How spring-piston rifles behave

by B.B. Pelletier

Okay, Grasshopper, enough Wax on! Wax off! It’s time to use your skills.

If you’ve been following the discussions over the past month about accuracy, you should now have the tools to be a pretty good judge of the potential accuracy of an air rifle and the relative ease with which that accuracy comes — even before taking the first shot. We’ll confine today’s discussion to just spring-piston guns, since they’re the most difficult to shoot.

How a spring-piston airgun works
This is a review for many of you, but we have enough new readers that perhaps it’s good to go over the points of how the spring-piston gun works. What I’m about to say holds true for guns with gas springs as well as guns with coiled steel mainsprings. They all work the same when it comes to their operation.

When the sear releases the piston, the piston starts moving forward rapidly at 50-60 miles per hour or 73-88 f.p.s. Unless there’s something like an anti-recoil mechanism to prevent it, the gun starts moving in the opposite direction. Since the piston weighs but a fraction of the weight of the whole gun, the gun’s movement is very slight.

Within a few hundredths of an inch of the end of its travel, the piston has compressed the air in front of it as high as it will ever go…given the piston diameter and length of the piston stroke. Due to this compression, the temperature of the air has also increased to a very high point. The piston wants to slam into the end of the compression chamber, but the thin cushion of highly compressed air actually slows it down and can even stop it. The pellet in the breech is sealing the air in front of the piston, and it hasn’t started moving yet.

However, at some point — and that point changes with each pellet used, the pellet can no longer remain stationary. There’s too much force pushing on its tail and it begins to move down the bore. The piston can now go all the way forward and rest against the end of the compression chamber, or it may have done so already and rebounded off the air cushion and now needs to go forward again. Each different type of pellet will determine exactly how this relationship of movement plays out, which is why some pellets feel good when you shoot them and other pellets seem to make the gun buzz and vibrate and even make noises that you may never have heard before.

When the piston reaches the end of its travel, it stops suddenly. When that happens, it imparts a hammer blow to the airgun, sending it in the same direction the piston was traveling. This is the second recoil, and it’s much more noticeable. At this point in time, the pellet is probably between three and six inches down the barrel and the entire gun’s moving.

The movement is in several forms. First, there’s high-speed vibration running through all the parts of the gun. You can’t see this vibration, even on a high-speed camera, but you can feel it. This is the buzz that you feel from some guns, and it can be so sharp that it actually hurts to hold the stock against your cheek.

Next, there’s a lower-speed vibration that’s both larger and much slower. If you had a high-speed camera, you could actually see the various parts of the rifle moving. The pellet is still inside the barrel when this happens.

Finally, there’s the recoil in both directions. Both are visible on a high-speed camera; and the forward movement, assuming we’re talking about a conventional spring-piston setup, is by far the largest. The gun starts moving forward before the pellet leaves the muzzle, but completes the movement after the pellet has gone.

Which spring-piston guns will be accurate?
Simply stated, breakbarrel spring guns are the most difficult to control. They may be just as accurate as underlevers and sidelevers, but they’re almost always more sensitive to the movement of the gun when it fires. That’s not to say that sidelevers and underlevers are not sensitive; but in comparison to breakbarrels, they’re less sensitive.

Let’s stay with breakbarrels for now. The ones with the longest piston stroke have the longest period of time for movement. That includes the high-speed vibration, the low-speed vibration and the recoil in both directions. As a rule, long-stroke spring-piston guns are the most sensitive to hold, and long-stroke breakbarrels are the most sensitive of all.

Then there’s the weight of the piston to consider. A heavy piston causes more rearward recoil when it begins moving and more forward recoil when it comes to a stop. You tend to find heavier pistons in guns with more power.

Put this all together, and you know that a breakbarrel spring-piston rifle that has a long piston stroke and high power will probably be the most sensitive airgun, as far as hold goes. It may be potentially very accurate; yet also be so sensitive that unless the hold technique is perfect, it’ll spray pellets everywhere.

Listen to this!
When I was doing the testing that lead to my R1 book, I tested my .22-caliber Beeman R1 with the factory tune and then with four different custom tunes. One of the tunes — from Venom — increased the power of the 18 foot-pound rifle to 23 foot-pounds, but it also removed nearly all vibration. It was by far the smoothest tune for that rifle. As a result, the rifle became easier to hold and shoot.

