San Rafael Beeman HW50S



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Offline DanD

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San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« on: November 08, 2018, 05:30:07 PM »
I am thrilled to have come across this excellent little shooter. The serial number dates it to 1980. It is smaller and more svelte than the current HW50 model. It could use to be freshened up, but it feels great and the accuracy is excellent.
Here's a quick pic for your enjoyment!  Now off to see a Bob Weir show with my sons.  :)
  • Binghamton, NY

Offline 45flint

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 09:14:26 PM »
Looks nice those were the best years for Beeman.  Have you Chrony?
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Offline Rob112o

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 01:12:48 AM »
Nice, score Dan. It come with the Blue Ribbon scope too?
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Offline DanD

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 12:11:39 PM »
Looks nice those were the best years for Beeman.  Have you Chrony?
Thank you! I'm really enamored with this rifle. It feels just right. I chronied it with cheap Crosman Wadcutters at around 500fps and FTT Green at 600fps. It groups the cheapo Crosmans better than any other gun I have, and it made a tiny little hole with 10 FTT Greens at 10m. I'm looking forward to going through it.
Nice, score Dan. It come with the Blue Ribbon scope too?
Yes- a model 50 2.5-32, IIRC, made in Japan. The glass is good, but the windage adjustment clicks seem bound up. It works well enough, though.
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Offline MDriskill

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 10:20:31 AM »
To my mind, the old HW 50 is not just A mid-sized springer...it is THE mid-sized springer, LOL. Along with its paper-punching cousin the HW 55, the 50 is about my favorite air rifle of all time, period.

I have an early-70’s HW 50 with the super-plain stock like that. Yeah the styling is hardly what you’d call flashy but the darn thing fits me like custom work. I also have an R8 (what most would call the ultimate HW 50), and while a gorgeous gun in its own right of course, the classic slender rounded HW finger-groove stock has superior handling and balance for my tastes, especially when fitted with iron sights.

My favorite details of the HW 50 are the threaded-on rear receiver (just like the bigger HW 35, R1, etc.), and two-piece cocking linkage. The latter eliminates the long fore end slot common to most barrel-cockers, and trades dinky side-mounted front attachment screws for a proper bolt underneath in a steel seat. A really solid design.

The HW 50 was HW’s first post-war product, first appearing in 1951. Legend says it was the favorite design of the original Mr. Weihrauch himself. In his older days he was known to often sneak out the back door of the factory office with he pet example, for a bit of stress-relief time!

Maccari’s kits for this rifle are superb. My old one does 680’s with its original leather piston seal and is dead smooth to shoot. Its favorite ammo is mostly H&N stuff, never had much luck with Crosmans in any springer.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2018, 08:45:25 AM by MDriskill »
Wood, steel, and leather...all you need for a proper airgun!

Offline DanD

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2018, 11:05:38 PM »
Chronied the gun and took it apart tonight.
Pre-rebuild, it's doing 559fps with JSB 8.44 and about 630fps with FTT Green 5.56.
Everything was really gummed up and stuck together. I had to use a heat gun and big hammer to break the endcap loose. Everything is currently doused in Ballistol for an overnight soak to see if that helps.
It has a sacked 31 coil, .120 wire spring on a .520 steel guide.  I found a fresh 35 coil .120 spring in my stash that fits the guide tight, so it will get cut and closed to 31 coils. I'll try it like that unspaced, and if it's too jumpy, I'll shorten it up a little more.
The leather piston seal looks fine, so I'll run it.
It'll probably be a few days to get it back together, but I'll keep y'all posted.
Thanks for reading!
  • Binghamton, NY

Offline LAalex

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2018, 03:00:21 PM »
Neat project. Look forward to seeing how it turns out.  If the jsb/aashoot well try flaring the skirts for a little extra velocity.
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Offline jmars

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2018, 03:28:06 PM »
I am thrilled to have come across this excellent little shooter. The serial number dates it to 1980. It is smaller and more svelte than the current HW50 model. It could use to be freshened up, but it feels great and the accuracy is excellent.
Here's a quick pic for your enjoyment!  Now off to see a Bob Weir show with my sons.  :)

Bob Weir Show?! (I'm jealous!)
If Bob Weir shows are anything like the many Grateful Dead shows that I attended, your post should have included a (yummy, yummy) grilled cheese sandwich and a bunch of smiley faces!
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Offline Yogi

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2018, 06:07:17 PM »
I am thrilled to have come across this excellent little shooter. The serial number dates it to 1980. It is smaller and more svelte than the current HW50 model. It could use to be freshened up, but it feels great and the accuracy is excellent.
Here's a quick pic for your enjoyment!  Now off to see a Bob Weir show with my sons.  :)

Bob Weir Show?! (I'm jealous!)
If Bob Weir shows are anything like the many Grateful Dead shows that I attended, your post should have included a (yummy, yummy) grilled cheese sandwich and a bunch of smiley faces!

 :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Hope you wear your tie dyed t-shirt!

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Offline Yogi

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2018, 06:08:58 PM »
Chronied the gun and took it apart tonight.
Pre-rebuild, it's doing 559fps with JSB 8.44 and about 630fps with FTT Green 5.56.
Everything was really gummed up and stuck together. I had to use a heat gun and big hammer to break the endcap loose. Everything is currently doused in Ballistol for an overnight soak to see if that helps.
It has a sacked 31 coil, .120 wire spring on a .520 steel guide.  I found a fresh 35 coil .120 spring in my stash that fits the guide tight, so it will get cut and closed to 31 coils. I'll try it like that unspaced, and if it's too jumpy, I'll shorten it up a little more.
The leather piston seal looks fine, so I'll run it.
It'll probably be a few days to get it back together, but I'll keep y'all posted.
Thanks for reading!

