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Earlyish HW77k with a difference..

Discussion in 'Gun Gallery' started by cloverleaf, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    As sometimes happens this fell into my lap recently:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    It's an HW77k dating from 1986-87 according to the serial number and the Weihrauch database.

    Generally it's in reasonable nick considering it's 30yrs old. The lacquered beech stock has numerous light scratches and dings, but nothing too serious (tbh the images flatter it somewhat)..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Note in the last image the stamping on the block states "Made in W.Germany" - confirming that this gun was produced before the reunification of Germany in 1989 - I love little details like this :)


    There are some light scratches on the metalwork and a few spots of rust; these inevitably being worst on the under-lever and loading port..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    The scope is a nice old (roughly period-correct) Tasco 2.5x32 with gloriously old-skool "TV-view" reticule that I've had kicking about for a while, waiting for a home. It's sat in a new (but in-keeping) Sportsmatch low 1pc mount:

    [​IMG]

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    The rifle came into my possession as the original owner was having issues with ammuntion - the .22 pellets he was initially attempting to load apparently falling straight down the barrel and onto the floor. A closer inspection revealed that things were not as they first seemed:

    [​IMG]

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    While .22 calibre is stated on the breech the gun is in fact fitted with a brass .25 calibre barrel liner. I believe this is probably the work of Steve Harper although there's no paper work with the rifle to corroborate this, while other conversions of his I've seen have a brass button on the side of the breech in place of the original calibre to correctly identify the new bore size. I'm not too clued-up on these conversions so I'd welcome any more information anyone might have ;)


    The previous owner had twigged that the gun was in fact .25 calibre, and it was supplied with a couple of tins of sh*te Rhino pellets. Here they are with some .25 calibre FTTs I also had kicking around (bottom tin, LH pair of pellets):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Unfortunately, just like every other brand of currently manufactured .25 calibre pellet, these are all the continental size of .25" - i.e. 6.35mm.. while the barrel in this rifle appears to be made to the smaller British spec of .243". As such the pellets are a swine to get into the breech - resulting in a painful thumb after a few shots; even after I'd resorted to using a 6mm plastic BB to help seat them.

    I believe the earlier, obsolete Green Rhino pellets are better suited to British barrels - however these are getting hard to find and aren't of great quality anyway.. so I plan to get a pellet sizer to "adjust" the FTTs prior to use. Both the Rhinos and FTTs are pretty light for their calibre at around 19.9gn; so should be better suited to our limit than other offerings.

    Note that this relative lightness of the FTTs is betrayed by their very flat dome compared to the 8.64gn .177 alternatives (not shown) - if the .177s were directly / correctly scaled to .25 they'd weigh a shade over 24gn - more than 20% more than the actual .25 offerings.

    The muzzle assembly is the "Mk2" type with the forward-sliding underlever release latch in place of the original "Mk1" latch-less ball detente arrangement. This setup was evidently introduced fairly quickly after the HW77 made its debut (1983) and appears to be an electo-plated ally casting (note the apparent traces of copper on the worn edges in the images) in contrast to the (IIRC) blued cast steel original.

    The .25 calibre liner isn't the only perculiar thing about the barrel - the muzzle appears to have been modified with a large diameter, concave steel insert that has an "interesting" push-fit "moderator" attached.. being symmetrical about its longitudinal centre with one central baffle and apparently made from a black-painted composite of some description. Can anyone shed any light on whether this too is likely to be a harper mod?

    [​IMG]

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    In addition to the thumb-shredding loading process, the rifle is "interesting" (read horrible!) to use. Cocking would be smooth if it wasn't for the slight notchyness as the enormous, no doubt buckled spring rides over it's guide, while the firing process is typically resonanant, vibrant and harsh, courtesy of the poor spring to guide fit no doubt. Just like my other old '77 when I got it, loosing the shot off rewards you with a sound not dissimilar to an agitated asthmatic donkey..

