Ever since I saw my first Beeman catalog some years ago, there has been one pistol that has tickled my curiosity: the HW75 (formerly called the Beeman P2).
Stretching 11 inches from end to end and weighing about two-and-one-third pounds, the HW75 looks very much like the HW45/Beeman P1. Both these pistols resemble a 1911 Colt automatic on steroids. I have shot the HW45/P1 many times, and it has the peculiar recoil of a spring-piston pistol. If you are accustomed to shooting single-stroke pneumatic pistols, the action of the HW45/P1 may drive you nuts. (Or like me, you may find that after a while it is an acquired taste and a whole lot of fun.)
But the HW75, which (according to Beeman literature) was originally designed as a prototype when the P1 was being developed, has a single-stroke pneumatic powerplant in a frame that is as robust as that of the P1. What would that be like to shoot? I didn’t know, but I really wanted to find out. I tried a couple of times to get my hands on one, but no luck. As the years rolled by, I had opportunities to shoot lots of different pistols: the Daisy 747, the Gamo Compact (both single-stroke pneumatics), several different variations on the P1, several different CO2 pistols, but no HW75.
HW75s apparently were rare birds. They didn’t hang around long. As soon as dealers got them in stock, they would sell out, and a waiting list would build up for the next shipment. If a writer (namely me) wanted to borrow one, there didn’t seem to be an extra one available for a field trip to El Rancho Elliott.
Recently, though, the good folks at Airguns of Arizona sent me an HW75. Finally, I would get a chance to play with one! But (wouldn’t you know it) there was a catch: AoA had already sold my test gun, so it was up to me to do my thing and return the aforementioned HW75 with All Due Haste.
My first impression of the HW75 is that it is amazingly well built. All the parts except the grips are made of metal and nicely finished in matte black. The wrap-around wooden grips are ambidextrous, are stippled on the lower half, and have a slight palm shelf on either side. The overall effect is that the HW75 is both solid and refined.
Getting ready to shoot the HW75 is straightforward. At the left of the hammer at the rear of the pistol is a thumb tab. Press it in fully and at the same time grasp the grooves on either side of the receiver just forward of the rear sight and lift upward. The top half of the receiver (including the rear sight but not the hammer) will now rotate all the way forward. Load a pellet in the rear of the barrel and return the top half of the receiver to its original position. As you do so, you will be compressing air in the single-stroke pneumatic powerplant.
The final step (besides flicking off the safety) is to cock the hammer by pulling it back. Next, ease the first stage out of the trigger, squeeze lightly, and POP! a pellet goes downrange. Velocities will likely be around 400 fps, depending upon the weight of the pellet. The adjustable trigger is really, really nice (light and crisp) and fairly begs the shooter to see how accurate he or she can be with the HW75.
The HW75 is equipped with a black metal blade front sight and black metal notch rear sight. For those who want to mount a scope or a red dot, there are grooves on front half of the HW75’s receiver that can accommodate airgun scope rings.
The bottom line is that the HW75 is an incredibly well built single-stroke pneumatic pistol that shoots like a house afire and looks like it should last a very long time. No wonder they are sold out so often.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott