I just picked up one of my long time dream rifles, a mint .20 HW90 and having owned quite a few Weihrauch rifles in the past this one is totally new to me. It has been adjusted by the previous owner and tomorrow will be the first range outing with it and I’m curious as to what I need to watch for. Could anyone pass on any little details to watch for that could be indicative of potential issues or needed maintenance and who in the US would be able to reliably work on the rifle etc? Also outside of the limited info I’ve been able to find, are there any particular quirks i should be expecting that you have experienced? I’d like to shoot iron sights for a while but I know I’ll want an optic on it before long, anyone have any first hand experience that could recommend a solid mount/optic set up that won’t be destroyed too quickly by this bad boy?
Thanks in advance!
Dave Slade or Martin Rutherford would be able to service that Theoben Gas Ram if needed.
Welcome to Beeman RX1/RX2 land...
If it shoots to spec over a chrony then you should be fine and those should last a lifetime
if it wasn't tinkered with, for example, with anyone pumping it up to overboost the gas ram pressure to try to get more power out of it. Be aware that it will be rather difficult to cock compared to traditional spring type break barrel rifles but it is the nature of that beast.
You need a good scope for it and good strong mounts because I would say the recoil on the scope and mounts is more harsh than the RWS sidelevers. I would use BLK drooper 1 piece mounts and Weaver V16 scope. I recall one of my older ones which had been shot a lot even ovaled one of the scope stop holes when a standard Sportsmatch 1 piece mount with integral stop pin was used and it destroyed mostly everything I put on it including Leupolds and the only scope that didn't break is the Weaver V16 which I have on all of my RWS Sidelevers as well with zero breakage to this day. Recall a lot of barrel droop as well so BKL drooper 1 piece mounts would be my suggestion.
I don't trust any of the modern dampa mount gizmos to maintain your zero...
The trigger is not even close to being as good as the other HW (REKORD) triggers and I never understood why they put an inferior trigger on the Theoben gas rammed HW guns...
Ohhh .20 caliber! The .20 caliber was touted by Doc Beeman as being the end all be all of pellets. It wasn’t, it was just a nice bit of marketing to make his guns more special.
When you say “adjusted” do you mean he’s “pumped it up” to max pressure? There’s a weird thing about these gas rams, if yours is an older one they came with an “easy to access” schrader valve that you could “self tune” the gun with.
The theoben theory was pump it up to get max velocity, once the velocity peaked, back off the pressure until the velocity just decreased. That would be the max pressure you wanted for the most power with the least effort in cocking. The rams varied a bit and some had a decent PSI sweet spot... depending on your gun and when it was made and for whom options varied greatly.
Some questions, does it have a gold, silver, or black trigger? On the very back of the receiver does it have a black disk with the psi listed? If so what are the numbers? Example: 18 bar min - 23 bar max or may just say 18bar-23bar. The numbers might be different. Some go up to 26 bar. Some don’t even say, some may be in psi. When you cock it does the safety automatically engage? The trigger model was called the elite versus the rekord. People swear by the Rekord but the elite is good too.
Trigger Teardown (don’t do this at home kids) 😃
Is it a branded gun? Like Beeman or ARS? Did it come with a pump? If Beeman what address is listed? If not a branded gun, the trigger color, if it has a suppressor on the end, length of barrel can all help to identify the good and the bad with it. What color is the o-ring at the barrel? Black or green? (Granted people replace those)
Personally I liked soft “tuning” those guns, bringing them down to 14 or so FPE. Using JSB exacts, 13.73 grains, the high side would shoot low to mid 800’s (810-830’s) pumped to its max pressure with a bleed off. I found the gun was MUCH more pleasurable at 14 fpe with the same pellet. Infinitely easier to cock, and just smoother shooting all the way around.
Thank you sirs!! I was told it’s been pumped to 20ftlbs, and that the gun was built around 14-15. The back of the action says Max 26 bar and the rifle has the silver trigger blade and adjustment screw. It is Weihrauch branded as an HW90 and the address is from Germany. It does not have anything on the end of the barrel and the O-ring is white/clear-ish.
So 20 FPE is at the real top of that gun. As you shoot it you may find a bit of a detune make life a little better. But if it thumps them out there and you like it and it hits what you are aiming at, leave it as is. The ONLY thing I’ve found is that max power it often achieved prior to 26 bar but maybe the prior owner did all that it might be set at its sweetest high power spot one other thing , being a gas ram they were really good “slug” guns. Some guys would get barrels in .20 cal from Lothar Walther (could have been talon barrels) and turn the barrels to fit and you’d have one heck of a slug gun. It was the .204 diameter on the rifling and the choke that made those barrels so special
That all said it is a classy looking gun, have fun with it! Those JSBs in 13.75 grains do wonders in that that gun.
If you google “Accuracy shooting slugs from AG barrels” you’ll get a whole head full of info (some right and some wrong) about slug guns and barrels in general. None of it specifically about your gun but I remember these guns from personal experience. Mostly people would buy a LW barrel for slugs, have them cut to fit the breach block of the 90
It sort of boiled down to slugs being a good bit heavier, a bit longer, needing a different twist rate, bore diameters, and discussions on choke or no choke. In .22 and .25 the old BSA barrels were tops as they could fit both pellets and slugs and oddly had a nice choke. Important to a “spring gun” for shooting slugs, power and lack of piston bounce. Since there is no spring to break, gas ram guns were “spring guns” that could be converted easily to slug guns. They’d not suffer the problems common to springs when shooting heavier pellets/slugs. They were also easier to tune to a specific slug with just a change in ram air pressure.
I have a Beeman RX and a HW 90...I have adjusted pressure(s) to the pellet(s) I prefer.
the pressure up at/near max give a more pronounced jolt and increased cocking difficulty.
accuracy and performance of these rifles, I believe, is overshadowed by other 'springers'...they do require some patience and 'tuning' effort to get them where you want them to be.
You can adjust the trigger to work real nice. Back out the big screw till its loose and off the spring then screw back just enogh that it won't fall out to soften the 1st stage then adjust the tiny allen screw that's deep in the trigger blade till the second stage is just the way you want it. the 1st stage will always be long and stiff compared to a Rekord but it super smooth and you get a good stop when you get to the 2nd stage and that is crisp when adjusted just right. none of the ones I have adjusted have needed any polishing at all. I own, 177 and 22 cal. I bought the 177 HW90 brand new on sale and it was pumped up from factory beyond belief. It definatly took 2 hands to cock. I set up the chrony and started to let out air. the way to let out air is to put something that fits in the hold like and allen wrench and jut tap it lightly with a screw driver handle or something. That way you will just get short hiss and you won't over do. Tap tap tap till its the way you want it. For me just right is when I can cok it easily with one hand and put a hundred or more rounds thru it without pain. I was using a chrony and you can let out a big bunch of air and lose very lttle velocity so they come way over pumped. I let out a lot more to get it cocking super nice cause I don't care about using it for hunting. When like that it will be amazing accurate and fun and smooth and quiet and real joy to shoot and pellet finickey either. All JSB work good. I forgot you are in 20 and not as many choices. The hot setup whith a scope is take off the sights. Put em in a sandwich bag and write what they came off on paper and put in the bag. Put that bag in a clear plastic shoebox with other sights you don/t wanna lose or confuse. MY 22 cal came with only the rear sight. Oh yeah the hot setup. The universal M. Brake from straight shooters. Its absolutely perfect for that gun. Gives you a good handle at the end of the barrel and it looks good too. A few months ago I saw a RX2 for sale for $450 like brand new in 22 cal. No sights but had the exact same brake on it. I know a guy that has a 20 cal that he don't want but I am way too broke aT any price. I plink a lot and I shoot the RX22 cal so much all the bluing is worn off the barrel. I don't shoot my 177 near as much as the 22 but writing this makes me think I need one of those brakes on that rilfe too. . You can add air with a hand pump or a Scuba tank if you have either. I use a hand pump but you need a fitting that screws into the rear plate in back of the receiver and the nipple that attaches to that to fit your pump and scuba tank. If you do hunt with the gun make sure to use a rifle sling. its a heavy carry gun. The laminated RX2 feels heavier to me. I have the same Busnell 4-16 on my 22 for many years with no trouble but mine is way soft tuned. I almost forgot. The front stock screws are real soft so try and find a screw driver that fits them just right or they get buggered the very 1st time you tighten the stock. I had a gun smith screw driver kit that was stolen but it did not really fit any of my airgun screws perfect anyways. Jeff C