    Over the chrono the gun is producing anything between 10.5 and 11ftlb with the Rhinos and 10.75 and 11.25ftlb with the FTTs. At the range last night the rifle was putting FTTs into about 3/4" at 25yd which isn't great, but it can be forgiven considering their terrible fit and the nasty firing cycle. Zero did shift a fair bit during use (down and right a bit); I'm hoping this is the result of the aged internals protesting / falling to bits after being pressed back into service rather than the scope failing - time will tell!

    So far the gun's seen minimal work in my possession - the missing washers from the front stock screws have been replaced, as has the chewed and very tight trigger weight adjustment screw. A bit of light surface rust has been removed from the action and some walnut oil applied to the stock to seal / darken any scratches that have made their way through the lacquer.

    [​IMG]


    I plan to strip and clean the rifle, polish the stained compression chamber, replace the piston and breech seals and fit a tuning kit of some description - although I'm not sure what yet. My other '77 has a V-mach kit which is smooth, quiet, efficient and well made; although also pretty expensive and very snappy on firing thanks to its short, stiff spring.

    I was quite impressed by the Welsh Willie kit I fitted to Ray's '95 recently, although the finish on the end of the spring could have been better and given the gun's collectable value I'd perhaps prefer to go with something of more provenance.

    Anyway, that's all for now - I hope we like and I'd welcome any thoughts and info on the calibre conversion :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  2. The Robin

    The Robin Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Well I can't add any info but it's certainly different and I like different so will be keeping an eye on this thread. You certainly find different things and I hope you get the info you need on this 77 :up:
     
  3. audi swift

    audi swift Man up & pull the bloody trigger.... HFT 101.

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    Very cool sounding & looking hw77 there :up:
    The 'mods' are a first for me, but I'm not clued up on most air rifles sorry to say.

    Great read & nice photos, look forward to reading more about this rife. Hope you can get some pellets sorted out asap too.

    My own hw77 mk2 (made in West Germany) from the early to mid 80's brought new when I was a young kid, is also running nicely with a V-mach kit fitted by UK Neil.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  4. GMballistic

    GMballistic Donator

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    Very interesting read and the photos are great, ...like a professional took them tbh. :cool:

    My first Weihrauch was a HW77K that my Dad bought me back in maybe 1993 or so.
    I will always have fond memories of that gun as it was the first gun I used at the first gun club I attended as well as the first gun I won a HFT trophy with, .....aannnddd the first gun I properly hunted with. Lot of firsts. :D :up:
     
  5. landymick

    landymick Keyboard Hero

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    I've got a MK11 77K & MK11 80K from mid eighties with the W.Germany stamp so age sounds right.

    You can still get the brass liner should you need one.

    A chap on WOC had one with low power problem it turned out to be a cracked liner.
     
    foxtrott likes this.
  6. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Thanks chaps - glad it's of interest to some of you :)


    Thanks Mick - that's amazing to think that the liners are still available - I wonder if Steve thought they've be more popular than the turned out to be..? :p

    Thankfully I don't think there are any related muzzle energy issues with this one; it's a bit down but I fully expect this to be due to a shafted piston seal.. as it happens I chrono'd it again after it's excursion to the club and energy is down from a mean of around 11ftlb with the FTTs to around 10.4ftlb - so it evidently doesn't like being used!

    I'm going to stave off the urge to pull it to bits until I've sorted a tuning kit so that I can hopefully get it all done in one hit. Will update as and when :)
     
    foxtrott likes this.
  7. landymick

    landymick Keyboard Hero

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    I presume it will have the 25mm internals, it will be interesting to see whats inside now.The hard bit will finding good fitting pellets.
     
    foxtrott likes this.
  8. kt83

    kt83 Posting Addict

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    Damn and blast you Mike. I've only came home for a sandwich and have no time right now to digest and enjoy this latest curiosity of yours. :D
     
  9. lone wolf

    lone wolf Pro Poster

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    Great informative thread as ever

    These harper conversions, i take it you have to re bore barrel to then slide in the .25 lining? Very peculiar

    .
     
  10. landymick

    landymick Keyboard Hero

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    Yep,its a Brass liner thats inserted.
     
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  11. 1961nuffield

    1961nuffield Honorary Member

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    Interesting rifle, you do find some interesting curios ;)

    John
     
  12. katluke

    katluke Donator

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    Agreed , Mike does find some interesting guns. :up:
     
  13. kt83

    kt83 Posting Addict

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    The Harper barrel brass liner conversions had super fast twist rifling, apparently making the .25 Weihrauch's much more accurate than the imported .25 models as a result. I recall they were especially, popular with Weihrauch/Diana FAC conversions back in the day.

    Steve adopted the brass liner for his range of air cane creations incorporating the Brocock air cartridge.

    Whatever came of Steve Harper? Another clever British innovative engineer .
     
  14. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Yes, I'd hope it's got 25mm internals from its age.. won't know for certain until I have something to go inside and reason to pull it to bits!

    As for pellets I'm banking on FTTs through a sizer.. Robb's look the best but I don't trust the man as far as I can throw him tbh :p


    Yes, I've heard this too - once it's in bits I'll run a few pellets down the bore and attempt to ascertain the twist rate :)

    I have a sneaking suspicion that inadiquate twist rate is one of the downfalls of the larger calibres at our legal limit, so it'll be interesting to see how this performs once guts and ammo are sorted.

    Last thing I heard of Steve was his work with Daystate - him being responsible for some of the design of their valving and striker setups. A talented bloke by all accounts!


    Further to the hunt for springs and guides / tuning kits, I've noticed that the "Airgun standard" mainsprings supplied by TW Chambers for the FWB sport rifles appear very close to the original springs fitted to the early HW77s. Below is a comparison between the original spring in my other early HW77 and an Airgun Standard spring I fitted to an FWB recently:

    HW77 Mk1
    Length: 309.0mm
    OD: 20.80mm
    Wire Dia: 3.00mm
    No. Coils: 37.5
    Rate: 3.8N/mm

    FWB Sport
    Length: 324.0mm
    OD: 21.20mm
    Wire Dia: 3.03mm
    No. Coils: 39.0
    Rate: 3.5N/mm


    I'd like to keep the rifle's behaviour as close to what it was originally, plus I think there's a lot to be said (in terms of firing manners and efficiency) for running longer, lower rate springs with more preload. The ID of the FWB spring would be ballpark 15.15mm so unfortunately wouldn't fit any of the standard HW guides, but I could of course get one made up. Will continue to give it some thought :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  15. craigjohnmaz

    craigjohnmaz Busy Member

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  16. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Excellent work - ta for the tip!

    I've just compared the '77 to a 26mm '97 I happen to have in my possession and true to your suggestion the '77's tube has a fatter wall at the front of the comp tube, the counterbore for the breech seal breaking through at the very edge of the plug as illustrated in your pic. Conversely the '97's tube wall thickness is less, the counterbore not breaking through and there being maybe 0.5-1.0mm of meat between its edge and that of the cylinder plug.

    This would of course figure since the OD of the comp tube is constant at 30mm while the wall must be 2.5mm on the 25mm models and 2.0mm on the 26mm models. Good spot and certainly something worth remembering :D
     
  17. craigjohnmaz

    craigjohnmaz Busy Member

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    Aye its a good tip but I cant take credit for it, I was told by a friend of S.Pope so figured its most likely right.
    Its especially good if your purchasing an older model and want to know if some b****r has switched the internals
     
    cloverleaf likes this.
  18. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    No progress but thread tidied post-forum-migration, if anyone's arsed :)
     
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  19. landymick

    landymick Keyboard Hero

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    Nice one:)
     
    cloverleaf likes this.
  20. dave 2 stroke

    dave 2 stroke Busy Member

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    my first rifle and after the 77 i got a hw80k and sent it to venom wow
     

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