I then destroyed all of the mainsprings used in the testing by leaving the rifle cocked for a month with each of them, so the Venomac Mag-80 LazaGlide tune went away. While I had it and used it, I learned that it’s the vibration and not the power of a gun that determines how difficult it is to hold.

That tells us that if the gun is powerful without vibrating, it can be easier to shoot. You might think that a gas spring would give you exactly that, but they don’t always do so. The more powerful gas springs, while smoother than most steel springs of equal power, still vibrate a lot and require compensation with the hold.

What do we know?
If you believe what I’ve said to this point, then you know what it takes for a breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle to be the least sensitive to hold. It must have the following:

  • Low vibration
  • Short stroke
  • Low recoil

Put all of that together and you’ll have a lower-powered, spring-piston rifle. Time for a short story.

Several years ago, I tested a Mendoza breakbarrel called the Bronco, oddly enough, that was very low powered. It had a strange-looking Euro-styled stock with a too-short pull (about 10 inches) and a hideous kidney-shaped cutout in the center of the butt. The stock was firewood, but the action was good. No, it was better than good. It was great!

The gun cocked easily, had a very short piston stroke, a wonderful crisp trigger and an accurate barrel. I proposed to Pyramyd Air that we have this rifle restocked with a western-style stock, like the old Beeman C1 carbine. They agreed, so I found the stockmaker and had the job done.

We then sent the newly-stocked rifle to Mendoza and asked them to create a model that had a similar stock, though with a pull suited to older youth as well as adults and a couple other important changes. Voila! The Air Venturi Bronco that you all know was born. You can call me an airgun designer if you like, but what I really am is someone who knows what it takes to make the right kind of airgun. Mendoza was already making most of it, but they needed prompting to change those few important details that turned their oddball Bronco, which wasn’t selling, into our Bronco, which is now a best-buy. It’s the same gun, with just a few important things changed. Think of it as the Jeep with the V6 engine that everybody loves, as opposed to the same Jeep with the underpowered 4-cylinder powerplant that someone buys because, on paper, it gets two miles per gallon better mileage. In real life, the details matter.

The Bronco is very insensitive to hold for a breakbarrel and as a result, deadly accurate in the hands of almost everybody. Contrast that with the guy who has to have the absolute last foot-second of velocity, so he buys the air rifle that’s guaranteed to make his life miserable — hard to cock, violent when shot and requiring the skill of a concert airgunner to shoot well. He may have some bragging rights; but at the end of the day, the Bronco owner will shoot a lot more and have more fun doing it.

There are many more stories, but I think my point has been made. You now know how to select a spring-piston breakbarrel that will be the least hold sensitive when shot. Now you know why I went bonkers over the Crosman TitanGP (Lower Velocity) that’s a really fine shooter.

On to other springers
Let’s talk about the underlevers and sidelevers. Within these, there are the underlevers that use a sliding compression chamber, like the Beeman HW97K, and those that have a loading tap, such as the Hakim (made by Anschutz). There are sidelevers with loading taps, as well, but they’re not common. Sidelevers usually have sliding compression chambers, like the RWS Diana 48.

For whatever reason, both underlevers and sidelevers are less sensitive to hold than breakbarrels. Of these, the taploaders seem to be the least sensitive of all, though the TX200 Mark III from Air Arms has a sliding compression cylinder and is also very insensitive to hold.

The hold sensitivity for both underlevers and sidelevers does increase as the stroke length and vibration increase. Notice that I didn’t say anything about the power. The TX200 Mark III is very powerful, yet still very smooth and insensitive to hold. I would describe it as having a shorter piston stroke.

The RWS Diana 460 Magnum, in contrast, has a very long piston stroke and does need a lot of hold technique to shoot its best. The RWS Diana model 48 sidelever has a shorter stroke than the 460 Magnum and is also less sensitive to hold.

It seems that the same things that drive the hold sensitivity for breakbarrels also affect underlevers and sidelever guns. It’s just that these types of airguns start out with an advantage over breakbarrels in the sensitivity to hold.

What does that leave?
I have not discussed any of the other types of spring guns, such as the overlevers (they act just like underlevers) or those that cock via a lever that works in a different way, like the Haenel 310 and the VZ 35. All of these airguns are low-powered enough that they have good characteristics to begin with; as a result, they don’t cause any of the hold problems we’ve discussed.

Other issues
To this point, I’ve said nothing about the quality of the barrel, the breech lockup, or the overall fit and finish of the working parts of the powerplant. These items do affect the performance of an airgun and will break your heart if they’re not taken into account. Some air rifle barrels, for instance, look like 40 miles of rough road and will never deliver pinpoint accuracy no matter what’s done to the rest of the gun. Some barrels are crooked from the factory and can never be fully straightened. You can put lipstick on the pig, but that won’t change its manners!

The bottom line
What all of this means is that no one has to go into the airgun selection process blind. If you can determine the three important characteristics I’ve discussed here — vibration, piston stroke and recoil — you can generally know how difficult it will be to shoot each airgun well.

If you want to hunt with your new rifle, then by all means pick one that has plenty of power. But choose it to use it! Now that you’ve been informed, don’t buy a mega-magnum spring rifle, then whine that it’s too difficult to cock or too hard to shoot accurately.

Many of the veteran readers on this blog seem to keep harping on the low-powered springers for a reason. Guys like Kevin and others keep going back to rifles like the Beeman R7 and the HW50S because they know what wonderful shooters they are. Don’t kid yourself that these guys are not experienced with the powerful springers, too. Most of them have tried the big guns and found they didn’t enjoy all that it took to make them do their jobs.

There’s a place for the RWS Diana 350 Magnum and the Walther Talon Magnum, but some thought has to be given before purchasing either of them or any other spring-piston air rifle of equivalent power. Both rifles are built for a specific purpose, which is hunting. They’re hard to cock and take a lot of technique to shoot to their potential. Neither rifle is the best choice for a first airgun for someone who is either new to airguns or new to shooting altogether.

I hope this report helps some of our newer readers narrow their selections of possible air rifles to purchase next. As always, there will be exceptions to what I have said, but they only serve to prove the general rule.

Fred does some accuracy testing

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we start, I have a couple new things for you. First, February podcast is up. Yes, I said February! March’s podcast will go up shortly. Sorry February’s late, but we had technical glitches and some time issues.

Next, there’s a new article on Pyramyd Air’s website from one of my Airgun Revue magazines. It’s about Zimmerstutzens, which are in a class somewhere between airguns and firearms.

Blog reader Fred decided to see how his guns shot. So he took ’em all out and…well, that’s really the blog. I’ll let him tell it.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Fred Nemiroff, aka Fred PRoNJ

My collection of air rifles is growing. This sport truly is addictive; and while I don’t have nearly as many rifles as some others, I shoot the ones I have on a regular basis. My philosophy with motorcycles is to ride ’em and not hide ’em. I feel the same way with my air rifles –- use them and don’t let them gather dust. While I know which of my rifles are supposed to be the most accurate, it wasn’t clear in my mind how they stacked up to each other. With snow on the ground and my local range closed, I was reduced to shooting in the basement, a 28-ft range. That is, with the target at the extreme opposite diagonal and me squeezed into a corner between a bookshelf and the electric panel access, shooting carefully past the lolly column and the treadmill. Not the best way to analyze accuracy, but it’s what I have to work with.

One of the first things I do when I purchase a rifle is to determine which pellet provides the greatest accuracy. Armed with that knowledge and the pellet supply on one of the bookshelves, my contest started. I relegated the competition to 7 scoped rifles. My shooting technique involved standing with my left arm resting on a makeshift stand and the rifle resting on my left arm. I found that this was superior using my left hand to support the rifle while the elbow rests on the solid stand. Plus, this seems to be the method most used in field target competition. The competitors are sitting on the ground, their left arm is resting on their knees and their rifle is resting on their arm.

RWS 46 air rifle

First up was the first spring-piston rifle I purchased, an RWS 46 in .22 cal. For those that may not be familiar with it, the 46 is an underlever rifle with a unique pop-up loading port.

Here’s the loading port, but the transfer port is extremely long. Shown open.

