Beeman R8 Nirvana
 

Beeman R8 Nirvana  

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Kingfisher1961
(@kingfisher1961)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 222
2019-06-18 16:37:41  

Dubbed the " more sophisticated version of the R7." by Dr. Beeman, the R8 was touted as the "...finest intermediate Sporter/Target air rifle in the world!"   at the time of its release back in the early 1980s.  Quite a claim...but was he correct?

Time has told the story.  The R8 is a must have for any serious Beeman collection.  However and moreover, it has become a sought after and highly prized rifle for the exact reasons Dr. Bob touted so many years ago.  It has stood the test of time.

Recently,  bought an old Beeman R8 in .177 that came with a period correct Blue Ribbon 66R scope on it. For the longest time I couldn't get it to shoot straight.  It always shot low and left.  I tried dialing the knobs even to their extreme,  but not even close.

I thought it was a bent barrel or a faulty scope. Then my friend Perry told me to remove the scope knob cap and it will adjust further.  Nothing faulty but me... not knowing my stuff. 

The R8 is a laser now!  Since I've gotten it shooting straight, I've reached R8 Nirvana!!  A state of mind where time and space fade away and tranquility takes over.  Shooting bliss!!  Lol

I think that when ole Doc Beeman took the HW50 and put it in a Gowdy tux, he possibly stumbled upon the pinnacle of his R series.  The elegant stock made this great mid sized rifle into a cult classic.  Dare I say....the perfect blend of form and function.  I for one think that Doc B got some things right.  The R8 speaks volumes to that.  Let me know what you guys think.....meanwhile, I'll be in R8 Nirvana!

 

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JiminPGH
(@jiminpgh)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 291
2019-06-18 18:15:05  

Never held or shot an R8, but I understand.  It's all about that balance.  Balance between handling, cocking effort, power, and firing behavior.  And the balance rewards in spades with repeatable accuracy.  For me, the pinnacle of that very fine balance has always been the Diana 27, and more specifically the late model "butt-pimple" guns. 

There's something about a perfectly engineered spring rifle that is just so satisfying, shot after shot.  Nothing required but a tin of pellets and a consistent hold.  No filling, no shot counts, no fuss.  Just bliss, as you say.


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bf1956
(@bf1956)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 79
2019-06-19 00:26:32  

Looks just like mine , I've had mine for a long time now and hope that I can pass it on to one of the grand children. Sweet !


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sonnysan
(@sonnysan)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 163
2019-06-19 09:01:48  

A lot of people have the same experience you do with the smaller types of R series guns.  I even bought a JM tuned R8 about 15 years ago.  The moment I got it I knew it wasn't for me.  Didn't even shoot one pellet through it.  Glad someone else is enjoying it now. 

If I could get my hands on an R5, now that would be something I'd own no matter how small it was. 


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Kingfisher1961
(@kingfisher1961)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 222
2019-06-19 16:02:53  

Never held or shot an R8, but I understand.  It's all about that balance.  Balance between handling, cocking effort, power, and firing behavior.  And the balance rewards in spades with repeatable accuracy.  

Jim 

Extremely well said.  Thank you for your feedback.  

Those old 27s are sweet indeed.  Certainly is right up there in fitting the criteria of this post.  We all have our specific ideal when it come to that.


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DavidEnoch
(@davidenoch)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 259
2019-06-19 19:31:49  

The Diana 27 feels better in my hands.  But, the back of my middle finger gets smacked by the trigger guard on every shot. It gets painful quickly.

The HW 50S or R8 are bulkier but the Record trigger is superior to what is commonly called the Diana ball seer trigger.  And, my. middle finger doesn't get smacked.

The wood stocked Slavia 634 deserves to be in the same conversation after it has been tuned. 

David Enoch


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MDriskill
(@mdriskill)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 131
2019-06-21 05:35:27  

The R8 is of course derived from the original Weihrauch HW 50 (their first post-war air rifle design, and quite different from the current rifle of that name). That “family” of designs, which also includes the HW 55 target rifle, is amongst my favorite classic air rifles.

I actually like the handling and balance of the older HW 50S’s rounded German stock better than the R8, though it is severely plain in appearance. No denying the R8 is beautiful though, and better configured for American tastes...I won’t be selling mine any time soon!

Top to bottom in this shot are: HW 50 no. 71383 (1958) with simple trigger and upgrade stock (added buttplate and checkered grip); HW 50S no. 260156 (1967) with Rekord trigger and the standard stock of the day; and R8 no. 960018 (1983).

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MDriskill
(@mdriskill)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 131
2019-06-21 05:40:01  
Posted by: DavidEnoch

The Diana 27 feels better in my hands.  But, the back of my middle finger gets smacked by the trigger guard on every shot. It gets painful quickly.

David Enoch

David, I know what you mean! I love the Diana 27 as well, but the proximity of the trigger guard to the grip is definitely an odd design detail. My hands are scrawny enough that it doesn’t bite me though... 🙄 


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DavidEnoch
(@davidenoch)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 259
2019-06-21 06:52:59  

My HW50S stock is similar to Mike's R8.  I love that top stock.  That is my all time favorite stock.  Second is the C1 stock.

David Enoch


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Kingfisher1961
(@kingfisher1961)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 222
2019-06-21 18:05:38  

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Finally got it to post!!!  Lol

Mike

Thank you for contributing to this post.  As always it's a treat to hear your thoughts on the subject.  That's a great picture of the evolutionary  development of the 50 series.  When did Weihrauch introduce the Rekord trigger?  


