To ready the HW98 for shooting, grab the end of the barrel and pull it down and back until it latches. This requires around 32 or 33 pounds of effort and automatically actuates the safety on the HW98. I don’t know if this is true of all HW98s, but on the sample that I tested, I noticed that the cocking stroke was incredibly smooth and quiet. There wasn’t any spring noise or creaking, just a smooth sliding sound until the mechanism latched.
Slide a pellet into the aft end of the barrel and return the barrel to its original position. Take aim, push the safety OFF, and squeeze the trigger. At XX.X, the first stage comes out of the trigger. At XX.X, the shot goes down range. The Rekord trigger is predictable and crisp. The shot goes off with a tiny bit of twang, but this is a twang that is more heard than felt and is not – to me, at least – in any way annoying. In fact, while I was testing the HW98, my wife stuck her head out the door and said, “You must really like this gun.”
“Why’s that?” I said.
Came the reply: “Because you’re really taking your time with it.” And it was true – I was really enjoying my time with the HW98.
The HW98 launches JSB 7.97 grain .177 pellets at an average of 849 fps. That works out to 12.59 footpounds of energy at the muzzle. I got excellent accuracy with the JSB pellets, shooting a ragged one-hole five-shoot group at 13 yards. At 32 yards, I shot a one-inch edge-to-edge five shoot group off a casual rest. With Crosman Premier 7.9 grain pellets, I shot an even tighter group at 13 yards. At 32 yards, again I put five pellets into a one-inch group, but this time, three of the pellets went through the same hole . . . clearly more testing is in order!
Did I like the HW98? You bet. Is it “ . . . built for the competitor, small game hunter, or backyard shooter . . . with features that everyone will appreciate?”
Here’s a clue: I voted with my wallet and bought the test sample.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott