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Coypu Hunter

Best Pellet For Weihrauch Hw97K In .177?

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I've managed to find a pellet that will achieve 18mm centre-to-centre groups at 33 yards in my 13.5 fpe HW97K. It's the Weihrauch F&T Special pellet in .177 (washed and lubed). Haven't tried the Weihrauch Magnum pellet yet -- that's next (when I get back to the UK and order some from Solware).


The rifle is untuned, and I use the artillery hold (took me a while to figure out that the 97K is VERY hold-sensitive!).


I've tried a bunch of other pellets, and the best I've been able to achieve is 28mm CTC with Bisley Magnums and JSB Exact Heavy pellets. I've also tried Crow Magnums, H&N Barracuda Hunters & Hunter Extremes, Gamo Pro Magnum, RWS Hobby, in fact anything I can get my hands on over here (retail or by mail order), but none of 'em will group.


The Weihrauch pellets are the only ones I'd consider using for hunting. Even so, one or two out of every ten pellets seems to be looser in the breech -- slightly smaller skirt diameter, I think -- which accounts for the odd high shot outside the main group.


Any suggestions as to other pellets I could try which might group tighter at these ranges with this rifle? H&N Field Target Trophy? Air Arms Diabolo Fields? Or am I expecting too much from an untuned rifle?


Here's how the Weihrauch pellets group:





Edited by Coypu Hunter
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4.51mm H&N FTT are just beautiful from my .177 HW97. They don't seem to be affected with consistency niggles that the .22 version is.

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Right, dhand62362, that's very useful mate, you've told me two things:


1. I should try AA Fields in 4.52mm;

2. If I shell out a couple of hundred quid on a Stage 2 tune from Sandwell Field Sports, I can expect to reduce my groups by 3mm at 35 yards.


Interesting. I've been thinking for a while about either getting a tuning kit for the 97, or even getting it professionally tuned when I'm in the UK. Now I'm not so sure. Here's why.


My 97K is extremely hold-sensitive. If I have my left hand in exactly the right place on the forestock (just at the start of the chequering in front of the trigger guard, under the rifle's centre of gravity) then the shots group very well. If I move my left hand an inch back towards the trigger guard, the shots will go high and to the right -- sometimes up to 10mm high. If I put my hand too far forward, into the middle of the chequering, the groups widen up to 24-28 mm. Further forward than that, and the groups are all over the place.


I know that a tune will make the rifle smoother, but now that it's broken in, it's lost its twang, and the recoil is manageable. So I'm now thinking that I wouldn't gain much in accuracy after a tune, and that more practice and trying other pellets might improve my groups more than an expensive tune. Thoughts anyone?


Pianoman, I find that JSB Exact Heavy pellets in 4.52 fit snugly into the breech, so I think that 4.51 would be a little loose in my barrel, and I've found that loose pellets tend to group less well. However, I've heard good things about the H&N pellets, so I'll see if I can find some in 4.52, if they exist. Is your barrel not so happy with 4.52mm pellets?


Lurchermann, do you know which JSBs he uses? I've tried JSB Exact Heavy pellets, but they don't group too well. Is he using the lighter JSB Exact?


So far, RWS Superdomes, AA Fields and H&N FTT are on the shopping list. Anything else?

Edited by Coypu Hunter

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Your rifle barrel will probably group better with 4.52 or even 4.53mm H&N ammo as you clearly describe a snug-feeling fit.


A tune will not make your rifle more accurate. It will certainly smooth the shooting characteristics that will enable an advantage of your managed recoil. If you see you are changing groups patterns with a change of your forehand's position on the forestock, it may be you are unaware of a slight increase in pressure of the buttpad at your shoulder which will throw the shot off your original zero.


Consistent hold is where consistent accuracy builds from and that means maintaining a consistent degree of pressure where the rifle meets your contact hold and influence upon it.


A fine tune is a refinement that will enhance a correct and sensitive hold technique between a skillful spring rifle shooter and a precision accurate rifle with the right pellet. It will not provide a magic wand effect that corrects an error of hold-pressure on the part of the shooter.


I cannot see you shoot your rifle Coypu Hunter and watch your cycle of aim, hold and trigger release so, I have to make assumptions on the character of your shooting by what you describe here.


Hope this is of help to you.




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Hi Pianoman.


Yes, that's the conclusion I'd come to, now that the rifle has settled down. Its initial twang has disappeared, and the recoil is smoother after a thousand pellets or so. I'll run it over the chrony later day to see where the power output has ended up.


As you rightly point out, the trickiest part is maintaining the same level of pressure at the four touch points, shot after shot. The forestock hold is straightforward, now that I've found the rifle's sweet spot. I simply cradle the rifle in my hand, rather than gripping it, and my hand rests on a bean bag. Trigger hold is also straightforward, since I'm similarly just cradling the rifle really, thumb straight up the spine of the rifle, light pressure on the trigger, the other fingers just curled around the stock but not gripping. The trigger is set light, so I can take up the first stage, wait for a gap between heartbeats, then squeeze slowly straight back.


