Thursday, July 01, 2010


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Monday, October 12, 2009


Back to 800

When the HW97 first came out back in 1994 the velocity advertised in the Beeman catalog was only 800 fps. As I remember it, most of the velocities for the catalogs were measured using the Beeman Silver Bear pellets, which only weights 7.1 grains so the actual power level of the original HW97 rifle was only 10 ft lbs of energy.

I remember my first HW97 that I bought for $330 in 1994 only shot about 10.5-11 ft lbs after it broke in and stopped dieseling. However, it was very smooth and accurate. My second HW97 that I bought from Bob Zimmerman a few years later shot much the same. In fact, it is even more accurate than my #1 rifle. I once shot a 60 shot FT match with it shooting at 775 fps with Crosman Premier 7.9 pellets. FT back then didn't have straps or thigh rests and the max distance was 50 yards so the courses were a bit easier than today. At any rate, I shot a 56x60 with that HW97 shooting only 775 fps and was only 3 shots off the top PCP shooter that day. The HW97 Mk1 (the 25mm piston) really shoots well at the 11-12 ft lb energy level.

Over the years I have had my rifles tuned and the power tuned up to get a bit more velocity. When tuned up the rifle would shoot accurately but had pretty sharp recoil. It would shoot accurately but it really required strict discipline to shoot consistently accurate. I shot a match last weekend with a home tune using an OX spring I picked up in the UK last July. The rifle shot hard but had some recoil.

I decided to go retro and re-tune the rifle back down to factory specs. After a little work, I had the rifle shooting right at 800 fps with Premiers with reduced recoil and very smooth firing cycle. The rifle shoots like I remembered it shooting years ago and I am really enjoying it. I am going to shoot it for a good while like this and enjoy the joys of lower power shooting!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


My First Go At It

I have been in the UK for the past week for work and had to stay over the weekend. Due to some work requirements, I had to hire a car on Thursday. So, of course, I was on the computer Thursday night to find some local airgun shops and clubs that I could visit over the weekend. I found Park Street Guns ( in St. Albans which is about 6 miles south of my hotel. I also found Lea Valley Airgun Club ( that was about 15 miles east of my hotel.

I planned to go to LVAGC and Park Street on Saturday but as it turned out, I finished my business a little early on Friday afternoon so I headed down to Park Street to check out the gun shop. It is a small but quaint shop with a small selection of various airguns and equipment. The also had a nice selection of firearms and a lot of beautiful shotguns. The had a cabinet full of high end .22 rifles and nearly all of them had silencers. I spent a good bit of time in the shop looking and chatting with the guys there.

They told me that they had just received their first HW97KT which is a new model HW97 with a new thumbhole stock. I asked to see it but the rifle sold about an hour after it had showed up. I found a picture of one on the HW site and it is a nice looking rifle. They had a selection of OX springs so I picked up one for my 12 ft lbs TX200 and one for my HW97s.

Saturday morning rolled around and after sleeping in, I got up and headed to the Lea Valley Airgun Club. Driving on the "wrong" side of the road is a trip. The hardest thing for me is giving myself enough room on the left side of the car to get around stuff along side the road. I arrived at the range around 10:30 am and after a safety tour of the grounds by Bob Ruggles the chairman of the club, I bought some pellets and borrowed a nice BSA Scorpion from Bob and got to shooting. They have a pretty nice plinking range with lots of reactive Knockover targets (

I played there for about an hour and then headed over to what they locally called the Rest Field Target match. This is pretty much a Hunter Field Target match but the shooters can use any kind of rest they want to bring along. I just shot normal FT style sitting with my left fist on my knee and the rifle on my fist. I have found for me that this position is the most stable for me when I shoot a sporter rifle. The Scorpion had a 6x Walther scope mounted on it. It was different using such a low power for target shooting but I managed to a good bit of the targets and have a lot of fun too. Every one was nice and helpful. After a spot of tea and a snack, I was on my way back to my hotel.

It was a fun day of shooting and I was very happy to be able to find a good club so close to my location. Hopefully, if all goes well, I may have a chance to shoot with another club west of London tomorrow.

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