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VWman

Starting With A Springer

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This great thread has given me some food for thoughts of my own, on spring riflles and shooting with spring rifles for a new chap coming into the sport; and looking to buy a decent spring rifle to get himself up and running with. Sure, there are some cheap and cheerful guns that will tempt him with a lower price-point; some aren't all that bad but, as with a lot in this life, you only get out, what you pay in, with these guns. these days.

 

I wish some of you younger lads could have tried and owned a Webley or BSA rifle from the early 70s. There used to be some beautiful guns coming out from these all-British gun companies. BSA Goldstar was a beautiful gun. Webley built some truly gorgeous guns; all with the most beautiful blueing you ever saw. Real top notch workmanship went into both these makes. I had a few Webleys in my youth. Eley Wasps were brilliant pellets too, then, and were accurate as hellfire in a Webley or BSA barrel. We never had tuning in those days, they were superb guns straight out the box. Then Ivan Hancock and his team set up Webley's Venom tuning arm of the company. All gone now and an era has passed us by. Very sad when I think of it.

 

My friend Elliott here is one of the finest marksmen with a spring rifle there is. Nothing whatsoever to be proved with his shooting. And this HW77 .22 backs him up with a solid accurate rifle he can take out for a day full of hunting and sport with confidence. Those 50-metre shots in his video would knock down a rabbit with a clean headshot. :yes:

 

And his HW77 is no spring chicken either. It was his Grandfather's and father's rifle I believe. I have the original stock from this rifle which, he kindly gave to me as I was in a bit of crisis for a decent stock for my HW97K project.

 

Point I'm trying to make is, here you have an elderly, but well lookied-after and properly serviced HW77 still performing as well as any new, modern day air rifle can.

 

You won't find many cheap old SMKs still alive and performing well into this sort of vintage, with this level of accuracy. :whistling: :whistling:

 

The LGV Competition Ultra I have yet to sample for myself. But it certainly looks very well and will shoot very well. It's German and that means it will be a well made and superbly accurate rifle. I'd love to get my hands on one for a proper day's hunting and target shooting with it to make up my mind.

 

RWS DIANA make some stunning spring sidelever air rifles too. One day I am going to treat myself to a DIANA 54 Airking .22 and tune it up on my FAC. These can make a 25+ft/lbs supergun with the right work on them. So too can the DIANA 52 rifle. I've shot one of those in .177 that was FAC tuned and it was an incredible experience just how solidly well made and incredibly accurate it was. Definitely worth a look-over but, these are perhaps the heaviest guns I've yet encountered. That might be why fewer shooters take a chance on them, apart from the hefty price tags they come with.

 

The Air Arms Prosport is a beautiful looking rifle and looks a pleasure to shoot. I just wish to God Air Arms would make a proper left hand version as they do with the TX200 series. I'd have two in both .22 and .177. :cray: :cray:

 

But, as Rez points out, I'm afraid, I have already reached that point where there is really just one .22 calibre spring rifle for me, in the sub 12 ft/lb catagory. And that is my HW77 .22. Closely followed by my HW97K .177.

 

But that's the beauty of spring air rifles like this. They are all perfectly capable and very accurate shooting guns and they last a lifetime or more. Owning them is a bit like owning and driving a classic, vintage car.

 

They might look antiquainted and old fashioned. And they need a fair bit of TLC to keep them running sweet....But boy, are they satisfying to shoot with! :boogy::toast:

 

Simon

That's very kind of you Simon but I'm sure that I'm not a patch on any dedicated spring rifle shooters today, especially having neglected to use my HW77K for so many months.

 

Despite moving into rimfire and centrefire all this talk of proper, quality spring powered air rifles is really starting to peak my interest again. I can see the old HW77K coming out of the cabinet again now that Spring is around the corner and I feel we need to get reaquanted.

 

You correct about my '77 though Simon. Manufactured and built to last in 1985, it was a hand-me-down from my Grandfather. In fact I rescued it from it's rather rusty state a couple of years ago and invested around £200 to refurbish it. Having been expertly tuned the '77 spits out pellets at an eye watering consistancy rivaling any modern day PCP.

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All the posts are a great help to me as you guys have lived with you guns and know the pit falls.

My bench mark is the HW range as I am sure they will last the test of time, I wish someone could sum-up the entire HW range of springers and air rams as it is hard for a new guy to get his head around.

I thought the 97 was above the 77 and was not sure about the break barrels but that may be an old view as things move on.

I was going to look for an old bsa air sporter to start with but think for the money I would be better off with a HW but not sure which one.

I would like the gun to last a life time and be well made for use in the barns and all day or night hunting, some practice use to get to grips with how it shoots and some plinking just for the fun of it.

I have the feeling this will be the first of many guns over the coming years but hope to keep them all so I am looking for a keeper.

VWman, the HW range of rifles really are quality bits of kit. As Simon has already mentioned, you can find very old examples that are just as good and sometimes even better than those produced today.

 

Take the HW77 / 97 range for example. The older versions like mine and Simon's will have the 25mm piston. These are arguably much sweeter to shoot than the 26mm pistons which were later introduced to create more swept volume for the export markets.

 

If you can find an older HW77 like Simon's in good condition I'd say go for it! You may only pay £150-200 for it and another £80-120 on a decent tune (if needed!) and you've got a superbly engineered rifle that you can appreciate for life :thumbs:

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Elliott you are too modest!

