It wouldn’t surprise me if one of these days, my friends and family pull an “intervention” on me. You know what an intervention is: one of those deals where they all gather in a room and tell you how concerned they are about you and how maybe you ought to be thinking about what you’ve been up to and perhaps you ought to Get Some Help. Interventions often revolve around drug abuse or alcoholism. But that’s not my difficulty. We’ll get to what my problem is in just a little bit, but I’ll give you a hint: I started thinking about it when I began testing the Weihrauch HW30S De Luxe.
The HW30S is one neat little air rifle. It measures just 38 and three-quarters inches end to end and tips the scales at just five-and-one-half pounds. At the extreme aft end of HW30S is a soft brown rubber butt pad that is attached to the hardwood stock with a black spacer. The butt stock has a slight swell for a cheek piece on the left hand side, but in all truth the stock for the HW30S is virtually ambidextrous and lefties should have no difficulty shooting it whatsoever.
Moving forward just a bit, there is checkering on either side of the pistol grip, and it is this checkering – and the checkering you’ll find on the forestock – that separates the HW30S De Luxe from the plain old HW30S. Forward of the pistol grip is a black metal trigger guard inside of which is a silver metal Rekord adjustable trigger. Forward of that, underneath the forestock, is a large screw that secures the action into the stock, and a bit further on is a slot in the forestock to provide clearance for the cocking mechanism.
Beyond the end of the forestock is the breech block and the cocking linkage, followed by the barrel. On top of the barrel, near the muzzle is a globe sight (like you would find on a a Beeman R1) that has interchangeable inserts. Moving back along the barrel, you find a micro-adjustable rear sight mounted on top of the breech block. Moving aft again, there is a dovetail for mounting a scope and a couple of holes for anti-recoil pins. At the extreme aft end of the receiver, you’ll find a push-button automatic safety that is non-resettable.
To get the HW30S ready for shooting, grab the barrel on or near the front sight and pull it down and back until it latches. This opens the breech for loading. Stuff a pellet into the breech and return the barrel to its original position. I tested the .177 version of the HW30S (it’s also available in .22), and it launches Crosman Premier 7.9 gr. pellets at average of 620 fps, generating about 6.7 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
The HW30S shares the same powerplant as the Beeman R7, which is one of the most beloved breakbarrel air rifles in the world. What makes it so much fun to shoot, I think, is that the power it generates is well matched to the weight of the gun, which makes it easy to shoot well, very accurate, and just plain a lot of fun to put shot after shot down range.
The Rekord trigger acquitted itself well (as they always do). The first stage required only 1 lb 2.3 oz, and the second stage just 2 lb 11.8 oz.
Now we come to the part where I need an intervention. After shooting the HW30S De Luxe for a while, a thought (powered by my obsession with the movie Quigley Down Under) crept into my brain: How would this neat little air rifle work with a peep rear sight?
In seconds, I was in the basement, dismounting the scope and the rear sight and mounting a Gamo Super Match rear sight that had been fitted with an anti-recoil pin and a variable aperture.
Okay, I pulled one to the right . . .
A few minutes after that, I shot a neat little group at 13 yards from a sitting position using the globe front sight and peep rear sight. With its light weight and ease of cocking, the HW30S De Luxe is simply great fun to shoot, and I heartily recommend this setup to anyone who wants to shoot as simply as possible.
And that’s why I fully expect friends and family to stage an intervention on me. “Jock, you’ve simply got to stop pretending you’re Matthew Quigley and quit mounting peep sights on every airgun that comes in the door!”
But I won’t stop. No so long as there are delightful air rifles like the HW30S De Luxe that can be fitted with peep sights and shot with immense pleasure.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott