but he noticed that the front sight was loose. When he tightened it, the group shrank to a phenomenal 0.49″ across for TEN shots! And, he didn’t do it just one time. He did it repeatedly!

Best pellet of all was the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet. Several groups like this 0.49″ group were shot.

In fact, Mac shot numerous groups with all the pellets. What you’re seeing today is representative of what his rifle can do.

Mac did so much testing that I can’t get it all in today. So, we aren’t finished with this report just yet.

Testing the HW50S – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1


Before we begin, a medical update. I left the hospital last Friday with the blood clot in my shoulder seemingly not an issue anymore. The visit proved very beneficial because the gastroenterologists replaced the stent in my pancreas three weeks early, and an infectious disease doctor identified four strains of organisms growing in my pancreas that we are now treating with antibiotics. So, what felt like a setback turned out to be an advance.

I am weaker now as a result of the new medicines, but I expect that to pass. And I have the run of the house, which is where the bulk of my airgun testing is done. My buddy Mac continues to help me with the testing, so things should look pretty normal.

You’ll recall from Part 1 that Mac really likes the .177 caliber HW50S. He was mentally prepared to like it for its Weihrauch heritage, but after actually holding, examining and shooting one he now has specific comments to share.

Today, we’ll look at the power of the gun, and it’s important to note that the current HW50 is not the same gun it was years ago. The current rifle has a powerplant with a little larger piston and therefore develops slightly more power than the older version.

Mac tried a variety of pellets. Some were light, some of medium weight and one heavyweight. This demonstrates how the powerplant responds to different weights as well as different hardnesses of lead and different fits to the bore.

Crosman Premier heavies
The 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellet fit very tight in the breech and of course is also a hardened lead pellet. These two things plus the heavy weight conspired to slow the pellet down to an average velocity of 618 f.p.s. The range went from 600 to 632. The average muzzle energy is 8.91 foot-pounds.

Crosman Premier lites
In contrast to the heavy Premier, the 7.9-grain Premier lite was a good fit for the breech. It averaged 754 f.p.s. with a spread from 738 to 771. The average muzzle energy was 9.98 foot-pounds, beating the heavy by a full foot-pound. So, lightweight and better bore fit produces better results. The Premier lite is made of the same hard lead alloy as the heavy pellet, so that did not change.

RWS Hobbys
The lightest pellet tested was the 7-grain RWS Hobby, which was a loose fit in the breech of the test rifle. They averaged 836 f.p.s. with a spread from 822 to 849. The average muzzle energy was 10.87, foot-pounds, so another almost whole foot-pound was gained. The RWS Hobby is made from nearly pure lead, so it’s much softer than either of the Premiers.

JSB Exact, 8.4 grains
The lightest JSB Exact domed pellet fit the bore very well. It averaged 750 f.p.s. with a spread from 739 to 758. This 19 f.p.s. spread was the smallest of all four pellets tested. The average muzzle energy was 10.87 foot-pounds, which is identical to the Hobby’s performance.

So, the new HW50S powerplant is clearly more powerful than the old one. I don’t own an HW50 to make this comparison, but my HW55F has the same powerplant and develops an average 631 f.p.s. with RWS Hobbys. Even assuming my rifle is a bit tired, the difference in power is still pretty clear.

The current 50S develops just about the perfect power for a plinking rifle or an all-day airgun. Mac reports just a little vibration with the Hobbys but a solid feel for the other three pellets. The cocking effort is a light 24 lbs. that won’t bother most adults. And the Rekord trigger is delightful. So to this point, the 50S seems to be a winner.

Testing the HW50S – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

HW50S is a modern descendant of the fine Weihrauch line of spring-piston air rifles.

Mac’s first impression of the HW50S was of the Bavarian stock. If you aren’t aware of the style, a Bavarian butt comb slopes down toward the back, making cheek placement good for aperture sights but not for a scope. Mac finds the rifle well-suited to the open sights that come with it. He also mounted an HW55 target rear aperture sight on the rifle to see how it would work, and we’ll learn the results of that during accuracy testing.

Blog reader Vince tells us this new 50S isn’t the same rifle it was 20 years ago. That older rifle was related closely to the HW55 and has a 25mm piston, while the new model that Mac is testing has a 26mm bore.

Mac’s rifle has the target-style front sight with replaceable elements housed in a globe. It came supplied with six inserts. The rear sight has four different types of notches, allowing the shooter to match the rear notch to the front sight insert.

The front sight globe takes one of six replaceable inserts, depending on the kind of shooting you’re doing.

The rear sight has four different notches to match the front inserts. They’re held in by a captive spring and are pried back to turn.

The Weihrauch target aperture rear sight also fits the rifle. It doubles the sight radius and increases accuracy by quite a bit.

Buyers need to be aware that Pyramyd Air also has another version of the same rifle with fiberoptic sights front and rear. So, make sure you ask for the model you want.

The stock is made of beech and is uncheckered, evenly stained without any blemishes and the red butt pad is well-fitted. The cheekpiece is for right-handed shooters, but Mac feels the rifle is suited to lefties, as well. The forearm is long enough to cover the baseblock.

The metal is deeply blued and evenly polished. And the fit of metal to wood is excellent. A two-piece articulated cocking link provides clearance for a very short cocking slot in the stock. It also allows for the forearm to be secured by a single screw in the bottom rather than two screws on the sides. The overall effect of this is a rifle that is inherently quieter with less powerplant vibration.

The triggerguard is made of cast metal and is checkered on the bottom. Mac reports it’s his favorite feature on the rifle. Of course, the Rekord trigger has the large aluminum adjustment screw hanging down behind the trigger blade.

Mac made a special point of examining the barrel crown closely. He reports that it’s evenly cut and looks fine.

The barrel crown is fine and even.

He also reports a significant change in how the barrel is mounted to the baseblock. There’s a star nut on the breech that holds it tight to the baseblock, and Mac reckons that if an owner had the right spanner, barrel swaps would be easy!

This breech nut is a new feature on Weihrauch rifles. It looks like barrels could be easy to swap. Notice, too, that the breech entrance is also finely machined.

The bottom line
Mac is most impressed with this rifle. His first words to me were, “I like this one!” Let’s see how it does when tested.