My 46 prefers RWS Super-H-Point pellets weighing 14.2 grains. Average muzzle velocity was a surprising 682 fps which translates to 15 ft-lbs. With that very long transfer port, this is supposed to be a moderately powered rifle producing around 10 ft-lbs. When I tested it several years ago, that’s what I was getting. I was so surprised by the velocity and power, I shot another series of 5 pellets past my Chrony Alpha and recalculated the results. Why this rifle is shooting at this level, I can’t explain — but I’m not complaining! The rifle produced a group of .452 inches. Subtracting the width of the pellet head (.22 cal) produced a center-to-center group of .232 inches.

RWS Super-H-Point pellets from my RWS 46.

RWS Super-H-Point pellets shot from by Discovery rifle.

The next rifle I tried was the .22 cal Benjamin Discovery. I’ve modified the Discovery with the TKO trigger and Mike’s muzzle brake. It’s made the rifle into a great shooter -– superb trigger now and no hearing protection required when shot in the basement. This rifle shoots RWS Super-H-Points, Crosman Premier domes and JSB Exact (Jumbo’s) all equally well. Muzzle velocity is 791 fps and with the JSB Exact Jumbo pellets, produces 22 ft-lbs at the muzzle. However, in my test, the Discovery using Super-H-Points gave me a group of .52 inches. Center-to-center spec is .30 inches. Not what I expected, but perhaps the TKO muzzlebrake has something to do with it. I’d take it off to retry, but it’s so darned loud that I decided to leave it alone. I’ll retry when I have more time without the brake and with other pellets. On to the next rifle.

My re-calibrated Benjamin Marauder in .177, shooting Crosman Premiers Ultra Magnum pellets (10.5 grains ) at around 810 fps, produces approximately 14 ft-lbs of energy. It’s the winner. I detuned the rifle to obtain up to 50 shots at this velocity +/-25 fps. The group was .348 inches or .171 inches center-to-center.

That’s 5 .177 pellets from my Benjy Marauder.

One of my newest acquisitions, the Benjamin Nitro Piston XL Trail Hardwood, gave me a lot of grief trying to find a pellet that it would like. I finally discovered the .22 cal. H&N Baracuda pellets. The pellet weighs 21.14 grains and exits the muzzle at 620 fps (average) and produces 18 ft-lbs of energy. Great — if I could hit what I was shooting at.

At the distance of 28 feet, it produced a very poor group of .833 inches. Center-to-center is .613 inches and would prove to be the worst of the collection.

Ouch! This is pretty big.

OK, time for the next German rifle, my RWS 52 in .177. This is a magnum-powered sidelever with a moving compression chamber.

RWS 52 air rifle

It was the most accurate spring-piston rifle, but I hadn’t tested it against the HW’s. Using JSB Exacts weighing 10.35 grains showed 887 fps on the Chrony Alpha, which translated to 18 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. The 52 gave me a group of .412 inches. Center-to-center measurements were .235 inches. A big, heavy rifle, and it can shoot.

JSB Exacts from my RWS 52 sidelever.

Next came the Beeman R9. This is the Goldfinger model in .20 cal that I bought at the Roanoke Show last year. The R-9 likes JSB Exacts, which weigh 13.8 grains. Pushed out the barrel at 716 fps, they produce just under 16 ft-lbs — but couldn’t catch the RWS 52. The group I got was .442 inches (.242 inches center-to-center). Well, we’re talking .01 inches difference here, which can easily be attributed to my measuring technique or the way the paper target tore. Plus, the R9 doesn’t have near the pellets down it’s barrel that the RWS 52 has. I figure it’s a toss up with the R9 only going to get better as more pellets travel down it’s barrel.

The bottom most hole just to the right of the number 8 –- within the 8 ring — I’m calling a flier.

Last up was the HW50S, the newest spring-piston rifle in my treasure trove. With a Leapers 5th Gen Bug Buster scope and exhibiting the most “twang” of all my springers, it put 5 .177 cal H&N Baracuda pellets into a .424-inch group (.247 inches center-to-center). Velocity for this pellet is 704 fps, and energy was just under 12 ft-lbs.

I think I can do better, but still — I’m happy with this group

To me, the Marauder is the most accurate PCP I have with the RWS 52 and HW50S vying for top honors in the spring-piston class…being pushed by the R9. Why did the Benjamin Nitro Piston produce such a horrible group at 28 feet? This started me on the path to research accuracy and what, if anything, I could do for it.

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.