Anyone using their HW35E on small game?

Anyone using their HW35E on small game?

Joined: April 21st, 2001, 7:46 pm

January 10th, 2018, 3:24 am #1

I know it's not a powerhouse, but I know it should be capable within certain range limitations. Would be interested in hearing real-world experience, including distance, game taken, caliber, pellet type, sighting system. I've just received an HW35E in .177 and - despite its heft and length - would like to take it afield here in Florida (good thing it has provision for sling!).
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Joined: July 9th, 2015, 1:00 pm

January 10th, 2018, 4:16 am #2

That gun is the only one I've owned that shot .177 RWS SuperDomes well and out to 30 yards it worked well using head shots (between eye and ear). I owned that gun several decades ago and it was fitted with a Beeman 1x-4x scope which was adequate for sniping at my 25 yard zero distance.

I used that gun for 20 years and the spring never did break but it got very week. There was a squirrel on my bird feeder when living in West Virginia and I shot the squirrel in the neck at about 20 yards. With the shot the squirrel scampered up the tree the feeder was hanging on so I actually thought I missed the nutter. A couple weeks later there was "another" squirrel on the same feeder, however I dropped that one with a .177 Super dome that went between the eye and ear. When I retrieved the nutter (I eat those things) I felt a lump on the side of the neck. LOL.....there was the skirt of a .177 SuperDome sticking out of the hide with the pellet head inside. Kinda reminded me of a Frankensquirrel! That was when I realized that I didn't miss the squirrel that I shot a couple weeks earlier, the HW35 simply no longer had the moxy to put a pellet through the looser fur at the side of the neck, however with the tighter hide being backed up with the skull there was sufficient penetration.

Anywhoo......soon after that I ordered my third adult springer from Beeman, a .177 R10 and I thought the R10 was as good as the HW35 was bad for squirrel sniping. The R10 was lighter, had similar cocking effort, yet shot a SuperDome 100fps faster. The HW35 was sold years later after replacing the spring with a Maccari spring kit and the buyer was happy to get it after taking a few shots.
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Joined: April 21st, 2001, 7:46 pm

January 10th, 2018, 6:05 am #3

But it's a bit difficult to nail them, what with my backyard surrounded by lots of other houses directly behind the feeder raiders. Will likely buy some solid corncob feeders for them, giving the birds a break anyway.
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Joined: September 7th, 2001, 3:52 am

January 10th, 2018, 7:05 pm #4

I know it's not a powerhouse, but I know it should be capable within certain range limitations. Would be interested in hearing real-world experience, including distance, game taken, caliber, pellet type, sighting system. I've just received an HW35E in .177 and - despite its heft and length - would like to take it afield here in Florida (good thing it has provision for sling!).
In the 1980's I traded for a beautifully custom-stocked HW55 that I assumed was shooting to spec; that being around 600 FPS (similar to an HW35). I shot it enough with the factory target peep-sights to develop a LOT of confidence; enough so to take it squirrel hunting. That was after I'd adopted a "brain shots only" credo when hunting with airguns, based on ample experience to know that is the only way to avoid traumatizing prey in it's last moments (seconds, or sometimes MINUTES with chest shots).

My first opportunity was a perfect brain shot at 20 yards. Next chance came at 30 yards, and was another perfect, lights-out brain shot. The last opportunity came at about 40 yards, and based on an over-inflated sense of confidence I went for it. Thankfully/luckily that was also a perfect brain shot, that also resulted in an instant kill.

A few days later I chronographed the rifle and was SHOCKED to find it was only shooting 450 FPS! Had i known that, I'd have never taken it squirrel hunting at all, much less taken 30 to 40 yard shots. Though proud of my shooting, I'm ASHAMED to admit what a DOLT I was to (unknowingly) use a 450 FPS .177 for squirrel hunting; and only share this embarrassing story for the benefit of others (as a lesson).

I don't recall what pellet I used, but it was probably a 7-8 grain round-nose. That doesn't much matter with brain shots on squirrels anyway.

The main point is that it doesn't take much power for small-game hunting if you take (and MAKE) brain shots. But if you take chest shots on squirrel to rabbit-sized game with a .177 of the meager power level of an HW35, you'll find it sorely lacking in "stopping power".

I truly hope this "true confessions" helps provide some insight. It certainly did for me.
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Joined: October 24th, 2006, 5:38 pm

January 10th, 2018, 9:10 pm #5

I know it's not a powerhouse, but I know it should be capable within certain range limitations. Would be interested in hearing real-world experience, including distance, game taken, caliber, pellet type, sighting system. I've just received an HW35E in .177 and - despite its heft and length - would like to take it afield here in Florida (good thing it has provision for sling!).
I have a older HW35 made in 1969. It has the original spring and leather seal. It chronies 690fps average velocity with .177 jsb 8.6 grain pellets. I have taken rabbit, squirrel, and fowl out to 35 yards no problem. A new HW35 with synthetic seal is a 800fps gun I am to told, so you could stretch it out farther.
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Joined: April 15th, 2009, 2:16 am

January 10th, 2018, 10:31 pm #6

In factory form, my HW35 "K" was shooting the 7.33gr AA Falcons at 811fps and the 7.87gr AA Express at 789fps. But it started getting too twangy so I put in a Maccari Ultra Pro MKII kit and a Vulcan SS piston seal. The seal is a little too tight but it's still getting 770fps with the Falcons and 758fps with the Express.