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MDriskill
(@mdriskill)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 131
2019-06-21 19:25:25  

That’s a really pretty R8! Very nice wood, gotta give Beeman credit for the beautiful beech and nice finish he put on the “R” guns.

I don’t know for sure when the first Rekord came along, but the oldest HW rifle I have with one is an HW 55S, no. 29426 from 1955 or 56. This fascinating gun actually has the rear receiver machined for both the Rekord and the previous style of trigger, indicating it was either a VERY early Rekord using up NOS parts, or possibly a retrofit. 

I have an HW 55T, no. 37363, that is about a year newer. It without question has an OEM Rekord.

I’ve posted here a couple of time, scans of a Weihrauch brochure from 1959. At that time their lineup was only three rifles, the HW 35, 50, and 55; the 35 and 55 had the Rekord, but not yet the 50.


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Kingfisher1961
(@kingfisher1961)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 222
2019-06-22 05:49:38  

 

The mysteries of the airgun world persist!  I'm amazed at how sparce information on airguns can be.  Thank goodness for the Yellow archives and all of the folks who've contributed to them over the years!  You all are a wealth of knowledge.

Mike, how do you like today's HW50s?  I have one in .22 that is a great medium sized gun.  It has been tuned with a Vortek kit and has a little more pep than a factory rifle.  Much more of a quiet cycle too.  

IMO, the fact that we are talking about a platform that has been around for 60 plus years and still has a loyal following,  I would venture to say that the HW 50 series is one of the best designs to come off of the Weihrauch engineering blackboard.....ever!  That's a bold statement, but Dr.B said it way back when...."the R8 is an unusually handsome rifle....the best intermediate sport/target air rifle in the world."  Lol....Doc, you were too much sometimes!!!! 


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MDriskill
(@mdriskill)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 131
2019-06-22 07:28:28  

The current “HW 50” is, just as a reminder, completely different from the original. It is about the same size, and resembles the original with its 2-piece cocking linkage and Rekord trigger, but internally is an all-new and harder-shooting design, with a larger piston seal (26mm vs the original 25mm), much shorter transfer port, and dispensing with the elegant threaded-on rear section. It was originally introduced in the late ‘90’s as the “HW 99” (and is still sold under that name in some markets), and you may remember that Beeman called it the “R6” for a time. The original HW 50 was discontinued at around that same time, a near 50-year run.

The HW 50 was Weihrauch’s first air rifle, introduced around 1951. I suppose when it was discontinued, they chose to retain the name for the similar-looking newer design as a sort of historical tribute. Sure to confuse buyers and collectors forever though!

To finally answer your question...I’ve never owned one of the new 50’s! I’ve been thinking about it however, it really seems like an excellent all-rounder in its own right.


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Pzhills
(@paul-in-zhills)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 48
2019-06-27 08:49:05  

Most of you are overlooking the fact that the R8 has the solid machined steel end cap as the R1 and HW77/97 rifles.  This is a lot more expensive to manufacture and may be one of the reasons why Weirauch(sic) decided to discontinue it.  I had one since 1983 along with every accessory that Beeman offered including a Blue Ribbon scope.  But alas, I sold it to a good friend of mine that is an avid collector.  I know it has a good home.


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Kingfisher1961
(@kingfisher1961)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 222
2019-06-27 12:51:56  

the R8 has the solid machined steel end cap as the R1 and HW77/97 rifles.  This is a lot more expensive to manufacture and may be one of the reasons why Weirauch(sic) decided to discontinue it. 

Great point!  I'm sure that production costs had a lot to do with the R8s disappearance from the line.  

 


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MDriskill
(@mdriskill)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 131
2019-06-28 05:14:27  

Yes, the threaded-on rear section is one of my favorite details on this design. It really contributes to the good looks, solid feel, and easy maintenance of the HW 50, HW 55, and their relatives.

These guns have a receiver tube that’s about 30mm in outside diameter, same as the HW 30/R7, and this is Weihrauch’s only “small tube” design to have the threaded rear. Other guns with this detail (HW 35, HW 80/R1, HW 77/97) all have a bigger 35mm tube.


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Sammi1968
(@sammi1968)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 4
2019-07-02 06:24:12  

New to me. Stock is very nice, added an old blue ribbon to it.

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Kingfisher1961
(@kingfisher1961)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 222
2019-07-02 11:32:00  

Sammy 

That's a beauty!  Nice touch with the Blue Ribbon scope.  Now.....how does it shoot??


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Faucetguy
(@faucetguy)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 81
2019-07-02 18:19:45  

image

Diablo Rod And Gun proudly provides two R 8 's with correct period diopters to its members shooting the winter indoor league.  

They are serious shooters.  How serious?  Well, to quote a well know collecter and airgun enthusiast they shoot like.  "We The People"

 


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Sammi1968
(@sammi1968)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 4
2019-07-02 19:48:14  

Smooth shot cycle, stock just fits so nicely in my hands, feels just right, not bulky at all. Easy cocking effort and fun to shoot.  Need to get it dialed in and over the chrony. Was shooting out to 40 yards and hitting the trap, need time to dial it in..I need a good shooting tripod or shooting table.


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sd5782
(@sd5782)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 29
2019-07-03 16:06:10  

The R8 was my second quality adult air gun purchased close to 20 years ago. I was new to the game and didn’t really realize until later what a prize the R8 is. Mine wears a Beeman peep sight as it doesn’t detract from the feel of this well balanced rifle.

The JM kit is hard to beat in this gun too. My older kit has a spring with thin .110” diameter wire. Laughably easy cocking, yet still shoots mid 600 FPS depending on pellet. Balance is the word.

 


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