 

I can only second Elliott's comments about the HW77. Of all the rifles we've discussed here, for your desire to have a rifle that you can own with pride and confidence you will never regret buying a '77.

 

A..22 calibre full length model is really the one to go for. If hunting and plinking is what you enjoy the most or, want to enjoy doing, this rifle will tick both boxes in big black marker!

 

The Walthers are newcomers by comparison and I have nought but Rez's experience to go by on these guns. As I said before, they are German and that means seriously top quality. The Germans build some of the world's best rifles in all shooting sports.

 

But that's what has put Weihrauch at the top of the pile for so many decades past now.

 

Any one of their adult/senior sporting rifles will give you a superb rifle out oif the box, with room to develope and improve upon as your shooting grows.

 

Air Arms have the good looks sewn up with their TX200 and Prosport. These are stunningly beautiful rifles and superbly accurate. But, I sold my TX200 .22 to fund my HW97K .177

 

Maybe, after all my years of shooting, my style and technique is best suited to HWs.

 

As for a keeper. The three HW rifles I have are never going to be sold. Ever.

 

Best of luck choosing your final choice. But for my money. HW77 .22. Any time.

 

Simon

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My tx200 is the best spring gun ive owned beats my pro sports and 97s and 77s and 95hands down,i was brought up with spring guns from 6 years old and love shooting them

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I take my Wembley tracker along when I got to my work in case there's any problems with the ai arms and its a nice little rifle I some times just shoot with that but due to the noise if you miss you seldom get a second shot like you would with a pcp

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I was out after work with the HW97 and think I am getting used to it's weight, it was shooting real nice in one of the barns at about 20 mtrs shooting the top off a plastic milk container full of water.

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Hello guys

Thanks for sharing your wisdom with me.

I have been out again after work with the hw 97, it's 10 or more years old and it shoots real sweet.

I have had a good read about the hw77 which I had missed because I thought it was the one under the 97.

I have some questions about the hw77 :- so it's longer than the 97 and has no silencer so is it loud and is it to long with a silencer on.

I am looking forward to getting hold of one as I think my short list is Hw97 hw77 and Air Arms pro sport and I think I will know then I try them back to back.

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Thanks treecreeper

I am sure you are right but which one hw 97k or hw 77 in long or carbide barrel and does it need a silencer ?

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none of them are quiet tbh compared to pcp but silencer will always help if your bothered about noise. other than that its personal choice.

if you like the 97k you've been shooting buy one :thumbs:

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In the 18 years I've shot an HW77 or HW97, neither has ever let me down. I have lost the springer craft having used PCPs for a while, then had to practice in order to get to a standard I'm happy with again but the rifles remain bang on.

 

I haven't used a springer since before Christmas but took my HW97 out yesterday afternoon and it was just like turning up a dimmer switch after 4 months. Your whole experience changes in to something amazing.

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In the 18 years I've shot an HW77 or HW97, neither has ever let me down. I have lost the springer craft having used PCPs for a while, then had to practice in order to get to a standard I'm happy with again but the rifles remain bang on.

 

I haven't used a springer since before Christmas but took my HW97 out yesterday afternoon and it was just like turning up a dimmer switch after 4 months. Your whole experience changes in to something amazing.

About the best post in this thread. End of.

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Hello guys

I have just got back from the gun shop where I spent a bit of time with the gunsmith.

I used the air arms pro sport back to back with a HW 77 and 97 and soon ruled out the pro sport, after having used the hw97 the prosport was harder to load and cock and the cocking action of the under lever was not as final et the end of it's stroke. I could not get the safety off a couple of times as it was not fully cocked. This would get better with use but I have been spoiled by the 10 year old hw95.

The standard length HW77 was a good fit with me but could not tell weather it sounded louder ? and am not sure if a silencer could be fitted with the end sight intact at the barrel tip.

I am going to round up my two shooting buddies and make a choice on the day 77 or 97.

The guy at the shop uses a 77 but said they are an old deign and he would get a 97 but he recommended that I went for a HW 80 break barrel for ease of loading in the dark.

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Well it ended up being a HW 77 new in the box that Rick bought from Castleford gun shop that he found heavy because of a back problem.

I have had it down the gun shop for testing and a Hawke scope.

I hope to get it shooting straight this week but work is keeping me from it at the moment, I am working hard but thinking about the gun and will not settle myself until it is shooting like the 97 which is 10 or more years old and has an old Tasco scope that is spot on.

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Great thread.

 

HW77s and HW80s are the stuff of legend. They do exactly what it says on the tin, and do it very well. I think its great you took the time to solicit opinion here and tried a few models for yourself as that's exactly how to do it.

 

:thumbs:

 

I remember trying a TX200 (long barrel version) and hated it in the shoulder. Far too nose heavy for me. However, I then tried the Tx200Hc, totally different gun for me. Steady, balanced, deadly accurate and not nose heavy at all. I prefer the Tx to the Prosport (as you noted - the cocking mechanism is not great on the Prosport). The cocking on the Tx is sublime, no problems with that. The only thing with underlevers, threading pellets into them on a cold winters day when, like me, you have small dicks as fingers!!!! :laugh: :laugh:

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