Eye relief determines the position of my cheek on the comb, and again, I'm just resting my cheek on it to bring my eye in line with the sight picture. Shoulder pressure is also very light, just feeling the butt rest against my shoulder rather than pushing it forward.


I guess that slight variations in the pressure at these contact points probably mean the difference between pellet-on-pellet groups at 33 yards and the sort of groups I'm achieving.However, since it's pretty much impossible to measure small differences in these pressures, I guess the answer is simply more practice leading to more consistency. I'll certainly keep trying!


Meanwhile, I've ordered some Weihrauch Magnums, RWS Superdomes, H&N FTT, AA Fields and JSB Exacts, which I'll pick up when I'm in the UK in February. Couldn't find any Falcons. Where possible, I've ordered the pellets in 4.51mm (JSBs and Air Arms), since the Weihrauch pellets, which group best for me, are also 4.51mm. These also pop into the breech nicely (apart from the odd narrow skirt). I'll let you know how I get on.

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There you have it Coypu Hunter. The really main thing to watch for when stalking-hunting and HFT shooting with spring rifles is that the point of impact will shift slightly from a precision-set zero as you move into new positions demanded by the locations you have to shoot from in the field, that were different to the position you originally zeroed your scope to take your shot. This becomes a sort of average which you can reduce with practice and the best shots are the ones who can find that sweet-spot regardless of position and shoot very well from it.


You cannot always guarentee you can provide the precisely-exact repeat of your delicate, finesseful hold at first-zero as you switch shooting positions but, constant practice and a thorough knowledge of your pellet's trajectory path will help you to reduce the degree of variation at POI and maintain a useful, consistent degree of accurate shot placement that will win the trophies or bag the bunnies.


Edited to add.

It's why spring air rifle shooting, like playing an instrument, is an art that requires constant practice to master.


And then again, do we really master it fully? 45 years of spring air rifle shooting has taught me that, there is always a variable hiding round a corner. Like your superbly maintained rifle suddenly and for no reason, decides it likes another brand of pellet and rejects the brand it, and you've been swearing by for years!



Edited by pianoman

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And another variable... just ran some of the pretty consistent Weihrauch F&T Special pellets over my reloading scale, and found that they average 8.675 grains, but vary: six at 8.6, eight at 8.7, and two at 8.8. I even found one at 8.5 grains (and discarded it). I guess that accounts for some of them wandering off-centre by a few millimeters.


If I were really anal about this, I suppose I could grade them all by weight and shoot only the same-weight pellets... but, frankly, life's too short, and over here in France they don't do HFT...!

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Hey there, Coypu Hunter .. I was in the same boat mate, got a hw97 after a few years off shooting, and thought 2p sized groups at 35 yards were as good as it gets.. then I seen verminhuntersTV and the accuracy they were getting, I thought only pcp's could be that accurate. then I kept practicing. a hell of a lot! and now my groups are almost always 5p sized rather than 2p sized!

so practice really does help. lots of it. practice practice pactice my friend!!


as for the tune making a rifle more accurate, nope. they are built to be accurate, its just easier to get the accuracy if there smoother to shoot.


my reccomendations for pellets would be JSB exact , mine loved 4.51 and 4.52 about the same. and my 95k loved these aswel, now that was a hold sensitive rifle!!


as for getting all anal and weighing your pellets into batches of 8.7 8.8 etc, go for it, when your b ored on a rainy night infront of the tv lol

at 35-40 yards it really isn't neccisary, but at longer ranges you may see a slight difference. I don't bother personally.


as for head position/eye alignment, I don't know what scope you use but the panorama ev I have on my hw100 has a very 'fine' eye relief, what I mean by this is my eye has to be in almost the exact same position to get a sight picture, this helps in knowing your holding the rifle the same. some cheaper scopes you can look through them from 8 inches away or 2 inches away and get a good sight picture (slight exaggeration lol)


with my hw97 I hold the very end of the stock, I place my thumb lightly in one stock screw hole, and my middle finger in the other, my index finger is at the left side of the front end of the stock. then I know my right hand is in the same position shot after shot, lightly cradling the rifle as you described.


with the hw 100kt I have my trigger finger rested just touching the bottom inside of the trigger guard so I know im pulling it (squeezing it really) exactly the same everytime.


its all these little things I do that make sure im consistently holding the rifle (cradling it) every time and I think this has helped massively in my own mind to get better results, I see it as a way of ticking off the list of variables every time I shoot the rifle! I do still focus on them , just in the back of my mind so I can concentrate more on the other stuff like how loose/tight my 'grip points' are on the rifle so I can focus on balancing the pressure out equally.


anyway I have rambled long enough!

just get out and practice and enjoy it im sure you will start to see better results soon mate, took me a good year but when I took out an old target card to compare after 1 year the results spoke for themselves! practice makes perfect.


happy shooting mate

1 shot SKoT :victory:

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