Lucky dog! :D

Looks like a great gun, nice stock too.  So you are going to keep the leather seal?
I'm jealous. :P

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Offline Airwoods

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2018, 07:22:32 PM »
Looks nice those were the best years for Beeman.  Have you Chrony?
Thank you! I'm really enamored with this rifle. It feels just right. I chronied it with cheap Crosman Wadcutters at around 500fps and FTT Green at 600fps. It groups the cheapo Crosmans better than any other gun I have, and it made a tiny little hole with 10 FTT Greens at 10m. I'm looking forward to going through it.
Nice, score Dan. It come with the Blue Ribbon scope too?
Yes- a model 50 2.5-32, IIRC, made in Japan. The glass is good, but the windage adjustment clicks seem bound up. It works well enough, though.
I have that scope also.You can take the turrets off the scope and under those are if I remember are Allen heads you can tighten or lossen for positive turret clicks.On mine my wind age didn’t have any positive clicks to it when turning,just slipped,so I took the turret off and tightened it down a bit.Btw nice find
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Offline lizzie

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2018, 12:06:43 AM »
Wow! What an excellent find!
Hoping I can come across one of those some day!
Congrats on a beautiful gun!
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Offline DanD

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2018, 06:42:15 PM »
I put the rifle back together with the new spring and a new breach seal.  Power has improved accordingly- 702fps avg with JSB RS, and 798fps with FTT Green.
I did notice that the leather piston seal was loose around it's center holder. Sometimes air would escape behind it when plugging the transfer port and pushing the piston. It is consistent (single digit ES) and up to spec now that it's assembled, though.
The cocking and shot cycle is a little unrefined. The lip of the piston is catching the spring at the beginning of cocking adding an extra tick to the stroke.
I might do more with it down the road, but I'll just enjoy it for now.
Thanks for reading!
  • Binghamton, NY

Offline DanD

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2018, 09:57:19 PM »
Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I thought I'd add a comparison pic with a modern HW50/HW99.
Airwoods- how do you remove the turrets?
  • Binghamton, NY

Offline DanD

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 09:40:50 AM »
How's this for servicability? Cleaning, lubing, smoothing up some galling on the sides of the plunger and polishing the detent spring ends made for a smoother lockup feel.
Velocity dropped off, maybe due to excess oil burning off of the leather seal. It's around 645 with JSB RS right now. I've probably put a few hundred rounds through it since the rebuild.
I'm thinking of purchasing a new leather seal or a synthetic seal adapter.
I really like this rifle.
  • Binghamton, NY

Offline Agate47

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2018, 06:35:06 PM »
That is an awesome airgun. I just have a modern 50S that is very different. It is nice, but not the same as yours at all.

Making a leather seal is not hard to do. I made one several years ago for my Japanese Indian 450-S. Using a scrap piece of fairly heavy leather, you wet it with water. Drill a board with an appropriate sized hole. Drive the leather into the hole with an appropriately sized socket, and let it dry. Then trim the cup you just made drill a hole for the screw, soak in silicone oil, and there you have it.

Enjoy that fine airgun for many years,

Steve
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Offline DanD

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2019, 02:28:12 PM »
Update -
After maybe five hundred shots, the velocity had dropped to under 600fps with midweight pellets. I guessed that oiling the leather seal might bring velocity back up, but I like low maintenance, so I opted to install a Vortek adapter and 25mm HW style moly seal kit.  Oh boy, what an improvement.  The seal fit perfect without sizing. After running a bunch of pellets through, velocity is in the mid 740s with JSB 7.33 and 715ish with 7.87. Super consistent, too. Great upgrade!
A detail I realized is that the spring I used is an E3650 cut down to 31 coils. With a plastic sleeve and a little tar, there is no vibration and a quick and quiet snick of a shot cycle. I have an ARH old HW50/R8 kit on hand, but haven't installed it because the current setup works so well.  The ARH kit has a longer spring with a bigger OD. Someday, when the mood strikes, I'll probably test it and post my impressions on this thread, but for now, I'm not gonna mess with a good thing.
Have fun!
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Offline SteveD

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Re: San Rafael Beeman HW50S
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2019, 03:59:27 PM »
I used the JM kit perhaps 10 years ago in my R8 and have been very pleased. I have learned a lot about tuning since then and now make my own "kits", usually with JM springs. In my older kit the spring is only .110" wire, and is SO easy to cock and pleasant shooting in the mid 600fps range, that I don't really want a thicker spring in it. I tried a couple just to see and went back to his spring, although I did make a tophat. I think that spring could have been the ES3200 that he used to sell.

On the vortex seal, I tried one in the R8. It was a bit tight, but more importantly, it is a cup type seal and I feel that more power is needed to get the most out of it. With your heavier springs and better fit, It seems as though it works for you. I would bet that it may not be quite the same with a bit lighter spring and an old fashioned HW parachute seal may work better.

That power plant with the JM kit is about as good as it gets, and I have lots of fine springers. Match it with a Williams peep, and plink away and leave the scope for the more powerful guns.
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