Jim in SWMO

"You've come far, pilgrim."-------"Feels like far."
"Were it worth the trouble?"-----"Ah, what trouble?"
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 3:51 am

January 10th, 2018, 11:34 pm #7

I know it's not a powerhouse, but I know it should be capable within certain range limitations. Would be interested in hearing real-world experience, including distance, game taken, caliber, pellet type, sighting system. I've just received an HW35E in .177 and - despite its heft and length - would like to take it afield here in Florida (good thing it has provision for sling!).
OK...in 40 years....have squirrels become armor plated, x-men type mutants, or evolved into some hard shelled super critter?

OK...just for the youngsters and the challenged members: NO.

Bought an HW 35E and less than a year later wife bought a FWB 124D. Those where the "hot stuff" arigunes of 1978-1979.


Squirrels, rats, rabbits, pest birds, (OK..quite a few eathing birds like Dovers/Quail too), a trip to Oregon for digger squirrels, and a couple of woodshucks in West Virginia.

So...yeah....it's not the critters that have gotten tougher (OK...I'll give you the explsion of feral pigs in the last couple of decades)....but the shooters less relaint on intersection of the good bits with the pellet.
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Joined: November 17th, 2006, 3:51 am

January 10th, 2018, 11:34 pm #8

I know it's not a powerhouse, but I know it should be capable within certain range limitations. Would be interested in hearing real-world experience, including distance, game taken, caliber, pellet type, sighting system. I've just received an HW35E in .177 and - despite its heft and length - would like to take it afield here in Florida (good thing it has provision for sling!).
OK...in 40 years....have squirrels become armor plated, x-men type mutants, or evolved into some hard shelled super critter?

OK...just for the youngsters and the challenged members: NO.

Bought an HW 35E and less than a year later wife bought a FWB 124D. Those where the "hot stuff" arigunes of 1978-1979.


Squirrels, rats, rabbits, pest birds, (OK..quite a few eathing birds like Dovers/Quail too), a trip to Oregon for digger squirrels, and a couple of woodshucks in West Virginia.

So...yeah....it's not the critters that have gotten tougher (OK...I'll give you the explsion of feral pigs in the last couple of decades)....but the shooters less relaint on intersection of the good bits with the pellet.
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Joined: October 24th, 2006, 5:38 pm

January 11th, 2018, 2:03 am #9

In factory form, my HW35 "K" was shooting the 7.33gr AA Falcons at 811fps and the 7.87gr AA Express at 789fps. But it started getting too twangy so I put in a Maccari Ultra Pro MKII kit and a Vulcan SS piston seal. The seal is a little too tight but it's still getting 770fps with the Falcons and 758fps with the Express.
I've been contemplating a synthetic seal conversion and Macarri kit for a while. My 35 shoots so smooth as it is I've been reluctant to change it. I know the time is coming though, that 40 plus year old spring and seal can't last forever. Especially since I've have been shooting it a lot more than it ever has before. 😂
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Joined: April 21st, 2001, 7:46 pm

January 11th, 2018, 7:44 am #10

In the 1980's I traded for a beautifully custom-stocked HW55 that I assumed was shooting to spec; that being around 600 FPS (similar to an HW35). I shot it enough with the factory target peep-sights to develop a LOT of confidence; enough so to take it squirrel hunting. That was after I'd adopted a "brain shots only" credo when hunting with airguns, based on ample experience to know that is the only way to avoid traumatizing prey in it's last moments (seconds, or sometimes MINUTES with chest shots).

My first opportunity was a perfect brain shot at 20 yards. Next chance came at 30 yards, and was another perfect, lights-out brain shot. The last opportunity came at about 40 yards, and based on an over-inflated sense of confidence I went for it. Thankfully/luckily that was also a perfect brain shot, that also resulted in an instant kill.

A few days later I chronographed the rifle and was SHOCKED to find it was only shooting 450 FPS! Had i known that, I'd have never taken it squirrel hunting at all, much less taken 30 to 40 yard shots. Though proud of my shooting, I'm ASHAMED to admit what a DOLT I was to (unknowingly) use a 450 FPS .177 for squirrel hunting; and only share this embarrassing story for the benefit of others (as a lesson).

I don't recall what pellet I used, but it was probably a 7-8 grain round-nose. That doesn't much matter with brain shots on squirrels anyway.

The main point is that it doesn't take much power for small-game hunting if you take (and MAKE) brain shots. But if you take chest shots on squirrel to rabbit-sized game with a .177 of the meager power level of an HW35, you'll find it sorely lacking in "stopping power".

I truly hope this "true confessions" helps provide some insight. It certainly did for me.
Appreciate your reply. My copy of "Manic Compressive" is well worn. Good to hear from fellow Crosman 112 lover. I probably have a dozen.
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